If you are giving giving books for gifts, consider buying them used. Often, they still look brand-new!
I have bought used books from the following places:
Used book stores
Some of their used books are .01! (you do pay shipping on these--usually $3.99). Just look for the books you want and see if they have some for sale that are used.
Also, I have seen great cook books, children's books, and art instruction books
(brand-new) for very little at Joann's and Michael's stores around Christmas time. These are usually hardcover, too! I have bought hardcover cookbooks for $1-$5 and unabridged children's classics for $4.
I have packaged an Italian cookbook with dried basil, oregano, and parsley, balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
Download free audio books and give them as gifts