Books and Magazines
Dr. Suess said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” It couldn’t be more true! In this era of electronic readers and dwindling print publications, special attention should be paid to the gift of literature in paper form. Nothing beats the weight of a book in your hands, or the feel of the pages between your fingers.
We tried to cover all the bases with this category and it is stuffed full of great gift ideas! There are options ranging from paperback best sellers, to unique out of print editions. Fictional books make great gifts, especially if you can vouch they’ll be a good read. Non-fiction books don’t have to be boring gifts, either. Digital media and print techniques have grown leaps and bounds in the last generation. Many non-fiction publications are more like coffee table books; they’re full of glossy, detailed photographs and images.
Then there are magazines. Magazines and periodicals are the gifts that keeps on giving. Throughout the year issues will come, conveniently delivered in your recipients mailbox. Many publications come out weekly, monthly or semi-annually. There are magazines and journals for almost every hobby, age group or interest out there. Many are for entertainment, others for education.
Speaking of education, Reference books are overlooked as gifts. Every student should know how to look up a word in dictionary, or find synonyms in a thesaurus. These basic skills have practically become lost knowledge. Therefore, we’ve added a few extra treats in our Books & Magazines section—educational materials and services that can help any student learn to love reading again. That is truly a gift worth giving.
Looking for a great read?
Don’t have time to browse the bookshelves, but you want a great new book? Look for these seals of approval. Many can be found online:
- New York Times Best Sellers List— gives top books in several categories, including combined print and e-books.
- Newberry Medal Winners—award winning children books
- Nobel Prize in Literature —awarded to an author from any country for outstanding work
- Oprah Book Club—each book hand picked by Oprah herself
- Wikipedia’s List of Best-Selling Books—a wiki database of books selling millions of copies worldwide and approved by the masses
- USA Today’s Best Selling Books List—a weekly list of the top 150 books (US)
In this ever-evolving digital world, the tactile satisfaction of books and magazines is not lost. Much like reading the Sunday comics in bed the concept of reading is not lost on the younger generation; the form which that reading takes has evolved, but the enjoyment of reading books and magazines has persevered.
Books and magazines are fortunate gifts for those who enjoy reading for enjoyment, entertainment or for education.
There are many benefits to giving holiday gifts of books or magazines. Here are just a few:
- Magazine subscriptions are inexpensive and last 12 months.
- Your holiday regift book is a welcomed present for even the novice reader.
- Reading promotes education and improved reading.
Consider Your Reader’s Attention Span
In our society, more and more our attention span is lessening. Most people have such a busy life style that the idea of reading, even for 30 minutes a day, seems like a decadent luxury. However, when considering between a book and a magazine as a holiday gift, it’s good to look at the pros and cons of both:
- Stories are typically short.
- A wide variety of information is encapsulated in one magazine.
- All the information of a subject in one place.
- Reading stories is an intimate personal experience for the reader.
- Topics are usually sensationalized to sell more magazines.
- Subscriptions can arrive after the magazine has hit newsstands.
- Books are larger in size and less easy to carry around.
- Books require dedicated time for reading in order to finish.
“No Thank You. I’ll Watch the Movie!”
More and more books are being adapted for the silver screen. While on the one hand, watching a story unfold is engaging and riveting, due to various constraints such as budget, time etc. The story often changes significantly from the book to the movie.
There is a magazine for practically every interest, hobby, profession and sport in the world. Many feature in depth articles and text. Others are image based, and feature colorful art and artists. Some are huge, publishing hundreds of glossy pages per issue. Others are smaller, and provide lighter reading. No matter the size or interest, magazines are always jam packed with new trends, fads and ideas.
Magazines make unique presents because they last all year. When you buy a magazine subscription for someone, you will prepay for a certain number of months. After this, the recipient will have an option to continue their membership on their own. Avoid making your Christmas gift look like a bill by signing up for at least one year of membership. This way your recipient can get enjoy the present without feeling pressured for money.
How will you pick which subscription to give? There are literally hundreds of publications out there, so you are going to have to make some tough choices. Remember, you are not limited to the popular magazines you see in check-out stands. The internet gives you access to virtually every publication under the sun. Surprise your loved one with a unique subscription about something they are interested in. For example, if you have a fashion lover in your life, expose him or her to international style with European Vogue. They might not be able to read all the text, but the images will blow them away.
If you know someone who loves sports, find a magazine that caters to that. There are general fitness magazines that provide monthly health tips and ideas. Or you can chose something more specific, like a biking, hiking or yoga issue. Christmas gifts like these are supportive and educational.
In select cases, it is appropriate to give an individual magazine as a present. When someone is in the hospital or has a long wait coming, reading material may be the perfect distraction. Subscriptions leave a lasting impression, however, and can’t be outdone.
Did you know you can personalize books for children or loved ones? We’ve found some wonderful examples of how to express yourself with a book.
- Personalized Kids Books—Make this Christmas special with a book featuring your child’s name or picture! Stories feature amazing holiday adventures like riding with Santa.
- Custom Romance Novels—All you have to do is provide some basic information about yourself or a friend and an entire romantic novel will be made about them!
- Proposal Books—What a sweet way to pop the question. She can read this one for years to come.
- Photo Books—Tell a story with photos. Create a professionally bound memory book online, then have it printed and delivered in time for Christmas.
Shopping for Book Lovers this Christmas Season
Please explore the links above, we have something for everyone! If you’re having trouble thinking of what to get we’ve put together a list of possibilities to give you some ideas for this years Christmas Gifts.
- Traditional Books: Paperback & Hardcover Books/Novels.
- eBooks: Downloadable directly onto your eReaders such as the Sony Reader, Barnes & Noble Nook, or the Amazon Kindle
- Audiobooks: Spoken word albums available on Cassette Tapes, CDs, and Digital Formats like mp3’s for your listening to on iPods, Zunes, etc.
- Photo Albums: No matter what kind you’re looking for, maybe even for the pictures you take on Christmas morning.
- Music Books: Whether Instructional, Sheet Music, or Biographies.
- Puzzle Books: Such as Crosswords and Sudoku.
- Art Books: Could be Art History, Photography, Graphic Novels, Anime, or an Artist’s Book (a compilation of art in the form of a book).
- Kids Books: Something for children of all ages, like Coloring Books, Children’s Literature like Nursery Rhymes all the way to Tween Novels, Comics, etc.
- Magazines: Magazine subscriptions make a great gift, and with so many different kinds to choose from, it makes it easy to find something for everyone.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Shopping for Books
- When shopping for your kids, try to find something that will not only educate them but entertain them and make them want to read more.
- When shopping for your significant other try to find something they are actually interested in.
- Check out used books. Sometimes you’ll find great deals.
- Find out what kind of return policy the websites have and if they’ll gift wrap it for you.
- Buy from sites no one has heard of. More often than not if you’re buying from a well known site you’ll have better return policies and better customer service.
- Buy books for others just because YOU find it interesting.
- Forget… to buy a good book for yourself while you’re at it 😉