Gift an EBook – Make a bond

“A book is a gift you can open again and again.” – Garrison Keillor

- is correct. And, it is also a gift of intimacy. The gift of a book is a gift of an experience. No book fails to fan some sort of emotion in the reader. A gift that evokes an emotion is always cherished, which makes a book the near-perfect gift.

Gift Someone

The advent of the eBook (also known as e-book, electronic book or digital book) has made it blissfully easy to gift someone a good read. Over the years eBook readership has grown steadily and sooner or later, as penetration and affordability of handheld touchscreen devices grows, will surpass that of paperback.

As the eBook and paper book trade blows, they seem evenly matched. Here are some “fors” of eBooks vis-à-vis paper books

For:

  • The available database of eBooks is 10-million plus strong with more than 2 million being freely distributed.
  • Looking for a book is much easier with author and title search.
  • With a data connection you can have access to an eBook anywhere, without the need to store it on your device.
  • An eBook only exists as a virtual file, so you can store thousands in a storage device less than the volume of a single printed book.
  • EBooks have indefinite availability. If you lose a copy for some reason, you can always download another.
  • You can readily get an eBook in your preferred language via translation services offered by eBook sites. This makes an eBook reach a wider audience.
  • Readers have tools to adjust text size. Text-to-speech software makes reading possible for the handicapped or infirm. One can also search for text within the book and find word meanings as one reads.
  • EBook readers have backlit/illuminated displays permitting reading in inadequate or absent external light. As a result, portability increases.
  • EBook readers may be expensive but the eBooks themselves are sometimes cheaper than their printed versions. Many older titles are free, especially in the fiction space. EBooks also have lower costs of printing.
  • An eBook is available almost instantly to read as it is just a matter of a download.

Tablet Computers

Choose E-books

Now that I have suggested the pros, let me tell you where you can pick these eBooks from.

Here we profile three of the largest eBook services viz. Kindle, Kobo and Nook and how you can go about gifting an eBook at each of these sites.

Kindle:

Amazon’s Kindle has the highest eBook sales of any eBook service.

Kindle has a selection of over 1 million books, newspapers and magazines. There are millions more which are no longer under copyright-protection. The Kindle eBooks site is cluttered at first appearance, since it is a sub-site or the parent Amazon website.

Once you have settled on an eBook to gift, it’s simple enough to move forward. You click on the title of the book that leads you to a detailed description page. On the right of this page is a box which has a ‘Give as a Gift’ button. Click on this and follow the routine. You get the option of sending it directly to the receiver’s inbox or to yours.

Gift cards are also available and you can send them in digital form via email or Facebook, as printable downloads or as physical coupons. The amount can range from $0.15 to $2000.

Amazon Kindle

Kobo:

Kobo is another large player in the eBook and eBook reader space.

The site is dressed in mainly pastels and has a very comfy feel about it. Kobo boasts of a collection of 2.5 million books, newspapers and magazines. EBooks purchased from Kobo can be viewed on any open e-reader.

The first link of the menu bar on the homepage is ‘eGift’ which showcases the relatively recently launched Kobo gift cards. You can pick from values of $10-$100 and the cards are delivered to the recipient’s inbox on a date of your choice.

Sending a particular eBook as a gift is the same as on the Kindle site. You click on a title and on the detail page for that book you have a clearly demarcated ‘Send As Gift’ button.

Nook:

Nook is the eBook and e-reader arm of the Barnes & Noble bookstore chain. The Nook site is integrated into the Barnes & Noble website which once again results in a more complex layout than the neat Kobo website.

Nook lays claim to being the world’s largest bookstore and boasts over 2.5 million titles.

Gifting a Nook eBook is, as with Kindle and Kobo, very straightforward. You pick a book from their database and go to the description page.  Under the ‘Buy Now’ button is a separate link for ‘Buy As Gift’. This takes you through the standard sign-in/register process.

The homepage also has a link for ‘Gift Cards’ for the undecided, which can be physical cards that are delivered by mail or eGift cards which are delivered by Email. The value can range from $10-$350.

All the above sites have search bars and help you sort by genre, popularity and rating to make finding that ideal eBook gift a cinch.

Gifting an eBook is sure to bind you to the receiver, so go ahead and surprise someone, occasion or not!

Image Credit: asenat29, goXunuReviews, Free Digital Photos

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