Back in the USSR!
Congrats to Jeanne for her sale to a German publisher. I got good news, too, from my editor. The Russian rights to Happy Hour at Casa Dracula
in hardback and paperback have been sold to the same company that publishes bestselling author Tess Gerritsen's
Christmas is almost here and that means that I have some serious book buying to do. I like to give books as gifts, but I try to pick books that my friends and family will really enjoy. I put more research into this than I ever did into college term papers. I analyze interests, past reading history, free time, etc. I check reviews, prices, availability.
I try not to buy the predictable book, or one they already have, or the hot bestseller. No one on my list will be getting a book by or about Borack Obama.
I get beautiful hardback books from my friends. I put them on my shelves and they look very nice there. Sometimes I even read them. But the sad truth is that, even though I love giving books to people, I don't like them as gifts. I like to pick out books myself. I spend hours browsing in bookstores, pulling out contenders to read. I tug them out a bit, so I can find them later. Sometimes I go back and can't find what I'd been looking at. My neck gets a crick from holding my head sideways.
I wander in all sorts of strange aisles. I might go to the cookbook section to try and memorize a recipe by Jaime Oliver
instead of paying for the expensive hardback. I'll check the health section to see if I can diagnose an acquaintance's apparent insanity. I'll look up plants in the Garden area, and go to the spec fiction aisles trying to find a book that isn't hopelessly geeky, which is how I discovered Connie Willis
and Octavia Butler
. I'll then loop around to fiction and check the shelves that are ignored -- XYZ authors, or books on bottom shelves.
How do you choose books for gifts? When you think about the holidays, do you think "comic vampire fiction"? I hope so.