Wednesday, November 2, 2011

And They Are Easy to Wrap


According to my calendar, it’s November (not quite sure how that happened, but it might have something to do with last month being October). When November arrives, it’s time to start thinking about the holidays. And when I starting thinking about the holidays, I think about cakes pies cookies brownies presents.

And when I think about presents, I think about books (among other things).

As a kid, I’d frequently get books as gifts. For my birthday, for Hanukah, for Arbor Day, even for my Bar Mitzvah (and let me tell you, no 13-year-old wants to get a copy of The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry. Trust me.).

Most of the books were cool. I remember one great book, The Book of Answers, that had (surprise!) answers to a bunch of very perplexing questions. (I recently revisited that book and discovered that some of the answers were complete hogwash, but I guess that’s a topic for another blog). Every year I got a world almanac, and I spent hours and hours poring over all the statistics: populations of foreign countries, exchange rates of foreign currencies, GNP per capita (okay, I was a little geeky). I also got golf books, football books, baseball books, basketball books, tennis books (anyone see a pattern?), and, yes, even a few novels here and there.

I also got socks for presents, and let me tell you, books were way better.

Now that I’m an adult, I still like to give and receive books as gifts. How about you, do books make it onto your gift lists? And since we’re talking gifts, how about ereaders? Are they a must-have item this year? What say you, people?



Lois Winston said...

When you're seven years old and really, really want a Patti Playpal doll, the book on animals of the world isn't exactly a thrill to unwrap. :-(

Keith Raffel said...

I gave books to my parents every holiday and still do to my brother and sister. My brother has moved to the Kindle which makes things tricky. Amazon allows you to send a book as a gift, but not more than one at a time. My sister though still likes those signed and personalized copies. OTOH, people know I write and so get me books. Not a good idea. If I wanted a book, I probably already bought it. If I don't have the book, it's probably because I didn't want to read it. Alan, what books are on your Hanukkah list this year?

Beth Groundwater said...

I used to get books every Christmas as a child, and my parents often picked Newberry award winners. I still have many of those books and shared them with my children--as well as giving them new books of their own.

The nice thing about giving books to long-distance relatives is that you can mail them via media mail at a much cheaper rate, as long as there is no letter inside with them!

I have a long list of books on my Amazon wish list for my family to choose from for my gifts this year. :)

Dru said...

I got books as a child and I remember reading the almanac from cover to cover absorbing all the information.

I don't give out books, but rather gift certificates for books. My friends know to give me gift certificates as well, especially to book stores.

Alan Orloff said...

Lois - You too? I couldn't wait for my Patti Playpal!

Keith - I'm with you, I get books by friends, at booksignings, at conventions, etc. I've got a mountain of books to read. Now, that doesn't mean I wouldn't like more. Who's on my list? Well, I'd like to read Steve Hamilton's PI series, and William Kent Krueger, and the last Lehane book, and...

Beth - I also have a ton of children's books, which I'm slowly giving away to neices, neighbors, charities, etc. Goodbye, old friends!

Dru Ann - Yay, a fellow almanac fan! I buy a TON of bookstore gift cards every holiday season (as if I need another excuse to visit a bookstore!).

Darrell James said...

I get and give books. It's a surefire way to get me something I'll enjoy. As for eBook Readers, my defenses are breaking down. I may be asking for one for my birthday.

Kathleen Ernst said...

Nope, it's actual books for me! Loved 'em as a kid, love 'em now, love to give 'em. Although if I knew someone enjoyed their e-reader, I wouldn't hesitate to give a gift certificate.

Alan Orloff said...

Darrell - I own a Kindle, but I'm not fanatical about it. It's kinda cool.

Kathleen - I like printed books too. (see above)