filipino friday: ’tis the season

filipino friday is a weekly meme that the filipino book bloggers hold to discuss book-related things. the discussions range from comfort reads, to caring for books in the philippine weather, and even to more serious things like what filipino book bloggers would like to communicate to local publishers.

last time, kenneth of philippine genre stories held a discussion on plagiarism over at his blog for filipino friday. this week, as the host of filipino friday 19, i was thinking of going lighter, and a little bit in season.

since the christmas season is now upon us, i want to know: what kind of books, or what books in particular, do you gift to friends who aren’t big readers, but are interested in picking up reading as a hobby? do you gift books based on your taste, or the giftee’s? what are your rules/guidelines in giving books as christmas presents?

i love giving books as gifts–but most of my friends are readers, so i don’t really have an answer for my own first question. but reader-friends present a different challenge, i think. there’s the question of whether or not your friend already has a copy of the book you want to give as a gift.

since i read most everything, i pick a book from a genre that my giftee doesn’t normally read. for example, if my friend is a big fan of children’s fiction, i would take note if there’s a recurring theme in the children’s fiction books she reads. and then i would pick a title from the books i’ve already read and liked that i think she’d like. i’m not a fan of giving book-gifts that i haven’t read yet, since i wouldn’t be able to tell if my giftee would like it or not.

and then, there’s the easier route: if a friend of mine is eagerly awaiting a book, which i can afford, i would just tell him/her that i’m buying it for her as a christmas present. so what if the surprise is gone, right? at least you know you’re giving him/her something you know he/she will like.

so what about you guys? what are your do’s and don’ts for giving books as gifts?


38 thoughts on “filipino friday: ’tis the season

  1. Pingback: Filipino Friday 19 « Filipino Book Bloggers

  2. Hey Jason, thanks again for hosting this week’s discussion!

    I love giving books as presents but not all of my friends are readers. With one set of friends, we have a policy of posting wishlists before our birthday treats so it’ll be easier for everyone to buy gifts (Fully Booked GCs is a popular choice). With other friends, I make a point of asking them what are the books that they end up liking and whether they’d be interested in reading books from other genres. Most girlfriends are into chick list because they’re fun and easy to read so I’m planning to give out local chick lit books as gifts this Christmas. That’s why I’ve been reading and reviewing them the past couple of weeks, I’m trying to decide what to get for my friends.

    If I have no idea what kind of books a certain friend will like, I go with the safe choice and just give Fully Booked GCs so he/she can choose to buy what he/she wants.

    • That’s why I’ve been reading and reviewing [chic lit books] the past couple of weeks, I’m trying to decide what to get for my friends.

      Maybe I should give filipino horror books to my friends. Haha. πŸ˜€

      I tend to go to NBS for GCs as their books are sometimes cheaper than Fully Booked’s. Unless the type of books my friend reads can only be found in Fully Booked. πŸ™‚

      • Yeah, you should! I have a feeling most of your friends don’t even know that there are Filipino horror books. πŸ˜› We really should start promoting local books more often.

        The selection in Fully Booked is a lot better and of course, the store has a nicer feel in general. I can never get enough Fully Booked GCs, I always use them right after I get them.

      • There’s this new book from Anvil that I’m trying to find. The author says its something akin to the world of Harry Potter–but I have to find a copy first to see if it is any good.

        I’m bad luck around GCs. Whenever I receive them as gifts, I either lose them, or forget I had them. 😦

      • A local book that’s Harry Potter-ish? Sold! What’s the title of that book? I’m going to check it out.

        How can you not take care of your GCs! It’s just like money!

      • re: GCs; the actual gift checks, I leave it at home. because they’re usually too big for my wallet. And that’s how I forget/lose them. The couple of times I had a gift card, my wallet got stolen. :/ I call that bad luck.

        re: local book; I think it’s called Rosalia. It’s in Tagalog, and it’s published by Anvil. That’s pretty much all I know. πŸ˜€ Oh, and the fact that it’s only similarity to Harry Potter (supposedly) is that it’s set in a magical world within our world. πŸ™‚

  3. I wish I could give books to everyone I know, but alas, not all my friends are readers. I find that having wish lists are very helpful, so now most of the people I’m giving gifts to this year will receive books from their wish list. πŸ™‚ There are some difficult people, though, especially the ones who I know acquire books like there’s no tomorrow! I would give them GCs but I find it a bit impersonal. If I can’t figure out a book they want, I’ll get them some bookish gifts – reading light, bookmarks, etc.

    For other people that I know have similar book tastes as I do, I give them something that I liked that I know they haven’t read yet.

    But you know what the strangest thing is? I hardly receive books on Christmas or my birthday. o_o I get accessories, clothes, food and other trinkets, but only a few people give me books. Weird.

    • If I can’t figure out a book they want, I’ll get them some bookish gifts – reading light, bookmarks, etc.

      That’s a great idea for bookish friends! Though, in my experience, people don’t appreciate bookmarks as much as they should. Then again, some people tend to never use actual bookmarks, and just grab a random piece of paper, or receipt, or whatever, to mark where they leave off.

      I hardly receive books on Christmas or my birthday.

      The question is: do you want to receive books as presents? Maybe your friends are afraid to give you one, because they’re not sure which books you haven’t read yet. πŸ™‚

      • The question is: do you want to receive books as presents?

        You know what, I think I may give off a vibe that says “Don’t give me books.” I think my friends know I have too many books, and that I can get them anytime I want to. Or maybe giving me non-book gifts is their subtle way of telling me to bring my nose out of my books every now and then. πŸ˜‰

  4. Thanks for hosting this week’s discussion, Jason! ^_^

    Giving books as Christmas presents has always been difficult for me since my friends are not very much into reading. So when I decided to give books to a couple of friends, I actually thought of them as I was browsing books. I check the blurbs and think if this book somehow reminds me of them or if they could find a part of them there. Yes, a ridiculous attempt to psychologize. But hey, they worked! ^_^

    • And thank you for participating! πŸ™‚

      Yes, a ridiculous attempt to psychologize. But hey, they worked!

      If it works, then that’s reason enough to keep doing it, right? πŸ™‚

  5. I’ve given bookstore GC’s like Chachic and Tina (though Tina is right that it’s a bit impersonal). I’ve also done as Jason and told friends that I’ll be getting them a certain title as a gift, but like he said, that destroys the surprise. But these imperfections are better than what happened to a relative. She gave a book to her nephew when he was fourteen, a nice copy of The Hobbit, and he said, “Why did you give me a book? I don’t read. What am I going to do with this?” ;-P

    Perhaps Tina’s and Jason’s way is best, given that readers usually accumulate books through the year. It’s better than surprising them with a title that they may already have.

    How about giving an ebook reader as a gift? :)) Kidding.

    • How about giving an ebook reader as a gift?

      Haha, we’d have to be made of money. πŸ˜€ I can’t even afford one for myself, much more for other people. Haha! πŸ˜€

      And I completely know the feeling of your relative. I got my mom to buy my cousin a book, as our family’s Christmas gift for him. A bit cheap, maybe, but I like to think books give you a different kind of riches. I picked “A Wrinkle in Time” as it has adventure in it, and I was hoping to influence my cousin into reading books–sadly, he just used it as paperweight. 😦

    • Oh the horror! I think if that fourteen-year-old kid was my nephew, I’d bop him on the head with the book. LOL but that’s just me. I’m lucky that my one and only godson loves to read. Got him a couple of local kiddie books for Christmas. πŸ™‚

  6. At Flips Flipping Pages, a Shelfari-based bookclub, we exchange books all the time. There’s the book swap game where we pick from a pile and others will try to steal what we’ve chosen. For the Christmas party, we give a book to our exchange-gift partner chose from his or her wish list.

    To people outside of my book club and book blogger friends, I play safe. My sister’s taste I already know–she will usually badger me with what she wants so no problem there. If I feel like encouraging someone’s reading, I will give a bookstore GC–but I remember doing this only once or twice in my life.

    • My sister’s taste I already know–she will usually badger me with what she wants so no problem there.

      I’m familiar with my sister’s taste in books too. But she doesn’t badger me with what she wants bought. And she has a tendency to read books from my shelf before reading the ones on hers, so I don’t give her books anymore. I just let her borrow mine. Haha. πŸ™‚

      There’s the book swap game where we pick from a pile and others will try to steal what we’ve chosen.

      How exactly does that work? :/

      • We each bring a book to be exchanged and placed on a table. Then one by one we pick a book we like from the pile. The catch is we can also choose a book someone had already picked. That’s called stealing. A book may only be stolen up to three times. To get the book we really like we have to have a strategy like connive with someone else in the group or pick a book in the pile we don’t really want and then steal later. This game can get riotous.

      • Wow. … Who knew book-swapping can be so… totally awesome?!

        That sounds extremely fun. Could we do that when we have our Book Bloggers’ meet-up next month? πŸ˜€

  7. I love giving and receiving books as presents for Christmas!
    However, like Tina, not all of my friends are book readers, and if I’m lucky, the person I get to pick during the Secret Santa stints we have at the office are book readers too.

    This year, for secret santa, I think the majority of the people in our office requested for books, which I’m more than happy about! πŸ˜€

    • This year, for secret santa, I think the majority of the people in our office requested for books, which I’m more than happy about!

      That’s totally awesome! πŸ˜€

      And don’t you just love discovering a new favorite book from presents given you?

      One of the books I really liked reading was “The Lovely Bones” which I never would’ve bought on my own. But because someone gave it to me as a gift, I did get a chance. And I loved it. πŸ™‚

  8. I don’t exactly have any problems with giving books as gifts to my friends as I force my friends to read books. I usually give them the books I enjoyed reading. I don’t exactly have any worries that they might not like what I gave them because I “brainwash” them to like the book even before they start reading. πŸ˜‰ Now to my reader friends is a tricky one. Usually they already read the books I read so I tend to base the book I’ll give to them using their wishlist shelf or I’ll ask a friend whose taste for books I trust and is not a friend of that friend(I hope you’re still with me) what books they can recommend to me. This is one of the advantages of having an account on a bookish networking site, discovering good books out there is way easy… Giving away GC’s is not an option for me, like Tina I find it quite impersonal.

    The real problem now is what they will give to me. I’m not exactly the kind of reader that reads books out of his comfort zone from time to time. I know what books I like and will like, and I’m kind of stubborn for this. Few weeks before my birthday last October, a non-reader friend ask me what I would like to receive and I said books. She didn’t have any idea what to give me so I linked her to my wishlist shelf. She complained and said, “But those books are hard to find!”. My only response was “Exactly!”. Know what she got me instead? A bookmark! Yeah, quite ingenuous.

    • Know what she got me instead? A bookmark!

      That’s what you get for being a hard reader to buy gifts for. Haha. πŸ™‚ And I completely sympathize with your friend, as I’ve had to (time and time again) scour bookstores to search for books I’m looking for–and I’m sure you know how difficult it is to wade through books in places like Book Sale. πŸ˜€

      • Hi. Better late than never.:)

        I give books to all my kids’ classmates. I figure everyone else will get them toys, so I can be the nerdy mom who gives books as gifts. Except my son complained, one time, and asked why he always had to give books as birthday/Christmas gifts. So I changed tack for a few months.:)

        During Christmas, I only give books as gifts to friends whom I know will appreciate it, however minimally. For my close friends, I know what to get them. Book-buying for friends is a very personal thing, so whenever I have a friend who tells me he/she read the book I got for him/her and loved it, I know it was the right book. I think doing that proves how well you know your friends.

        A couple of years ago, during the first (and much, much better) NBS Book Bazaar, I got books for all my co-teachers in the English Dept. But I wanted them to have a choice, too. So, I bought books I thought were interesting and varied, then I laid them all out on our department’s table. Then, I went around giving people a “coupon” which said “You are entitled to one book as a Christmas gift. First come, first served.” It was fun watching people scramble for books.

        This year, I brought my close friends to Libreria. I wanted to get them books but was too lazy to shop. Also, it was a way to promote Triccie’s bookstore. Anyway, told them to pick one book, on me, and that was my Christmas gift.

        Finally, for the past couple of years, I do not ask for books as gifts anymore from family and close friends. I know and they know I can shop for myself better. And, really, I know and they know I have too many unread books as it is.

      • This year, I brought my close friends to Libreria.

        Can I borrow this idea? I have a couple of friends who I want to buy books for, but have no time to actually do some thinking and shopping–so I’ll just take them there. πŸ™‚

        Except my son complained, one time, and asked why he always had to give books as birthday/Christmas gifts.

        Why did he complain? Because he was giving books? Or because he was always giving books?

        It was fun watching people scramble for books.

        As I mentioned to artseblis in her answer thread; maybe we can do a similar this for January’s meet-up. πŸ™‚ Book-swap! Can you just imagine the scrambling that will ensue? πŸ˜€

      • Hi, Jason!

        First, feel free to borrow the idea of bringing people to Libreria! I doubt I was the first one anyway.:)

        Second, yes, my son complained because he was ALWAYS giving books. The poor kid wanted to be a bit like his classmates who gave away cool toys.:)

        Lastly, my co-teachers’ scrambling was more disorganized than the usual book swap at FFP, since I didn’t really institute rules. In the book swaps, however, you see the desire to scramble in people’s eyes but they can’t because of the rules. So they strategize madly and let out a whoop when they succeed in getting the book they want. In any case, either way is great fun.:)

      • I have to ask, are most attending book bloggers also members of FFP? if yes, then maybe there wouldn’t be so much scrambling. unless we just take out to rules. to make it more fun? πŸ˜€

        haha, just kidding. πŸ˜€

        … but it would be fun though, wouldn’t it? πŸ˜€

      • Hi, Jason! Actually, the rules make it more fun. We’ve tried it before without, and it was no fun bec. there was no challenge.

        If you want, we can try it. It’s better to see it in action.:)

  9. Pingback: Christmas 2010 Wish List | One More Page

  10. Pingback: Filipino Friday 20: Baits or Boobey Traps | Guy Gone Geek

  11. I really like giving my friends my books are presents. My goal is to make my friends to become readers. I’m successful with my two friends when I introduce Percy Jackson and The Olympians to them. They are now craving for books this Christmas.

    This Christmas, I will give one of my friend a book. He don’t like books like me. He rarely read and it is actually for school projects. So I decided to give him Alamat ng Gubat by Bob Ong. I think the book is funny and it is very thin. Easy for him to read. Easy for starters.

    I hope I succeed this time πŸ™‚

    • Umm. I’ve read Alamat ng Gubat, and I don’t think it’s a good intro for non-readers as it’s kind of non-mainstream. It looks cute and all, but the political flavor of the novella may turn some people off.

      Maybe you could start him off with graphic novels (like Trese: Murder on Balete Drive)? And then slowly introduce him to lighter reads: like Neil Gaiman’s Stardust, or Christopher Golden’s Soulless, or the first Harry Potter book. πŸ™‚

      Just suggesting. πŸ™‚

  12. Pingback: Filipino Friday: Rocket Round Table « Filipino Book Bloggers

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