A stressed buyer scours various bookshelves for a good read. Recommendations are read, author popularity taken into account, and sales consultants considered. Alas, the perfect book still cannot be found. No this is not the premise of an upcoming novel, but rather the experience many of us face while trying to shop for others.
While, purchasing a book for oneself can easily be accomplished (or at least easy in that you know what you like), the same cannot be said when book shopping for friends and family. Everyone has different reading tastes, likes, interests, and opinions on what can’t be put down and what’s purely awful.
Luckily, there’s a few tricks to side-stepping this issue all together. When a giftee doesn’t flat-out mention what book(s) they want, use these tips to find the best reading fit.
While it may be frowned upon to search someone’s web browser history, it’s far less controversial to search their interests. Check Facebook profiles for favorite authors, tweets on recent reads, Amazon wish lists for items each person wants (most lists are public), or Good Reads accounts for personalized reviews. This will take minimal time and provide a solid look into your shopping subject’s literary interests. You can also search to see if they prefer Kindle or print versions of each copy.
Check the Descriptions
Each book will come with a summary of what it has in store for readers. Give them a quick glance to decide whether or not it would be of interest to your shopees. For instance, teenage girls will be more likely to enjoy love stories or fantasy, while middle-aged men might like mystery or non-fiction. Of course, these aren’t universal standards, but it’s a good springboard when shopping for various ages or interest levels.
Browse the Best Sellers
This may be an obvious choice, but best sellers get to their respective lists for a reason. So many others have enjoyed them, chances are they’re worth a read (or two). Store clerks or online reviewers will also be more knowledgeable on these books, giving you accurate recommendations.
However, if you can’t find a good fit, move to your own bestseller list. Consider some of your favorites to hand out as gifts. And, if nothing else, the reader can trade it for something new.
Finally, when a decision cannot be made, consider a gift card. Purchase these from a favorite bookstore or Amazon to ensure maximum choices. Whether a reader chooses print or electronic versions, it’s a great way to find a read they’ll enjoy.
For those who have a hard time picking out their own reading material, it’s likely those efforts will only be increased for others. But instead of running for the book-choosing hills, use these steps for a researched find. No more books that sit dusty and unread this holiday season, instead, gift the gift of happy reading.
Bethaney Wallace is a professional writer and editor for The Social Robot. Other than blogging, she can be found drinking tea, looking for new DIY projects, and maxing out her library card.
For more from Bethaney, visit her blog at http://bethaneywallace.com
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