Gift Books – How Do You Handle Them?

December 20, 2014 Discussions 8

As it’s nearly Christmas, and currently Hanukkah, I got to thinking about all the books I will be getting this year. Hopefully will be getting that is!

Every year when my family asks me what I want for Christmas, I link them to my Amazon Wishlists. I have one strictly for books, and one for everything else. I figure the book one should be easy, there’s over 200 titles on it, and a mix of older books and new out this year.

And every year, when I open up my presents I find books! Only… they’re almost never books that were on my wishlist! Sometimes they’re books by an author I like and don’t actually have yet. So it’s still a yay! moment for me. But most of the time? They’re books and authors I’ve never heard of before.

I’m…not exactly sure why this happens honestly. It seems easy in theory, give list of 200-ish books, expect to get at least one book on the list or by an author on the list. And yet…

So I stick them on my TBR shelf with all the others and cross my fingers that whichever relative it was, actually is good at picking out books. That the book will end up at least a 3-star if not higher for me. Sometimes I absolutely love the book and have to get more by that author. Sometimes I can’t force myself to read past chapter 2.

And then of course, you get the dreaded “How did you like the book? I just love that book/author because…” And you have to smile and find a polite way of saying “Please, for the love of the Gods, do NOT buy me anymore books by that author!”

I seriously think sometimes that people do the whole, “Oh no! I forgot to buy so-and-so a gift! She likes books, let’s just grab this random one off the shelf!” It’s kind of like Russian Roulette. Tie a blindfold on, spin around three times, and where ever you wobble off to in the book store, the first book in that area you touch is the one you decide to buy and gift. (No, I’m not being serious… People don’t really do that, right??)

So what do you guys do with those ‘random’ seeming books? Do you read them even if you’ve never heard of it? Do you smile politely and tell the giver you loved it, while secretly trading it at your local used bookstore for a better book? Do you attempt to return it to a store and get something else? I’d love to know, I’m sure I’ll be needing the ideas again this year…



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8 Responses to “Gift Books – How Do You Handle Them?”

  1. Tabitha (Not Yet Read)

    I hate when this happens. I am not a nice person perhaps because I ask them if they have the receipt still and I then return the book and get something I do want. I don’t believe in eating their money or my time. If it’s one they read and really want me to read, well I still usually won’t even attempt to read it of it doesn’t sound appealing to me. I know it’s mean to say, but honestly I know there are some people that get pushy and insist everyone is going to love or shoulda read and love a book simply because they do. Unless I know that person shares my taste in books and genres then I won’t read it. I’ve even returned books I couldn’t get a gift receipt for. It’s the curse of a reader. Luckily most family and friends have learned by now and they get me gift cards instead.

    Now if they could just learn on weird things we get as gifts. Lol
    Tabitha (Not Yet Read) recently posted…When you’ve had enough of a book series – My Dear John letterMy Profile

    • SilvaraWilde

      If I read the synopsis and the first few pages, and can tell there’s no way I’m going to actually read the book, I exchange it. But if I’m not sure, I’ll hang onto it for a bit. I just feel awkward asking for the receipt.

      I shouldn’t, as they obviously didn’t even try with the gift. But I can’t seem to help it. At least I’ve never had trouble exchanging, even without a receipt. If I did, I’d have to actually ask more of them for receipts!

    • SilvaraWilde

      Lucky you! I’m all the time being given stuff that I never asked for and have no idea why I’m getting it. Especially from my mother. There’s been one Christmas gift in the last few that I’ve loved. A few that were okay, and some that were just… Why?

  2. Brittany

    I’m lucky in that my friends and I have similar tastes in books. Generally, if they like it, I will. And vice versa, so when I get books from them, I know it’s either what I actually want or one that’s bound to be pretty good.

    I’m the only reader in my family, though, so books from them are a little more tricky. Usually they just ask which books I want, I give them a list of 20 or so, and I get my surprise books from that list. I can’t complain – they almost always give me what I want.

    Hopefully this year will be better for you! Maybe give them a smaller list to choose from? But I’ll cross my fingers for you!

    Brittany @
    Brittany recently posted…Review – Blood of Olympus by Rick RiordanMy Profile

    • SilvaraWilde

      This year I’m asking straight out for gift cards. Barnes & Noble or Amazon, I’m not picky. Hopefully it will cut down on the books I have to exchange. *fingers crossed as well*

      My friends are great at buying me books I like. Even if I haven’t heard of the author before, I’ve never ended up with a book from a friend that I had to DNF. It’s just extended family (and my mother) who is the problem.

    • SilvaraWilde

      *laughs* I tend to trade in books I’m sure I’ll never get to, at the local used book store. Might as well get something useful to me.

      This year all the bad gift-givers seem to have realized and gave me gift cards. All the books I received were actually good ones! Got a set of hardbacks of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Silmarillion that have really neat embossed covers.

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