Buy Books for Christmas! (and Chanukah… Kwanza… New Year’s… Tet… Valentines… Just because…)

I recently received an email from author Josh Henkin, whose book Matrimony I will be reviewing and will be giving away in January, about the troubling future of the publishing industry. AND, with the decline of publishing, the loss of the voices of new authors and authors whose ideas may not be of the mainstream flavor. Though I very rarely do this, I want to pass along his email.

Dear Friends,

As many of you know, the book industry is in serious trouble. It was in trouble when economic times were good, and now that times are bad, things have gotten really precarious. Book sales across the industry are down as much as 40 percent, publishing houses are laying off people and cutting imprints, one big publishing house announced that it was no longer reading new manuscripts, and a major chain bookstore is on the brink of bankruptcy. Many of these problems have been a long time coming (the decline of newspapers and especially of book review sections has been a big blow, as has the closing down of many independent bookstores), but in recent months the problem has become especially acute. I don’t mean to sound alarmist, but these are alarming times. What’s at stake is the future of books, and of reading culture. Although books will continue to be published (Stephenie Meyer and J.K. Rowling will publish their next books), for everyone except a handful of bestselling authors, the future is far more uncertain. What’s at stake is the wealth and diversity of book culture. Many classics (books we read in our English classes in high school and college, books our children read or will read), simply wouldn’t be published by today’s standards and, if they were published and didn’t sell well immediately, they would be removed from the bookstore shelves. This is why it’s so important that you buy books for the holidays. There’s a website dedicated to this enterprise, Buy Books for the Holidays,which you might want to check out, and publishing houses are running ad campaigns focused on holiday book-giving. You really can make a difference. A typical paperback novel costs less than fifteen dollars, far cheaper than a necklace or a sweater or dinner at a nice restaurant. Thanks for reading this, and have a happy and healthy holiday.



Of course, I use BookMooch and PaperBackSwap, both being swap-sites of sorts for books, but I do buy new books as well. Books that never pop up on my wishlist, books I want to read now and don’t want to wait, and books from the bargain bins and twofer sales. Thanks to the swap sites and LibraryThing, I actually purchase more books new than ever before. Go figure.

So, to support the publishing industry and starving authors everywhere, I will be hosting a second Book Bucks Giveaway! 😀
From now until December 31st you can throw your name into the hat for a $25, $15, $10 and $5 gift card to your choice: Borders, Amazon or Barnes & Noble bookstores. The cards can be used either at the brick-and-morters or online shopping.

The rules are as follows:

No biting, scratching, or holding… erm, wait… wrong list… :-))

1. Post a comment to this post for your official entry and specify which store you would like your gift card from. Without your comment here, you won’t qualify for the bonus entries.   If no preference is stated, then you’ll receive one for Borders… I’m lazy and we have a Waldenbooks right here in town.

2. Post a link to this contest on your blog, then post the link here in the comments for a bonus of 5 entries.

3. Comment on any blog entry between now and December 31st for an additional entry per comment. There is a limit of 5 comment-bonus entries per day, so make sure to stop by every day to get your bonus entries! There are over 100 posts on this blog and I’m very busy trying to reach my goal of 75 books by December 31st. I have 17 more to go, which means there will be a post a day, as well, so you won’t run out of chances for your daily bonuses 😉

4. If the winner(s) is outside the US, instead of the gift card, I will mail the new book(s) of his/her/their choice. The postage will be on me and won’t come out of the gifted amount 😉

5. If you go to the Buy Books for the Holidays site, you can pick up the code for a widget button. Include the button in your sidebar for another 5 bonus entries.

Happy Holidays and Happy Reading!


108 Responses

  1. please enter me for the amazon card! i have widget on my blog sidebar too!

  2. Great giveaway! Enter me for amazon as well. I’m going to Stumble this post. milou2ster(at)

  3. I buy nothing but books for any holiday/event/bday, so please enter me for an Amazon card. Thanks!!

    I have the widget on my page.

  4. Please enter me for an Amazon card. I’ve blogged about the contest (and installed the widget) at! Thanks! Sararush (at) hotmail (dot) com.

  5. Great contest! Please enter me for Borders.

  6. Would love to be entered for the Amazon…..thank you!

  7. What a great idea! Please enter me for the Amazon card.

  8. Great giveaway idea! I already have the button on my sidebar, and I’d like to be entered for the Borders giftcard. My closest bookstore is a Waldenbooks, too. 🙂

  9. Posted about the giveaway here. 🙂

  10. Great giveaway. I have been reading a lot about this problem lately and its really unfortunate because I love books…the physical things as much as I love reading them. Please enter me for an Amazon gift card.

  11. I’d love an Amazon card… I’d like to think I’d use it for something useful, but I know I’d use it for books! 🙂

  12. I would like to enter for an Amazon GC

  13. Please enter me for an Amazon gift certificate.

  14. I would love to win the Amazon gift cert!

  15. Love, love this. I know I was freaked out by the email that Joshua sent about the book industry – I don’t know what I will do if my book choices start to dwindle. Thank you for hosting this. Have a great 2009.

  16. Count me in for the Amazon gift card.

  17. I would love to be entered for the Borders gift card. Thanks!

  18. B&N is my choice. Please enter me in the contest and I am posting a link on my blog about it at

  19. We always buy books for children and grandchildren. Thanks for the chance to win — I’ll take either an Amazon or Barnes and Noble card.

  20. I can’t enter for the cards, since I’m in Canada, but please enter me in this giveaway anyways. I would’ve picked an Amazon gift card. I’ve also left a link of your giveaway at my blog, it’s off to the side under Giveaway List.

    ~ Popin

  21. I would like to be entered for an amazon gift card. Thanks!

  22. Ooh, enter me! I’d love a Barnes and Nobles one, thank you! And I’m going to add the sidebar on to my blog.


  23. This is amazing. And I always try and buy a lot of books. I don’t think I could EVER stop, but yes, everyone buy books this Holiday!!!

    And please enter my name in for Borders. 🙂 Thanks!

    lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

  24. I’d love to be entered, too! Borders is definitely my store of choice.

    Thanks for the chance!

    writing.meg [[at]]

  25. Toss my name in for Barnes and Noble (I actually prefer Borders, but our closest one is about 45 minutes away, sigh). Thanks! 🙂

  26. I would like a Barnes & Noble gift card. I linked the contest to by blog (on the right sidebar!) and I added the widget. 🙂

  27. Blogged about this as well:

    lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

  28. Borders for me — thanks!

    nite-swimming at hotmail dot com

    Shop local. Nurture your community this holiday season.

  29. Please enter me for the borders card. Thanks for this wonderful giveaway. All the best for the season.

  30. Please include my name in the giveaway. I’d like to pick the Amazon card if I’m lucky enough to win.

    Thank you.

  31. Please enter my name for an Amazon card please! Fantastic giveaway…thanks for the opportunity!

  32. Please enter me for a Barnes & Noble card, that way I can use my member discount. 🙂

  33. I’d love to be entered for either Amazon or Barnes & Noble I equally love both!(I’ve never heard of Borders) Thanks for entering me.

  34. Please enter me for the Amazon card. Thanks a lot! Happy Holidays!


  35. Wow, what a wonderful giveaway. Please enter me. I live in Canada, but both Barnes and Noble and Amazon ship here. I also come to the states a lot to visit my mom, so I would love a Barnes and Noble gift card.

    I have the Buy Books for the Holidays button on my blog and I blogged about your giveaway here:

    I love your blog name! I having been refering to my TBR as MT. TBR for a long time.

    teddyr66 at

  36. Hi ! I would like to enter for an Amazon Card, please !
    Btw, i’ve posted about your giveaway here


  37. I’d love to get one for!

  38. Hi! I’m throwing my name in for a Barnes & Noble OR Borders GC!

  39. I added the button to my sidebar – right above the Cybils nominees!

  40. i’d love one for Borders since that’s my fav book story (even if the one near me isnt always well stocked).

    link here:

    thanks for the contest “D

  41. I would like a Borders gift card. It would be nice to keep them open for a little while longer!

  42. Borders is my favorite book store so I’d have to choose there 🙂

  43. Please enter me for an Amazon gift card! I’d love to get a few more books from my TBR list! 🙂


  44. I would love to be entered for the Amazon card.


  45. I’d like to be entered for Amazon if I win. Thanks for the giveaway!

  46. I’d love to win the Amazon GC please!

  47. I would love to win ANY of the ones you’re so generously giving away.

  48. Please throw my name in the hat! I would love an Amazon card.

    I also linked to your giveaway here.


    thesleepyreader AT gmail DOT com.

  49. What a great giveaway. Please enter me for Barnes and Noble. I’ve stumbled this post.

  50. Please enter me. I live in Canada so I guess you don’t need me to pick a card? That’s very nice of you to offer to ship it because I’ve ordered from amazon and a $20 gift card can only buy a $10 book because of shipping and such.

    I’ve posted about your contest here:

    I’ve also have the Buy Books for the Holidays widget on my side bar.

  51. Barnes and Noble, please! Great site, by the way. 🙂

  52. great give away borders or amazon for me thanks for the contest

  53. Borders!! I love me some Borders.

  54. amazon, please 🙂

  55. Please enter me in for Amazon. I have a widget in my sidebar too.

  56. count me in for the amazon card. Thank you for the giveaway. i would even take the B&N card as well.

  57. Enter me for an amazon card! I’ve had the widget in my sidebar since the very beginning and everyone is getting books from me 🙂

  58. I will blog about it shortly at both of my blogs: and

    I would prefer Amazon, but where it’s from doesn’t really matter that much.



  59. I’d choose Borders. I love browsing in there!!!
    give_me_a_latte at yahoo

  60. I would love a Border’s gift card. We buy books for our kids there all the time!
    Amy B.

  61. Oh please enter me! I love Borders Books and I would be delighted to purchase a new book! Perhaps for someone special in my life. A new book is such an exciting gift! Thank you for writing this post. Merry Christmas!

  62. I’d like a gift card for Amazon. And the book industry should love me – I buy books on a weekly basis!

  63. If I win, I’d love to have a card for either Amazon or Borders. Thanks!

  64. I would choose the Amazon gift card.

  65. What a generous giveaway, yes, please enter my name!

    I have the “Buy Books for the Holidays” widget on my sidebar, and I have bought a lot of books (and bookstore cards). Read my BTT post for some examples.

    If my name is pulled, I’d love Barnes & Noble or amazon, whichever is easier for you to get (unfortunately, I don’t like my local Borders!)

    dawn[dot] rennert[at] verizon [dot] net

  66. Amazon for me ;D

  67. please enter me ^^ i’d love to have a barnes&noble gift card
    thanks a lot.

  68. Please enter me. I would like an card. Thanks!

  69. I love Borders. I love B&N. I love Amazon. I would be happy with any card. I would be thrilled with any card. Is there anything better than books?

    I’ll get off the fence and hope for…an Amazon card!

  70. Great giveaway! I’d love to win an Amazon card 🙂 Thank you!

  71. I’d love to win an Amazon card. 🙂

    Oh, and I’ve got the button on my sidebar.

  72. I could definitely make use of an Amazon gift card. I buy books at least twice a month, and have tried to cut back on other things because of the economy, but not my book buying. I NEED words.

    I have the Books for the Holidays button up in the sidebar of my blog.

    ruth at bookishruth dot com

  73. I would love a gift card to Amazon! 🙂

  74. Please sign me up for an Amazon gift card. Thanks

  75. Let’s see, I’m leaving a comment.
    I have the widget on my blog.
    I mentioned this post on my blog today.
    And I like Borders!

    Happy Holidays!

  76. The Borders card would be great. The problem would be trying to decide what I wanted to purchase. Thanks. Blogged here:

  77. i would love the Barnes & Noble

  78. I love reading! This is a fantastic contest. thank you and Happy Holidays. I would like the Barnes & noble gift card

  79. I’d love to be entered to win an Amazon gift card. Thanks and Happy Holidays!!

  80. I am entering for the Borders gift card. Thanks so much and have a great holiday!

  81. I would love to be entered for a Barnes & Noble card! I have also blogged about this contest here:

  82. I would very much like to be entered for an Amazon one–for all those hardcover books I want 😀

  83. What a good reason for having a giveaway! We bought about fifteen books for presents this year. 🙂

    I’d like a chance for either a Barnes and Noble or Borders gift card.

  84. What a great idea! I love reading, and often don’t take as much time as I should to do so. Reading that letter was alarming though, because I sure would hate to choose only between a few select authors-I like a much wider choice, and discover new ones I haven’t heard of before. Magazines, books, newspapers-they are all having a hard time right now and it is unfortunate. If I win, I’d love the Amazon card, that way I’d have a chance to get a new horror novel I’ve been wanting to read! Happy holidays!

    micaela6955 at msn dot com

  85. I would not mind any of the gift cards, but I would prefer Amazon. The nearest of any of the other stores from me is 3 hours away

  86. What a great way to support the industry and what a great way to support “us” who support the industry!
    I have the widget posted on myspace page.
    I also wrote an article for our local paper on the suject of buying books for the holidays.
    My card of choice is Amazon for fortunately or unfortunately I’m set up for “one click” shopping… is very dangerous!!! : )
    Thanks so much!!
    darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

  87. please enter me for the Amazon GC 🙂

  88. Happy Holidays!!

    I would love to be entered to win an Amazon gift card.

    I am new to blogging, and I’m seriously thinking of starting my own book blog, but I don’t know where to even start. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  89. I would love to win one to either Borders or Barnes & Noble! 😀

  90. What a wonderful giveaway. Please enter me for the Amazon gift card.

  91. I linked to this contest in my book blog sidebar:


  92. Oh, I wish I had seen this contest sooner! What a great idea! Books are so important and it’s easy to assume they will always be here. The economy is hard on everything. I hope we all can make a difference. Please enter me for a B&N card. I have the widget on my blog and I added the contest as well. Happy New Year!

  93. Way to be proactive for this cause!! I’d like an Amazon gift card if I win. Thanks!

  94. I’d love to win a Barnes and Noble giftcard, thanks so much! Great giveaway!

  95. Please enter me! I would like an Amazon gift card.

    I posted about the contest on my blog:

    I also posted the widget on my sidebar:


  96. Barnes and Nobles
    Thanks for a great giveaway!

  97. Please enter, me! 🙂 This is such an awesome contest. By the way, I have a link to this contest on the sidebar of my blog ( Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf) under contests.

    I would like an Amazon Gift Card if I win.

  98. enter me, please! Borders is fine.

  99. Can’t remember if I entered this already or not. If not, please throw my name in the hat for a Barnes and Noble card. Thanks!

    shelcows AT gmail DOT com

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