Let’s start with a client or your boss, two challenging categories for gift giving. You could go with a bottle of wine, chocolates, fruit basket or Starbucks card. But that’s what they’ll get from your competitors and colleagues. If you want to stand out and demonstrate, in a very tangible way, that you’ve been listening when they talk about their interests outside of work, a book just may be the way to make a connection. And I’m not talking about the latest business best seller.
Former Seattle librarian and current NPR commentator, Nancy Pearl has written a series of ‘Book Lust’ books recommending current and back list titles for “every mood, moment or reason and travelers, vagabonds and dreamers”. Her suggestions sample the catalog of titles published since 1960, so you will no doubt rediscover some gems to twinkle under the tree.
Create a list of folks @work. Then make a few notes about each and their interests. Visit an independent bookseller today, #SmallBusinessSaturday, and ask for suggestions. Often the best books of the year will never make The New York Times bestseller list, so you will need a little help from someone whose life is about books.
Barnes and Noble, Amazon and Costco don’t count. For the important task of matching books with colleagues and clients, you need the expertise of someone invested in presenting a diversity of titles.
“Independent bookstores never had to answer to the dictates of public markets. Many of their proprietors understood, intuitively and from conversations with customers, that a well-curated selection—an inventory of old and new books—was their primary and maybe only competitive advantage. In the words of Oren Teicher, CEO of the American Booksellers Association, “The indie bookselling amalgam of knowledge, innovation, passion, and business sophistication has created a unique shopping experience.”
Some may think a book is a risky gifting proposition. The risk lies only in not paying attention and failing to seek out help from experts. Take some time today to shop on Main Street and pick up a few books for the holidays.
“Books make great gifts because they have whole worlds inside them, and it’s much cheaper to buy somebody a book than it is to buy them the whole world.” Neil Gaiman