Saturday, December 01, 2007

Confessions of a shop-a-who-me?

Malls glittering with Christmas trees. Shoppers shuttling back and forth to their cars, filling their trunks with presents. At work, avid cybershoppers clicking madly during their lunch breaks.

Yes, it’s that season. Then there are the shop-averse like me.

Is this possible in our material age? Sad (from a retailer’s point of view) but true.

I hate trying to figure out which gift to give which person. I persuaded my children, at a ridiculously tender age, that the best gift was money, which they could then spend judiciously on favorite items. They got very good at that.

As for the rest of the family, what a relief to discover I could create calendars online using digital photos. Also, that some of my relatives enjoy receiving my books. But a lot of the time, as my nieces and nephews will attest, I throw in the towel and simply give money. One size fits all.

In my defense, I will admit that I like receiving money too. That’s because I have weird taste and unless someone asks me what I want, they almost never guess right. (I like Celine Dion CDs -- in French. I ferret out other CDs in French, Italian, Spanish and Greek. Juanes and Mario Frangoulis, anyone?)

In a totally self-serving manner, I am now going to offer a suggestion to others who struggle to pick the right present. Please, please, please – give books! If you don’t know which one to select, consider gift cards to bookstores.

With money tight for many folks, book sales are suffering. Some bookstores have closed, while others increasingly focus on merchandise such as DVDs and stationery. Category romances like Harlequin American, while still popular with a core readership, have to compete against our own used-book sales.

So if you love our books, why not use some of that gift budget to share the love with your family and friends? You’ll do us authors a huge favor. And, I hope, do a favor for those who may discover something they, too, will enjoy.


Trish Milburn said...

I love getting bookstore gift cards for Christmas. That way I can order what I want, whether it's books, DVDs or CDs of music I like. I tend to like several European bands, ones most of my family has never heard of, so it's nice to just get the "use as I want it" gift card.

I'm also giving more gift cards this year because of my schedule and the fact that I have to ship so much stuff to family out of state. Way cheaper. Postage was killing me.

Estella said...

I am giving gift cards this year, because the adults in the family are so hard to buy for.

Jennifer said...

The most irritating thing about gift giving is when people ask you specifically what you want and you name off certain gift cards and instead of getting what you ask for you end up with clothes and other misc items that you either have no room for or plain don't want. Seems like such a waste to me.

I always give books for Christmas. Love to get them and love to give them. Gift cards are the same way.

Happy Holidays Everyone.

Ellen said...

I am a notorius gift card giver. And certain people get book store cift cards. The others don't read. I LOVE getting book store gift cards and my brothers oblige.

Jacqueline Diamond said...

I'm glad you guys enjoyed the blog. And that you buy books, too!

Thanks for posting.