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Fewer and fewer people are buying books as gifts these days

The number of books bought as gifts declined in 2013, according to a Nielsen Book Survey that was reported by the BBC. In both number and value, books as gifts decreased in the U.K., a trend that was also reflected in the U.S. The share of books bought as gifts sits at 22 percent, down from 24 percent in 2012, and making for a loss of 9 million books.

Still, while sales of print books have declined, e-books have grown by 45 percent since 2011, and the Kindle was the top-selling Christmas gift of 2011. The Pew Research Center reports that while readers are increasingly diversified in what medium they choose, with e-books and audiobooks gaining grounds, overall, reading remains steady in the U.S.

So while people continue to read, giving books as gifts declines—possibly because it’s really hard to gift wrap a download. But anyone who embraced Kyle Jarrard’s “book edict” also knows how hard it is, if not outright impossible, to give books as gifts. Books are personal. The giver must know the receiver well to pull off a good present in the form of a book. Isn’t it just easier to give a Kindle gift card?

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