Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Man Book: Why Women Gift Books To The Men They Love

by Debra Mares

I’ve been in love three times. (Warning: this may include illusions!).  I’ve dated many others; but interestingly, these three men are the ONLY men I have ever gifted a book to.  So I’m curious; what is behind women gifting books to the men they love, a.k.a. The Man Book?  
A book lasts forever.  It tells a story that stays with you.  It can help you.  And motivate you.  Books can shift your thinking.  They can help you relax.  And escape reality, stepping into the shoes of another.  Books inspire you.
The books I gave to these three men were from entirely different genres; almost as different as the men were from one another.  But all the books were gifted to inspire and fuel a passion within them.  Indeed, each of these men had moved me; and I wanted to move them.  

The first book I gave was to my now ex-husband.  We'll call him Music Man.  The book I chose was This Business of Music by Krasilovsky, Shemel & Gross.  Music Man was struggling to follow his dream and make it big in the music industry.  Those in the business know it’s a lot of hard work to get to the top.  Executives all start in the same place - the mailroom.  There’s no short cuts and no free passes, regardless of who you are or where you came from.  I was moved to gift this book to motivate, inspire and educate him.  He read from the book a couple times. And ironically after we parted ways, the book was left behind (in my bookshelf); as seemed his dream. 

The second book I gave was to my now ex-long-term-boyfriend.  We’ll call him Superman.  Our relationship was budding at the time.  I wanted to give Superman something that would be useful and drop a hint of my interest without being too obvious.  A book seemed like the right fit.  So I scoured the store bookshelves looking for that perfect one.  I chose Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America, a cookbook by Jose Andres.  It suited his passion and showed my affection for him.  His love of cooking flourished throughout our relationship.  Superman even grew a garden.  He cracked the cookbook open a couple times to whip up tapas dishes.  And it stayed on his bookshelf after the breakup.

The third book I gave was to a man I went on a handful of dates with.  We’ll call him Fifty Shades of Grey.  Without him even knowing, Fifty Shades inspired much of my personal growth in the recent past years.  He became one of my writing muses.  I browsed Amazon for the perfect book for him.  I chose Lance Armstrong’s Comeback 2.0: Up Close & Personal.  Fifty Shades had a passion for cycling.  And like Armstrong who had inspired the cycling world through his battle with cancer, Fifty Shades had shifted something in my Universe.  He eventually became Somebody That I Used To Know; so if I ever bump into him, maybe I’ll ask him if he ever read or kept the book. 

Testing my theory why women give books to men they love, I asked my thirty-something single friend if she had ever gifted a book to a man.  She responded, “Yes, once.”  I knew exactly who she was talking about - an ex-boyfriend she cared for deeply.  We'll call him Fisherman.  She chose The Greatest Fishing Stories Ever Told by Lamar Underwood.  Fishing for the next big Tuna was his passion.  She said she gifted it not only to inspire him to fish more, but to read more.  She's an avid reader herself.  Fisherman kept, read and enjoyed the stories.

Sharing stories with those we love, including men, is one of the greatest gifts; at least from a woman's perspective.  Because we love to motivate, inspire and move ours truly.  
What do you think?  Have you ever gifted a book to someone you love?  What was the genre or subject matter?  Why did you pick that book?  Has anyone ever gifted you a book?  What feelings accompanied you giving or receiving?  Men! ...what do you think of women gifting books to you?  

I'd love to hear your comments at

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