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Tiffany Sunday
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For me, books will always be great holiday gifts!

Learning to read took time because I’m dyslexic. So, when I was in junior high, my mother started a tradition of giving me books for Christmas. She had a knack for curating an eclectic reading list.

Each year, I waited impatiently, wondering which books she had selected. After opening my gifts, I immediately found a quiet place and would read for hours. As a result, my fondest holiday memories are sitting next to the Christmas Tree or fireplace, admiring my new books.

Novels and nonfiction books have changed my life. Each year, I discover a new author, learn something new, or read a story that leaves its mark. I have continued my mother’s tradition of giving books as gifts and prefer printed copies, which never need charging. Plus, you can dog tag pages, make notes in the margin, and like a good friend, you can always take the book with you.

Purchasing books as gifts can seem overwhelming since there are many lovely and thought-provoking stories to choose from while shopping. Independent book stores can offer suggestions, and in larger bookstores team members share feedback about books throughout the store. This year, I selected a couple of cookbooks for my son – don’t tell him! He’s picked up the family cooking gene.

For friends, I’ve chosen Big Panda and Tiny Dragon by James Norbury. I love Norbury’s books. Another favorite book is The Lightkeeper’s Daughters by Jean E. Pendiziwol; the book has an unexpected ending. A classic favorite is Pride and Prejudice – Mr. Darcy! Also, my books are available for direct purchase too. When selecting books, I prefer to read random pages, instead of choosing a book based solely on reviews especially today. We all know when we connect with a book.

Books matter they allow us to gain a new perspective and empathy for others. I can’t imagine a world without books, music, and the arts! So be sure to add books to your shopping list this season. If you are unsure which book to select, Barnes & Noble and independent bookshop gift cards are another great option.

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