Five Reasons Why Books Make the Best Gifts

I sometimes am frustrated when I try to think of gifts for everyone in my extended family. I know from the years of my own children receiving presents that parents don’t necessarily want more and more toys for their children for Christmas every year. But, I want to give a gift.

And then there are the adult gift recipients throughout the family. What can I buy for an adult who can already buy what he or she likes? I don’t want to resort to the same old gift cards or money in an envelope.

So what’s a gift that parents will approve of but kids will also love to receive? And what’s a gift that can be special and something an adult family member wouldn’t necessarily purchase for him or herself? Books! Kids and adults alike can enjoy getting books as gifts.

Here are five reasons why books make the best gifts- at Christmas or anytime.

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Books don’t get used up.

I know that sometimes consumable gifts can be fun- art kits, candy, hot chocolate, recipe-in-a-jar gifts, candles- all of these can make good gifts. But they all get used up. By next Christmas, the gift is all gone. And often the giver and receiver can’t even remember the gift that was given.

Books aren’t used up though. They are consumable- in the sense that the reader is consuming a great story. But they can be read again and again. A really good book can become a friend, a well-loved tale that  you can enjoy over and over.

Books don’t easily break.

There are fragile gifts for kids and adults alike, and sometimes, no matter how careful you try to be, accidents happen. Breaking is especially a problem with gifts for kids. All too well I can remember leaving our family’s Christmas get together and having a child’s gift break on the way home.

But a book doesn’t break. Yes, a page can be torn or water spilled on the book. (Or, if you read in the tub like me, you can drop the book into the water!) But a book is much more durable than many toys for kids and other gift items for adults.

Books usually take up less space.

Y’all, I have four kids and a small house. I spent my children’s early years pleading with family members not to keep giving toys- especially large toys- for Christmas gifts. Yes, the girls will love that giant doll playset. But where in the world am I going to put it?! And as much as I love some little sit around goodies as presents for myself- especially if they are Harry Potter themed- the truth is I’m limited for space there as well.

Although books do take up space- and I know because I have seven bookshelves and need more- they are significantly smaller than some gifts. They are definitely smaller than some of the large toy sets that become gifts for the kids, making them easier to store in a small space.

Books can have a special meaning to the giver and the receiver.

Whether you are an avid reader or not, you probably can think of a book that is special to you. It might be a book you had read to you as a child. It might be a book that you were required to read for school and ended up really loving. It might be a book that has themes that are relevant in your own life, so you can really relate. Books can have a special meaning.

When you give one of those special books as a gift, you can tell the recipient why it’s special. Talk about what the book means to you. This makes your gift extra special, and the person who is receiving your gift will know that this gift has meaning and wasn’t just thoughtlessly picked out just so you would have something to give.

Books can be enjoyed anywhere and anytime.

How many times have your kids received a gift from a family member at a Christmas get together and eagerly wanted to open it all then and there? The problem is that the gift is a playset with 1,000 tiny pieces! And you know, without a doubt, that the child will break or lose half of them if he opens the set before it’s safe at home in his own room. The playset might be a great toy and something the child will definitely enjoy, but it can’t be used just anywhere.

A book, though, can be read and enjoyed anywhere and anytime. Going on a trip? Sitting and waiting for an appointment? Killing time between activities? You can always take a book. So when you gift a book, the recipient can take and read that book- and think of you- anywhere she goes.

Books make such great gifts! They are sometimes overlooked. And, in our increasingly digital society they are often undervalued. But give a book for Christmas this year. It’s a special gift with many advantages.

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