If you want to make your holiday shopping easy, here are some great gift ideas, especially for those who love to read. Or you can use these ideas to drop hints to others like friends and family and let them know what you’d be excited to receive for the holidays.
AmazonSmile for Charity
If giving to charity is on your holiday list, there is one tip you should know about before you do any shopping. This is free, but can make your gift-giving last all year-long. Amazon offers what it calls AmazonSmile. This is not just a holiday promotion, either, because AmazonSmile works all year long to generate donations to charities. The way it works is that AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charity you designate.
You can choose from almost one million eligible 501(c)(3) public charitable organizations. If you are involved in a charity that is not including in the charity list, you can go to org.amazon.com to learn how to register your organization to receive donations. The eligible products – which include millions of items sold on Amazon – are marked “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation” on their product detail pages.To shop through AmazonSmile simply go to smile.amazon.com from your web browser on your computer or mobile device. It’s easy because you can use the same account on Amazon.com and AmazonSmile. Your shopping cart, Wish List, and other account settings stay exactly same. Nothing changes except that eligible purchases trigger a donation from Amazon to your designated charity.
On your first visit to AmazonSmile smile.amazon.com, you need to select a charitable organization to receive donations before you begin shopping. Then every eligible purchase you make at smile.amazon.com will result in a donation. You may also want to add a bookmark to smile.amazon.com so that whenever you got to Amazon to log into your account, you’ll already be on the AmazonSmile site. You can change your charity any time. Just sign in to smile.amazon.com and select “Change your Charity” in “Your Account.”
The Pocket-Sized E-Book Library
If you aren’t yet familiar with the concept of a “stick library” that carries hundreds of e-books on a tiny thumb drive, it may be a game-changer for you. Small USB memory sticks that you can use to download data to from a computer for easy portability are also an ideal way to transport e-books. Free-Ebooks realized that and decided to leverage the technology to invent the first-ever USB thumb drive libraries, called E-Go!. The USB stick libraries are offered in three different categories, to suit your particular reading preferences or gift-gifting needs.
One gives you 1,000 of the most popular titles, plus 250 classic e-books as a bonus, all formatted and preloaded onto a high-quality memory stick, for just $97. There is a special version for children priced at just $79, and it includes 125 classic kid’s books on audio, so that children can listen to books to their hearts’ content. Each title is formatted for excellent sound as an mp3 file. Also included as a bonus are 75 classic books for young readers. For grownups who also love to have their books read to them, there is third category of E-Go! USB library. This $119.95 AudioBook Bundle contains more than 550 titles that are preloaded and ready to be listened to, wherever you are.
You don’t need Wi-Fi or internet to enjoy these bundled libraries. Just plug the USB thumb drive into any e-reader, mobile device, or computer and you’re ready to read. Or if you want to enjoy an E-Go! Audio Book library, just insert the thumb drive into any compatible listening device.
An Essential E-Reader Device Accessory
Usually anyone who owns an e-reader will already have basic accessories like a charger, but if you’ve ever used an e-reader you know that when the battery dies, it’s a real problem. Oftentimes you aren’t near a wall socket or other outlet to recharge your device. But with a powerful backup battery pack power unit, you’ll never have to worry about that.
There are many battery packs on the market, and the prices are typically based on how much power they deliver. The best units are the ones that are small and highly portable but also generate lots of recharge amps. One of the highest-rated and reviewed manufacturers of battery packs is Ankar, and right now they have a very reliable and powerful charger for sale on Amazon for just $29.99, including free shipping. The Ankar PowerCore 13000 packs 13,000 mAh power in a unit the size of a wallet. It measures about four inches by three inches and only weighs around eight and a half ounces.
Or you can consider the slightly pricier and larger but super powerful Ankar PowerCore 20100 with 26,800 mAh power, enough to recharge an iPad mini twice or an iPhone six or seven times. The sleek unit weighs about 12 ounces. Both of these Ankar units utilize advanced PowerIQ technology for high-speed charges, and each of them has two USB charging ports. Of course you can use them for charging not just e-readers but any other small electronics. That makes them a versatile gift for anyone, and also a great backup source of power in case of an emergency when you need to charge a device like your e-reader or phone.
Properly, we should read for power. Man reading should be man intensely alive. The book should be a ball of light in one’s hand.
With year-end holiday shopping already heating up, you’ll want to take full advantage of the year-end sales offered by merchants. But don’t wait until the Black Friday best deals are announced, because if you start tracking retailers now, you’ll be in the loop and ready to pounce on bargains as soon as they are available.
Use Amazon Assistant
Amazon Assistant is a new feature offered by Amazon that lets you compare Amazon’s prices to those of competitors like Target, Barnes and Noble, and others. You can use this downloadable internet browser extension to set up personal alerts if an item you are watching goes on sales or the price changes. The extension is compatible with browsers including Internet Explorer 10 and 11, Safari, Google Chrome 38 and higher, and Mozilla Firebox 3.6 and higher. All you need to download it is an active Amazon account.
Likewise, if you are shopping for a particular item – like a gift for a book lover or yourself – and you see it somewhere online, you can add it to your Amazon Assistant wish list. You’ll be notified of any deals Amazon offers. That can help when you see the item for sale somewhere else but want to take advantage of perks you may be eligible for only on Amazon, like free shipping. Using Amazon Assistant can also enhance the overall user experience on Amazon. It will ensure you receive updates on your orders, which can help you make sure your packages arrive in time for the holidays. There are also shortcuts to your most-visited pages.
Amazon Daily Specials
Amazon Assistant offers quick and easy access to Amazon’s “Kindle Deal of the Day.” Even if you don’t have Amazon Assist, you can sign up to be notified of these special bargains. Every day Amazon will notify you about new Kindle book deals. You’ll find great e-books for as much as 80 percent off the regular price, and titles for as little as just 99 cents. Another cool feature is the “Kindle Countdown.” The way it works is that every day Amazon reveals a limited-time-only sale on particular e-book titles, across all different genres. Keep in mind that whenever you see an e-book listed on Amazon, there should be a option for clicking to buy it and gift it to someone. That way you can do one-stop shopping and the e-books or audio books you give will be sent directly to your recipient.
Barnes and Noble Best Sellers
To stay on top of the newest releases of e-books over at Barnes and Noble, you can visit their site and sign up for alerts, too. Just as Amazon offers updates and daily special deals, Barnes and Noble can send you notifications about New York Times best sellers, daily deals on e-books, and also special discounts when you buy e-books by the bundle for your Nook e-reader.
Even if you prefer to buy your books from a different retailer, these Nook updates are a great way to say informed of which books are the most popular. That can be a convenient gift-buying tool, to ensure that you know which books might be perfect gifts for the people on your holiday shopping lists. And if you purchase e-books by the bundle at a great price, you can give them away as “stocking stuffers.”
The GoodReads website is devoted to keeping avid readers informed of everything going on with their favorite authors and genres, as well as popular best-seller lists. GoodReads is not a bookstore, but instead it is a place for book lovers to convene and share their love of books and their recommendations for what to read next. You can sign up there and they will deliver e-book news straight to your inbox. Just select your favorite genres, ranging from mystery and romance to sci-fi and nonfiction, and you’ll get daily email updates. If you see a title that strikes your fancy, you’ll be able to buy in on a book-selling site like Amazon.
Follow Publishers and Authors on Twitter
One of the lesser-known ways to track breaking news about e-books, and find that special gift for a book lover as soon as it hits the bookstore shelves, is through Twitter. Most authors and publishing houses have Twitter accounts, and if you follow them you’ll get the inside scoop. Find out what your favorite authors are working on next. Get alerted if they are doing a book tour with book signings or readers at a location near you. If one of their titles goes on sale, they usually tweet that news out also.