We like to include books as part of every birthday gift. Sometimes they’re novels, other times they’re books of quotes like the one above. And they’re never the whole gift, so don’t think we’re those jerks who give books because we write and edit for a living.

We give books because we love ideas. And the written word is still the best way to share them.

In a movie, you can hear something brilliant. But then the story moves on and you can’t stop to consider what was said ¾ well, you can, but then you’d have to pause the movie — and the person you’re watching with probably won’t appreciate it.

But with reading, you have the power. You can stop. You can think. You can put the book down to research the idea further and then go back to it. And you can take the time to formulate your own ideas you can then share with others.

It’s like re-gifting.

129,864,880 choices and counting.

In 2010, that’s how many book titles there were in the world according to Google. So there really is something for everyone. Just a little bit of thought can go a long way to perfectly matching book to birthday girl.

For Avid Readers

They’ll appreciate your gift more than anyone. But they’re also the most discerning. They know what they like and you should too. Next time you’re in their house, take a discreet pic of their bookshelf, then go to the bookstore and ask for a recommendation based on what they like to read.

Tip: Don’t buy off the Bestsellers list. These people know what’s there. If they wanted to read it, they probably already have it.

For Sometimes Readers

A collection of short stories is perfect for these folks. And there are titles in every possible genre, so you go with something they like. They can commit to a few pages at a time (like, say, on the throne), and they won’t lose out on leaving a month or two in between them.

Tip: Look for books mostly contributed to by journalists. They write informative, digestible copy for a living.

For Never Readers

Books remind these people of high-school English class. Blech. So instead of thinking biography or novella, think cookbook or collection of movie posters. Because everybody needs to eat, and movie posters are awesome.

Tip: These folks most definitely judge a book by its cover. So find something interesting. Chances are it’ll be a display piece anyway.