Year after year without fail, at least one book has made it on to my Christmas list: from the new Jacqueline Wilson book to a Scott Fitzgerald classic. When someone gifts you with a book, it is something you know you will treasure forever because one day that new eyeshadow palette or the latest device is going to run out or it is not going to work anymore. Unless you are going to rip out the pages, a book is never going to leave your side and to be able to give someone that, is very special indeed. Practicality is another bonus of buying someone a book. It is affordable for those on a smaller budget: the amount of classics I have bought for just £2 in my local charity bookshop is within the budget for even the most hesitant of buyers. No one is going to think that you’re a cheapskate because it is difficult to put a price on books and there won’t be a gaping hole left in your purse/wallet. As mundane as it sounds, books are educational. Even if it is a copy of Horrid Henry, the reader is still practicing their comprehension skills, if you feel a younger sibling or relative has too many Pokémon cards or dolls, a book is a perfect solution. You might even have introduced them to a world of reading that they were never engaged in before! Books can be very personal depending on what you choose or who you give it to. If you bought someone a gift straight off the best-seller shelf, then the sentiment isn’t really there, unless they really wanted it, then of course that is thoughtful. But perhaps if you know what kind of genre the receiver likes and you see a new book of that type has just come out, then it shows you have thought about the person you are buying for. Similarly, if you really love a particular novel and you want the reader to share the same experience you have had, then 500 pages mean more than what they are bound by.
Sometimes people just don’t share your passion and that is ok. We are all different and have different interests, just because you love nothing more than cramming your room with books, doesn’t mean everyone else does. When you buy a gift, you are not buying it for yourself: as simple as it may seem, people sometimes like to buy things they would want, lacking the regard for the people they actually are for. I can get carried away in Waterstones or another good bookshop raiding through the shelves, forgetting I am actually there to buy a present for my mother, don’t let the same happen to you. Buying a book can be a very stressful choice if it is for someone else. There are so many genres to choose from and there are even genres within that: from gardening to British history, it is easy to get carried away. The consequences of buying the wrong book for the wrong person can be fatal and I speak from experience: a friend once bought me a One Direction biography and I hate to say that it is probably stranded in the middle of a landfill site. Of course you have to smile and thank them for their purchase and I do not condone the throwing out of books, but sometimes it is necessary.