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Need a gift idea? Try my book shopping day

Every year, I try to offer book-related gift-giving tips around the holidays.

This year, I was procrastinating because I didn’t have any new inspiration, but while I was procrastinating, I came across an idea that I thought was truly inspiring.

The inspiration for this idea comes from what happens when a child is expected to give a gift to a parent or sibling but postpones it. So, using the resources at hand (marked pens, construction paper, etc.), they make a “gift card” good for something in the future (breakfast in bed, for example) that the gift recipient can cash in at their discretion.

So of course I I’ve never done anything like this. I don’t know where my mom got these “I’ll do the dishes without complaining” coupons.

Here is a suggestion for you, I sincerely hope you will implement it. Treat your loved ones to a book shopping “experience” at your expense. Make them a card promising them the book buying day of their dreams and then follow my step-by-step guide.

For this experience, you will need to identify a restaurant, bookstore and cafe, ideally nearby.

The experience begins with lunch at the restaurant, where you and your friend will talk about books, what you’ve read recently, your favorites, books and authors you’ve always wanted to read but haven’t yet. thing. You have two goals: A delicious lunch and to whet your appetite and look at books.

Then go to the bookstore. Plan to spend at least a full hour (if not more) in the store. You and your friend’s task is to take a thorough look around the store. Here’s what I mean by browsing:

1. Every section that can contain an interesting book should be visited. You and your friend should work on steps 2 and 3 separately.

2. Start with a quick scan of each section, scanning your eyes for anything that interests you, whether by cover, title, author, topic, or anything else. Move the books that catch your eye a centimeter or so away from their companions so you can find them again.

(Step 2 is extra fun at used bookstores, where you never know what you’ll find.)

3. Go back and spend time with each of the books you marked in the first pass. Take them. Read the cover story, maybe start from the first page. Do whatever you do when thinking about a book.

4. Once you and your friend have chosen 4-6 books, join again and share your choices with each other. For each, you should tell the other what interests you about it. Take all the time you need.

5. Both you and your friend should choose books to buy because, after all, this is the gift you promised them. You can even buy two copies of the same book and read them together.

Finish your day with a hot drink and a cookie, donut or other pastry at a cafe. Relax a little, open the books you bought and start reading. Read together for at least 30 minutes.

The passing of time, the sweet treat turning into crumbs on the plate, the last drops of the cooling drink tell each other about your first impressions of what you read.

Finally, vow to do this again soon.

Happy Holidays!

John Warner is the author of “Why They Can’t Write: Killing the Five-Paragraph Essay and Other Requirements.”

Twitter @biblioracle

Book recommendations from Biblioracle

John Warner tells you what you should read, based on the last five books you’ve read.

1. “All the Light We Cannot See” By Anthony Doerr

2. “Tom Lake” By Ann Patchett

3. “Nickel Boys” By Colson Whitehead

4. “Night Watchmen” By Louise Erdrich

5. “Trust” By Hernan Diaz

—Emily M., Wilmington, Delaware

A list of well-crafted, widely read literary fiction. I’ll stick with the well-crafted, but try to give Emily a book she might not otherwise know: “The Known World” by Edward P. Jones.

1. “Micro” By Michael Crichton

2. “That’s Not All, Guys!” by Mel Blanc

3. “Handmade World” by James Howard Kunstler

4. “Lucy by the Sea” By Elizabeth Strout

5. “The Last Demon to Die” By Richard Osman

—Barbara N., Evanston

I want the right book for someone looking for 25 years of memoirs by the man who voiced Bugs Bunny (among others). This brings to mind Roy Lewis’ cult classic and hilarious book “Evolution Man: Or, How I Ate My Father.”

1. “Measure” By Nikki Erlick

2. “Stranger” by Albert Camus

3. “Liberation Day” by George Saunders

4. “Great Believers” By Rebecca Makkai

5. “Our Lost Hearts” By Celeste Ng

—Brad S., Glenview

Since Brad is open to short stories, I’ll take the opportunity to recommend “Jesus’ Son” by Denis Johnson; Although it is not for everyone, it is a book that has become a favorite of those it appeals to.

Get a reading from Bibliocle

Send a list of the last five books you read and your hometown to: biblioracle@gmail.com.

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