Monday, September 10, 2012

why I give books as gifts

Over the weekend one of my friend's daughter turned two. And while activities that directly involve or include children aren't normally my cup of tea [gasp!] I do make it to the occasional birthday party and/or baby shower.

My attendance my be sporadic, but my choice of gifts are almost always the same.


I always give books as children/baby gifts. (With the exception of one friend whose daughter got a pair of sparkly infant ballet flats...well...because I couldn't resist.)


Well, in the age where 3 year-olds are becoming more familiar using an iPad than a coloring book and where Kindles are as common as Barbies, I think that the art of reading actual books is quickly becoming extinct. Sadly, many children in my lifetime will be read to using electronic devices and even more sadly, they'll read (or be read) horribly written, modern, hidden agenda books instead of classically loved childrens titles.

Yes, I am a book snob, but I think it's important we cultivate a love for reading at an early age. Gifting books to children just might ignite all sorts of imagination and ideas that wouldn't necessarily come from a computer game. Or, it may just provide an activity that will allow children to bond with the book reader (parents, siblings, etc.) and create precious memories of bedtime stories and reading time when the child grows up.

Perhaps I'm just old-fashioned? Either way, you should know that if you plan on having kids and you plan on inviting me to a birthday party or baby shower, you should also plan on receiving some.

My personal favorite books to give are ones that I have specific memories of reading and enjoying. I'm sure there are lots of great modern stories out there now, but you can't go wrong with a classic, right?

The first book I ever read.

Thoughts on this seemingly dated gift?

Oh, and don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY!!


  1. I LOVE giving books as gifts too... and I totally agree with this post! I still don't own an e-reader, because I love the feel of a heavy book in my hand and I like the look of a bookshelf overflowing with great stories!
    My kids share my love of books, and we visit the library regularly and love hunting down new treasures in the local used book shop!
    Awesome post!!

  2. I give books as gifts all the time, and not just to kids. I also request books as gifts for myself and my children when friends and family ask what we would like.

    My kids and I visit the library AT LEAST once per week and I read aloud to them every day (I've done this since they were in the womb). My son's favorite new activity is being allowed to stay up an extra 30 minutes to read in bed. :)

    We love classic books but we also love some modern books. Sure, some of it is trash but there are also some really wonderful newer authors. Some favorites:
    Laura Numeroff
    Lemony Snicket

    I also utilize audiobooks and e-books as supplements to traditional books. After I've read a chapter book to my kids, I'll get the audiobook so they can listen to it again (and again) during their playtime. There are some really wonderful interactive picture e-books available. They bring favorite characters to life in a way that traditional books can't. One of our faves:

  3. I love that you give books. As a soon to be mama I feel that the more books a child has the more intellectual he or she will be! I got all excited when I saw you're picture of Green eggs and Ham because I remembered I have a huge collection of Dr. Suess as well as a huge collection of bible story books I saved for my baby!! Yes dear husband we DO need a bookshelf that you will need to put together for the nursery! :-)

  4. I always give books too! I completely agree with you that the electronics are taking over at waaaay too young of an age.

  5. I love to receive books as gifts ! I do find the electronic version practical, but there's nothing better than the actual thing !
    My Blog - A Pretty Nest

  6. I love books. I have an iPad and I don't read on it... I love everything about real books and I love giving books and receiving books as gifts! I'm with you on this, girly!

  7. When my first nephew was born, I was determined that he and all subsequent nieces and nephews would receive a book from me at every holiday...that has tapered off. It gets harder to be so resolved as they get older and hate reading...maybe I should rededicate myself.
    Great post!

  8. I do this too! I always go to baby showers and give books.. I use to think it was lame but I love to read and I don't like buying baby stuff! I got Noah 2 books for Christmas - my fav as a kid and Vincent's :)

  9. I love this! I have so many great memories from my parents reading me books. I especially loved when they got creative and read the books backwards or substituted the word "potty" for "party." Ha!

  10. I love this idea. That may be because I am a book lover with bookcases and books all over my house. Selah even has two and she's barely 6 months!

  11. Books are the best and there is just nothing like watching a little person learn to turn pages and the first time they complete a sentence for you simply because they love and have heard the story so many times. My faves . . . Horton Hatches the Egg and Horton Hears a Who of course!!


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