Need some easy last-minute gifts? Finding the perfect presents without leaving your couch is just a click away. You can check off both your Naughty and your Nice lists with an escape to Italy, directions for fun cocktails, or a belly laugh – all between the covers of a book. And now, more than ever, we have time to read.

How to choose? First, think of anything your loved ones like, laugh at, or listen to. It’s easy to Google bestseller lists and of end-of-the-year “Best Of” lists to choose a novel or nonfiction books. Or, you can dig a little deeper. If your friends like art, travel, mysteries or romance, there’s no need to overthink it. For your niece who loves unicorns, type: fantasy for children. For baby gifts, type: board books. Men often enjoy history; women’s history is memoir.

For your picky sister, get a limited subscription to Book of the Month so she can choose her own. For your annoying co-worker, try humor. For a mom pulling double-duty, audiobooks are ideal. I heard Audible is having a sale (and offering free listens to kids during Covid).

Where to order directly? Your loyal indie bookstore offers personal help and often has autographed copies from local authors. Here’s where you can find one nearby: https://indiemap.bookweb.org/ For quick delivery, Amazon  (who has a zillion lists of book categories) will ship in a gift bag. You can ease your big-box guilt by paying via the Smile program that donates a portion of the sale to your favorite charity.

Did you know that Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has donated 1,000,000+ books to young readers? That’s right, the songstress who kickstarted a Covid vaccine, stood up for #BLM, and is magic at making songs, has been giving away books for 25 years. She was inspired by her dad, who never learned to read. He helped build the foundation so that others can. Because reading is the gift that keeps on giving.   (By the way, Dolly’s new book works for Naughty or Nice.) This year, play Santa the way that lasts a lifetime.

 

Here’s to many happy stories in the new year!

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