With all the toys and DVD's and video games clamoring for attention during the holiday season, it can be hard to notice the quiet book. For a few years now at MotherReader, I've put together lists of specific book titles and links to particular gifts. Feel free to stop by for some ideas. Overall though, there are a few themes that you can apply yourself for ways to give a book.
Give a knitting, crocheting or other craft book with supplies and gift card to craft store. If you know how to do the craft, perhaps you can spend some time teaching it.
For a teen or adult, give an interesting, insightful book with a restaurant gift card and a date to discuss the book together over a meal.
Comparing the book with the movie can be fun, so consider giving the book along with a handmade gift certificate for a movie date for a rental or a theater release.
For girls, pair a book with a related necklace. It's easy to find both books and jewelry for lovers of horses, dolphins, cats, and dogs. You should be fine with ballerinas, musicians, and soccer players.
Young kids will enjoy picture books with a stuffed animal. With so many books featuring animals, finding a match isn't a tough prospect, though it's worth noting for ease sake that Kohl's sells inexpensive pairings of books and toys to benefit its own charity foundation.
Speaking of charity, there are a number of books that can be paired with a donation to a related organization. An easy choice is One Hen How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference with a loan to Kiva or a donation to Heifer International to buy chicks. Abby the Librarian has a nice selection of matches for making the world a better place.
Look at giving an experience, but add a book to make the gift giving fun. Animal books with a trip to the zoo, marine life books with a trip to the aquarium, dinosaur books with a trip to a natural history museum, sports books with tickets to a game, dance book with tickets to ballet, or theater books with tickets to a play. Think about what is else is available in your area like ice skating rinks, indoor pools, trail rides, etc and what book might help represent that outing. If the place you have in mind doesn't sell tickets or memberships, make your own gift certificate.
Go ahead and give the toy you're dying to buy, but consider if a book might go along nicely with the gift. It can't hurt to thrown in a book as a little extra, maybe a special holiday title or an old favorite. Give a book this holiday season, however you want to do it.