Pretty much every person I exchange gifts with during the holidays is getting at least one book. At least. (The only exception is my friend's little boy who is getting an awesome dress-up train engineer costume. I figure there are plenty of books in their house already since I've been giving his sisters books since they were young.)
When I come across reviews of picture books my little niece and nephew might enjoy, I make a note and then check out those books closer to birthdays and holidays. For the older kids I know, I look back at the MG and YA books I read. This is a little harder because I mostly read "dark" YA and that's not really their thing. I usually get them each a gift card to a bookstore and put it with one book I read that I think they might like, usually a classic, like the first Little House Book, or an award winner, something they might not have picked on their own.
During the year, whenever I read a book I think someone might like, I jot down the title. It's usually no problem to find a book for my sister and my aunt since we tend to lean toward similar stories. My mother is a little harder because she tends to like "lighter" books but I usually have a few go-to authors for those. My husband guides the choices for my Dad since they like a lot of the same things. I would have to say my brother-in-law is the toughest to buy for, only because he likes more literary novels and I don't read as much of them as I probably should.
Some recent/previous hits included:
* Under This Unbroken Sky by Shandi Mitchell. My sister is a big fan of historical fiction and she really enjoyed it.
* The Help by Kathryn Stockett. My mother is loving this. I actually gave it to her ages ago but she's just getting to it now.
* City of Thieves by David Benioff. My brother-in-law liked this one so much, he went and read Benioff's other novel.
Do you all have a system for giving books as gifts? Anyone have recommendations for any of the people on my list? Or for me to read? You know I'm always open to suggestions...even if my to-read list is almost as long as Stephen King's newest novel.