It is a truth not universally acknowledged that our book gifts are an accurate reflection of our intellect. Because we don’t want to gift the latest Romance Erotica novel, and then have that person think that our heads are just full of smut, even if they are. (I hate being judged that way, but it happens.) It really depends on who you are gifting to, but sometimes it’s also wise to play it safe.

Here are some less-risky book gift ideas, for the book people that you don’t really know well. These are for the people you want to impress because more than anything, you care about what they would think of you.

  1. This Game of Thrones Box Set that is not just any box set. Because this one’s in Hardcover and published with beautiful smooth white paper. It tells the recipient that you have taste, and that you are one of the cool guys. 51ewhymzlil-_sy440_bo1204203200_
  2. The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen, because strong female character with no love triangle = “feminism.” The respect is instantaneous. 18712886
  3. The Shadow and Bone (Grisha Trilogy) by Leigh Bardugo because these books are not as mainstream as the YA superstars, Twilight, Harry Potter, and Hunger Games. So it’s got that secret recommendation feel to it. Plus there’s nothing negative to say about these books.27280362
  4. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern because it’s a work of art in an excellently descriptive way. I didn’t even understand what happened in the end but I still ended up liking it. The words are entrancing.13611052
  5.  A  Hardcover Box set of Austen’s works, or Dickens’ works. Classic hardcover books printed on quality paper are gorgeous. You can never go wrong with the Classics.51iyqjgqhyl-_sx456_bo1204203200_51twyvhr2el-_sx413_bo1204203200_
  6. This nice new Lost Ocean Coloring Book by Johanna Basford. Because coloring books are the latest trend and you have to keep up. lost-ocean-johanna-basford
  7. Travel Book because it’s always nice (and free) to dream of visiting faraway places. Plus travelling gives you that worldly feel. IMG_9407
  8. This super funny non-fiction by Jenny Lawson, Furiously Happy. It’s weirdly smart and a guaranteed good laugh.23848559
  9. My forever auto-gift, The Princess Bride by William Goldman. This is  the first book that I gift to people all the time. It has never failed me.
  10. If all else fails, anything from this list will do. Because nothing beats “real and serious” literature that nobody would ever dare to judge you for. Your gift may not always be read with supreme intensity, but the respect shall live forever. High five!