Thursday, November 15th, 2012

SantaThing 2012: Play secret Santa to a book lover!

We are delighted to announce the sixth annual SantaThing!

What is SantaThing, you ask? SantaThing is Secret Santa for LibraryThing members. Go ahead and sign up now.

The idea is simple. You pay into the SantaThing system (choose $15, $20, $25, $30, $35, or $40). You play Santa to a LibraryThing member we pick for you*, and choose books for them. Someone else (secret!) does the same for you. 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 for 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 Thursday, November 29 at 4pm Eastern time. Shortly afterwards, we will tell you who you are matched up with by sending a profile comment and you can start picking books.
  • Picking closes Thursday, December 6th at 12pm Eastern time. 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!

The details. Every year we tweak SantaThing a little. This year we’re thrilled to be able to involve Portland’s own Longfellow Books as one of the bookstore choices. We’ve also adjusted the payment levels given the demand from last year, adding $35 and $40 options and removing the little-used $10 option (it also proved very difficult to find a book that hit that price point well). Like last year, though, you choose to pay what you want: if you pick $15, for example, someone will pick $15 worth of books for you. Choose $30, and someone will pick $30 worth of books for you.

If you choose the $15, $20, or $25 options, you can choose to have your books picked and sent from Powell’s Books, Longfellow Books or Book Depository ships to the most number of countries (see the full list), but if you’re located outside the UK, they can’t promise that your books will arrive before Christmas.

If you select the $30, $35, or $40 options, you can choose from any of the options above in addition to or its national subsidiaries (.uk, .ca, .de, .fr, .it, .es).**

You don’t need to factor in shipping. There’s also 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.

We’re allowing folks to request e-books this year, but only via and you must live in the US. We’re sorry to limit it, but last year proved very tricky to manage in terms of rights and availability for e-books outside the US.

That’s it. Go sign up now!

Questions? Ask them in this Talk topic.

Update: As in past years, LibraryThing members are sponsoring SantaThing gifts for others. You can join in the fun here. We love that our members do this: you all are awesome.

*We match members based on the contents of their catalog, thereby matching you with a Secret Santa you share tastes with. In theory. No guarantees.
**Restricting Amazon to the $30 option or higher is necessary because LibraryThing can’t get free shipping unless the gift totals $25 or more.

Labels: santathing, secret santa


  1. sallylou61 says:

    My Santa books arrived yesterday. I live in Charlottesville, VA.

  2. Miriam says:

    signup doesn’t seem to be possible anymore even though it’s no the 29th yet. Why is that? Is there a limited number of people who can join?

  3. loranne says:

    Hi Miriam,

    Sorry for the confusion–this is for last year’s SantaThing, and signup isn’t open for 2013 yet. Expect announcements about SantaThing 2013 this week!


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