I am in present buying panic mode; not only do I have no idea what to get my darling family for Christmas this year, I’ve got to send if off by Thursday otherwise Royal Mail dare not guarantee it gets to New Zealand before Santa does. Oh December, how did you become so sneaky and just creep up on me like this? At least for a certain someone’s gift I can still do what I usually do… go on a mad shopping frenzy the week leading up to Christmas but this doesn’t work when your family are on the other side of the world!
So, what does one buy the parents who insist they ‘want nothing’ but really, really want something, and that something better not be socks or hand cream? Or the sister who for the last year has been basking in the newly moneyed glory of being a fully fledged career woman and enjoying all the disposable income perks that come with it? Or even harder still… the much cooler younger ‘bro’ who is about to enter university with all the confidence in the world?
One could make the argument that in the age of the world wide web, there’s no need for reference books anymore because you can just google anything. I’m guilty of this; when my boss and I are debating the meaning of some obscure word, she turns to the Oxford dictionary and I turn to dictionary.com, and I often wonder if the younger generation even know what Encyclopaedia Britannica are?! If they’ve only ever known the internet, why would they bother reading through paragraphs of information in the hopes of finding the answer to their question when you can ask google directly?
Some would say cookbooks fall into this category of defunct reference books because why have only one version of a recipe when the magic of the internet can give you thousands, within seconds. I used to be one of these people but I’ve recently fallen back in love with cookbooks. The internet can give me a million and one versions of a dish but it helps if I already know what I want to cook. Trouble is, a lot of the time, I don’t, and for me, flipping through a cookbook is a lot easier than trawling through the internet. Particularly when the food stylist has done their job right.