Author Topic: Reading gift books before giving them  (Read 21870 times)

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EMuir

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Reading gift books before giving them
« on: October 03, 2010, 02:58:50 AM »
This is a topic my college roommate and I disagreed about.  She would buy a book for a present for someone, then read it before giving it to them.  The book was still in "new" looking condition when it was given away.

Is that rude, if the recipient never knows? 

I feel that somehow a "used" book is less of a gift, but I can't back that up with logic.  It's just a gut feeling.   :-\


atirial

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Re: Reading gift books before giving them
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2010, 03:13:50 AM »
If you're giving a book to a child than I can see reading it first to make sure the content is acceptable to them (and their parents). Not so much if you're giving it to an adult - after all if you've bought it as a gift for them they should get it in new condition. I don't read gift books before I give them; if I want to read it, I can buy my own copy, or visit a library, and it's important to me a gift is pristine.

Even if it's not damaged, it's no longer new - uncut pages will have been severed and the binding will have that slightly loosened feel.

Ms Aspasia

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Re: Reading gift books before giving them
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2010, 03:37:50 AM »
I don't believe anyone is owed a brand-new item as a gift.  I think the item can be new or used, according to the preference of the giver.

Jolie_kitten

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Re: Reading gift books before giving them
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2010, 03:41:58 AM »
Guilty as charged-I admit I read books before gifting them. Though Molly has a point-if reading the book would involve cutting uncut pages or leaving any other kind of a mark, then I too would rather go without.
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MsMarjorie

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Re: Reading gift books before giving them
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2010, 03:47:33 AM »
A friend of mine told me they did this and I was horrified.  I don't agree with reading the book before giving it at all.

I'm with you Mollymur, I don't have a logical response to it, but it feels equivalent to someone tasting a chocolate before they gave you the box.

Kaylee

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Re: Reading gift books before giving them
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2010, 03:52:51 AM »
I see the point of those who would find this unsavory, but books don't wear out.  I don't really mind the idea of someone else having read a book first.  That's why I have all these antique books on my shelves. 

I wouldn't advertise it, though.  I guess the issue I would have with it, if I had an issue at all, would be whether they bought the book because they thought I would like it or just because they wanted to read it themselves.   ;)

CherryRipe

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Re: Reading gift books before giving them
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2010, 03:53:45 AM »
If I really wanted to read the book, I'd buy two--one for me, and one for my friend.  Either that, or I'll already have the book in the first place, and I'm giving my friend a copy because I liked it so much myself. :)

Spoder

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Re: Reading gift books before giving them
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2010, 03:57:06 AM »
I wouldn't do it, because I would want the gift book to be all flat and pristine. But (maybe oddly, then) I wouldn't care at all if someone read a book before gifting it to me. I can completely understand the temptation!

MaggieB

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Re: Reading gift books before giving them
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2010, 04:38:17 AM »
Well if the book still looks brand new and the recipient really has no way of knowing, then I can't really call it rude. 

I don't think this would bother me at all, actually.

My sister is notorious for "Hey, I have your birthday present.  I'll get it to you as soon as I'm done reading it."  (She really does pick out books she knows I want or will really like.  We just happen to have similar tastes.)  It doesn't bother me when she does it because I know she wouldn't mind if I did it to her.  I also don't really like lending my books out, so if a friend wants to read the book they're giving me, I'd rather they read it before giving it to me.

I'm kind of torn on whether I would ever do it, though.

I probably would with my mom or my sister since I know they wouldn't care.  I could be up front about it and they wouldn't think any less of their gift.  I don't think I would do it with someone I felt like I needed to be discreet about it with, though.  There's something disingenuous about presenting a gift as brand new when it's not.  If I wasn't positive that the recipient would be fine with my reading it first, I wouldn't.  Even though in all honesty it does seem like a silly thing to be bothered by for the reason Julia mentioned.

Granny Takes a Trip

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Re: Reading gift books before giving them
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2010, 05:45:34 AM »
I don't believe anyone is owed a brand-new item as a gift.  I think the item can be new or used, according to the preference of the giver.

POD. I would draw the line at giving someome something in an unclean or damaged condition, but other than that, I'm right with you. I have read books before giving them. In the UK, books are generally sold with the pages already cut, so if one is careful, the recipient can't tell the difference. I also love to give and recieve used books-I often prefer older editions, as they are often printed on much nicer paper than new editions.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2010, 05:47:32 AM by Like Any Other Candidate »
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shhh its me

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Re: Reading gift books before giving them
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2010, 05:54:54 AM »
  My answer seems bizarre but the based is " a gift should be new to the giver" I count a re-gifted gift that's never been used as new.

It's fine to buy a gift from a used goods store but not to use the gift yourself first. *excluding heirlooms and heirloomish*.  It becomes I have/want x you can have it when I'm done with it rather then I bought/made x for you.

Emmy

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Re: Reading gift books before giving them
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2010, 08:27:05 AM »
I agree with Merry Mrs. Martin's statement that a "gift should be new to the giver", even if the gift has been used by other people.  I'll admit that there is no harm done if the book is still in brand new condition.  I find doing this seems off because reading the book first seems like you are buying for your own enjoyment and giving to a recipient as an after thought rather than buying it just for them.  I think it would be similar to using a new serving dish for your own party, washing it, and putting it back in the box before gifting it to your friend.  It has never occurred to me to use a gift intended for somebody else first.


Rosey

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Re: Reading gift books before giving them
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2010, 08:31:33 AM »
I think the only problem here is that it sounds like she's giving it away under the pretense of a new book that she bought for the recipient. That's now what it is. It's a book that was hers, that she read, that she is now giving away.

I love used books, and that's exactly what this is. It's also giving something that was her own. As long as she tells people that this is what she is doing, and I'm guessing she doesn't tell them, then she would be fine in my book.

secretrebel

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Re: Reading gift books before giving them
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2010, 10:03:42 AM »
I don't understand the point of this. I give books all the time and sometimes I'll add "and when you've read it, I'd love to borrow it and read it myself". I want the giftee to have the nice fresh new book experience but when they've had that I'd like to borrow it. If I read it before giving it would get a little "used". I read my books in the bath and while eating - I couldn't preserve a book in "as new" condition.

If you want to read the book yourself, why not borrow it later from your friend. Or get your own copy. Why would you need to read their copy first?

Aggiesque

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Re: Reading gift books before giving them
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2010, 10:34:28 AM »
I purposely don't read books before I give them to the reipient (exception, children). If I do, I wonder if I'm buying it for myself, or because they really want it. Plus, I feel like I'm then giving them one of my old books, rather than a new one just for them. I don't think you have to buy them a new book- I always check half price books for a "new" version before paying full price, but I feel like it should be new-to-them AND me, and not a castoff.
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