Why books make excellent holiday gifts

As you work on your gift list this holiday season, we suggest that books make great gifts for everyone in your family and all your friends as well — hard cover, paperback or e-books.

Books are affordable. They provide hours of surprise, escape and discovery. There is a book for every special person in your life — adventure, romance, mystery, science, history, fantasy, how-to, self-help, biographies and more.

And, as Amy Sedaris, Comedy Central actress, author and comedian, quipped, “Books make great gifts because they’re easy to wrap!”

More seriously, essayist Amy Butcher wrote on the Barnes and Noble website: “For many of us, the best and most thoughtful gift is one that aims not to accessorize or embellish but to compliment who we are: a book. One that says I know you, and I like you. Books! Glorious, glorious books! It’s not that we’re unsatisfied, of course, with routine purchases, but a book says so much more. It’s an investment in a relationship, an acknowledgment of your beloved’s interest, and, unlike jewelry or a piece of clothing, it never gets outdated or so last season. It makes a home on your bookshelf, where it will stay for years to come, reminding you each time you see it of the thoughtful person who put it there.”

Special holiday events

Mark your calendars for these fun events: Saturday, Dec. 20, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. brings Hot Chocolate Hullabaloo, family fun with seasonal crafts for all ages and a hot chocolate bar.

Mondays, Dec. 22 and 29, from noon to 1 p.m., are tabletop game sessions for all ages.

Tuesdays, Dec. 23 and 30, from noon to 1 p.m., is holiday video gaming for all ages.

Wednesday, Dec. 24, brings the original version of the movie “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” playing every half hour starting at 9 a.m. until the library closes at noon.

Stress management workshop

The Pagosa Springs Medical Center will host a free stress management workshop from 5:30 to 7 p.m. next Thursday, Dec. 18, to help you manage stress during the holidays and throughout the year. No registration required.

Movie Mondays

Join us every Monday in December at 1:30 p.m. for classic or contemporary movies for adults. Our contract does not allow us to identify the movies in the media, but you can pick up the calendar of activities for adults in the library with the names.

Family Fridays

Join us for the free family program called Family Fridays tomorrow (Friday, Dec. 12) and every Friday at your library from 2-3:30 p.m., timed so that children can come after school.

This is a special time every week for the whole family to come to the library together — parents with kids, all siblings regardless of age, or whatever combination of the family is available at that particular time. Each week features a different activity.

Tomorrow is a Christmas film rated PG.

LEGO Club

LEGO Club for kids 6-13 years old meets Saturday, Dec. 13, from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m. Bring your creativity — the LEGOs are provided.

Teen Gaming

Join us Tuesday, Dec. 16, from 4 to 5:30 p.m., and every Tuesday, for fun for teen gaming fans. Practice your skills on the Wii and Xbox, as well as board games.

Card Battles

Join us Monday, Dec. 15, and every Monday, from 4 to 5 p.m. for card battles for kids in the fifth through 12th grades. Bring your own Pokemon, Yu-gi-oh or Magic cards to battle your friends. We have a limited number of Pokemon and starter Yu-gi-oh cards to borrow.

Technology classes

Meg Wempe is available for the highly popular Tech Tuesdays and Thursdays sessions 10 to noon Tuesdays and 3 to 5 p.m. Thursdays.

Special note: There will be no tech time on Dec. 16 and 18.

A more formal session requiring registration focuses on PowerPoint Basics from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today (Thursday, Dec. 11). You will learn how to create presentations for school, a talk or just for fun.

Mysteries and thrillers

“The Paris Winter” by Imogen Robertson exposes a scheme of betrayal and revenge. “The Job” by Janet Evanovich is the latest in the Kate O’Hare-Nicolas Fox mystery series. “The Escape” by David Baldacci features special agent John Puller. “Wink of an Eye” by Lynn Chandler Willis features PI Gypsy Moran. “Chain of Events” by Fredrik T. Olsson is a debut thriller about a code that threatens humanity. “Alex” by Pierre Lemaitre follows a kidnapped woman whose trail left few leads.

Other new novels

“The World of Ice & Fire” by George R.R. Martin is a lavishly illustrated fantasy. “The Mistletoe Promise” by Richard Paul Evans is a holiday novel of love and healing.

Large print

“Shopaholic to the Stars” by Sophie Kinsella is set in Hollywood. “Revival” by Stephen King is a dark novel about addiction, fanaticism and what might exist on the other side of life. “Change of Heart” by Jude Deveraux is an Edilean mystery. “Maeve’s Times: In Her Own Words” brings readers five decades of selected writing from the Irish Times. “Leaving Time” by Jodi Picoult follows a woman trying to find her mother, who disappeared after an accident. “Flesh and Blood” by Patricia Cornwall is the latest in the Kay Scarpetta medical examiner series. “Blood Magick” by Nora Roberts is book three in the Cousins O’Dwyer trilogy. “Lila” by Marilynne Robinson is a Christian novel. “The Handsome Man’s De Luxe Café” by Alexander McCall Smith is the latest in the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series. “Havana Storm” by Clive and Dirk Cussler is a Dirk Pitt adventure story. “No Hero: The Evolution of a Navy SEAL” by Mark Owen is written by the author of “No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama bin Laden.”

DVDs 

“Alice in Wonderland” is the original Walt Disney version. “Dinotopia” and “Journey to the Center of the Earth” contain two complete mini-series. “The Little Rascals” is a new comedy. “Secrets of the Furious Five” is a Dreamworks Kung Fu Panda story. “Hopalong Cassidy,” “Vera Cruz” and “The Cowboy and the Lady” are westerns.

Nonfiction

“Frommer’s Easy Guide to Australia 2015” is a practical travel guide. “Voices of a People’s History of the United States” by Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove is our history in speeches, letters, poems and songs. “A Frontier Life” by Todd M. Compton is a biography of Jacob Hamblin, explorer and Indian missionary. “Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words” by Malka Marom is a biography of this singer/songwriter. “In Her Kitchen” by Gabriele Galimberti is a portrait of grandmothers from all over the world with their signature dishes. “Hidden Tuscany” by John Keahey takes you to unknown places in this Italian region. “Marco Polo: The Journey that Changed the World” by John Man documents the author’s travel in the explorer’s footprints. “Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In” by Louis Zamperini is a memoir by the man profiled in Laura Hillenbrand’s biography, “Unbroken,” soon to be a major motion picture.

Thanks to our donors

For books and materials this week, we thank Rose Chacon, Carla Evans, Janet Miller and our anonymous donors. A special thank you to Ron Tinsley for the lovely Thanksgiving flower arrangement.

Quotable quote 

“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.” — Isaac Asimov (1920-1992), American author of science fiction and science books.

Website

For more information on library books, services and programs — and to reserve books, e-books, CDs and DVDs from the comfort of your home — please visit our website at http://pagosa.colibraries.org/.

This story was posted on December 11, 2014.