Three tips to make sure the next book you buy is a beloved gift

Christmas image of book and hot chocolate by Jill Wellington from Pixabay
Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

It’s that time of year again, when thoughts turn to what to put under the tree for friends and relatives. You know your aunt/ sister/husband/dad likes to read… Great- You can get them a book, that’s perfect.

Wait… is that the sound of a lead balloon smashing on the floor followed by a polite smile for the gift that will gather dust or disappear to the charity shop?

Individual tastes are crucial

Personal preferences for what to read are as individual as a piece of lingerie. Get it wrong and it’s an uncomfortable embarrassment. So how can you get it right?

Use Yasiv

If you know a book they’ve already read or liked, that’s an excellent place to start. Type the name of the book into It’s a visual recommendation service from Amazon. It will list a number of other book purchases linked to the one you know. Arrows point back and forth to show how closely linked two books are. It will work with authors, series, titles, even films and TV box sets.

Key words

Another important piece of information to look at are the keywords linked to these suggestions. Use those in any search engine to find similar books or authors. The more keywords that match, the better the chances are that this book will fit your gift recipient’s taste.


Social media is the third point of your detective work. Go to and type in the name of a book your gift recipient likes. On the top right-hand side of the book’s page are suggestions for similar books.

If your gift is going to a dedicated reader, chances are they might have a goodreads account. Above the search bar, choose people, then type in your friend’s name to see if any match. These profiles will often list books the members want to read, but haven’t had a chance to yet. You might be in luck and find a wish list hiding in plain sight.

If all that detective work feels like a bit too much for your schedule, watch out for our next post on ten gift ideas suitable for any bookworm.