Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event created and hosted by The Broke and The Bookish
Holiday season is upon us, folks, and I’m here to make life 4809588 times easier for all of you hopeless souls who desperately want to get your bookworms a great gift, but don’t know how. So go on, get your pen and paper (or your bookmark tool on your web browser) ready. I’ll wait.
Back? Awesome. ON TO THE LIST.
1. DO ask for their wishlist
Asking the bookworm in your life for their wishlist is the best decision for everyone involved. If they’re the proactive, “I need to make sure no one gets me a crappy book” type (ie me) then they’ll just email blast you their book wishlist without you even having to ask. If they’re nicer about letting people pick their gifts, then, sorry bub, you’re gonna have to ask. Sucks to be you.
And if they tell you they don’t have a book wishlist, then THEY’RE GODDAMNED LYING. We all have wishlists. THIS IS FACT. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a stinkin’ liar and should be punished.
2. DON’T buy them books you’re not 124% sure they’ll read
Alright, sure, there’s no real way of being able to tell. Unless the bookworm you’re buying the book for is your twin sibling, or, like, your partner of 230 years or something. But if you don’t think you special bookworm is going to be even remotely interested in the book you’re holding in your hand and considering buying, then put it the heck down. Put it down and walk away. Save your time and your money, and try to get your bookworm something they’ll, at the very least, give a shot.
3. DO keep preferred genre in mind
This is a no-brainer. Every bookworm has a preffered genre. Even if they’re like me and read just about everything under the sun, they’ll always have at least one genre that they love, love, love. Learn what this genre is. Learn it, memorize it. Commit it to memory. This will be the single most important thing you do in your life. I’m serious.
4. DON’T buy them merch from fandoms they hate
A person (whose identity shall remain secret) once bought me twilight merch. After I was well and truly over my temporary insanity and had seen it for the drivel it was. I died. My soul literally left my body, pterodactyl screeched for 23.4 hours, and then returned. Don’t do this, guys. Even if your bookworm is nice and will appreciate the thought behind the gift, on the inside, they’ll be D Y I N G.
5. DO take the time to learn the fandoms they love
I don’t think you understand how important this one is. Learning someone’s fandoms can save your life vis-a-vis gift giving. Because, think about it, you don’t need to get your bookworm the actual book. Or merch. You can just get them something fandom-significant and they will LOVE YOU.
For example: as a Dreg (aka a diehard Six of Crows fan) I will love you eternally if you get me anything with a crow on it. Divergent fans will joyfully accept chocolate cake. THG fans will weep if you get them dandelions, or pearls. Etc. etc.
6. DON’T underestimate the value of a gift card – or money
Everyone’s a winner with this one. You don’t have to crack your head against a wall in frustration and then lie down in the middle of the street crying because you can’t find the perfect book. The bookworm in your life won’t have to plaster on a smile to hide the fact that they’re internally screaming at the shelf space the book they’re probably never going to read is going to take up.
They get to buy the books they want, you get to sit smugly by and say, “I thought you’d be happier with the freedom to pick your own books”. Which would be true. They’d be super happy.
7. DO opt to buy bookish accessories, if your book buying skills are non-existent
Some people are good at knowing what their bookworm will like, and are great at picking out books. Some… well, some aren’t. And if you’re one of those people who isn’t good at sniffing out the perfect book, that’s okay. There’s absolutely no shame in it. We all have our strengths. Maybe you’re better at picking out movies. Idk. BUT NEVER FEAR, poor inept book-buyer, you have options!
*does Spongebob’s imagination rainbow thing*
Sources tell me that bookish accessories are a hit with the bookworms. They like Pop toys, bookmarks, book-themed candles, scented candles in general, ereader cases, and drawers full of colored sticky tabs, so they can make margin notes.
8. DON’T buy into the “don’t judge a book by it’s cover nonsense”
You wanna know who judges books by their covers? BOOKWORMS. We’re ALL guilty of it. Pretty covers, personally, will be the death of me. Honestly. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve read a book soley because it had a pretty cover. We like the shiny, okay? And why do you need to know this? So that you can buy your bookworm the prettiest edition of the book on their wishlist! Duh. It’s really not rocket science, guys, we just like pretty books on our shelves. We’re shallow that way.
9. DO take risks. Occasionally. Educated risks
Sometimes it’s alright to buy your bookworm a book that they might not necessarily buy for themselves. This isn’t me contradicting lesson #2. You definitely need to get them something that will pique their interest. I mean, bruh. Come on. What I mean is that you don’t have to always only get them the kind of books they always buy.
My brother does this a lot. He often tries to buy me books that he thinks I’ll enjoy, but probably wouldn’t buy myself because I’ve prioritized another YA fantasy. This means my Christmas gifts from him are usually some very interesting adult thrillers, or diverse literary fiction. I’ve hated a few of them, but most often, I end up really liking these books. They’re books I’d put on my TBR list on GR. But they’d (often) get passed up at a bookstore because I’m such fantasy trash, it’s not even funny.
So, to close, buy them books you think they’ll like. But don’t be afraid to be a little riskier with the selection
10. DON’T be afraid to ask
Again. No shame. It’s the literal simplest thing you can do. People put a lot of stock in being secretive with their holiday gifts. And that’s great. I’m one of those people. I like surprising my loved ones with my gifts. But if there’s someone I want to get a gift for, and I’m not too sure about WHAT to get them, there’s really no harm in just asking. You don’t have to get them the exact same thing they asked for, but their answer will give you an idea of what your gift could be.
I mean, who knows? Maybe your bookworm doesn’t even want a book for the holidays this year.