Once again the editors of January Magazine have carefully checked the stacks to come up with a list of books that we think are some of the best choices for gift-giving this holiday season.
Our list, while carefully compiled, is meant to be a starting place: a point of entry into this season's gift-giving fray. The people you're buying for are special. Unique. You know them better than we do. One of the joys of any holiday season is a visit to your friendly neighborhood book vendor -- or, failing that, the bookstore at the mall -- to see what the season has to offer. While you're there, touch the books, dip inside them, interact with them and think about the joy it will bring to the person you have in mind when they open their bookish gift.
The idea here isn't convincing you to buy these books, but rather to make sure you keep book buying near the top of the your seasonal to-do list. Buying books is important. Without people buying them, all of these books have no reason at all to be. The giving of books perpetuates so many good things. When you think about it, it's the very heart of the season.
Every single book -- no matter how insignificant it may seem, no matter how small -- is the result of the caring of a whole phalanx of people, in particular an author or authors who took a passionate idea and created something solid around it. The giving of the book would seem to bring the whole thing full circle: the passionate idea, realized in book form and given to someone with a passion for the subject. The passionate dream, then, becomes the fuel for someone else's dream. What better gift could there be?
Books meet all of the other gift-giving criteria, as well. There are books on every topic and every price range. And though some books are heavy, they're all easy to wrap and ship to loved ones far away, or to simply slide under the tree, there to look beautiful until the time for the great reveal.
We hope you enjoy this year's January Magazine holiday gift guide. We've certainly worked hard on its preparation. But if you take only one thing away from it, our work will be justified: there is no better gift than a book, no matter where it's purchased.
Happy holiday reading! | December 2004