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The Gift of Reading

Posted: December 3, 2019

By: Tom Malinowski, Middle School Librarian

As a librarian, do I support people buying books? Yes! But then am I somehow encouraging people not to use the library but a bookstore instead? Reading is reading whether the book is borrowed or bought. Before I became a librarian, I bought my fair share of books. One of my librarian duties is collection development, so I determine which books to acquire for certain non-fiction sections, middle school fiction, graphic novels, and video games. In that respect, my spending has increased dramatically!

Books make great holiday gifts. Other than being easy to wrap, they’re portals to other worlds. But how do you choose the right book? There’s that fine line of getting your reader a book you want them to read and a book you know they would enjoy. Ideally, those two mindsets will intersect.

Here are some book suggestions for gift giving.

Make it personal
The best book to give is one that you’ve loved for years. Give it to the reader with a handwritten note on the inside describing why this book has meant so much to you. A bookmark with personal note can work, too.

Transform them
We all know books can be lovingly worn throughout the years. Instead of recycling them, you can upcycle them and use the pages as wrapping paper or ribbons. (Recycling tip: You can recycle books but check with your municipality if hardcovers need to be taken off as they include glue).

Become a spy
When you’re at your friend’s place, spying on their bookshelves or nightstand can help you determine what book to give them next. Don’t forget to look on their Goodreads account or Amazon Wish List for more clues.

Formatting counts
Gifting a book can be done electronically if the reader prefers a digital copy. Just make sure you know what device they have!

It’s ok to ask
Ask them straight up, “Hi, I’d like to get you a book. Which one do you want?” At times the best gifts are the ones that are certain.

The right listing
Gifts don’t have to be monetary. Sharpen your calligraphy skills and write an eye-catching list of recommendations so the reader will know what to check out at the library!

The next Harry Potter
Ok, ok, they’ve read Harry Potter and want something similar…please check out Potion Masters: The Eternity Elixir.

May your holidays be filled with much delight and pages!

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