Thursday, December 03, 2009

The perfect Christmas present

So today I'm going to talk about buying books for the holidays. You may think this goes without saying for a book blog. Well, the main inspiration for this post was a post done by Shannon Hale (yes, THAT Shannon Hale) on this very topic. You can go here to read the original post, but here's the thought that really struck me:

"Bookstores are going out of business, and we can't have that. For those of you who are hoping to be published writers one day, you especially have an interest in keeping bookstores alive. Without them, debut writers get lost. Without booksellers who hand sell, readers won't discover unknown authors. And without a book industry, known and unknown writers alike get lost."
Yes, despite the fact that the economy here in the US seems to be recovering the truth is that the publishing industry is still floundering somewhat. Can you imagine a world without books? I think I would die. I really think I would. So that alone is a good reason to give books as gifts.

And here's another reason: books really are the perfect gift. Reading promotes literacy (obviously) which in turn can lead to good grades and great chances for college. I attribute all of my academic success to my love of reading. Really!

Reading is a form of entertainment which engages it's audience. It's impossible to read a book and not have at least something pop into your head that makes you stop for a minute and think. Even if it's only for a second, that's a second you might not have thought about otherwise.

And reading is fun! And addicting. So do those on your gift list a favor and give a book this holiday.

Now, because of the recession I know money is tight for many of you this family. Trust me, I know how you feel. Our family is right there with you. And I realize books can get expensive. So here's some cost cutting ways to give books for the holidays:

1. Check for deals - Many online retailers such as periodically have great sales on their books. You can also get specials such as free shipping if you spend over $25, or use their 4 for 3 deals on many paperbacks. Also, always double check the third party offers on Amazon too. I've seen brand new $20 hardbacks available for $2 before.

2. Buy secondhand - The previously mentioned third parties on Amazon is a good place to start. But also check your local thrift stores. Yes, this can be totally hit and miss. You have to wade through a lot of junk to find the gems. But you do find gems. I've gotten $20 books brand new from my local thrift store, Deseret Industries, for just $1. Can't beat that!

3. Use trading sites - Sites like Paperbackswap, Bookmooch, and Swaptree are a great way to trade in those old books you have laying aroudn the house collecting dust for new one. Paperbackswap will even give you two free credits to order books once you get started. If you end up joining, tell them Greycat133 (my username) sent you! Each site has advantages and disadvantages, but right now I'm partial to Paperbackswap. But it changes for me. :)

Now, you notice I haven't listed any specific books you should be buying for the holidays. I have my opinions on that of course, but I'd like to hear what you all think before I add in my two cents. I'd like to turn this into a roundup of sorts. If you have a book you loved this year or a book you're giving for gifts this year, leave me a comment and let me know about it. If you've written a post about it on your blog leave me a link and I'll add that here too.

And here's a surprise for those of you who've made it this far. If you do leave me a suggestion not only will it count towards the Comment Contest, but you will get one extra entry into one of the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway-a-Day contest of your choice. After leaving your comment here, just add +1 to the contest of your choice.

Here's to giving books for Christmas!


Julie said...

I'm actually buying books for pretty much everyone. I'm just so obsessed with books, I can't help myself. Plus being there may gave me an excuse to get some books for myself :)

I have to poke around more, but I'll be getting my dad either a book with horror stories, a book about the Rangers, or possibly the MASH DVD set. Still debating there.

My mom is getting The Witching Hour trilogy by Anne Rice. I don't know if that's the right name, but it's the first book in the series. It was purchased today.

For my little brother I think I'm getting him a book called The Mixed Up Chameleon. I looked around on Barnes and Nobles website with him next to me so he could pick his own books without realizing it. The joys of young children.

As for actual teens, one of my friends will either be getting The Bar Code Rebellion by Suzanne Weyn (sequel to The Bar Code Tattoo) or Willow by Julia Hoban. My other friend will either be getting a notebook or one of those predictable, cheesy teen romance books, or something like Sarah Dessen's work since she owns all those books. She loves them.

Sara said...

I love Perfect Chemistry, so I'll probably buy that one! The Hunger Games would make a ice gift too!

Wrighty said...

Although I can't afford to buy very many new books it hurts my heart every time I hear of a bookstore closing. I do buy books for gifts and I usually buy used books for myself and use the library often. I've found amazing deals too! So far I don't have any requests for Christmas gifts but I'm not very far on my shopping list anyway.

I agree that The Hunger Games books are a great choice. I need to think about more possibilities. There are so many good ones!

Jess (The Cozy Reader) said...

Awesome post.

Why not buy a book!? All the reasons you mentioned are exactly why I read and why I usually push off my favorite reads onto friends and family.

This year I'll be giving away:
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev
Need by Carrie Jones
Intertwined by Gena Showalter

Some to friends some to family. Plus, there are all kinds of non-fiction books some people enjoy reading..... :)

Cecelia said...

Books are great gifts. I've always been a little hesitant to give them, though, because I'm the only 'real bookworm' among my friends. This year I have some really solid choices, though - and I've been helped out by film versions (so my friends will have actually heard the titles before!).

I'm planning on giving:
The Road, The Time Traveler's Wife, Julie & Julia, The Knife of Never Letting Go and Peter & Max.

More possibilities added later, of course. I heart books!

brizmus said...

Thanks for this beautiful post! I've definitely been buying books for people this holiday season.
I've gotten a copy of Angels (the pop-up book) for my mom, along with a copy of The Lost Symbol.
My sister is getting a copy of the Secret of Joy by Melissa Senate.
My best friend will be getting a copy of Confessions of a Serial Kisser by Wendelin Van Draanen. My dad is getting "What I talk about when I talk about running" by Haruki Murakami.
For my sister's best friend, who was recently diagnosed with cancer, I have a copy of "Evidence of Angels" by Suza Scalora.
And for one of my brothers, I'm going old school, and he's getting the Renshai Trilogy by Mickey Zucker Reichert.
See, I am definitely giving books.
I would DIE if book stores stopped existing, so I do my part!

Jenny N. said...

I'll be buying some books for my family and friends this holiday season.

For my brother and sister, they like reading manga so I will be getting them some from series that they are currently reading. I really want to get a copy of Willow for my other sister. I read it and really liked it and I think she will too.
As for some of my friends I like to get them giftcards to local bookstores so they can get a book of their choice

Unknown said...

Thanks for mentioning the book swap sites! I did not know of those and shall have to check them out. It seems like a practical way to find new material without too terribly filling my shelves.

Mystica said...

I personally love to receive books or most often vouchers for bookshops as sometimes people do not know exactly what one would like to buy. However, i would love to borrow your idea of gifting books and do write something on my own blog regarding this - if you dont mind that is.

CeeCee said...

I'm buying books for my family and friends this Christmas because other than being a great gift it's one of the only things I can choose that they would actually enjoy.
My step sister's are getting
Match me if you can by Susan Phillips
Compromised by Kate Noble
The Dark Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop
Friends could be getting some of these
The forest of hands and teeth by Carrie Ryan
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Jellicoe Road Melina Marchetta
Shiver Maggie Steifvater
Boys that Bite by Mari Mancusi
Dad is probably getting a crime fiction similar to Val McDermid
(plus some books that I've purchased this year but haven't enjoyed them fully but others probably will)


throuthehaze said...

I am giving the Vampire Academy series to my sister :)