It's the gift giving time of year. Books make fine gifts. You don't need to know a size or a color or a kind of fabric the person likes. I've heard people say they don't buy books as gifts because it is like art--a personal choice.
Consider this. If you select a book that does not appeal to the person receiving it, he/she can always exchange it for another. Include a gift receipt and it's easy for the person to swap titles.Even if the book is something different from what the person usually reads, maybe it will be incentive for him/her to delve into a new genre.
I especially encourage giving books to children. By today's standards, my childhood collection of books was minuscule. Once I could read on my own, I had a Grimm's Fairy Tale book, a Raggedy Ann book, and The Wind in the Willows. That's all! The Wind in the Willows did not interest me very much. Even at an early age, I liked stories about people, not animals. Thus, it was the fairy tale book that I read over and over and over. Because I had so few books of my own, I became a big library fan, making the trek to and from our local branch at least once a week. What a treat it would have been for me if my aunts had given me a book for my birthday instead of pajamas or whatever basic item they might have chosen.
As a result of having so few books as I grew up, I made sure that I bought books for my grandchildren from the time they were infants on up. I loved selecting the books for them and reading them aloud. I liked hearing my grandchildren read the book to me in those early reading years, too. Of my four grandchildren, all but one are readers. The fourth one reads what is required for school but seldom more than that. I hope that someday that grandchild will discover the true joy of reading books.
Giving books as a gift has another perk. It allows you to spend time browsing in a bookstore or book area of a larger store. For those of us who love to read, that is a gift in itself. When I'm shopping with my husband and we pass a bookstore, I have pangs of regret that I cannot zip right in the door. It wouldn't be fair to make him wait for an hour or more, would it? Even so, I'm greatly tempted but keep moving on for his sake.
Book Page is a great website to keep up on the newest books. Choosing a bestseller for a gift is always a good choice. Many libraries subscribe to the print edition of Book Page which comes out monthly. I never fail to pick up my free copy at my library. It helps me know what new books I'd like to read and it feels like a trip to a bookstore as I sit in my comfy chair and turn page upon page.
If you have a writer on your gift list, select one of the newest books that detail the craft of writing. If someone you want to give a gift to is a woodworker, look for a how-to in that field. The books you give don't need to be fiction. Non-fiction, biographies, and coffee table books are also great gifts.
If you don't have time to go to a bookstore, there's always Amazon or Barnes and Noble online. You can sit in your chair wearing your jammies and order.