Step Away from the Mall and Hit Up Your Local Bookstore!

Sheeba approves this message. This sweet girl is up for adoption! Visit her website at Austin Pets Alive.

Sheeba approves this message. This sweet girl is up for adoption! Visit her website at Austin Pets Alive.

Spoiler Alert! If you’re a member of my family, stop reading this! Lucky for me, none of my family members habitually frequent my blog, so I should be in the clear.

Here you will see how Christmas shopping can be painless, quick and – gasp! – even enjoyable! I didn’t even do it online. Nope, this year I decided to stop fueling the Amazon machine and made a beeline for the crown jewel of Austin, Texas: BookPeople.

Have I ever told you how much I love BookPeople? It is the largest – and coolest – independent bookstore in all of Texas. It’s a haven for writers, coffee fiends and author groupies. Needless to say, this is my happy place. So instead of pushing my way through gaggles of screaming kids and their scowling mothers at the dreaded mall, I decided to tackle my entire shopping list in one stop. Come to think of it, I actually did have to push my way through gobs of people. But this time, I was happy to see such a huge crowd of people buying books and keeping my favorite store in the black.

While I was weaving my way through the labyrinth of floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, I found the perfect gift for my dad, a voracious reader who loves all things dark and spooky. Doesn’t’ this book look like the perfect Gothic thriller for a cold winter’s night?

He’s also a big time eater, so I couldn’t resist getting him this signed copy of Austin’s most historic restaurants. Yum…I’m craving a Huts Hamburger right about now.dad

For my crazy marathon man, I scored a signed copy of Eat and Run by Scott Jurek. I sure hope this doesn’t inspire him to run 100+ miles in Death Valley, but hopefully it will give him a kick in the pants to start training for the Austin Marathon. This author is pretty incredible!  I still can’t wrap my mind around eating a plant-only diet, let alone running a zillion miles through a desert inferno. unnamed

As for the little kiddos, I got my 7-year-old niece a little Texas doodle book because she’s obsessed with all things Texas. When she becomes a famous artist, I expect her to tell everyone that her crazy Texas aunt is her muse. Since she’s a fan of those obscenely expensive American Girl dolls, I couldn’t resist getting her an Agatha Christie inspired kiddie mystery.

My little bitty 3-year-old niece loves furry little critters, so I got her this picture book about a stealthy tuxedo kitty. I have to confess, I read the book the second I got home. Hey, someone has to make sure it’s kid-approved!

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My fellow crazy cat lady friend is getting some sweet kitty swag. How can you go wrong with a Bad Cat calendar?

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Of course, not everyone has time for reading, especially if you’re chasing around four kids! So my sister-in-law is getting an address book. She’s refreshingly old school about keeping records on paper instead of apps.

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These are just a few gifts from my shopping binge, but I’ll stop right here before this blog post turns into a book all in itself. Books really are perfect gifts. They’re cheap, easy to wrap and ship! But most importantly, they’re thoughtful and personal gifts. Sometimes it’s a risk buying someone a book because reading takes time, and it seems like a lot of people have to schedule their bathroom breaks. But it’s a chance worth taking. Worst case scenario, it will get donated to Goodwill and eventually land in the right hands. Best case scenario, it will give your loved one hours upon hours of entertainment – and possibly inspire them to read more and more and more!

Happy reading, everyone! I hope you have many literary adventures waiting for you under the tree! 🙂