Doesn't it seem logical that if you love books, you'll love receiving books as gifts, right? Well, consider the following: Your Uncle Chester, who you haven't seen in ages, and who knows only that you like to read, surprised you at Christmas with a gleaming new copy of....some book you've never heard of. (Or worse, one you HAVE heard of, like L.A. Candy.)
Reaction A: You smile politely, say "Thanks, I've been meaning to pick this up," and then mentally calculate the profits from your impending ebay sale.
Reaction B: You tell Uncle Chester how delighted you are (and truly mean it!) at his thoughtful gift, explain that you hadn't read this writer before but can't wait to dive in, and then you dive right in.
Which more closely describes your reaction to a gift of a book you didn't specifically ask for? Me, I'm decidedly Reaction A, and I tend to think most book dorks feel similarly. Here's my logic: If the giver is someone like Uncle Chester, who won't care if you read the book or not, then you're off the hook. Luh-cky! However, if you actually respect and/or are close to the giver, than an unsolicited book gift is essentially a homework assignment. You're expected to read the book promptly and provide a reasonably coherent report. When there are billions of good books out there (including approximately 2,852,329 on my 'to be read' shelf), it's hard to justify "wasting" time on a book that wasn't in the plans. A little jerk-waddy? Probably. And, yes, I do realize there is something to be said for that "it's the thought that counts" cliche. And, I suppose you never know: What if the unsolicited book gift winds up being the most brilliant book you've ever read? Not likely, but I'm willing to concede the possibility. ;)
So, what is your take? Do you enjoy getting unsolicited book gifts? Why? Or, are you like me? Do you feel like you've just been issued a book report assignment, due by the end of the week?