(NewsUSA) - Between the planning, gift-buying and parties, the holidays can be a stressful time.
In fact, holiday stress is so pervasive that the American Psychological Association has a full resource center dedicated to the topic. In a section called Dealing with the pressure of gift-giving, the Association gives recommendations ranging from taking care of yourself with rest and relaxation to keeping a holiday to-do list.
And even though many people do keep a list of those they need to get gifts for, there's still anxiety that goes along with that, for good reason.
According to a survey by Barnes & Noble of nearly 1,000 of its booksellers, customers in their stores have the hardest time shopping for people they don't know well, like co-workers, distant relatives, and friends' children.
As hard as it may be to shop for others, there is an often-overlooked resource: the store associates you see every time you go shopping.
This survey found that it usually takes less than 10 minutes for a Barnes & Noble bookseller to match a shopper with the perfect book.
Case in point - we asked four Barnes & Noble booksellers to make a gift recommendation based on just a little bit of information about the recipient.
* For the thrill-seeker: Buying for someone who is always looking for the next good page-turner? Barnes & Noble bookseller Bill Gibson recommends James Patterson's latest, Target: Alex Cross.
"This thriller keeps you moving, and as always with any James Patterson book, there's a twist that boggles your mind," Gibson says.
* For the lit-lover: Barnes & Noble bookseller Jennifer Welsh knows a thing or two about books, being an avid reader of fiction. What is her recommendation for a great, but thought-provoking read this holiday season?
"Fans of Barbara Kingsolver have been waiting years for her next work of fiction, and newly released Unsheltered is everything they've been waiting for - a smart read that combines history, science, and politics with family dysfunction," Welsh says. "Barnes & Noble is offering an exclusive version of Unsheltered, where Kingsolver shares her historical research and inspirations for this novel, as well as a provocative essay on the challenges we all face in the future."
* For the Harry Potter fans: Have a niece or nephew who loves all things Harry Potter? Bookseller Renata Borka can point you to the latest Harry Potter books and accessories.
"We have an amazing assortment of everything Harry Potter - books, wands, LEGO products," Borka says. "For your Harry Potter fan, we are the place to shop."
* For the political junkie: For people who love politics, bookseller Carlos Morales points to a new book by acclaimed historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, Leadership: In Turbulent Times.
According to Morales, "this is the perfect gift for the history buff. For someone who is a fan of Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals or Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream, this is a great follow-up."
In the end, the holidays may always be a little stressful. Asking for help can go a long way in easing the burden.