It is the holiday season, and books are always a wise choice for friends and family. The Friends of the Costa Mesa Libraries bookstores have many inexpensive gift solutions to choose from.

Although recently published, like-new books may be as much as $4 each, most books are $1 or less. And there is a great selection. It is easy to find what you are looking for — fiction is shelved in alphabetical order by author's last name, and nonfiction is arranged by subject. A lot of great children's and young adult books that would make good stocking-stuffers are also available.

The city has two library bookstores. One is behind the Mesa Verde Library, at 2969 Mesa Verde Drive E., which is open from 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. The other is in the Costa Mesa/Donald Dungan Library, at 1855 Park Ave. That branch is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, from 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursdays and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.

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Passport service available at Dungan

Maybe you are thinking about traveling but haven't gotten around to getting your passport. U.S. Passport Service, including passport photos, is available at the Dungan Library.

Walk-in service is available from 3 to 7 p.m. Mondays to Wednesdays. To come in on Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., call (949) 646-8845 to make an appointment. The bookstores and the passport photo service are staffed by Friends' volunteers, and the money earned helps to support the three Costa Mesa libraries.

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Holiday library hours

Costa Mesa's three libraries will close at 5 p.m. on Dec. 24 and will remain closed Christmas Day.

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At the Costa Mesa/Donald Dungan Library

Attend Toddler Storytime at 11 a.m. Mondays. The gathering for todders will feature stories, songs and a craft at the end. No signups are required. Ask at the information desk for more details.

Children and their families are invited to Duplo Day on Dec. 17 and 26 from 2 to 5 p.m. Duplo building blocks are available in the lobby and are fun for all ages.

"That Holiday Feeling" by Debbie Macomber, Sherryl Woods and Robyn Carr is the book chosen for the Romance Book Club when it meets at 2 p.m. the third Wednesday of the month. Copies of the book are available at the library's checkout desk. For more details about this or any of the library's other book clubs, contact the information desk at (949) 646-8845.

Children and their families are invited to attend a free family movie at 2 p.m. Dec. 19. Call the information desk for a list of movie titles or for information about the films being shown. Movies are shown in the library's community room and no registration is required.

On Dec. 22 from 1 to 3 p.m., the library will show a Christmas-themed movie. This movie is free and everyone is welcome to attend. The film starts at 1 p.m. in the library's community room. For more details about this event, including the title of the movie, contact the information desk.

A Christmas-themed story time will be held at 11 a.m. Dec. 24. This free story time is open to all ages and will feature Christmas-themed stories and crafts. No sign-up is required. Contact the information desk for more details.

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At the Mesa Verde Library

Preschool Storytime will be held from 11 to 11:30 a.m. Dec. 17. The stories, songs and activities are at a preschool level (ages 3 to 5). The activities may include simple crafts and games inside the library or outside, depending on the weather. Toddlers are welcome with an accompanying adult, of course. Older siblings are also welcome. No registration is currently required.

Decorate sugar cone trees with icing, sprinkles and other goodies at the Edible Trees Holiday Crafternoon from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Dec. 19. Additional crafts with paper will be provided for the more health-conscious. This is a family program for all ages, but children under 4 will need an accompanying adult.

MARY ELLEN GODDARD produced this column on behalf of the Friends of Costa Mesa Libraries, the Costa Mesa Library Foundation and the three Costa Mesa branches of the OC Public Libraries.