My kids like books. No wonder, their parents did. And my friends do too. At Christmas I'm always reminded of one of the sadder trends of our time, the disappearance of the local book store.
That doesn't mean I'm giving worse or fewer books than I once did. Washington, where I live, has a large, excellent book called "Politics and Prose" with big stock, knowledgeable clerks, everything you could want. They know how to ship their stock too, wherever you want it sent.
No, what I miss about the old neighborhood stores--there were two near me--is that whenever I felt like it, I could walk over and browse. I might see a cover on a display book that got me interested, might see a new book by a favorite author I didn't know had written one--that kind of thing. I miss browsing, finding something unexpected. There's no way to do it nowadays.
Don't worry, friends. Gift books from me will be as carefully selected as always and I hope you like them. It's just that choosing them used to be a little more fun a decade or two ago.