Let’s talk about why books are the best present you can give someone.

First of all, books are straight up awesome. You’re giving someone an experience that will last them many hours, and that they can repeat as often as they like. You’re giving them a world, you’re opening their life with the experience of other lives. You’re gifting them an expansion of mind and soul wrapped up in pure entertainment. But it’s more than that.

If you gift someone a book, it’s obviously something you think is worth the time. So you’re sharing a thing that resonated in your soul. Your gift includes a part of you, an insight into who you are, a thing you want that person to share. When you gift someone a book, you’re saying, “This is a journey I went on and it moved me. I want you to feel that. Here, have the same journey, from me, for free.” That alone is an incredible gift.

You’re also gifting them something to echo back to you, because when they’ve read the book it gives you both something to talk about, to dissect. That way you get even deeper into each other’s experience.

But it’s more than just a gift for your friends, family, whoever. It’s a gift to the author too. You’ve given the author more readers, and honestly, that’s the best kind of gift we can ever get (other than a book!) If the person enjoyed the book, they might also give it to someone else, and the whole process repeats for gifter, reader, and author. And when that author gets more readers, it means publishers have confidence in them and they get to write more books. That’s a gift for everyone who gave the book and everyone who received it. More books!

And the beauty of a physical book is that it can be given over and over again. Sure, authors would love more sales, but the sharing of enthusiasm is powerful. They can regift and pass on not only the story, but the enthusiasm. (And no, this isn’t an excuse for piracy where you replicate a digital file indefinitely. Don’t be that arsehole. Real books wear out, or they stop with one person who buys new copies for other people.)

So if you want to give someone the best possible present, give them a book you loved. Give everyone who matters to you copies of the books that moved you. It’s a special kind of magic.