If it's digital books your family and friends love to read, Apple has a gift for them and for you. After long being the company's sole online store without gifting options, the iBookstore now allows you to send ebooks to your friends and family.
While likely prompted by the holiday season and the promise of many iPads and iPhones under the tree, gifting in the iBookstore is a welcome sight regardless. The ebooks shop has long lacked any sort of gifting options despite the fact that Apple's App Store has had them since 2010, and iTunes well before that.
Gifting in the iBookstore works identically to Apple's iTunes and App Store counterparts: Just choose the book you'd like to gift, then tap either the dropdown arrow next to the price (on a Mac) or the Share button (on an iOS device). On a Mac, select "Gift This Book"; on iOS, choose "Gift"--then add the recipient's email, the sender's name, a brief message, and the date you want it sent (now, or later). One note: On iOS, it looks like you have to tap the "Today" field under "Send Gift" in order to change to a different date.
Like all of Apple's other stores, you can only gift a book to someone in the same country as you--there's currently no support for gifting internationally.