Buying that perfect Christmas gift for the bibliophile (or book lover) in your life can be difficult. Often there are only two routes you can go: bluntly ask the exact details of the book your loved one would like for Christmas or give them a gift certificate or gift card that gives them the option of picking out the book themselves. If you go the “try to find the exact book my loved one wants” route, you may go crazy trying to track it down (particularly if it turns out to be rare or out of print) or even suffer from sticker shock when you see the actual price of the wanted book. Being a book lover myself, I would far prefer the gift card and the freedom and pleasure of picking out my own Christmas gift at my leisure. If you happen to be fortunate enough to live in a city that offers a significant sized used book store I’d recommend purchasing a gift certificate or gift card from your local bookseller for your Christmas gift, but if that is not an option, perhaps some of these book selling sites would work for you.
Where to Purchase Gift Certificates or Gift Cards for New Books:
The options for where you can purchase gift certificates or gift cards online for the purchase of new books is considerable. I’ve picked out the top four: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Hastings, and Borders. You will probably find, roughly, about the same level of depth and diversity for new books among these four book selling sites. If your loved one has access to one of these businesses’ walk in book stores, that would be another selling point.
Where to Purchase Gift Certificates or Gift Cards for Used Books:
The top of my list for where I would look for gift certificates for used books is Biblio. Biblio has over 50 million new, used, and rare books listed for sale from thousands of independent booksellers from the US and around the world. If your loved one is a book collector or just enjoys the harder to find authors, a gift certificate for this site could easily be the perfect Christmas present.
The next book selling site I would recommend as potential for Christmas shopping for book related gift cards or gift certificates is Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon. Powells doesn’t list how many books they have for sale, but I know their collection is considerable, in the tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands. They are the largest used book store in the Pacific Northwest. They tend to be somewhat poor in their online descriptions, but just having the option of browsing their inventory may be the perfect Christmas gift.
Finally, if neither of these two used book selling sites appealed to you, you could fall back on giving a gift card or gift certificate from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Both sites have used books for sale, though not necessarily with the range and diversity that you may find at Biblio or Powells. You will find primarily only US sellers listing on these sites, so if you think your loved one would prefer a title available only from an international seller, be sure to buy your gift certificate Christmas present from Biblio.
Blessings and Merry Christmas!