If you are a book lover like me, I can bet you have gotten some pretty crappy gifts. For some reason, when you truly love something, people like to theme out gifts for you. This bothers me for two reasons: one, just because I love something does not mean that I want my house covered in it, and two, this does not reflect a genuine interest in me, but just a vague knowledge of me. I do not need more crappy things in my house that I have to keep to placate the people in my life.
Buy the Book
This concept transcends to literary-themed gifts in general. If I like to read, then give me something that I can read in the genre I like. There is no reason to buy me something that reminds me of the thing I like when you could just give me a BOOK.
Now, if you are concerned that you do not know the person well enough to give him or her a book that he or she would enjoy, by all means give a gift card! I will bet you a million to one that the person you are gifting would much prefer to buy their own gift rather than fake a smile at the tenth book that they have gotten for their birthday.
Pull Inspiration From a Genre
If you still wish to take a walk down the dangerous route of themed gifts, take the time to understand what the person likes and what he already has enough of. For example, I love coffee and tea. I drink about three cups of tea, at least, a day. I also love Shakespeare, two things that go hand in hand, I would say. So, when I graduated from college, my roommate got me a Shakespeare Insult Mug. This is a great themed gift for two reasons: it shows that my roommate knows me well, and it is a gift I can use.
If your literary lover happens to fancy horror, then baking Zombie Cookie Cutters could be right up their alley. This is a fun and slightly quirky gift for the Night of the Living Dead fans among us.
Another great gift idea for the classic literary lovers among us remains classic literary coasters. These are great because if the person you are gifting is anything like me, he or she probably is always drinking something while reading. Therefore, coasters are a very useful gift. I would go with Out Of Print as I find their coasters unique and just eclectic enough.
Now, just a word to the wise, before giving any gift, think to yourself: “Can the person I give this to use it, or will it just be another gift to collect dust in their house? Would I like this gift? Does this gift show that I know this person?” If, in your head, you answer no to any of these questions, step away from the gift you are about to buy and go get a gift card. Trust me, your friends and family will thank you later.
Photo credits: Grafixar, The Nationmart, Think Geek, and Out of Print Clothing.