Books Make Incredible Gifts

Books Make Incredible Gifts

If you are a person of a certain age, then you can remember what it felt like to pick up a book. It was very tactile—you felt the weight of it, and the thickness of the pages. It may have had an interesting book cover, or been on your parents’ nightstand.  Maybe there’s a dog-eared paperback on your bookshelf by J.D. Salinger, Thomas Hardy, or Emily Dickinson that you hang onto and re-read every couple of years. I can tell you I have a few books on my shelf that I know I’ll hang onto because I want to revisit those people, places, and stories.

What I enjoy about books (then and now) is that you can really get immersed in another world, especially if you enjoy fiction. Here are some other reasons why books of any type make really incredible gifts.


Most books, including trade paperbacks, easily fit into a bag, purse, or knapsack, or slip in next to a laptop. They also don’t weigh much.  The size and shape also make them easy to gift wrap for the decoratively challenged. They are also easier on the eyes than having your face looking at your smartphone screen.


Whether this is for a close friend or new acquaintance (or gift swap at work), you can take someone on a virtual trip through their imagination for under $10.00. If you go online, you may find gently used versions too, at a reduced budget-friendly price.


Books are very durable and last a long time.  For those of us who remember life before the internet, there was a time when you only had books to look up things (as in an encyclopedia).  They also can be invaluable and have other uses, like helping to level that old table that is unbalanced, or making a design statement in your living room. 


Even if you know someone who claims, “I’m just not a reader,” there’s likely a book out there which will put a smile on the receiver’s face. Just peruse the table at your local bookstore for ideas. Are they creative?  Maybe a book on an interesting artist. Do they decorate their home in a certain style?  How about a book detailing how to get that Mid-century modern look. Are they crafty?  Consider a book on knitting or scrapbooking that they’d appreciate. Do you know they watch cooking shows? See if that chef has a companion book available. It’s really a matter of finding their area of interest.


Books are the ultimate item to regift. Have you ever been so moved by a book (or series of books) that you tell your friends about them?  Maybe you’ve bought, lent, or given books because you just knew your friend would enjoy them as much as you did. 

Now you may wonder why there has been no mention of electronic books (also known as e-books). You’ve seen people reading books on their smartphones or electronic book readers, I’m sure. Providing someone an electronic book is fine, too, if that’s how they like to take in information. For me, I guess I’m in the “old school” camp and enjoy perusing my local library or bookstore, selecting a book, reading the jacket, and paging through it to see if I find something that piques my interest. I don’t know if I could have the same experience point-and-clicking!  But hey, that’s just me.

I enjoy reading books, as well as recommending books I’ve enjoyed. I enjoy mysteries myself, so here are a few I’ll happily vouch for: Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone Alphabet Series (A is for Alibi, B is for Burglar, etc.), and Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache Series. Important note: it’s best to read these series in order, as the storylines and character development often link back to earlier books.

Make Your Gift Memorable Through Personalizing It

Not sure how to do this? We talked to the mother/daughter duo of Margaret Capozzolo and Mary Margaret Taylor, co-owners since 1996 of The Old Library Bookshop in Bethlehem (, for some insights and ideas. They routinely have customers who ask for advice on just this topic. As you think about the person you want to give the gift, they offered the following tips:

  • Do they have a favorite book? Consider a first edition or signed copy by the author.
  • Think about what their favorite movies, hobbies, or genres are to help direct you. 
  • Have a budget—some rare books or limited editions are scarce, which may increase the expense.
  • Perhaps you have a favorite book that you want to give as a gift! Margaret and Mary suggested you “Include a hand-written note as to why the book was meaningful to you.” That definitely makes it memorable – for both of you!

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