Friday, November 30

Buying for Bookworms

“Holy snowballs, Batman, it’s Christmastime!”

But seriously, now that that’s out of my system, I love Christmastime.

I mean, what’s not to love . . . ?

“Shopping!” a lot of people might say, but not me:

1) I’m a girl. It's what we do.
2) I'm freakishly good at it.

Starving writer that I am, you’d never know it by my shoe collection.

But most of all, I love giving the “perfect” gift. You know, the gift that person didn’t know they wanted until they unwrapped it. So what if the OCD child in me screamed as they tore into said wrapping, my painstakingly perfect folds and handmade bows . . .

Giving the perfect book is especially tricky, though, unless the “givee” has specifically mentioned an author, series, or title. But as I’m on a one-woman mission to find homes for as many real books as possible, here are some tricks of the trade for those of you with less time to obsess:

Make an educated guess

Basically, creep a peek at their bookcase.

It’s less obvious than asking "So, read any good books lately . . . ?" and it’ll give you a broader sense of the authors and genres that they like. If their bookcase has multiple personalities like mine, with Jack London sandwhiched between Homer and Neil Gaiman, go to, search a book you know to be a one of their favorites, and then refer to the "People who bought this also bought . . ." section.

And probably give them the gift receipt – just in case!

Adopt a used book

And I don't mean a paperback copy of that James Patterson “novel” they made into a movie that you picked up at a garage sale.

I mean like a 1st edition of a book that is special to them, or perhaps one with beautiful illustrations or an especially ornate binding . . .

I promise you they’re out there – for a decent price, too! – and while their vestige might be lost on some as they sit quietly on a bedside table or on a shelf amongst dusty knickknacks, it won’t be on the person whose life was touched by their story.

For those interested, I highly recommend Maxwell's House of Books in my hometown of La Mesa.

There’s nothing wrong with plastic (unless you’re ocean life)

Some people call gift cards impersonal, I call them a godsend – especially ones to Barnes & Noble.

Like makeup and clothes, I struggle with spending money on books; they’re nonessentials, it pains me too say, and with the exception of some of the newer titles, there aren’t many that can’t be found either at Maxwell's or my local public library.

Now, having said that . . . the only thing sexier than a virgin book is a guilt-free virgin book ;)

Until next time, shop & be merry!

XO, Mal


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