I vividly recall the Christmas morning. My father opened the book I had carefully picked out for him. I hadn’t read it, but I thought it would be perfect for him, neatly matching his interests. He looked at the spine, regarded the cover, and said, “I enjoyed this very much when it first came out.”
Not a good moment, but the beginning of a lifetime of mistakes — and occasional successes — in selecting books as gifts.
My column this month at the Washington Independent Review of Books takes a lighter look at the risks of giving books for the holidays.