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:
tv Review: Miranda Hart and co deliver the festive goods
tvReview: Older generation get hot under the collar this Christmas
comedy Erm...he seems to be back
tvReview: No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa
tv Gymnast Louis Smith triumphed in the Christmas special
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
- 2 Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
- 3 The Grace Dent Christmas Questionnaire
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 Vagina canoe artist defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
Downton Abbey Christmas special 2014, review: Love is everywhere, actually
Game of Thrones season five: First preview clip shows a beardy Tyrion, a moody Cersei and a distressed Arya
EastEnders Christmas special, review: Brilliant Danny Dyer glues you to your seat
The Interview finally gets US release after Sony hack and terror threats – but reviews of North Korea satire are mixed
Doctor Who series 9: Jenna Coleman staying on for whole season as Clara Oswald
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader