Dispatches from the Digital Revolution

All I want for Christmas is a digital file…?



As the holidays are fast approaching, I wondered, how does someone give an ebook for Christmas? Are people even giving ebooks as gifts these days?

As a non-ereader owner, it’s hard for me to imagine even asking for an ebook or giving an ebook. The gift seems far from personal, and an ebook’s intangible quality seems to lack a level of thoughtfulness and meaning. I mean it’s not like you can wrap an e-book…

Take this post for instance, which asks: is it even possible to give an ebook as a meaningful gift? The answer:

“The ever-increasing prominence of all-digital media does pose a problem for gift-giving: How do you give something so intangible a personal touch? The answer is, sometimes you just can’t.”

Don’t agree? If you do want to give an ebook for Christmas (which I am not necessarily advising), how do you do it? Open Road Integrated Media, a digital publisher and multimedia content company, recently launched “The Gift of E” in order to help people do just that. Their site reads:

“Want to skip the long lines, packed parking lots and crowded malls this holiday season? Give an ebook – it’s personal, quick, and easy.”

You can choose a platform, and a short how-to video will follow. However, most require you to purchase a gift card for the gift’s recipient to purchase a book. I guess it’s helpful for those who are unfamiliar with e-devices, but most of the ebook buying experiences seem fairly intuitive.

The site claims purchasing an ebook as a gift is quick and easy. I can see that. But personal? Really? You might as well give them some cash to buy a book themselves.

I say if you are going to give a book this Christmas, or any future gifts, go to a bookstore, spend time browsing the books, put thought into the selection, and purchase a print book for your relative or friend.

I’m curious what you think. Are you thinking of giving an ebook, or have you already purchased an ebook for someone?  If so, is it because the person asked for an e-version of a particular book, or do you think it’s just a good gift idea?


This entry was posted on December 23, 2011 by in Culture, Opinion, Technology and tagged , , .

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