As we draw closer to Christmas, I'll be publishing some bookish gift guides for some of the different types of people on your list. Before I start though, I wanted to just share some words of caution. Book gifting can be a wonderful thing. I know that. But I also know that gifting what you like to someone who doesn't have similar tastes can do more damage than good, especially to a child or reluctant reader.
I went through high school without reading a single book because the books that were presented to me were, in my opinion, a waste of my time. I didn't find the plots satisfying, couldn't relate to or care about the characters, and wasn't mature enough to understand the social constraints and themes that most of the literature I was supposed to be reading for class was meant to illustrate. Cliffs Notes were my best friends. I loved books until eighth grade, but then had a very sad eight-year gap before I discovered them again, all because of one book after another, starting with A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.
I'm prompted to share this warning with you because of a similar Dickens story I read today in the Telegraph - only this time it was Oliver Twist, and the author vehemently urges you to let children be the judge of a good book. It's a short but powerful article, and if you're considering gifting a book this holiday season, you should read it.
I just wanted to share this little caution with you, and hope that you will take it to heart while considering books as gifts. I am by no means saying that you shouldn't gift books, merely that you should carefully consider the people you're gifting and their lives and not just hand out the books you love. It's harder than it sounds. (Though if it's a thoroughly bookish person, gifting your favorites can never be a problem! ☺)