Time for a TeleRead survey: Have you ever given an e-book as a gift?e-books

This past weekend, I was ay my dad’s for Father’s Day. He just moved, and I was treated to a tour of the new place—replete with groaning bookshelves in every room! As my stepmother pointed out a piled-high shelf—in the bathroom, of all places—she remarked, “and we’ve gotten rid of so many books!” Could’ve fooled me! Any time you’re at the point of putting them in the bathroom, that should be a sign, no?

And then the Father’s Day gifts came out … and I saw the problem.

My dad, a bibliophile and history fan, got a stack of hardcovers as big as my head! Sure, he reads on his Kobo now, and my stepmother checks out library books on her iPad. But for gift-giving, they’ve always been the type to favor gifts you can actually see and touch.

There were no envelopes of cash or gift cards in my youth. They like wrapping up the packages. And you just can’t do that with an e-book.

That said, I know e-book gifting is possible. I myself got a little Amazon surprise once from a co-worker who I’d helped with her Sony Reader. But nobody is going to sit there at the Father’s Day barbecue checking their smartphone to see if there are any coupon codes, are they?

What do you think? Is e-book gifting still in its awkward stage? Have you ever gifted one yourself? Let us know by completing the poll below. (And feel free to get specific by adding a comment.)

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.


  1. It’s pretty common, at least it is common around friends and family here. There is the bit of near instinctive “but it’s not real” part, but a well made and designed gift card can easily be made part of a creative (and “real”) gift. That works.

    Ofcourse some people don’t do that, and that is fine. Depends on the person, and some it even suits perfectly, and is understood.

  2. It is avoided in my family although we all use ereaders. When we give a book, we all prefer to give and receive hardcover books. Often we get signed first editions to give. The problem with ebooks is that they are rapidly forgotten. Most are read once then deleted or buried and never seen again, whereas a hardcover is often seen and brings back memories of the giver and the occasion.

The TeleRead community values your civil and thoughtful comments. We use a cache, so expect a delay. Problems? E-mail newteleread@gmail.com.