December 9, 2019

Gifting the perfect book (for everyone on your list)

When it comes to selecting books for gifts, do you struggle? I confess: the librarian in me wants to choose The.Perfect.Book, to elicit the “How did you know just what to get me?” reaction all gift-givers crave. My gift to you: using NoveList can bestow the mantle of book giver clairvoyant upon you. 

Here are tips on pairing a delightful book to match your favorite reader, whether it’s your…ahem, picky Uncle Harold; your romance-reading Grandma Mabel or Bryce, your niece with very particular likes.

Nonfiction readers, like Uncle Harold
Readers like your Uncle Harold will tell you, “I don’t read fiction.” A super-easy way to discover an assortment of intriguing titles across varied subjects is to leverage media mentions. Books trending on news/talk shows are sure to please even the most discerning reader, like Uncle Harold. 

Here’s how:
Begin broadly. From the boxes on the advanced search page, select media mentions, adult, nonfiction. (You can also select other desired factors, such as starred review, series include/exclude or format, such as audiobooks.)  

With the large search results, narrow further using the story elements metadata on the left.

Clicking into the book record will let you know on which show the book was mentioned. Pro tip: if Uncle Harold never misses 60 Minutes, begin your search there! Choose 60 Minutes from the drop-down menu, then select audience level and other desired limiters.
Genre readers, for your romance-reading Grandma Mabel
Grandma Mabel reads romance almost exclusively, but “I don’t like bad language or anything too steamy.” Luckily, NoveList’s signature appeal terms are the best dot-connector ever, in terms of lining up favorite genres with desired book qualities readers like Grandma are seeking.

Here's how:
Begin broadly. From the search box, type in GN Romance.
Next, consider the appeal factors that speak to the components that Grandma likes…or doesn’t like. Our two-minute tutorial on appeals can help.

At the search results page, review the limiters on the left menu for ideas on how to further refine the results.
Pro tip: if Grandma Mabel wants to broaden her reading beyond the romance genre, she might like the genre heading, GN Gentle Reads, which includes titles characterized by no sex, no violence, and little or no offensive language.

Kids with particular reading interests, such as your niece, Bryce.
For kids whose book flavor-of-the-month changes from week to week, ranging from pink and sparkly books to train books to dinosaur books, use NoveList content, curated by our librarian team, to quickly identify possibilities for great book choices.

It’s become NoveList tradition for our Book Discovery Team to put together a list of meaningful gift book choices for kids and teens, along with why the book is being recommended. Other content compiled to produce sure-fire winners: our annual ‘Best of’ lists at the teen, older kids, and younger kids levels (psst: look for many of these titles to appear on youth media awards lists).

LibraryAware customers can use the ‘Best of’ templates to create book displays so that patrons can use them to find books for pleasure reading OR for gifts!

Need to find a gift for an older kid or teen who ONLY reads graphic novels? No problem. Our librarians identify and curate graphic novels for our Recommended Reads lists. For older teens, check out our Graphic Novels, Movies and TV – you’ll recognize the titles because they’ve been made into shows.

Pro Tip: want to know when your favorite NoveList content gets updated? Create a search alert.

Team NoveList knows that you have other relatives to consider! Maybe they’re tuned in to ink – check out our post where our librarians match tattoos with potential appeal term possibilities/specific book picks. Match books to those gamers in your family, too. And who doesn’t like to read books that everyone else is reading

After all, as all librarians know, here’s nothing more satisfying than matching a great book to a receptive reader. Make this the year you become a book clairvoyant.

Kathy Stewart is a NoveList Consultant. She is currently reading Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb.


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