Tag Archives: Christmas presents

Books as Christmas Presents

8 Dec

I decided to put my money where my values were this year and bought a lot of my family and friends books from my local Indie Bookstore, Literati. Their shipping prices have fluctuated but have stayed low and it was cheaper than a lot of the other Indie bookstores I looked at. I thought I’d share this quick guide to what I got people so you could get some ideas and see what books might be good for someone on your list!

Father In Law: This guy’s a big reader, so he gets two books! He’s a big John Grisham fan and Literati had signed copies of A Time for Mercy so that was an easy pick! I also thought he’d like Moby-Duck by Donovan Hohn which I read and loved earlier this year. My FIL likes fast-paced fiction and nonfiction with a focus on history and biography.

Mother In Law: It’s hard to buy books for my MIL because anything with strong reviews is quickly picked up and finished. I was recommended to get her The Grammarians by Cathleen Schine. This is a newer release so I’m hoping she hasn’t found time for it yet. I warned the bookseller that anything at Target with a Book Club sticker on it, she’d read. Let’s hope this is right!

Nephew (6)- My sister-in-law just flipped through the two InvestiGator books by John Patrick Green that I got for my nephew and is so excited because they look like a blast. He’s very high energy so I’m hoping he can sit still long enough to read these two!

Niece (9)- My middle niece is super creative and my husband and I are encouraging her love for graphic novels right now. We got her Stargazing by Jen Wang and this one is also sister-in-law approved. We’re on a role!

Niece (11)- This one was easy. She wanted Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald by J.K. Rowling. A girl after my own heart. Though, and I could do a separate post about this, this movie was a huge disappointment to me.

Sister-in-law: My brother’s wife always gets us books for Christmas so I figured that I’d repay the favor. We talked a lot about mystery books and I remembered reading Derek B. Miller’s Norwegian by Night a few years ago and enjoying the sequel earlier this year. It’s a bit more literary than most murder thrillers, but I thought she might enjoy the change of pace.

Brother in-law’s fiancee: I’m not sure what the right term is for this person, but I say she’s about the be another ‘married-in’ to my husband’s family. I asked my BIL what she might like, and he said she’d enjoyed Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s feminist essay. I was happy to find she’d recently released another feminist work, Dear Ijeawela. That was an easy pick!

Husband’s Friend: My husband plays D&D with a friend whose birthday is around Christmas and we always get a gift for. This friend is gay and I thought he’d love V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic and its sequels. I adored this series and I couldn’t help but think of it as my husband told me about his latest D&D adventures.

I’m glad I’ve got all these books ordered or on-hand for everyone. I hope I’ve done something to help keep my Indy Bookstore in business through COVID. I want them there when I’m able to browse in person again.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

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Date With a Bookstore- A COVID Love Story

24 Nov

I know I’ve talked about them again, but I’m going to gush about my local indy bookstore, Literati. At the beginning of the pandemic, they were doing $1 shipping in the US and I abused that. They’ve stopped, but their shipping is still reasonable- I paid $7 to ship to Texas. They also have curbside pickup so I’m able to get the books for people in my family in person.

But they’ve introduced something else that I took advantage of and just love. They do an appointment-based tête-à-tête with a bookseller. I was able to set one up to help with my holiday shopping and I loved the experience!

After I found a time and date, I got an email with a short survey to talk about what kind of books I liked, genres I was looking for, and recent books I’d enjoyed. I was feeling difficult and didn’t fill it in. I was shopping for my niece, nephew, mother-in-law, and father-in-law so instead I described each of them, books they’d enjoyed before, and the kind of book I was looking for to get each. I was assured this was no problem.

At the time of our meeting, I was having some major internet connection problems but the bookseller was so patient with me and while I couldn’t share my video, she shared hers which was very helpful when looking at books for my 5-year-old nephew! She made a recommendation for a series he’d never heard (according to my sister-in-law), the InvestiGators, crime-solving alligators. This sounds adorable. For my 9-year-old niece, she recommended a book called Stargazing which is a graphic novel. My niece is super creative and loves art so graphic novels have been a big hit with her!

I’m always nervous about buying my mother-in-law books because she’s usually read any bookmarked ‘Target Book Club’ at Target. I asked for something a little more unusual and they delivered! I have a copy of The Grammarians on order for her and the description sounds like something she’ll enjoy. For my father-in-law, I knew I wanted to get him Moby Duck after I loved it so much this summer. They didn’t have it in the store but have ordered a copy from the publisher for me. She recommended the new John Grisham, A Time for Mercy, and I declined at first. Even though it was a signed copy, we usually get people just one book for Christmas.

I was raving to my husband about the experience and he recommended we get the Grisham anyway. Who can pass on a signed copy? We also picked up A Darker Shade of Magic for one of my husband’s friends. So now I have four books being sent to Texas for my nieces and nephew and four waiting for curbside. I’m so impressed with the services this store has offered and how they’re overcoming the shelter-in-place and lockdown orders we have here in Michigan. I’ve strived to purchase as many of my Christmas gifts as possible from small businesses and I’ve been overjoyed with the experience. If you are in the US and need to order some books, please consider supporting Literati or another indy bookstore instead of a giant company that doesn’t care about you.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

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Giving Books for Christmas

18 Dec

This year, I came into a situation that should be a bibliophile’s dream. My brother-in-law and his girlfriend both asked for books for Christmas! However, I panicked and am getting them socks instead (sorry if they somehow read this!). But I had to wonder, why was I panicking?

I honestly don’t like getting a lot of books for Christmas. I feel an obligation to read them and sometimes they’re books I wouldn’t have picked out and don’t want to read. Sometimes, they’re amazing. But I’m feeling pessimistic because it’s the holidays so I’m going to focus on the negative.

I still have books for Christmas three years ago on my TBR. I have some from last year, too. I’m in no rush to get to them and that’s fine with me. However, every time I see those people (and one is my husband so it is quite often), I feel like I have to explain why I haven’t read their gift yet. It’s a bit overwhelming.

So I don’t want to give them stress for Christmas. Even more, I don’t want to get them books they already own. Or books they don’t want to read at all or have no interest in reading. I’m trying to help them live a zero-waste and zero-stress life. They live in Colorado, so I figure that’s what they’re after all the time.

So I’ve devised a plan. I’m going to put recommended reading lists in their stockings. That way, they can look at the book summary online and decide if it’s one they want to read. They can ignore my suggestions and I won’t be hurt. They can find the book at the library and not be stuck with it if they hate it. Best of all, they can ‘lose’ my list in the trip back west! It’s foolproof. Right?

Help me out, readers. What lists would you recommend to 25-year-olds who like fiction? I have a few in mind but I need to fill up these lists. The more, the merrier.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

A Bookworm’s Christmas

8 Jan

Santa knew just what I would like! Well, my husband and future sister-in-law did for sure. It was modest this year with three books gifted to me. I’m excited to read them all!

A staple gift from my husband, I got the new illustrated Harry Potter, Prisoner of Azkeban. I haven’t finished reading the second one yet so the new book will go to my Harry Potter shelf (yes, I have one) while I keep picking away at Chamber of Secrets. I told myself I wouldn’t look at the beautiful pictures, but I may have cheated a bit!

I got two other books this year, too. The first is The Invisible Guardian by Dolores Redondo. My sister-in-law-to-be has cemented a new family tradition in place by buying us books for Christmas every year. I love this. My selection this year was based on my Spanish degree. The book is originally published in Spanish and takes places in Basque Country, Spain. I’m excited to see if there are cultural elements in the book that I’ll recognize from my research.

The final book was a second book from my husband. I’ve been reading more and more running books as I get more involved in distance running and triathlon. This one is about a dog who follows an ultra-marathoner and becomes a training partner. It looks like a really sweet story and I’m excited to read it and find out more.

Did Santa bring you any books? What about friends or family? I hope you enjoy your Christmas reads. Happy new year and happy reading!

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!