There's something wonderful about gifting someone with a book you read and loved, knowing they'll dive in to the same world you explored through text on a page.
These days, you're likely to find that friends are instead reading their books on an e-reader like the Nook, Kindle, or iPad, a transition that seemingly makes book-gifting a challenge. After all, you can't put a bow on an intangible file.
Gifting someone with an e-book is a lot easier than it seems, but will vary depending on which e-reading device he or she owns. Once you find out what kind of e-reader your friend uses, follow the respective instructions for gifting that person with an e-book.
Find the Nook Book on the Barnes and Noble Web site, and click "Buy as gift." You'll have to register for an account -- which is annoying -- and then you'll fill out a form before completing the purchase.
During the purchase process, you can set a delivery date, so that the recipient receives your gift on his or her birthday (or other special occasion). When the e-book gift is received, your friend will have the option to redeem the book or trade it in for a gift card or Nook app.
Head to Amazon and find the Kindle version of the book you want to gift. Then click the "Give as Gift" button.
You can choose to e-mail the e-book gift to the recipient with a future delivery date, or print out a voucher (which you can then place in a greeting card).
iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch
With an iOS device, e-book gift-giving is a little trickier. You can't gift books from the iBookstore in iTunes, so instead you'll have to purchase a gift card with a note that includes your suggested book title.
The other option is to buy your friend a Nook or Kindle book and suggest he or she reads the book with one of those free iOS apps.
Android phones and tablets
Although Google Play does indeed sell e-books, there's currently no way to gift them. Instead, buy the recipient a gift card and attach a note that includes a suggested title.
Alternatively, purchase an e-book for Kindle, Nook, or even Kobo, and suggest that your friend download one of the free accompanying apps.