Books Are Great Gifts 2011We’re well into December and everywhere you go you’re barraged with messages about merchandise and services to buy during the holidays. While the commercial aspects of the holidays can wear a person down, there’s a reason behind the message: Giving.

Books make great gifts. Since we began in 2009, LitChat has devoted the month of December to promoting the cause of supporting the literary community–authors, publishers, bookstores–and delighting our friends and relatives with the gift of books.

Each year we have held an auction of books signed and donated by authors. This is a unique book auction, as it takes place entirely through Twitter. All funds go directly to a children’s literacy charity, this year’s beneficiary is Reader to Reader. You can learn more about previous year’s auction here. We are delighted this year to place the books of 17 authors on the Twitter auction block, beginning this Friday, December 9, from 6-11 p.m. ET. You may download a copy of the 2011 BAGG Auction Catalog.

We’ll be talking about holiday books and favorite gift books this week during our moderated chats through #litchat on Twitter on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 4 p.m.

You can show your support for giving books as gifts by adding a Twibbon to your Twitter and/or Facebook profile.

New this year is #litchatpicks2011, a hashtag we’ve generated for you to post your favorite books released in 2011. These don’t have to be the big books, the highbrow award winners, the critically acclaimed books, but your favorite books. The ones you tell all of your friends about. The ones you’ll read again. The ones you’ll give as gifts.

We’ll archive the #litchatpicks2011 feed, but we’ll also glean the top 10 #litchat picks and post the list in January.

Wishing you a festive holiday season.