How to get a gift for a book lover this Christmas

A step-by-step guide (guest post)

Book Lover

I love my boyfriend. He loves books. Christmas should be a piece of cake, right?


If you have a serious book lover in your life, you know the agony of gift-giving. You want to get them something they want – a book. How the hell do you buy a book for a book lover? There are so many traps to fall into:

  • they didn’t want that book
  • they already have the book, and read it
  • they already have the book, and haven’t read it yet
  • they already have the book, and read it, and actually loaned you that same book last year but you forgot to give it back…

Choosing books is like choosing perfume. Not everything suits everyone. Some people like theirs traditional, others like something weird, but nobody likes absolutely everything. Giving a book is like saying “here, I totally know you, and this is you”.


Here is my method to get as close to perfect as possible.


Step one, find their Goodreads page.

Many book lovers use Goodreads for reviews and recommendations. I made an account, found my boyfriend’s page, and digitally befriended him. Then the phone call “Hey why are you on my Goodreads?” to which you must answer “Oh I was looking for some recommendations, seemed cool” and use a nonchalant tone, like you’re on Goodreads totally casually and there is no ulterior motive.


Step two, find their highest rated books.

This should be easy as there is a sort feature.


Step three, find books that are similar to their highest rated. You can use Amazon or Book Depository for this. For example, Robert rated Underworld by Don DeLillo 5 stars. So, I take that title and plug it into Book Depository’s search engine. Find the book and have a look at the ‘similar’ or ‘other people also bought…’ list.


These are good but we’re not there yet. You should keep looking through the similar books until you find something that’s not familiar. Like these:


Darkness at Noon, by Arthur Koestler seems interesting! It’s got 4 stars, something about a totalitarian regime – yep, that’s up Rob’s alley.


Take your title and go back to Goodreads. Check if they’ve got it in their collection.


Score! He hasn’t read it.

This is a strong contender. I’ll do the same thing with 4-5 books until I have a shortlist, and add them to my basket. Then, from your basket you can compare prices.

If they don’t have a Goodreads page, you can still use the same method but you’ll need to look through their physical collection.

If there’s absolutely no way you can get your mitts on their book collection, you can always go for an accessory. No, this won’t get that special glow in their eyes – you, know the one they get when they open a new book, but it’s the next best thing. Here are some accessories any book lover will appreciate:

The above blog post was written by my girlfriend Camille (I guess this also means more bookish gifts in the future! 🙂