Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

SantaThing 2013 is Here!

Welcome to the SEVENTH ANNUAL SantaThing!

What’s SantaThing? SantaThing is Secret Santa for LibraryThing members.

Done it before? Sign up is now open!

The idea is simple: You pay into the SantaThing system (choose from $15–$45). You play Santa to a LibraryThing member we pick for you—we try to match up similar members—and you select books for them. Another Santa does the same for you, in secret. LibraryThing does the ordering, and you get the joy of giving AND receiving books!

You can sign up as many times as you like, for yourself or someone else. If you sign up for someone without a LibraryThing account, make sure to mention what kinds of books they like, so their Secret Santa can choose wisely.

Even if you don’t want to be a Santa, you can help by suggesting books for others.

Important dates:

  • Sign-ups close Friday, November 29 at 8pm Eastern. Saturday morning, we’ll notify you via profile comment who your Santee is, and you can start picking books.
  • Picking closes Thursday, December 5th at 12pm Eastern. As soon as the picking ends, the ordering begins, and we’ll get all the books out to you as soon as we can. There’s no guarantee that we’ll have books to you by December 25th, but we’re going to do our best!

» Go sign up to become a Secret Santa now!

Tweaks this year:

Every year we tweak SantaThing a little. This year we’re happy to have Longfellow Portland’s own Longfellow Books, Powell’s, Book Depository, and Amazon as our booksellers.

At any and all price points, you can choose to have your books picked and sent from Powell’s Books, Longfellow Books, Amazon.com (including national subsidiaries: .uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es). or BookDepository.com. Book Depository ships to the most number of countries (see the full list), but they can’t promise your books will arrive before Dec. 25th.

Important note about Amazon: Amazon’s minimum for free shipping jumped up to $35 this year, so, if you want paper copies from Amazon, you will get $5 less in books than you pay—paying $30 will get you $25 worth of books. This does not apply if you select “Amazon Kindle Only,” OR if you go with the $40 or $45 price points, since shipping will be free.

Aside from that, you don’t need to factor in shipping. (Except for Amazon, booksellers have promised to waive that for us.) Unlike some years ago, there’s no profit “cushion” built into this for us, although we expect under-orders to pay for situations where the shipping isn’t free. We do this for fun, not money.

Ebooks are available again this year, but again, only via Amazon, and only for US members. We’re sorry to limit it, but ebooks are complicated in terms of rights and availability outside the US. Ebooks also don’t come with shipping costs, so this is one way to avoid the Amazon shipping issue, without having to go up to $40 or $45.

Go sign up now!

Questions? Ask them in this Talk topic.

Labels: santathing, secret santa


  1. Linda P says:

    You say that we would get five dollars than we pay from Amazon. Is that still true if we opt for a higher-priced option, such as $40 or $45?

  2. loranne says:

    Sorry for the confusion, Linda–I’ve edited to make it clearer. If you go with the $40 or $45 option for Amazon, you’ll get what you paid for, since shipping will be free.

  3. Ainee Beland says:

    I spend all of my time on the Internet; so much so that I have dissapeared from real living exchanges. I have not been employed for many years now and i am broke. I may give this a try, if I can make sense of it; I mean on how to do this and if I have some money $15 or such. Thank you for invisible friends on the web; though not safe at most times it is exploits done honestly.

  4. Jamie says:

    You’ll get to see the library of the person you get matched with to avoid giving a book they already have, right?

  5. Jamie says:

    Answered my own question by clicking a link. Thanks!

  6. Loranne says:


    That’s up to each individual. Most people who participate in SantaThing do make their libraries public, even if just for this short period. However, some choose to keep theirs private. That’s where their SantaThing profile comes into play–the idea is to add details about what types of books they might like.

  7. wester says:

    I checked if the minimum for free shipping applies to other Amazons than Amazon.com, and Amazon.de still ships for free if you are in the right country (Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, …). So if you’re not in the US, it might be worth checking out the Amazon that’s nearest.

    I really enjoyed SantaThing last year. So much so that I’m a bit nervous about if this year can match up to it…

  8. Lauren says:

    I signed up and paid the fee. What next?

  9. Loranne says:

    Hi Lauren,

    Welcome to SantaThing! Now, you just wait until the 30th, when you’ll be notified of who you’ll be playing Santa for. Then you can start picking books for them!

  10. Carrie says:

    Hello there – I just want to mention that I didn’t see this on my “Home” page. I would have totally missed it this year if I didn’t randomly remember!

    Is there a module or notice that can be added to my page so I see what news is happening on LibraryThing?

  11. Lambada says:

    Does the $5 rule on Amazon apply on e.g. Amazon UK, where there is no minimum spend for the free delivery on orders of books?

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