Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Cathy

Choosing books as gifts

Recommended Posts

I seem to remember in previous years we have had a thread for helping figure out books presents for people, I've had a hunt around but no luck so starting up a new one.

 

Are you trying to come up with book gifts for friends or relatives? You could try asking here - say what you know about what that person likes reading and see if anyone comes up with any recommendations!

 

OK, here are mine....I like getting a book for each of my family! Not as their only present, but as part of their gifts. I like to play to my strengths! The deal is for example, I buy my brother books, and he buys me DVDs!

 

Brother - I've had great successes recently with graphic novels for him, I take the credit for getting him into the whole Sandman series by Neil Gaiman. He likes Neil Gaiman in general, Terry Pratchett, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C Clarke, The Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Laurence Peake. Any suggestions, especially for new authors to look up or also for really decent graphic novels?

 

Hubby - Obscure technology and/or art haha! which I know nothing about. There was some amazing book at the Design Museum in London full of just visual representations of data.....that sounds boring but it was quite amazing, wish I knew what it was called. Any one know anything to help with this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There was some amazing book at the Design Museum in London full of just visual representations of data.....that sounds boring but it was quite amazing, wish I knew what it was called. Any one know anything to help with this?
Have you tried their shop ?

 

I imagine Hazel might have some ideas for your brother.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I imagine Hazel might have some ideas for your brother.

Not having read any of the stuff that Cathy mentions might make it a little difficult, but I am guessing sci-fi/futuristic/fantasy/fairytale kind of comics. Definitely not Preacher or The Boys!

 

A couple of ideas though -

 

The Walking Dead - The aftermath of a zombie outbreak, following a band of survivors. Not tailored to your brother but it is a brilliant series and recently been made into a fantastic series. Each volume is consistently excellent and gripping.

 

Y: The Last Man - Good series about the future in which only one man survives.

 

Fables - Series about our world in which fairytale characters are real and are in hiding. It's very clever and enjoyable and more than a little Neil Gaiman-y.

 

Fell: Feral City - a one off comic book about a detective who gets dumped into a lowly job in a odd place called Snowtown. It's very creepy and misty - I loved it and am quite disappointed Templesmith didn't follow it up.

 

Black Hole - A one off graphic novel about a infection that takes over the teens in a small town. It's very creepy, artistic and X-Files-y. Kind of a metaphor for puberty, hormones, and teenagedom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I usually only get books for my close circle of friends and try to give them something I've read that I think they'll love. This year one of my friends is away travelling so I've only got 3 to buy books for

 

Josie - Still undecided, I've not really read anything that I think would suit her, she's gone very sci-fi. I am contemplating Bradbury although I run the risk that she's read him.

 

Nicky - It was a tough choice between Ebenezer Le Page and This thing of Darkness, and I was going to go with the former and give the latter to my now travelling friend, however she is now travelling so rather than give up my copy of Ebenezer I will purchase this thing of darkness for Nicky today.

 

Kim - As soon as I started the Count of Monte Cristo I knew it was the one, big book though it is, I know she will love it.

 

I'm not doing the 'girlfriends' this year as last year was risky and I'm not convinced I got it right, I think I need another year or so to know them better.

 

OH will get something I'm deciding between 2 I may get both in the end.

 

My mum is getting the Jill Paton Walsh Lord Peter Wimsey.

 

And my dad and brother is a whole other ball game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tend to avoid books as gifts as most people I know read less than me, and I see that look as they unwrap them - oh, no, one of your choices, I won't like this!

I can buy factual books for people, like cookbooks, or nature books for my dad, but fiction is tricky.

I love buying books for kids, though. One of my friends has a 12yo son who looks forward to my choices - he says, "you always pick good books", which is very satisfying! And I love buying picture books for my nieces. Ones with cats always go down well, as they adore my cat.

 

I tend to find Amazon is good with its "people who bought this also bought" feature. If you wander off the mainstream, it can throw up books you don't even know exist. I use that for birdwatching / nature / photography suggestions for my dad.

(I also find this feature good for buying for small kids. Often it will throw up unrelated but useful items which mums are buying, then I look like a present buying genius, when I'm effectively following a mum round a shop, looking in her basket!)

 

Sorry I don't have any suggestions for you, Claire. I could do with suggestions for my 12yo reader, who likes Robert Muchamore and loved the Patrick Ness books.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Hazel! those suggestions have been really helpful. I found the book my hubby had mentioned he'd like - if anyone is looking for something similar (which seems unlikely but hey!) it is

Information is Beautiful but shhhhh! its a surprise!

 

 

Sorry I don't have any suggestions for you, Claire. I could do with suggestions for my 12yo reader, who likes Robert Muchamore and loved the Patrick Ness books.

 

Claire? Do you mean me? :P

 

Oh yay, are you sure you want to ask a librarian for recommendations for a 12 year old boy? You're going to have quite a few!!! Oh I can't resist.... :D

 

In terms of things in the same vein as Muchamore, I'm thinking:

Chris Ryan

Andy McNab

JA Henderson

You could try the Young Bond stuff by Charlie Higson.

 

Patrick Ness's series was pretty much a one-off but something similar-ish could be Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games series. Those books were pretty heavy-going, so I'd be thinking he's a really good reader and could deal with some pretty challenging reads.

 

Something different could be Return to the Lost World by the two Steve's (Skidmore and Barlow). Also, these have been around for while but maybe Skulduggery Pleasant could be a nice surprise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't give books as presents unless its something which I know the person wants and has said as much, otherwise I will buy book tokens and let them buy what they want.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't give books as presents unless its something which I know the person wants and has said as much, otherwise I will buy book tokens and let them buy what they want.

 

This can go either way, I think. Some are with you, Apple, others are of the opinion that tokens look lazy, they say "I can't be bothered to try to think of something you might like". If the recipient has made it very obvious what they want, as my late father used to, then it is only fair to go and buy it.

 

On the other hand, all my friends have given up buying me books, since they assume I must own it or have read it already. The only honourable exception is Lady L, who has the advantage of easy access to our bookcases and can see what I own already. Even so, she says she struggles, bless her.     

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think books as gifts are great and I took great pleasure in buying my friends' children books, in at least one case because I knew that otherwise the children would not be read to.  As for presents for adults I have done this in the past and have no idea if it was successful or not.  I usually ask if there's a particular book that's wanted and wait for a response.  Last time I did give a book token it was gratefully recieved and delightedly used by someone I only knew slightly.  So merits and demerits to both book and token giving.  

 

I'm in the same posititon as Gram, people don't buy me books because they think I've read it or already have it.  And I have so many books they don't get me a token either! :grumble:

Edited by lunababymoonchild

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great idea for a topic!

 

Personally I prefer money over a book token, because here you can only hand in a book token (boekenbon) in certain shops in the Netherlands. I buy most of my books online, at book fairs or at the charity shop, and for those places you cannot use a book token. People buying me a book would have to make sure I don't already have it. Generally I prefer to give them a title (and tell them it should be a paperback), so I know they'll get me something I don't have and that I'll like (in English, not Dutch, this is very important).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With books and other gift giving I feel it is safer to give gift certificates unless you are really sure what the recipient's preferences are. There are probably books and gifts sitting abandoned and lonely in lots of homes. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love to accept books as gifts. But while gifting it to someone I am often assailed with doubts. So many books and so many genres are there that you can never be sure if the receiver of your gift is actually interested in reading it or not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now that I think about it, I'm fairly sure the old forum (with the old forum software) had a thread like this.

This is that thread.

(Just check the date of the opening post)

 

Everything that could be saved from the old forum was transferred over to here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This can go either way, I think. Some are with you, Apple, others are of the opinion that tokens look lazy, they say "I can't be bothered to try to think of something you might like". If the recipient has made it very obvious what they want, as my late father used to, then it is only fair to go and buy it.

 

On the other hand, all my friends have given up buying me books, since they assume I must own it or have read it already. The only honourable exception is Lady L, who has the advantage of easy access to our bookcases and can see what I own already. Even so, she says she struggles, bless her.     

Normally the people who I buy for request book tokens/money so the thought that it looks lazy doesn't really crop up, but I have often thought that myself that it looks like I can't really be bothered.  However, after my husbands first attempt at buying me a book which I hadn't specifically requested recently and the fact I thought it was a load of crap I can see the pro's for just giving money/tokens more than the cons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is that thread.

(Just check the date of the opening post)

 

Everything that could be saved from the old forum was transferred over to here.

Whoops, sorry! How silly of me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I only buy books for other people if I know it is a specific book they want, unless I am choosing younger children's books and there are many of those that are sure to please. I love book tokens and would never think it was lazy, rather that the giver knew my love of books but was allowing me to choose what I particularly wanted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whoops, sorry! How silly of me.

 Not at all -

Our threads are never closed, so can be resurrected at any time for new thoughts to be added.

The disadvantage of that is that it is possible to ask or answer a question of someone who hasn't visited BGO for months, or even years, so it's a good idea to check the dates of threads, and any individual posts you might be referring to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...