The best books for Christmas
Friday 25 November 2011
Few other art forms, or businesses, depend on a seasonal spike in trade as heavily as books do.
Many publishers will expect to earn almost half their annual revenues in the couple of months before Christmas. How odd, then, that the technical changes that obsess this sector should still prove so inimical to the pleasures, and rituals, of buying a book as a present. E-readers may bulk out millions of stockings this season.
Yet the works you read on them remain ghostly intangible files, hard to transfer easily as gifts or loans between readers or (most) devices, thanks to the fences erected around them by "digital rights management". So, however much you adore your iPad or Kindle, why not renew your aquaintance with the joy of the printed volume as a source of festive delight this year? From food to fiction, art to science, sport to history, many of the titles selected by our experts showcase the skills of the designer, the illustrator, the typographer, the printer, as well as of the author whose words they enhance.
Does digital publishing menace the future of these arts? If so: all the more reason to go out, or stay in, and buy these treasures while you can. We will lead you to the year's best in every genre, each book a valuable object to have – and to hold.
The best books for Christmas:
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
- 5 Narendra Modi: Indian Prime Minister wears suit with pinstripes that spell his name to meet Barack Obama
Ed Sheeran texts Noel Gallagher to offer him tickets after that Wembley Stadium rant
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
Taylor Swift banned from Triple J Hottest 100: Fans react to epic #Tay4Hottest100 defeat
Mortdecai becomes Johnny Depp's fifth consecutive box office bomb
Last Tango in Halifax, review: Can we ever really move on from Kate?
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Leaked documents show Ukip leaders approve NHS privatisation once it becomes more 'acceptable to the electorate'