Giving a Book as Gift is Great – Just Take Care of Some Things First!

You have to get a gift for somebody and you thought to get them a book? Great idea! Giving a book as gift is great. But you should check a few things first. Let’s see!

Giving a gift

The Recipient is a Close Friend who Loves Books

Wonderful! In this case, giving them a book is probably the best idea you’ve had. 😉 They’re close to you so you know their taste, you know what they like or not. They’re gonna love your gift and tell you so with a huge smile on their face. You know, one of the real smiles who reach the eyes. 😀 Well done!

Hanging out in a library

If they are really close to you, you could even ask them for a book they’d like to have or go with them to the library or a bookstore and take notice of what they seem to have an interest in.

If you don’t want them to know you’re researching for their gift, find an excuse for this. The best one I’ve used is buying a gift for another friend you both know. It’s a little obvious and that’s why no one thinks you’d lie about this. Plus, you could find a gift for that friend too, if you have to get them a present anyway.

If you don’t mind them know, you can ask them what book or genre they’d prefer. My friends and I have taken this a step further and we have book lists ready for when any of us has their birthday. Maybe it sounds strange, but it works for us. We don’t have useless gifts and we get faster what is on our wish list! Plus, our friends don’t have to struggle to find presents for us. It’s a win-win-win situation!!! 😆

If you need some ideas for books, you can check my book reviews. 😉

The Recipient is Someone who Likes Books

You don’t know them very well. Maybe they’re a friend of a friend or a colleague… But you do know they love books. Well, that’s a little more difficult… But don’t worry, we’re all here to give you ideas! Write below the occasion and we’ll offer some suggestions especially for your case!

Book as a gift

If you know them…

Ok, let’s assume first that it’s a person you’ve had some contact with. You’ve seen them with a book before; maybe you’ve even talked about books before. You don’t know what they like exactly but you do have some idea about their interests. Then the safest choice is to buy a book about something they’re interested in. Even if you aren’t that close, you could ask someone close to them for an idea. So what could they be interested in?

Well, from where do you know them? Work? You could take something about this. From your Italian lessons? Get them something to read in Italian. School? Get them something about their favourite subject – if you’re at this age. Don’t buy them about this 10 years after graduating because you remember them like a subject. People change. And this is a little creepy! How do you remember this so well while you were not close to them??? 😛

If you don’t know them at all…

Let’s take the other case. The recipient is just someone you’ve seen once or twice. Maybe even not at all. Your partner wants you to go with them because an acquaintance has their birthday or someone from the work. Then ask them. Ask the person who drags you with them to tell you more about this person.

Book as a giftYou may wonder by now why you should get into so much trouble for someone you barely know. Well, here’s the deal. We tend to remember for a long time people who seem to know us well. Sure, you could buy them a bottle of wine. It will take you 10 dollars and ten minutes of your time. Probably less on both of these. And that’s about how much it will mean to the recipient. Getting them a book will cost you about the same, it will take you a little more of your time, but it will be a thousand times more appreciated!

In both cases

There is something riskier you could try. You could buy them a book on Self-Improvement. These two come to mind and they’re actually two very favourite books.


Some other books you can but for them could be related to a new situation they got into. For example, if they just became a parent. I know there are a lot of great books out there about this. Or if they just turned a certain age. 30, 40 etc… No matter what we say, we’ve all been through some hard phases in our life. If you help them overcome a certain problem, they’re gonna remember you fondly for a long time. Heads up though: Don’t touch anything too sensitive that you think they feel touchy about. For example: Don’t buy them a book about weight loss if you know they’re on a diet. Remember! You don’t know them so well in this case!

The Recipient is a Friend whom you want to Help Love Books

If we’re talking about your children, I have written how to help them love books in another article.

Books and kids!

But let’s assume we’re talking about a friend about your age. Well, now you walk on thin ice. You see, if they don’t like reading already, first it’s kind of difficult to start now and second, you are in danger of looking really useless at picking gifts! If you’re close with them, they could realise what you’re trying to do and appreciate it or think you didn’t put any thought to your gift for them and just took something you’d like!

So you should choose carefully your gift. Get a book according to their taste. Maybe it’s similar to a movie they liked or the book it was based on. Something about a passion of theirs – especially if they want to start doing something about this and they never manage to start. They’re gonna love you all the more about it!

But, I do believe that reading is a passion. And even though I know a lot of people who didn’t like reading books until they came across a particular book or person who helped them learn to enjoy it, don’t be ΤΗΑΤ person. You know, the one we all have in our lives; maybe a grandparent, an uncle, an aunt or a cousin who always gets you terrible gifts. If you buy them once or twice books and you see they don’t like them, stop doing it!

Final Thoughts

I hope I helped you in some way. A book is a great gift but it should be the right book for the right person. Write below anything you’d like to know. 🙂  Questions and suggestions are always welcome!

For more topics about books, check my list!

Tell me if you’d like me to write about something else. Any suggestion is always welcome!

Don’t forget to have fun!

Dog celebrating!


  1. I enjoyed reading your post. Books are some of my most cherished possessions and I love receiving them as gifts. I also enjoy giving them as gifts and have recently started giving audiobooks as presents. Your ideas for book giving are some I hadn’t considered – thank you!

    1. You’re welcome!
      I do enjoy giving books as a gift as well and I did have to face some problems. That’s why I chose to write this! 😀
      Have fun!!!

  2. I absolutely LOVE books as gifts! My genres are self-help, mystery, and crime. It’s funny, I never thought to give anyone a book as a gift because I was afraid they’d think I was cheap. However, I now see that giving a great book as a gift is certainly acceptable.

    I will now think about what my friends like to read and buy them books as gifts. Thanks for the article.

    1. You’re welcome!
      Well, you just have to find the right book. There are really expensive books out there, so you can choose one of these, too! 😛
      Joking aside, they will appreciate the book if they like your thinking of them!

  3. I rarely buy anything else but books as gifts these days. I feel like there was this period when paper books were “out of style” when Kindles and ebooks became popular. I started buying paper books for myself and my loved ones as gifts as I realized how great it is to read from actual paper without any annoying technology. It’s nice to see books stores are doing well especially during holidays these days. A good book is always a great and personal gift. Thanks for sharing your tips!

    1. You’re welcome! I usually buy books as gifts, too. Except if it is for my brother. He would probably use them as glass mats! And that would seriously offend me! 🙄

  4. Thanks for the post, Jenny.
    I know a couple of friends I would love to buy books for, but they don’t read books. So I go for the more conventional DVD.
    The books I would like them to read would be “the Millionaire fastlane” and “Unscripted” both written by MJ DeMarco. Excellent reads, along with the same lines as your recommendations of the 4 hour work week.
    How would you convert someone into a person who reads books?
    Thanks in advance.

    1. Try to give them something on a topic they like. Maybe something about their job if they like their job or something related to a situation they’re in. Wanting to change their lives is a situation that a lot of people are currently in because they feel miserable at their jobs. So try giving them one of the books, the one you like the most! 😀
      Don’t pressure though. Some people are just not into reading. Poor souls…! 😎

  5. I love this post because books are one of my most favorite things and I always try to see if I can buy them as a present for all the people that I know, but sometimes I feel confused about what type of book I should actually be buying for them. You’ve really helped me a lot with this and I really look forward to my next book shopping session!

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