It’s true that studying separates even the most avid readers from their favorite books.
With the holidays on the horizon, friends and family can help bookworms find their most anticipated arrival or organize their collection.
If you read
Those who know a lot about their friends’ tastes and collections, but just can’t think of what else to give them can track down blogs and review Web sites for some fresh ideas.
Allreaders.com has hundreds of reviews on authors from virtually all genres. The New York Times, National Public Radio and even Oprah’s Book Club all have good Web sites that contain a plethora of gifts for more mainstream readers.
Most online stores, such as Amazon.com, also generate recommendations based on what fans of particular series or books have bought.
If you don’t read
This writer does not recommend attempting to guess which best-seller a friend will enjoy. Unless you know your friends’ tastes and collections well enough to name five titles and five tropes that they enjoy, you will probably end up giving vague directions to some bookstore employee, who will lead you to the least offensive and most hyped selections.
This end result is you buy a book that your friend already owns, or a book that your friend has heard of but has no interest in reading.
Sometimes it’s best to let adults make their own decisions.
Most bookstores, from national giant Barnes & Noble to local comic store Bedrock City Comic Company, sell gift cards and certificates that will allow your friend to shop to their heart’s content. If your friend knows that you just don’t get their hobby, they’ll appreciate a gift card much more than a well-intended copy of Twilight.
If you cannot bear the thought of giving a gift certificate, picking other book-oriented presents may be appreciated.
Organize that mess
Collecting books takes up tons of space over time. If your friend’s collection has begun invading floor space and breakfast tables, it’s time to buy them a bookshelf or an IKEA gift card.
Some people might even be ready to try out the digital readers that are emerging on the market.
Amazon’s Kindle allows readers to purchase digital copies of books online and read all of them from a single device. In March, Amazon released an iPhone application that allows readers to move books from their Kindle to their cell phone.
A PC version of the application debuted in October. Although your friends can download this function for free online, shoppers can still invest in Kindle gift certificates.
Digital books save space and paper, but make sure your reader likes the idea of reading from a lighted screen instead of an actual book.
Interesting collectibles are another great gift idea, as they can help your favorite book lovers decorate their homes.
Cult favorite PostSecret.com has released PostSecret: Confessions on Life, Death, and God, a collection of postcards compiled by Frank Warren.
For those who haven’t heard about this phenomenon, Postsecret.com invites people to send anonymous homemade postcards containing their secrets. Secrets range from charming comments about quirks and fetishes to deeply depressing confessions.
Any of the books in the PostSecret series is sure to please readers and strike up a conversation between friends.
Other gift ideas include picture and pop-up books. The hipsters in your life have probably moved on from Where the Wild Things Are, but you can surprise them with nostalgic favorites and new discoveries, such as Gary Greenberg’s deliciously cynical The Pop-Up Book of Phobias.
Those who need more ideas on unique conversation pieces can stop by Domy Books, located on Westheimer Road. This local shop specializes in art books and rare troves on culture.
Some clothing stores such as Urban Outfitters sell art books that have gained cult niches, including a collection of Banksy’s graffiti street art.