I love books, and I love giving presents, so for the holiday season, I will be posting gift ideas.
First up, for a book blog, what to get for your friend who doesn't like to read.
In my opinion, the secret to a good gift is thinking about what the recipient would want versus what you want to give them. So while books make a great gifts (more on that later), I didn't want this post to just be here are some books that will magically transform your friend into a book-lover. Instead, I thought about why your friend might not like to read, and examples of the best books for that.
1) For your friend who prefers to watch the movie...
I love movies too. For some people, the movie is a way to get the same enjoyment of delving deep into a new world, with a much faster pay-off.
For this friend, I recommend you pick a book that is plot-driven, is cinematic in its approach, and has a good twist. I also recommend you pick a book that has a film coming out. My recommendation for this year is "Luckiest Girl Alive" by Jessica Knoll. Lionsgate and Pacific Standard bought the rights to make this film, release date TBD.
Pair two movie ticket passes with the book, and a future date that you can go to the movies together.
Buy Luckiest Girl Alive at your bookstore, or at amazon
2) For your friend who thinks books take too long...
For this friend, appreciate that they are right. I have been waiting to discuss "Game of Thrones" with a close friend for several years. It does take some time to read a book, it's a commitment. In this case, I recommend giving your friend something that is easy to pick up and put down. This could either be a collection of short stories, or a book that has chapters that stand-alone. My favorite book like that this year is "Get Well Soon" by Jennifer Wright, a terrifically funny books about plagues. Your friend can read a chapter at a time. Also, she writes in such a funny, entertaining way, it moves very quickly--like having a discussion with your smartest, funniest friend.
3) For your friend who is just too busy...
As I said before, believe people when they say they are busy. They are. For these people, I give you the audiobook. Your friend can listen to book on their commute, while working out, or at working depending on their job. In this case, I would probably pick either a classic or a very buzzed about book to listen to.
Here, I recommend the audio book version of "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood narrated by Claire Danes.
4) For your friend who finds it hard to concentrate...
For many people, what puts them off about reading is long, uninterrupted blocks of text. Your friend may say they don't like to read, but they will read many articles and blogs posts. Blocks of text with no images can be hard to hold attention.
For this friend, I recommend a graphic novel. I usually recommend Neil Gaimon as a first-graphic novel. Here, I picked the Graveyard Book, a charming and interesting story which reads more like a novel than a traditional "comic-book" but has beautiful original illustrations.
5) For your friend who doesn't like fiction...
For many people, when they say they don't like to read, they actually mean they don't like to read fiction. For this friend, buy them a work of non-fiction, or a really good coffee-table book. Here, I recommend "What If?" by Randall Munroe, a collection of his webcomics where he explores serious hypothetical questions. I personally have given this book as a gift two separate times.
6) TL:DR For your friend who seriously hates reading...
Maya Angelou told us, "when people show you who they are, believe them." There are many other reasons you love your friend, and they don't have to love everything you love. If you really think there is nothing for them. Get them something else.
May I suggest book ends? They probably have a few books that they can display in their non-overflowing book shelves.
Please leave in the comments your favorite gifts for non-readers!