questionshave you got any gift ideas?

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Buying gifts for best friends can be so difficult. This may not be want you want, but how about asking him for a list of his favorite sci-fi books and then purchase them for his Kindle. I know when I bought my Kindle, there were quite a few of my all-time favorites (even though I had them in hardback) that I wanted to add to my KIndle reading.

This way, he will think of you when he sees them on his home page.

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@barnabee: Thanks. I'd prefer to give something more tactile, and I'd like to give a single, larger gift. I am planning to pick up a cover and accessory pack for the kindle. I wanted to get a customized case but we have so many travel photos (in the tens of thousands) that it's hard to decide which to use. Maybe one of him ziplining with "kawabunga!" written on it. But if he uses the protective leather foldover case then there's not a lot of point in getting a snap-on back case with a custom photo. Either way, those fall under smallish gifts and I wanted something more substantive. One year I gave him a full Scottish kit to go with his utili-kilt, a Sgian-dubh (kilt dagger), a leather sporan (kilt purse) with Celtic knotwork, kilt hose (socks), one square foot of land in Scotland and a real title of Scottish Lairdship. Another year I got him RT tickets to Japan for the World Sci Fi Con (used frequent flyer miles). Last year I got him an Olympus Tough waterproof camera.

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Something like this:
http://www.bedeals.com/noon-bedeal (the link is only going to work to this product for 24-hours).

It is a speaker dock for the Fire and will add to the enjoyment of the tablet. These can be found at Amazon and other places. I just happened to see it earlier today at this site.

(I make this suggestion on the assumption that the Kindle he has is the TABLET (Fire), not the reader. If he received a reader, get him a tablet as you originally planned. There is room for both, as the tablet can do a bunch of stuff that reader cannot).

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@moondrake: Whoa, you are way out of my league. Good luck in your quest!

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If someone beat you to the future of reading, go to the past with a first edition of a classic sci-fi book. First edition, first printings are sometimes way expensive, but first edition subsequent printings are doable for $150.

Like this first edition Slaughterhouse Five, $69 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Slaughterhouse-Five-Kurt-Vonnegut-Jr-1st-Edition-Delacorte-Press-1969-/251300465265?pt=Antiquarian_Collectible&hash=item3a82acca71).

Or this first edition of Bradbury's "The Fireman," the first incarnation of Farenheit 451, $149 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Galaxy-Science-Fiction-February-1951-RAY-BRADBURY-1st-Fahrenheit-451-Fireman-/221184638232?pt=Antiquarian_Collectible&hash=item337fa1bd18)

Not only could he read these—fulfilling your original intention—but they are history and art (in fact, either could probably be framed in a deep diorama-type display/frame). Not to mention, just danged cool.

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@morriea: That's a good one. What he has is a 7" Kindle HD. I don't know anything about kindles, before he got this one I hadn't seen one in person, my social circle is doing tablets. So I'll have to look at this and see if it will fit.

@barnabee: He's the only person on my gift list that gets these kinds of gifts. But he's my bestie, and he helps me so much I really don't know what I'd do without him.

@dupedyetagain: Nice idea for a OOAK gift, thanks!

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Buy him a subscription to Audible so he can listen to the books he reads either as he reads them or when in the car or when his hands are full. you can listen to the audio books from the kindle, a pc, a smartphone or tablet, or download it to an mp3 player. many books from amazon "wisper sync" to the audible book (as they are owned by amazon) meaning if you are reading and are really nto the story but need to drive somewhere or make dinner you close the book on the kindle, hit sync on kindle and then hit play on the audible version on the device and it strts reading from the top of the page. The Narrators are great and professional and so far outstrip the "microsoft sam" voice the kindle "reads" the books to you in that they are not even in the same league.

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Or my wife is on the publishing team for the virgina edition the complete work of Robert Heinlen. Might be more than you want to spend but they ship in sets and you could start the collection for him with just a few.
{blushes at shameless plug}

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@moondrake: The 7" Kindle HD is the Fire and a tablet.

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@philosopherott: Heinlein is my favorite author. Wow, $1500? Hmm, I guess I could take a loan out on the house.

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As a fall-back, you can supplement whatever else you decide on with a gift card to Amazon so he can buy his own books. They ship overnight for free and come in a really gorgeous black box with orange ribbon, to help meet that desire for a tactile sensation.

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@barnabee: it is 46 hard covers that are serialized. That is only ~32.60 a book. There are payment plans.

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In a different direction : How about a llama ?
I started giving my dear friend shares of a water buffalo, until she had the whole thing--jokes on what parts ;-).Then started on another animal. She has loved it. It's a running joke between us as well as a great gift. She, ( and from the sounds of it your friend is also in this category) doesn't need/want any more stuff. She gets great joy from her water buffalo. And someone somewhere is having a better life for it.
I suggested the llama for your friend for a couple reasons. !. A whole llama can be had for $150.
2. You could give it along with the BNL CD "If I had a million dollars" The lyrics include : "I'd buy you an exotic pet. Like a llama or an emu."
3.You could find a cool stuffed toy llama or tickets to the zoo, or BNL concert, or llama wool sweater, or book on llamas.
Your imagination in packaging it is the limit.
It's a fantastic pay it forward group.

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@philosopherott: My apologies. I didn't mean to make it sound like I think the book set is not worth it. I'm sure it is. The problem is that I can't afford it. :(

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@ceagee: Cool idea. When I arranged his retirement party here at work we couldn't think of anything to give him so everyone chipped in ten trees and we bought him a whole forest at Trees for the Future. He seemed to really like that.

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@barnabee: no not at all.. i know it is pricey