As the gift giving season is fast approaching, we are all once again faced with the time-honored and traditional question; "What do I get for __________ ?"  Sure, some of the people are easy to buy for - you may have even bought a few "sure thing" presents already.  However, everybody has at least one person on their list that is very difficult to buy for.  You are in luck - a brand new category of presents from the past has opened up once again!

For the 3rd year in a row, real paper and ink book sales are on the rise!  With sales of e-books on an opposite but similar decline, one can only surmise that physical books are making a comeback over their electronic competitors.  It makes sense if you think about it - the feel and smell of a book creates more of a memorable sensation than another cold digital device.  Plus, your real book never runs out of batteries.  Even if your target already has the e-version of their favorite book - they are sure to enjoy an honest to goodness copy with pages and everything more than a gift card for more e-books.

Analog music is not only making a comeback, it never really left.  There's something to be said for the physical media with all of the printed lyrics, pictures, and notes that help set the tone for the music you are about to consume.  The format itself makes the album experience possible.  Some artists are trying to paint a picture that can only be appreciated when several songs come together - a concept that downloading tracks selectively simply won't allow.  If you've got a music lover on your Christmas list, consider getting them some delicious vinyl (record, LP, etc) from their favorite artist.  After a brief absence from the retail world - records and record players are widely available again.  Roughly 200,000 records are sold each week in the US.

In fact, many things that were once thought to be on their way to extinction.  According to the New York Times - records, board games, instant-film cameras, paper notebooks, and more "analog" items are enjoying a second age of popularity.

Personally, I enjoy a mix of the two.  Having the ability to pick and choose what kind of television is way better than having to wait for my favorite show to hit the screen - but, I do enjoy playing a board game with my family once a week.  I like the slower pace because it gives us time to talk and laugh with each other in a way that fast-paced video games don't allow.  Additionally, I prefer the feel and smell of a real book over the coldness of another tablet.