Try airlifes airliners;number one is the 777, don't know about the 747. I have three books, 777, 767 and 737 whcih I think are great. They're quite expensive, but i f you're really interested in aircraft they're worth it. I bought my books at AMS this summer, but you can probably find them in many other places.
Just like birdwatching - without having to be so damned quiet!
I would recomend a local book store that is fairly big. The series I read are "Airliner Color History" lots of information and tons of pictures. If you don't want pictures I would suggest not buying this book because you are partly paying for the pictures. Another good one is one very similar but "Airlife's History" is the UK version I believe. Another good series that I found very informative was: "Enthusiast Color Series" I have the B777 book in that series and it looks really good. All of those books cost either around $12 US or $25 US, nothing in between. I have bought a few used books at a local NYC store by my school called "The Strand" I have only gotten two books there one about the A300/A320 and the other a very general book about airlines world wide. A lot of people keep there books and the one's that don't usually give them away. The one advantage about buying used books is that Airliner books are hard to bang up so usually they look brand new! I would try a regular bookstore, look around see what you like, write down the title and author and then try a used book store or www.amazon.com or www.bn.com They usually have a good discount. Of couse if your friend is going somewhere you can always ask he/she to bring you a book back. Happy reading!