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WARBeat the Reaper: A NovelThe Hellhound of Wall Street: How Ferdinand Pecora's Investigation of the Great Crash Forever Changed American FinanceThe Evolution of Bruno LittlemoreThe Maltese Falcon, The Thin Man, Red HarvestGlengarry Glen Ross

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Books Are Great Gifts

The Association of American Publishers is celebrating the second year of their Books Are Great Gifts campaign, and if you don’t know about it you should definitely check it out.

Why, you ask?

I’m going to go ahead and assume that if you’re reading this, the success of books in general is, in some way, important to you. If you’re in publishing, your job depends upon it. If you’re a writer, your ability to make a living doing what you love is at stake. Perhaps you are simply someone who loves to read.

In any case, now is the time to take some action to ensure books have a place in our culture for generations to come. You may think your individual effort is meaningless, but I assure you, it is not.

Fellow book lover, I implore you:

1. Think books for the people on your shopping list. This extends beyond December, to birthdays and other holidays throughout the year.

2. Gently remind the people you know that books make great gifts. Add the image above to your email signature. (They have other colors at the Book Are Great Gifts website.) Update your Facebook status. Tweet. Blog about it (like me!) Just get this message out there somehow, ideally in a permanent way as opposed to one that will be forgotten or ignored after New Years.

They’re currently having a contest on Facebook that ends at midnight on Sunday, December 20th. You can win some free books, just for becoming a fan and posting one of the best reasons why books make great gifts.

Last year for Christmas, I bought everyone in my family a book and it was a great experience. The trick is not to give them something you like, but something they will like. It forces you to really consider your loved ones’ interests, as opposed to thinking along the lines of what they “need” (new socks, a tea kettle, etc.)

Anyway, I’m very thankful for all of my new readers and I wish everyone a blessed holiday season. What are you all planning on reading over the next couple of weeks?

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10 comments to Books Are Great Gifts

  • Thanks Chris. This is a great idea. It’s up to us to keep books alive. I’m going to pick up some books for gifts because of this post.

    I’ll be reading a new, funky book on Bunker Spreckles, surfing’s divine Prince of indulgence. I’ll probably also pick up a book by James Lee Burke, one of my favorites.

    Have a great holiday and please pass on my holiday wishes to Victoria and Benee. All the best!
    Greg Gutierrez

  • This is great. I’m new to your blog (blogging in general, actually), and I love this post.

    I’ve always loved giving and receiving books as gifts, and this year is no different. Several members of my family don’t know yet that they’re getting books in their stockings from me!

    As for me, my book wish list so far includes the new Barbara Kingsolver, a second chance for Hemingway, and hopefully some good new books I don’t know I want yet. Any suggestions for me?

    Take care and Happy Holidays!
    Erin Miller

    • Hi Erin,

      Welcome! It’s always great to hear from someone new, and I hope you’ll continue to enjoy the blog.

      As for book recommendations, what Hemingway have you read? I assume giving him a “second chance” means you didn’t like him the first time. THE SUN ALSO RISES is my favorite. For a couple of contemporary picks: THEN WE CAME TO THE END by Joshua Ferris and EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED by Jonathan Safran Foer. I also really loved BRIGHTNESS FALLS by Jay McInerney.

      Happy holidays!

      • Oh, well, FAREWELL TO ARMS scarred me back in high school (for some reason I was really sensitive to it). Since then I haven’t considered myself a fan of Hemingway’s. But, in the name of fairness, I’m soon to pick up FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS. It also counts as research for a project rolling around in the head – a sort of Spanish Civil War tale, which Hemingway mastered.

        Thanks for the recommendations, I’m always looking for “contemporary picks” to keep me updated.

  • Great post, I’m spreading the word on my blog as well.
    The world of books is a great one. I’ll often go to the bookstores just to sit amongst them.
    Can’t go wrong with a book as a gift anytime of the year.

    • Absolutely…I feel drawn to bookstores whenever I pass one. It doesn’t matter if I’m looking for something specific or not—they just have such a great vibe, and it’s a pleasure walking through the stacks. Independents can be especially charming, and I feel a little spoiled living in New York because there are some real gems. I just discovered Three Lives & Company last week, where I bought a copy of WOLF HALL by Hilary Mantel for my girlfriend.

      • I know what you mean…I get a sense of energy from the books that inspires me to write. I’m looking forward to relocating to NY myself and then I can uncover some of those gems you mentioned.
        The little mom and pop type bookstores are rare and wonderful. Something out of “You’ve Got Mail” with Meg Ryan’s “The Shop Around the Corner”
        They’re very soothing.
        Best to you Chris, happy holidays!

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