I’m a pretty simple person to shop for if you’re planning on giving me a gift. (And I’m all for that, by the way). I like tea and Post-it notes and pens, and I’m more than ecstatic to receive any of these things. Obviously, I also like books. No, I love books. I have bookshelves I made from crates in my college dorm room. I read anything and everything. Heck, I write for Book Riot!
And that is why, when people ask me to make wishlists for gift exchanges, I always write: “Do not get me books.”
Part of it is because I don’t have enough space left on my shelves (I never have enough space on my shelves). But that’s not the main reason, really. The main reason is that I am a book snob. I get really picky about what books I actually enjoy and want to own.
It’s one thing to go to the library and pick out a book that I halfway find interesting, only to slide it back across the return desk a week later when I realize it’s just not for me. It’s another thing for a friend to say, “I know you like reading. Here is my favorite book!” only for me to realize that it is far from my favorite book, and now I’m stuck with it. It’s a lot of pressure. I value my friendships and my friend’s reading tastes. I want to get through books they give me, and I don’t want to get rid of the books. But, like I said, I will eventually run out of space on my shelves.
I also don’t want duplicates. “I know you like old books,” my friend said one year, handing me my second copy of Oliver Twist. It leaves me in quite the predicament: do I keep my original copy or the new one?
There are a few people I trust to get me books. These are the people who know what I read on a daily basis, and who know what I like and don’t like. My trust, unfortunately, doesn’t go much further than that.
So: If you want to get me something for the holidays, book swag I can do. Something book-themed is nice. But please, don’t get me books.