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Category: Speed Reading

How Reading Books Can Make You A Better Person


Next time you’re bored out of your mind, don’t reach for your smartphone, reach for a book instead. Reading books provides a range of benefits you may not be aware of. In fact, the more books you
read, the more awesome you will be.

Reading makes you (more) empathetic

Reading fiction gives you an inside peek into scenarios and realities you couldn’t otherwise live yourself. This opens up your critical thinking capabilities and activates your empathy sensors. You become more aware and sensitive to people’s plights, cultures, and customs, and feel more forgiving and nurturing where you might have once been condescending or inflexible.

Reading is an immersive experience

A good novel will have you questioning reality. A good novel will drag you so deeply into its plot that your identification with the protagonist will be mind-blowing and reality-blurring. Enough said.

Reading is knowledge

You can watch a documentary or tutorial to learn a new skill but nothing beats the original experience of reading, processing, and understanding new knowledge or how-tos all by yourself.

Reading is a bottomless chest from which you will always be able to get a few jewels — with each book and each tale.

Reading is traveling for your soul

Reading helps you leave all your workaday troubles behind, even if for a short moment. It empties your mind until you’re powerful enough to confront your daily demons.

Reading is entertainment

For the bibliophiles out there, reading is a matchless experience. Reading gives you immense joy. It engages your senses and enthralls your mind with scenery, plots, and mind-blowing images.

Reading makes you interesting

From learning smart, little-known facts, to initiating great discussions with friends, reading makes you a knowledgeable, interesting person people will love to hang out with.

Reading is inspiration

Reading stimulates your creativity. You start thinking critically and more boldly, all because you’ve already been exposed to various scenarios and have garnered the tools and knowledge to be less ordinary and more unique.

Reading is growth

Even if you don’t read a self-improvement book per se, virtually any well-written book will help you become a better person. From building your self-esteem to becoming better at decision-making, books give you the tools to cope with life’s conundrums — and the ever-important Zombie apocalypse.

Reading is power

It’s a cliché but it’s nonetheless true: reading empowers you. The knowledge and worlds you experience when reading give you confidence and wisdom on how to deal with real life situations more gracefully and wisely.

Reading is your key to becoming a better person in all aspects of your life

Reading is how you improve your marketability, your communication skills, your empathy and emotional intelligence, your appeal — and even your sexiness. Reading is one of the few habits known to man that you can never have too much of. So go on, read on!

Bonus benefit

If you speed read you get to reap all these benefits in a shorter time. Awesome, right?


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What Do Harry Potter, Reading, and Brain Scans Have In Common? An Experiment With Fascinating Results

Scientists recently looked into the brain activity of people caught up in reading a page-turner, J. K. Rowling’s popular “Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone.” The experiment helped measure brain activity during reading, and it is shedding light on the questions surrounding how our brains work, how they make sense of reality, and what they experience when we read.

The eight subjects that participated in the Carnegie Mellon University were reading the ninth chapter of the first Harry Potter book, one that revolves around a flying lesson.

What scientists discovered is that when the participants were reading about the movements and efforts of Harry Potter to ride his broom and fly, this activated the brain regions that people use when they try to detect and understand other people’s movements. In other words, reading and interpreting real-life events activate the same brain regions.

The flying lesson chapter the participants were asked to read was also one laden with emotions. In this chapter, Harry is confronted with the bully Malfoy and at one point meets a three-headed dog. The many events and emotions described in this chapter helped scientists extract some important conclusions from the study.

The scientists discovered that during the reading experiment, when people were reading about a person’s point of view or character, the brain region that lit up was the one associated with how people interpret other people’s actions. As the scientists explain, “Similarly, the characters in the story are associated with activation in the same brain region we use to process other people’s intentions.” Source

This reveals that what we read truly engages our brain and activates complex processes so that we can understand  what we’re reading, both in terms of language and in terms of narrative.

In other words, whether we’re reading about how a protagonist tries to decipher a person’s actions by trying to figure out what their intentions are, or whether we are trying to decipher these intentions in a person sitting next to us, the same brain regions come into play.

While previous studies focused on individual words and sentences to understand how the brain processes language, by looking at language and brain activity through the act of reading, we get a much richer overview of how the brain responds to this complex process. The reader is expected to decipher the meaning of words and put this meaning in context. The reader needs to use grammar and context clues, and at the same time keep up with how the characters develop and how the plot proceeds through the various events introduced in the narrative.

This research is a big step towards better understanding of how the brain operates and processes visual and linguistic stimuli, and how reading affects our brain. It’s not the first time that scientists have used reading as the vehicle for monitoring brain activity. Reading is a cognitively complex process that seems to hold the key to many of our brain’s mysteries — mysteries that, as yet, are still unsolved.


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Combine New and Old Skills to Achieve More!

It seems that everyone is in a constant frenzied pursuit of more happiness, more money, more skills, more power. This pursuit doesn’t have to be entirely random and chaotic, though. You can achieve all these things if you can prioritize wisely. For instance, you cannot earn more money if you lack the necessary tech skills to succeed in the modern marketplace, and you cannot find everlasting happiness unless you engage in some self-reflection and life evaluation first.

If you combine new and modern skills with tried-and-true wisdom, you will be able to prepare yourself for a brighter future.

Leadership

Leadership is an umbrella term for being an assertive, resourceful, and confident individual. A leader is someone who’s bold enough to take risks, and yet wise enough to take these risks only at the most appropriate times.

Leadership is an attribute that will make you stand out and help you achieve more in life.

Emotional Intelligence

While our school curriculum focuses on teaching us math, science, languages and other skills, what classes are we taking that nurture and grow our emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is more than a fancy, trendy term. It’s an ability that’s essential in our homes, our offices, our societies, and our schools.

Emotional intelligence is an increased empathy, sensitivity, and awareness of your own feelings, moods, and attitude – as well as those of others. Emotional intelligence helps you make the most out of your personal potential, and also avoid interpersonal crises while nurturing a benevolent overall culture in all possible contexts.

Time Management

Time management is an essential skill. In fact, time management is the alpha and the omega when it comes to conquering goal after goal. With good time management comes better organizational skills, and the two combined ensure you can reach your goals in a time-efficient, impressive fashion.

Teamwork

In the world of digital collaboration, massive open online courses, and Ed Tech, it’s obvious that without basic teamwork you cannot achieve everything you want. In fact, you will achieve more if you don’t always work alone. Studies are now focusing on the fact that solitary work habits cannot compete with the results and side benefits of collaboration.

Cultivate your teamwork skills and you will realize the true power of collaborative thinking and acting at your job, in your home, and with your family and friends.

Tech Skills

Innate and learned skills will only get you so far if they don’t relate to today’s modern lifestyle. Our world is a tech-driven one, and if you are not adept at using new technologies, chances are you’re going to be left behind.

While you watch other people speed read and touch type their way to success, you will be struggling with slow-paced skills and outdated keyboarding techniques. The only way forward is by being time-efficient at everything you do.

Speed Reading

Since the digital content revolution, the amount of new knowledge syndicated every minute grows nonstop. This has made many people anxious and overwhelmed by the sheer amount of content they must handle every day in order to keep themselves up to date with new developments.

That’s where speed reading comes in. With speed reading, you can read efficiently and always be in the know. If knowledge is power, with speed reading you become invincible.

Touch Typing

Another time-based skill is keyboarding. With work, entertainment, and communication being mostly done through computer monitors and touch screens, it’s only reasonable to want to improve your touch typing skills and make the most out of your time every day.

Digital Literacy

Educational platforms, mobile apps, the Cloud, online research, blogging and coding. The list of tech skills we are expected to at least be aware of is continually growing.

While it’s probably not realistic to try to master all possible tech skills, having a general idea as to the most popular and essential ones will ensure you can keep up with the rest of the competition and make certain your lack of digital literacy doesn’t stand in the way of your aspirations.

Level Up With The Right Business Skills

It’s true that “business skills” is a vague concept simply because it encompasses so many varied and often contradictory qualifications. Some insist that essential business skills are leadership and organization, while others point out more human-centric ones such as kindness and empathy— always depending of course on what kind of business we’re talking about in terms of size, niche, and mission.

Nonetheless, there are certain timeless business skills that can leverage any company’s success. The diversity of business skills mentioned below might seem daunting or even impossible for a single person, but through persistent effort, any skill can be mastered.

Business Management

Finance Management

A business’ sole reason for existence is profit, so it’s essential to be able to financially monitor your business so that the right choices will lead to sales and profit increases. Basic financial concepts, software, and strategic business approaches are necessary in building a solid basis for your business.

Human Resources Management

Business management is about efficiently taking care of your employees. This includes:

  • providing them incentives and adequate training to keep them up with the latest developments,

  • providing a fruitful, non-threatening environment to work in

  • ensuring your employees are at all times satisfied with their work environment and invested in the success of your business

Vision Plus Passion

These two could easily be labeled personality traits, but we feel they’re learnable skills. Having passion and vision allows anyone to succeed; these are qualities that drive innovation, creativity, and success no matter your niche or product. Vision is what will get you ahead of the competition and onto the right route; passion is what will keep you motivated enough to keep trying until you achieve your company’s goals.

Adaptability

The times when sticking to insufficient patterns and approaches are long behind us. Today’s business models are about flexibility and swift adaptability to new conditions. Strategies might be efficient but they’re never 100% under your control, because there are circumstances that will affect your business that are beyond your reach. The sooner you can acknowledge their irreversibility and try to adapt to these changes, the smaller the loss for you.

Strategic Planning and Decision Making

It ultimately boils down to making all the right choices. It’s about critically and thoroughly exhausting all possibilities to arrive at the desired end-point fast, unharmed, stronger than before. Strategic planning and decision making are two aspect of business management you will be confronted with, day in and day out. The more proficient you are in the techniques and approaches available to you, the better the choices you’ll make.

Trusting Others

People with start-ups often have this irrational urge to have everything under their own personal control. But as a business grows and gathers more opportunities for expansion, the efficiency with which a business can be managed by one person drops dramatically.

You see, it’s a skill to acknowledge your own limitations, to admit that you cannot control everything and everyone, and that sometimes it’s okay to delegate some tasks to other people. Trust doesn’t stop here, however. It’s not enough to be willing to assign tasks to people, it’s also about choosing the most competent person for each task. Now that’s a challenge.

Networking and Marketing Skills

Marketing Strategies

Increasing sales can be achieved with strategic marketing campaigns. Freebies, sweepstakes, and contests can gain your brand visibility and encourage people to talk about your business. Promoting your products/services to new audiences and focusing on target groups you may have previously thought of as irrelevant is a skill you ought to acquire if you wish to have constant (though sometimes gradual) growth.

Establishing Lasting Relationships

Good connections with existing customers increase loyalty and return customer numbers. Customer loyalty doesn’t just happen – it requires perseverance on your part to keep your customers engaged, interested, and willing to return to your doorstep, virtual or physical. Social media marketing is becoming ubiquitous and it’s certainly a skill that is easily learned but capable of increasing engagement and driving sales.

Becoming An Industry-Leading Company

Yes, even this is a skill: the skill to identify new trends or paradigm shifts early on, before your competition, and ease into an industry change smoothly and loss-free.

Other Business Management Skills

Bravery

It all boils down to being brave. If you’re brave you will find the courage to be honest with an under-performing employee, or have the power to acknowledge your own mistakes rather than ignoring them.

Speed Reading

In order to keep up with all the news and developments in your field and beyond, you must have speed reading skills, otherwise you’ll be lost in a sea of information. If you’re a slow reader, research can actually be a counterproductive process, taking away valuable time and providing you with only marginal benefits and little new knowledge. Speed reading software is a powerful tool that can increase your reading speed, helping you to always be on top of what’s happening and what you can do to implement new strategies.

Time Management

As illustrated by the reading skills issue discussed above, time is an ever-present limitation for any business. Time management is a must-have tool, helping you efficiently organize your time and energy, prioritize the most significant tasks, and deliver to the best of your power.

Why Reading Is Important For All Age Groups


I am reading. You are reading. Grandma’s reading and father’s reading too. This is not a nursery rhyme, it’s a manifesto about reading’s universal appeal and importance.

Everybody has the right to read, no matter their age. More importantly, there’s really no clear category distinction as to what a person can read and when. If you’re a 52 year old mother of three and enjoy reading Young Adult literature, that’s OK. If you find The Little Prince mesmerizing after all these years and enjoy reading it to your 3-year old girl more than she likes to listen to it, that’s also OK. Reading as a habit has a multitude of benefits, and putting artificial restrictions on this habit, or constricting the scope of reading options, is rather pointless.

Reading for Young Children

Children that get into the habit of reading will be pleased and astonished by how quickly it becomes their preferred medium of gaining knowledge, losing themselves in fantasy, and expressing their creativity.

Reading unveils an immense world of countless possibilities for them. It educates them, makes them laugh, and gives them hints and clues as to what life is about. Most of the time, they don’t even realize that they’re being taught as they read.

For example, Dr. Seuss’s popular “The Star-Bellied Sneetches” is a book that uses a funny plot line to share important underlying lessons on discrimination, prejudice, and tolerance. Getting children to love reading ensures that they learn to nurture noble values and develop strong ethics and a forward-thinking worldview.

Reading for Young Adults – Adult Literature

As adolescents, many children dive into reading as a way of finding answers to thorny questions on identity, existence, sexuality, relationships, feelings, and romance.

But that’s not the only reason adolescents read. They read because reading is fun – because what they get from reading is extraordinary. Literature generously gives them inside peeks into new worlds, new tools for thinking, for being brave, for resolving issues, and for making sense of our often confusing (as some authors present it, approaching dystopic) and tech-driven lives.

Adults resort to books for the same reasons, much of the time. No matter the genre, the pursuit is always the same: a mental escape, a storehouse of new knowledge, a new way of thinking, a new breathtaking world shared between author and reader. Adults can explore difficult philosophical works to help them gain a wider understanding of the world, or revisit their youth by rereading some of their childhood favorites.

Reading for Seniors

Once you’ve been bitten by the (reading) bug, there’s no way of letting go of it. Reading becomes a daily habit that you return to, no matter what. It becomes your constant in a world permeated by continuous change and unpredictability.

But reading when you’re older is not just matter of habit. In numerous studies reading has been confirmed to help combat brain aging, and many studies have shown that reading keeps people’s thinking agile. Even everyday functions like reacting to traffic light changes or identifying a phone number improve thanks to habitual reading.

Reading for All

The extraordinary experience of reading a printed book is one that has endured for centuries. It hasn’t been compromised or weakened despite the growing popularity of other reading media like the Internet and ereaders. Instead, these new ways of reading has ensured that it has become a habit deeply entrenched in our daily lives.

We read hardcopy novels, we read digital blogs, and we learn about the latest news through the online New York Times. Reading is something that ties us together and allows us to share experiences through the stories that we tell.


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Speed Reading Software Reviews That You Might Have Missed In 2014


It’s 2015 already, but did you keep up with last year’s software reviews on speed reading software, 7 Speed Reading™? If 2015 is the year you are planning on mastering speed reading, then you ought to read what others say about eReflect’s reading improvement program.

Top Ten Reviews gives 7 Speed Reading™ a near perfect rating, 99.5%

Top Ten Reviews, a renowned software evaluator trusted by millions of Internet users, had put eReflect’s software to the test. After rigorous assessments the editor announced that the program is a leader in its category, giving the software a 9.95/10 score.

In a detailed review of the software’s features and technologies, the Top Ten Reviews editor focuses on five aspects of the program: its reading level and exercises (9.8/10), methods and materials available (10/10), features set (10/10), reporting (10/10), and finally help and support (10/10). The reviewer, Noel Case, emphasizes that the software’s entertaining and complete approach to teaching speed reading are unrivaled.

But that was in 2014.

Top Ten Reviews rates 7 Speed Reading™ with 9.95/10 for 2015

For its 2015 rankings, Top Ten Reviews insisted on its previous stellar ratings of 7 Speed Reading™ . The verdict comes as no surprise, as the editors note, saying, “User friendly, feature rich and effective, 7 Speed Reading is the best speed-reading application on the market.”

Typing Lounge and Mark Ways acknowledge 7 Speed Reading™’s superiority

Typing Lounge is another site that thoroughly tested and evaluated 7 Speed Reading™ against other reading improvement software products. Typing Lounge and Mark Ways have found that 7 Speed Reading™ offers a unique set of features and technologies that make it stand out from its competition. The reviewer stated in his 2014 review that 7 Speed Reading™ has industry-leading status thanks to its unrivaled combination of capacities and features.

Spreeder emphasizes 7 Speed Reading™’s effectiveness

A child project of 7 Speed Reading™, Spreeder, offers a review of and in-depth look at the program. This website focused the evaluation on how the program is essential in the classroom, listing the ways it is able to help children improve their reading habits and let go of habits that sabotage their academic performance.

Spreeder asserts that speed reading helps students master reading and other reading-related assignments much faster and effortlessly, motivating them to keep improving their academic efficiency. For the latest reviews of the 7 Speed Reading™ 2015 check here.

Cross-posted on the 7 Speed Reading blog.


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7 Speed Reading Declared The Best Speed Reading Software of 2015 by Speed Reading Lounge


Speed Reading Lounge proclaims 7 Speed Reading™ software by eReflect the top software for 2015. If there’s one site dedicated to the skill of speed reading that’ s Speed Reading Lounge; it helps people understand the significance of speed reading and offers them tips and how-tos on improving their reading skill so that they can learn more with less effort, and in less time.

Speed Reading Lounge recently published a detailed, comprehensive list they’ve named “Best Speed Reading Software for 2015.” 7 Speed Reading™ by eReflect topped the list with its unrivaled set of features, technologies, and benefits.

The Speed Reading Lounge top 5 list for speed reading software is as follows:

1.   7 Speed Reading™
2.   Ace Reader Lite
3.   Iris Reading
4.   Reader’s Edge
5.   EyeQ Deluxe

The Speed Reading Lounge editor used his detailed review to focuses on the fact that 7 Speed Reading™ is a popular and renowned speed reading tool. 7 Speed Reading provides a surefire way to improve reading efficiency through expert-designed lessons, activities, and interactive games that are fun to practice with. As the editor notes, this is something consumers and software editors know very well, and have known since the first release of this popular software by eReflect.

The program helps people improve their reading habits through 7 distinct reading strategies and techniques that first eliminate bad reading habits and then help the reader adopt more time-efficient and comprehension-promoting ones. The reviewer states that 7 Speed Reading™ is the go-to speed reading program, saying that it is “[r]ecommended by thousands of students and professionals who have tried and tested it. The quality of videos and exercises makes it an effective guiding tool, making it superior to its competitors. It is beneficial for anyone at any age. Family and friends can take advantage of this program as there are no limits to user accounts.”

For the Speed Reading Lounge editor, eReflect’s software is without peer. Its winning combination of features, functionality, and state-of-the-art activities and tools ensure effortless and quick improvement of anyone’s speed reading skill.

Cross-posted on the 7 Speed Reading blog.


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One Book Can Change It All: Read To A Child And Spark Their Ambition

Familiar with the characters in this short clip? Maybe you can also share it with the children of today’s generation.

The Psychology of Reading Affects How – and What – We Read

Is there some scientific rationale behind our reading habits and predilections? Why, for example, do you sometimes find that you can’t even finish a book that critics and your friends alike say they couldn’t stop reading?

Reading is a deeply mental experience people engage in on an individual, more than a social, level. A person reads for pleasure, for knowledge, for entertainment, for mentally escaping. But what’s the one factor that makes  it impossible for some readers to put a book down? Is there even one single reason that is common to every reader?

In fact, there are many reasons why people get hooked by a book. Even if a book initially disappoints a reader, readers do sometimes keep reading. There are several reasons:

  • They’re curious to find out what happens in the end.

  • They dislike the thought of leaving something unfinished.

  • They have faith the author will not disappoint them in the end.

  • They’re in the middle of a series, and have to read this book before the next one.

  • They think ending is what tells if a book was worth it or not.

GoodReads.com users cite these and others as the main reasons why they often feel they have to finish a book they’ve started. However, for some people these rules simply don’t apply. In fact, book abandonment rates are soaring, as another book list on GoodReads.com reveals.

Book Abandonment

Looking at the GoodReads.com abandoned book shelf, you quickly see that a book’s best-selling status is not a trustworthy index as to the books’ acceptance by readers. So while a book might have a groundbreaking storyline and a compelling anti-hero, not everyone will like it.

This explains why readers might have enjoyed J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, but not the style she adopts with her adult-oriented novel,  The Casual Vacancy. It also explains why classic novels like Moby Dick are not to everyone’s liking, much less the range of best-sellers found in airports around the world.

The most cited reason why we have the urge to put a book down without finishing it, according to GoodReads.com users, is a slow beginning or a non-engaging writing style. Not liking the main character, and books that have a weak plot, are two other popular reasons cited in comments on the site.

Other reasons given by people who’ve abandoned popular and classic books range from a hero’s immorality or character incongruence, to a “stupid” plot, and even bad editing of the book, especially in ebook format.

Ultimately, book reading is a truly personal experience. In fact, mood plays a vital role as to what reaction a reader will have to a given book at any given time. If you’re not in a particular mood or even stage in your life you may not like a book that would otherwise become your personal favorite if read a few years before, or later. A teen version of you would interpret Catch 22 differently than you would as a 45-year old, true? Your book selection can even change depending on the time of day or year.

The advantage of rereading books is that you know you won’t be disappointed. This is why many people seem to frequently return to old favorites, and even books that they read as children: for the extra layer of meaning and for the satisfaction of knowing they’ll enjoy the book to the very end.

Cross-posted on the 7 Speed Reading blog.


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Christmas Gift Ideas For Your Family And Friends

It’s that time of the year again! Are you ready to do your holiday shopping for your friends, relatives, and loved ones?

“Gift cards for everyone would be an excellent idea,” you might think. Everyone gets to buy what they want from a brand they love, right? But a gift card implies that you haven’t put much thought into the gift – or the person you’re giving that gift to. Buying a gift card might say, “I was too lazy to even bother look for a gift, so here’s some free money. Oh, and Merry Christmas!” This is not the true meaning of a gift. Gift giving is about taking the time and effort to make a meaningful, thoughtful gift to a loved one.

A Book

For those friends and family members who love curling up in their book nest with a cup of tea, books make an easy but entirely appropriate gift. Whether you choose a New York Times best-seller or a classic title is entirely up to the recipient’s taste, so think about what you’ve seen them reading before you buy.

The Gift of Better Orthography

Do you have a colleague who is getting a bad reputation for their misspelled memos? Give them a helping hand with a gift of spelling software like Ultimate Spelling™. No more embarrassing misspellings in emails, reports, and PowerPoint presentations  – you coworker will be a friend for life.

A Rich(er) Vocabulary

Communication is a vital part of daily life. So for children and young adults whose vocabulary could use a little push, why not offer them Ultimate Vocabulary™ by eReflect? This software will allow them to expand and make their vocabulary richer and more relevant and will eventually help them become better communicators, negotiators, and writers. This is a good gift for someone about to graduate from school because it will help them get the vocabulary they need to succeed in the job market.

Pro Keyboarding Skills

Do you know someone who is struggling with modern technology? Maybe they can’t figure out how to video chat with you on Hangouts, or they take forever to reply to your Facebook messages because their typing skills are poor to non-existent. Ultimate Typing™ would be the perfect gift for that person, because it will help them “level up” their keyboarding skills in no time. Of course, that might mean you’ll be getting texts and messages from them more often, but you can handle that, right?

A Visit

Sometimes a gift doesn’t have to be something tangible. Pay a visit to your grandmother, have lunch with a friend from college, or invite someone you haven’t seen in years to your Christmas party. The gift of kindness and love are truly priceless!

An Extravagant Pampering Gift

A pampering, extravagant gift is always appropriate for those special people in your life. Your hard-working mother, your significant other, your best friend – no matter who that person, do your homework and offer them a gift they will be raving about for weeks to come. It could be a spa session, a two-day mini trip, or anything the person you have in mind will fancy.

Gourmet Pleasures For the Foodies

From artisanal jams made with vodka to one-of-a-kind tea blends and limited-edition vintage wines, offer your foodie friends a mouthwatering experience they can Instagram to their heart’s content.

Whether you choose to get gifts that expand your friends’ career options or their waistlines is up to you! There are plenty of compelling gift ideas to choose from. Don’t go for run-of-the-mill, uninspiring gift cards. Instead, offer a thoughtful gift and get the joy of seeing faces lit up with excitement when they unwrap them come Christmas.


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