Thursday, April 1, 2010

Give a librarian a book and.......

I've been meaning to post, but frankly, the last 3 books I read didn't really inspire me, so I've been thinking about what to write about.....      and then I re-read an article in Booklist that had caught my eye.    Will Manley's got a quote right in the middle of the page "Have you ever received a book for a gift that changed your life?  I'd say it's rare.  Giving a librarian a book is a gamble.  Chances are the librarian already has the book or has checked it out at the library or doesn't like the book and is insulted by the assumption that he would like the book."    (Booklist, March 1, 2010, p. 35)

This caught my eye because it reminds me of what often happens when I'm in a bookstore, browsing (with or without husband in tow).   I have a tendency to look around and start thinking: Got it, ordered it, saw it, read it, read a review, got it, etc.   And then, something shiny catches my eye, like a fancy new book cover I've only seen online.   My husband sometimes gets frustrated by me, because it's hard now for me to go into a store and actually buy myself anything.    And I understand that:  because I handle various parts of our library's collection, I'm reading reviews, making notes, and ordering things all the time.   And, when it arrives at the library, I tend to grab things because I've been looking forward to reading them.     And --- because it doesn't cost me anything to check out the books from the library, and I'm frugal anyway, I only buy books for myself if I've read them and just have to have them (I usually mark these as "Want" in LibraryThing to remind myself).   And then, I tend to buy used copies.

At any rate, my husband says it isn't as much fun as it used to be to take me to a bookstore, although he concedes that used bookstores are still a lot of fun for both of us.   And if he wants to buy me something for my birthday, he knows where to find my wishlist.   But he knows better than to just pick something new and shiny up and wrap it up as a gift for me.    But it made me wonder --- what do you think about giving books to other people?   Do you give books that you love and hope they'll love them, too?    Just curious.......


Amanda Makepeace said...

My mother, my daughter and I are all big readers. Books are like chocolate to us. So when it comes time for birthday lists or Christmas we all have specific things we want. Outside of my family though, I don't tend to buy books for others. I wouldn't know what to buy and I wouldn't want to buy something they already have or don't like. I wouldn't want that to happen to me, so I do the same for others. Does that make sense? :)

Teacher/Learner said...

I'm always glad to get a book as a gift, no matter what the messsage behind it, and I have a wish list handy when asked for Xmas/b-day suggestions.

Think of this another way, too: What about non-readers? Will they feel insulted to receive a book as a gift (will they assume we think they're ignorant or uncultured?) or is it a way of converting them to our side? :oD

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