T5W | Books to Give Poetry Newbies as Gifts

Welcome one and all to this week’s Top 5 Wednesday post! For those of you who don’t know Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme/challenge which was created by the wonderful Lainey from gingerreadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.

This Wednesday’s topic is Books to Give _____ as GiftsCreate a recommendations guide for a person. Be creative with this. It can be simple such as “books for parents”, more elaborate like “books for Ravenclaws”, or expert level like “books for -insert your favourite fictional character here-“. You can even take out the category completely and have all 5 be suggestions for different types of people!

At this time of year, every publisher knocks it out of the park with their stunning gift collections, pretty editions of classics, and illustrated books. I think these are often the perfect things to gift to your nearest and dearest, whether they’re voracious readers or not, and they can often be the gateway books into a new genre or medium. In an effort to make this list a tad more specialised, I decided to focus my efforts on Books to Give Poetry Newbies as Gifts. I myself am something of a relative newbie to poetry so I feel I’m well-placed to say what would/wouldn’t intimidate me if I were gifted it during the holidays – and a nicely illustrated or packaged edition always helps!

wishingforbirdsHonourable Mention: Your favourite poetry collection!

It may sound obvious but, hey, if you have a favourite poetry collection, this is the perfect occasion to spread the love! I myself have gifted Elisabeth Hewer’s Wishing for Birds collection to some people in previous years for Christmas. It’s a poetry collection which I immensely enjoyed and which I think isn’t too challenging or demanding for people who are new to poetry. It’s also full of themes which I think/hope a lot of people could relate to.

Continue reading

Discussion: Giving Gifts

Bit of a different post today, something I’ve decided to call a ‘discussion’. And yes I do realise discussion implies some kind of back and forth exchange so, you know, PLEASE TELL ME YOUR OPINION ON THIS I GENUINELY WOULD LOVE TO HEAR IT. Ok, enough of the capital letters, I’ll begin…

Are you a booklover? Do you study literature? Do you get real joy out of talking about what books you are currently reading? Are you supposedly ‘hard to buy presents for’?
I am all of these things, apparently. However it’s the last point that I’m actually quite hung up on at the moment.

I had an admittedly rather whining conversation with la madre this week about how awful I am at buying Christmas presents for people. The problem lies in that a lot of my family don’t like tangible things to the extent that I, and a lot of my friends, do. What I mean is that, for example, my dad doesn’t watch films. Certainly, he likes Monty Python, he likes the Die Hard films, he likes Beverley Hills Cop (I don’t even know why on that one, the others I get), but he’s got all of those on DVD so…that’s where it stops. He doesn’t go to the cinema, he doesn’t read (not really, unless he has a summer getaway holiday to use as his excuse), he listens to music but he has so many compilation CDs that it’s ridiculous. So, what does one get this man? I’ve settled on – you guessed it – a slightly different compilation CD and some sweets because… well he’s difficult and I am not buying him another Harrington jacket, I’m just not doing it otherwise he’ll end up with one in every colour. But my dad is just one example, the rest of my family are similar, to varying degrees.

I thought (foolishly it turns out) that I was, in comparison, quite easy to buy for. Because I like, and talk about incessantly, books, films and music. I have Amazon wishlists and extensive Goodreads shelves and Spotify playlists etc. etc., every conceivable way to find out what my tastes are in these things. And if you can’t find something, seriously, give me a gift card for Waterstones and I will be over the moon. So, this is why I am still confused that, mid-rant about how tricky everyone is to buy presents for, la madre commented that I wasn’t any easier because I ‘didn’t wear make-up’ or ‘really care about clothes’ or ‘need anything special’. I have to say, I disagree, I disagree quite strongly actually, I’m incredibly easy (watch it). Which makes me wonder: is there something else to this? Do people think it is ‘a crap present’ to give someone a book voucher or gift card or a book/dvd itself for Christmas? Is that what it is?

Maybe it’s just me, maybe I’ve been obsessively binge-watching Booktube videos too much these past few months, but I would be delighted if someone gifted me a book. It shows that the person has either paid attention to me mentioning really wanting to read it or has took the time to think about a book they think I might enjoy. And a gift card works just as well, because that says to me ‘hey Emma, treat yo self‘, and there’s nothing I love more. So, I’m curious – what are YOUR opinions on gift giving? Would you give someone a book as a gift? Are you disappointed to receive gift cards as gifts?

Oh, and finally, a small addendum to those who have ever gifted me books- to my lovely lovely friends from university for the Les Misérables Stage to Screen book which is to this day the most gorgeous and exciting book I own, to Liz who I know for a fact has sent me a book and I cannot wait to open it on Christmas day – I just want to say thank you.