We read...

To know we are not alone. ~C.S. Lewis~

Monday, May 25, 2009

To buy or not to buy


Musing Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Becca of Just One More Page. Pop over and read lots of interesting comments & post your own.

This week Birthday-Book-Buying-Becca asks…

Do you give gift certificates to book stores as presents? If so, do you give for actual stores or online stores? Do you like to receive them yourself?

In general I’m not a big fan of the gift certificate which I regard as a lazy present giving. I like to surprise people with a gift that suits them but if I’m stuck I’d rather give up on the surprise, ask what they want and get it rather than giving a voucher and letting the receiver slog it out at the shops. This probably comes both from my loathing of shopping and living with a Mum who put a lot of thought into what she gave. She never had much money and it was always a challenge for her to get something the receiver would appreciate without wasting precious, scarce resources on something that would be admired once and quickly cast aside.

For book-lovers, however, I do break my self-imposed gift voucher ban, always for actual shops rather than online. Firstly because I can see the charm of book shopping as part of the gift and, secondly, I can appreciate the guilt-free-ness of going into a bookshop armed with the means of purchasing a much desired book (without having to dive into the grocery-shopping money).

This is not a general rule for book lovers though. For younger ones I like to buy a book for them and am honoured when they read it and are amazed. My son preferred me to choose books, rather than vouchers, for a long time because he said I knew better than he did what he’d like.

I L-O-V-E getting bookshop vouchers and can totally relate to Becca's love of just having a voucher. I feel empowered by knowing I have a voucher in my wallet because, when I’m browsing, I can pick up a book knowing I can possess it – which makes a difference even if I don’t go home with said drooled over book. I can’t manage to hold on them though, if I’ve got one I try to make it last over several shopping visits but can only stand back in awe at Becca who seems to be able to hold on to one for 12 months!


Yvette Kelly said...

Especially for me now with my new Kindle I can only buy via a gift card so that is all I want for birthdays,Xmas and Mother's Day.The family has been informed.
But as for gift buying I would get from a local store for friends who love reading.Not out of laziness but more so Im sure they get exactly the book they want.

Rebecca said...

It's all about askin yourself whether or not you want the book enough to give up the 'mwuahaha I have a book voucher' feeling in exchange :)

The Book Resort said...

Thanks for making reading so much fun!


The Book Resort said...

Oh, I do think it is a bit lazy, but it is better to give them a gift they'll enjoy than gripe about.