Thursday, November 20, 2008

Give the Gift of Books

Last week I mentioned that various book bloggers are starting to promote the idea of buying and giving books as Christmas gifts. Of course, we always want people to do that. But this year it's even more important than ever. B&N chairman Len Riggio has warned his employees of a grim holiday season (I'd give you the link to his company memo, but WSJ has taken it down), and every time you turn around you hear stories saying that 51% of consumers plan to spend less on Christmas this year.

Personally, I think it's good to see people backing down from the wretched excess of years past. So what's a more perfect alternative to "Kitchen Aid mixers for everyone" than a thoughtfully chosen little book? Or two? Or a dozen?

To help get the word out about how cool books still are, a coalition of book bloggers has started the Books for the Holidays blog. Go there, sign up, start spreading the word, and start buying those books. For more help, see the Books on the Nightstand blog, which is featuring holiday gift book ideas every day between now and Thanksgiving.
I've always wondered--do people give job search and career books as Christmas presents? I mean really, aren't they a bit too utilitarian to fit in with the spirit of the holidays? Let me know your thoughts. Obviously, people need them now more than ever. But are gift-givers still shying away from sending a message like "instead of sitting there eating another piece of pie, shouldn't you be working on your resume?"


Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

I would give job-search and career-management books to people who need them, but not as holiday gifts. I might give them as gifts at graduation time, though, to high school and college undergraduate students.

GJ said...

Last year I gave several job-search books as a Christmas gift to a member of my family who was looking for a job at the time.

Jena said...

I'd only give job search/career books as a holiday gift if I was sure the person really, really wanted it. And I'd probably pair it with a more enjoyable read.