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David Baddiel on christmas shopping


If you read this blog, or our website, with any regularity you will have found at least one instance where we mention the possibility that just maybe someone you know might, perhaps, enjoy a book should you decide to get them something around the holidays.

This is something we tend to believe around here. To this end you would be correct to assume that the reason we think you should buy your loved ones a book is that we sell books, and not televisions, radios, cookware, or toy dolls. While this is true, the reason we decided to sell books in the first place is that we truly believe that they are a far more enjoyable than any televisions, radios, cookware, or toy dolls.

What got me on this tangent was this article in The Times by comedian David Baddiel.

I don’t wish to pour cold water on the good intentions of this or any other books supplement presently advising its readers on which of the many masterpieces published this year might make the best presents this Christmas, but here’s a small piece of advice to my loved ones: I’m never that pleased, on either a snowy Yule morn, or for that matter a candlelit Chanukah night, when I pick up the wrapped-up rectangle and know instantly that yes, it’s a book. I do of course love books. But – uniquely perhaps in this day and age – I tend to express that love by actually going out and buying the ones I want. Like: as soon as they come out? So really, all a book means to me is: you wanted to spend less than £14.99.

There is a way round this, if you really do want to give a book to me or any other book-lover this Christmas, which is: ignore all the advice about which new books to get, and instead, get an old one. By which I mean, a first edition.

I would not go quite as far as Mr. Baddiel, new copies are just fine with me, but he does make a point that a book does make quite a lovely present.

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