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Elmo, Jon Stewart, Dan Brown and more plug books as gifts

December 11, 2008 |  3:13 pm

The Assn. of American Publishers has shot video of some of publishing's biggest names to tell all of us, this holiday season, to give books. Almost all the participating authors begin with "Books make great gifts, because... " Oddly, it's Elmo who kicks the whole thing off -- isn't he supposed to be three and a half? Is he telling little kids to go shopping? Anyway, there are plenty of adults authors, I suppose: Mary Higgins Clark, Dean Koontz, Dan Brown, Frank McCourt, Maya Angelou, Julie Andrews, Jim Cramer. And there is some irony from the reliably dry Jon Stewart -- "they are an amazing way to kill time while your website is buffering."

If you like the idea of giving books but don't know where to start -- in which case, you're probably new to the Jacket Copy blog, because we've been rife with book recommendations lately -- there is a website with books-as-gifts ideas from the AAP.

But truly puzzling is Alec Baldwin. He says, "Book make great gifts, because you don't have to plug them in." What does that mean?

-- Carolyn Kellogg

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