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:
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 2 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery reports: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 3 Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Couple die within 28 hours of each other after being married for 73 years
Goodfellas star Frank Sivero sues for $250m over Simpsons character
American Horror Story season 4, Fox - TV review: Sensitive, silly and sensational
MOBO awards 2014: Sam Smith sweeps the board and takes four prizes
The Apprentice 2014, episode 3, review: Lord Sugar hacks away at the deadwood with another double elimination
Apprentice 2014: Contestant James Hill outed as convicted criminal
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'