Posted in Book Talk

Gifting Books to Non-Readers

Happy Whatever-You-Celebrate!

Creative, but possibly unsafe??

Or nothing at all, whatever you want, but for me it’s decorating a tree and buying gifts for family. And one of my constant struggles is whether or not to buy books for my friends and family who aren’t really readers. By that I mean that they might read a few books a year, at most, and generally wouldn’t have a book in mind that they wanted to read. (Side note – if anyone ever asks me what book I’d like to read next, they get a list. Not sure what life is like for other people…)

But sometimes, I find a book that I think that one person who doesn’t read would actually love! And then it’s a question:

Do I give them a book anyway?

It’s actually a lot of questions, usually in a sequence similar to this:

Pictured above: possible entrance to paradise

Do I give them a book anyway?
Will they be insulted if I give them a book, since they know I know they don’t like to read?
Screw them if they’re insulted, I got them a gift!
But I don’t want them to hate my gift…
Maybe I’ll get them another gift that’s more of their standard, too, just in case.

And that’s typically what happens: I get the book, hope they like it (or at least that they attempt to like it and not just put it on a shelf and never even try), and give something else that I know is an active interest of theirs. Then everyone wins!

What’s your method?

There’s been a lot of social attention this year on Iceland’s jólabókaflóð, which is the tradition of giving a book on Christmas eve and then the family staying in and spending the evening reading together. (Note – reading together is a weird concept. More like reading near each other? It’s lovely, anyway.)

This is a completely impossible idea for me, because I 100% cannot imagine my family reading; most of them probably haven’t finished a book in years. Iceland is a pretty incredible place though, and the amount of books they have published in Icelandic or written by Icelanders is incredible.

So are you using the hype to convince your family to try this out? Or maybe just as excuse for you to be able to spend a day reading? Do you ever gift books, comics, or other reading materials to people who aren’t ‘readers?’ Please tell me how it goes.

PS – I totally bought my boyfriend The Batman Who Laughs and I have no idea how it’ll go…


Reader, traveler, photographer, and always looking to learn!

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