Here’s the deal, gift cards can be the easy way to finish your Christmas shopping. Don’t know a person well? Gift card. Don’t know what a person likes? Gift card. Completely clueless as to what they want/need? Gift card. And honestly there’s nothing wrong with that. It is kind of impersonal though. If you’re going to buy a person a Christmas gift then shouldn’t it be a little special? However, there is always an exception to every rule.
If there is an avid reader on your Christmas shopping list, a gift card* is a must. Unless you live with them and listen to them talk about what books they want (instead of just nodding and saying, “uh huh”), you can’t be positive that you are getting them a book they haven’t read before.
You could check out their books shelves but that’s only half the picture. Most people have tablets or e-readers that hold a large portion of their library. And while you could try and borrow their tablet/e-reader to see, it’s going to be a lot of double checking and making lists and trying not to die when your friend comes after you for borrowing said tablet/e-reader. And that’s only if they aren’t password protected.
Or you could check out their Goodreads page and pick something off their ‘want to read’ shelf. But what if they don’t update regularly? Or at all? I know I’m guilty of my ‘want to read’ shelf being full of books I’ve already read.
A gift card is the safe route. I promise you, the readers on your list are going to be so excited!** Most of us already have the books we want, that are coming out in 2015, written in our calendars so we know when we can buy them or have them pre-ordered. We know exactly what book we can buy with that gift card and the first moment we have a Wi-Fi connection it will be ours.
So you could worry and scheme and try and be stealthy to avoid giving a gift card. Or you could give a gift card, save some of your sanity and know that the reader on your list is going to be happy when they open up your present.
**If you have a reader that lives far away you can send them an e-gift card!