I have been a voracious reader ever since I was a young boy. And everyone knew a book was a gift I’d treasure.

While it’s not the first thing you might think of, a technical book makes a perfect gift for the Mac user, and there have never been more or better books about the Mac than now.

I love them and try to read at least a couple each week. So here’s a list of the best I’ve read.

First, of course, I recommend any or all of my books. But if you’re not going to choose one of mine, here are some others I considered a cut above the rest:

My copy of Final Cut Pro 3 Visual QuickPro Guide by Lisa Brenneis is tattered and torn. This excellent reference offers short, abundantly illustrated, step-by-step instructions on almost every aspect of Final Cut Pro. It’s the book I turn to when Final Cut Pro has me tearing out what’s left of my hair.

Derrick Story’s Digital Photography Pocket Guide may be small in both size and price, but it’s long on useful information for the fledgling digital photographer. I carry my copy in my camera bag and refer to it often. It’s the perfect gift for anyone just getting started with a digital camera, but it’s got plenty of helpful info for even more experienced shutterbugs.

Story also had his fingers in another photography book I like immensely — iPhoto: The Missing Manual. It manages to be both informative and fun to read at the same time, an enviable feat. If you want to know everything there is to know about iPhoto and more, this comprehensive guide is a most enjoyable way to learn it.

I’m a sucker for Photoshop books. I’m not much of an artist, but I keep trying and trying. There are many fine books about using Photoshop, but the one I turn to for inspiration is Photoshop Studio with Bert Monroy. Not only is Bert one of the greatest photorealistic illustrators in the world, but he’s also a gifted instructor.

But it’s more than just techniques and tips.

This large-format book is packed with stunning full color examples of Bert’s work. It’s such a beautiful book you’ll want to display it on your coffee table. But it’s such a useful book, you won’t want to leave it that far from your Mac.

While Monroy’s books tend to focus on his techniques, Real World Adobe Photoshop 7 by David Blatner and Bruce Fraser is the reference tome I turn to when I need to learn how to do almost any task using Photoshop. This advanced title delves into production and color management issues other books gloss over and is recommended by Adobe’s technical support.

These titles are available from all major booksellers on the Web. For a few extra bucks, you can get them in time for Christmas.