It’s that time of year! I work in a bookstore, I work with books and authors and editors and agents, I get steep discounts during the holidays, I have to buy presents…so obviously the gifts are books. Even my family is getting books. But this year is extra special — a Secret Santa, a book swap, and bookish surprises for friends!
As I mentioned before, I’m participating (for the first time) in The Broke and The Bookish‘s (fifth annual) Secret Santa, or #TBTBSanta on twitter and instagram. This brought on a whole new level of holiday book swap: somewhere in the world another book blogger you may have never “met” or “read” has sent you a list of books and ideas for goodies, and somewhere in the world a blogger received your own list of books and ideas for goodies. Sounds easy! But it’s quite tricky…
First off, while I knew which book to pick, I didn’t know what to do about goodies! Should I send a bookmark — and if so, which one? Should I send chocolate — and if so, what kind? Should I send tea or cocoa or coffee? What other gift can I give? I browsed her blog, scrolled through her twitter, and spied on her Goodreads, and while it didn’t answer my edible questions, it certainly gave me the idea to buy a piece of jewelry that all bibliophiles would love, even if they’ve never read A Series of Unfortunate Events (note: she has!). I hope she likes it!
This year I not only participated in TBTBSanta, but continued the book swap concept with three of the girls from my program. In 2012 and 2013, we hosted a Secret Santa Ugly Christmas Sweater Book Swap party, and everyone received one book on their wishlist and one book their Secret Santa read and thought they’d enjoy as well. This year, since we’re scattered after graduation and still wanted to keep in touch, we came up with a list of ten books to share to the others. We emailed everyone (except the recipient) which book we were getting the recipient so no one bought the same book accidentally. Three books purchased, one book mailed to each of the three girls, and receiving three books in the mail to put under the tree. Considering we’re all in different states across the country (literally North, South, East, and West represented!), we thought we were being clever to continue the book swap this way. It’s definitely been fun! Our book lists really reflected who we are as readers. Can’t wait to discuss the books we receive!
I surround myself with people who enjoy reading, but three girls in particular (none of whom were in the graduate program) are quite close to me and we always have something to say about books. Stina (whom I met at a Harry Potter party and who introduced me to Nerdfighteria), Lindsey (of Jane Eyre guest blog fame), and Morgan (introduced by Lindsey after I fell into the Outlander fandom) are amazing women. Stina and I constantly exchange gifts and letters just because, and Lindsey, Morgan, and I have epic text conversations midnight every night. So…I bought the four of us a tiny little something, and I hope they love it!
Are you participating in #TBTBSanta?
What bookish gifts have you purchased for loved ones?