Help Finding the Perfect Gift for Readers

24 Oct

Gifts for Book Lovers and ReadersI’m a book junkie.

I collect books, and they have always been a favorite gift of mine both to give and receive.

If you are looking for a great gift for the reader in your life, you’ve found the right spot.

Take a peek through my gift ideas for readers:

1. Kindle Reader

I want one. Bad.

If you don’t know what a Kindle is: it is the most popular digital book reader around. It can store more books than most people will read in a lifetime.

Kindle Family

Here are some of the awesome features of the Kindle Reader:

– Massive Selection
Over 1 million books, newspapers, and magazines, including latest bestsellers, Kindle exclusives, and more.

– Low Book Prices
Over 800,000 books are $9.99 or less.

– Free, Out-of-Copyright Books
Millions of free, out-of-copyright, pre-1923 titles such as Pride and Prejudice are available. Learn More

– Free Book Samples
Download and read first chapters for free before you decide to buy.

– Borrow From Your Public Library
Borrow Kindle books from your public library and start reading on your Kindle.

Still not convinced? All these amazing features, plus they start at under $100!

The battery life is 1-2 months depending on the model. You could load a Kindle up with 1000s of books, and live in a cave. Believe me, your book lover has day-dreamed about a similar situation.

Click the link for more info on Amazon’s Kindle

2. Gift Certificates for Online Bookstores is always my first choice. I’ve been a happy customer of for almost a decade. They always have what I am looking for, and shipping charges are very reasonable. Give the avid reader you love an gift certificate, and be confident they will find the perfect book gift for themselves.

Other bookstores worth looking at include:, Barnes & Nobles and ValoreBooks.

3. Magazine Subscriptions

Gift your reader a magazine subscription, and they’ll think of you 12 times a year. Many magazines offer gift subscription options.

Magazine Gifts from Amazon is an easy option.

There are also websites specializing in helping you find a gift magazine idea such as

That’s all for now.
Have another idea that would make a great gift for book lovers? Feel free to leave your comment below. Thanks!

Photo Credits:
Old Book Image by guldfisken

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Gift Ideas for College Students

23 Oct

Here is breakdown of cool and/or useful gift ideas for college / university students. I will be updating this page with new ideas and links, as I find them.

1. Feed Me

Give certificates for Grocery stores is a great gift, ideally forcing the student to purchase something not fast food or from a vending machine.

Pizza as a GiftTons of restaurants and fast food chains offer gift cards if you want to be more realistic with your students cooking skills.

Some pizza places allow for “gift pizzas” — the perfect birthday gift for your favorite student away from home. I know PizzaHut was doing this years ago, not sure if they still do.

2. Entertainment Me

Lucky for you — your college student is immersed in the digital age. Making the gift of entertainment very easy, and most times instant. For instance, you could buy a iTunes gift card… or a gift subscription to Netflix. offers a variety of books, movies and music in both digital and physical formats. has great gift card options — even allowing instant delivery of gift cards by email or even Facebook.

3. Help me, I’m Useless

This kind of goes along with the inability to cook for themselves.

Other problems student often have include doing the laundry and cleaning up after themselves. Giving you the perfect opportunity for a great gift: laundry cleaner or housekeeping gift certificates.

You can generally find them by doing a google search for the city + the service you are looking for. Add “gift certificates” to your search, and I’m sure you’ll find a suitable service that does gift options.

Photo Credits:
Maid Photo by Michael Dorausch
Pizza Image by avlxyz

Have your own great gift ideas for students? Leave your comment below. Thanks!


Better Christmas Gifts and Shopping Tips for Kids

23 Oct

I’ve been a mom for 12 Christmas’s now, and I have some tips to share.

Gift Ninja's guide to Christmas Shopping

Illustrated by Toni Allen

My parents spent thousands of dollars every year on just me and my little sister… as a child, Christmas was a big deal.

I would wake up to mountains of wrapped presents to unwrap. When I started my own family, I wanted to give my kids the same. I spent thousands of dollars on Christmas presents every year, until recently.

I watched all the awesome toys, clothes and games I bought my kids go to waste…generally within only a few months. One year I spent hundreds of dollars on Pokemon stuff: video games, cards, stuffies, etc… but the fad was over within 3 months.

All the time, effort and money I put into getting those awesome presents for my kids was wasted.

Never again would I buy a “fad toy”.

Instead I buy each kid 1 big awesome gift. A big awesome gift that won’t get thrown away or fade into uncoolness before next December. Then I buy a few other big awesome gifts “for the family”. For example last year I budgeted only $750 for all 3 kids. This is what I got:

12 year old – Nice Guitar
10 year old – Nice Keyboard
Plus a cool Amp with built in effects for both of them.
8 year old – Giant Lego Set
All three kids: Used Laptop from Ebay ($200 delivered)

Christmas Shopping for KidsAll of these items are still getting played with, everyday. Success!

This year, I will be doing something similar.

Here are some great gift ideas for kids that won’t get thrown away:

Lessons – Karate lessons, dance, singing, guitar, pottery, whatever… Give your kid 6 months worth of lessons to an activity of their choice.

Musical Instruments – This works even better with multiple kids. Praise one child for practicing their instrument and the other ones will compete for the attention. You end up with the next Jackson Five.

Another year I bought the kids a smaller gift each (mp3 players), and then one giant present for all three of them — a child size Quad (like a dirt bike with 4 wheels). This is another good idea for bigger families: one big present for all, and a smaller present for each. An expensive video game set for the family, and a game for each of the kids.

Warning: not giving into fads can make kids angst-y…just remind them that they are building character. They won’t believe you, but will have a hard time arguing against this vague concept of “character”.

Good luck parents!

Photo Credits: Christmas Tree Image by scottfeldstein

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Last Minute Gifts for Geeks

23 Oct

Shopping for the geek in your life, with no time to spare?
Gifts for GeeksYou’ve come to the right place.

This page will be updated with new ideas as I find them.
Last update: October 2011

Below you will find my top picks for geeky-gifts that have same day (instant) delivery options, along with what sort of payment options they accept:

Amazon Instant Gift Cards

Amazon sells almost everything a geek could want: books, video games, gadgets, etc. They also offer tons of downloadable content like music, movies and phone apps. Plus, they make it super easy to give gift cards good for anything they sell.

Instant gift delivery methods include: Gift cards sent by email or even by Facebook! Though it may not be the most personal gift, Amazon tries to help you personalize your gift by offering a variety of digital greeting cards you can send your special geek.

Check out Amazon Gift Cards for more info.

Gamer Gift Cards

Does your geek love their xBox, Wii,  or Playstation3? Gamer gift cards let them purchase games, movies, digital content, etc for their favorite gaming system. There are a few online services that allow you to purchase physical game gift cards…then they scratch them, scan them, and send you the code. This happens almost instantly. All you need to do is forward the scratched gift card image email to your geeky gamer gift recipient.

The card scratching charges a few dollars on top of the face-value of the gaming card. So, you’ll be paying $24 for a $20 card. – This is how I purchase my game cards for Playstation 3 and my Wii. My cards generally arrived within an hour.

CardCodes takes a variety of payment options including Paypal, and cater to an international audience.


Domain Name and/or Hosting

Does your geek want to make a website? What could be a better instant gift than a .com ?

One option could be registering an account at, then deposit a few dollars in the Namecheap account via the “Add Funds” link ($20 is enough for 2 domain names). Then send an email to the gift recipient with the login details for the Namecheap account, explaining there is enough cash for them to buy a few .coms.

Namecheap also offers hosting, so if you put say $50 in the gift recipients new Namecheap account, they would have enough cash to buy a .com and host it for a year.

Alternatively, if your geek already owns a domain, but doesn’t have hosting…you could buy them an account at, a year of hosting costs about $100. For more info about domains and hosting, see my guides on buying a domain name, and finding a web host.

I dig NameCheap because they accept Paypal and Google Checkout as payment options. Gift Certificates

Not sure what gift to give? There is always some cool new gadget at ThinkGeek worth oogling over.

These gift certificates will please the most demanding geek in your life. They are available in custom amounts and are delivered via email and can be used immediately.

More info on ThinkGeek Gift Certificates

Have an instant gift idea for a geek not listed here? Feel free to leave a comment below. Thanks!

Photo Credits: Geek photo by jez

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Traditional Gift Ideas & Gourment Baskets

30 Sep

Wine. Chocolates. Flowers. Balloons.

Whether you are shopping for an Anniversary, New Baby, Birthday or other holiday, GiftTree makes it easy to find the perfect traditional gift.

GiftTree also offers gift wrapping, easy delivery options and personalized engraved gifts. Their online store is one of the easiest gift shops I have navigated — making it simple to find the perfect present for someone special.

Look at their “Top 10 Gift Ideas” for GiftTree’s best sellers. They have “Top 10 Gifts for Men” to “Top 10 Gifts for Business” and everything in between.

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