Thursday, December 5, 2013

Holiday Gift Suggestions for Readers and Writers

Yep, it's the time of year for holiday gift guides to spring up everywhere, giving you ideas of what to buy for all manner of specialized groups. Well, I'm here to suggest ideas for the reading and writing enthusiasts on your good lists!

Is your beloved reader behind the times? Or have they used their e-reader so much, it's in disrepair? Make sure they're the kind of person who would like an e-reader, and would use it (and maybe find out their preference as to which one, too).

Print Books
Or, for the more old-fashioned among us, there's always a print book. There are so many variations to this, too: a first edition of a favorite classic; a signed copy (Cassy gave me a signed Leviathan one year!); a new book you think they might enjoy based on their tastes.
For the writers: a thesaurus, rhyming dictionary, Stephen King's On Writing, a book of names, any reference book related to the genres they write, Elements of Style by Strunk and White... the list goes on forever.

This is another choice with lots of possibilities. If you're crafty, like me, you can make your own: cross-stitched, felted, paper-crafted, homemade paper, leathercrafted, hand-drawn... I've even seen crocheted and knitted bookmarks!
Or, you can buy nifty ones too: magnetic, book page corners, ribbon, basic paper, plastic, metal... so many bookmarks! These make great stocking stuffers too!

There are so many neat bookends out there! Now, be mindful of your recipient here... for most of my life, my bookshelves have been so jam-packed, there's no ROOM for a bookend. But if your gift-getter has room, or could put a special selection of books on top of a desk or other piece of furniture, bookends would be ideal. (I'm actually hoping to get some for my desk at work to hold files and notebooks!)

Book totes
Cassy has given me three book totes as gifts! (One has the blog's name! And one says it's a sewing bag but I usually put books in it anyway. No bag gonna tell me what to do...) You can buy a wide selection of totes with funny/cute/sweet/interesting/smart sayings, or use a service like Zazzle or Cafepress to choose your own!

Book-smelling stuff
There are (as we told you last year) book perfumes! No, not a perfume you spray on your books... a perfume that makes you smell like a book! There are also candles that make the whole room smell like books. (As if you don't already have so many books that this is already a thing for you.)

Unless you're picking out gifts for our contest winner from several weeks ago, your recipient may not have a copy of Scrivener, one of the best writing softwares we've come across. And they might want one! As evidenced by the fact that we could buy a copy and give it away to a stranger, you can pay for it, but use your gift-getter's name, and give them the download/login information. (You could print this information and a little "about" page as their physical gift.)

Magnetic Poetry
I've never used it for writing inspiration, but there are as many writing methods as there are people. Plus, it can just be fun!

This one might be just me, because I'm pretty in love with wristwarmers, but I like having them for both reading AND writing. Keeps me warmer while curled up reading, and while typing!

NaNoWriMo Swag
Sure, by Christmas, NaNoWriMo is almost a whole month past, but their store is available all year long! There's also Camp NaNoWriMo to consider, and besides, your NaNo-ing friends will probably still be editing through the winter! They have posters, shirts, and so much cool stuff.

Coffee / Caffeine / Tea / Alcohol
Okay, that's a lot of things to cover. Let's give it a shot. Lots of writers/readers like coffee. I am not one of them, but I get it. There's a wide range of prices you can aim for here: go all-out with a Keurig or coffee grinder, go mid-range with specialty coffees or a French press, or get stocking stuffers like K-cups or a bag of their favorite coffee. Same goes for tea, really. For alternate caffeines, I personally like Bawls, and there are lots of caffeinated candies and drinks (and soap, and other stuff) from Thinkgeek. And there's always alcohol, too, especially if you want to emulate some of the classic greats. Think of the writer's block! Then give them alcohol to break it.

Reading or Writing Space
This is the kind of gift you can't give everyone. Probably only the people you live with, and you know extremely well. But wouldn't it be lovely to give your favorite reader a cozy nook (not a Nook, but that's nice too; see above) to curl up in? And your favorite writer would love a secluded, personal place to sit and write, uninterrupted, however they want.

Book Art and Accessories
There is no end of these things on the internet. Jewelry, purses, scarves, art... You can't let me even get started because I could write a month's worth of posts on this alone! This can be extended to accessories and art that incorporate printing press blocks, punctuation, typewriters...

Experience Gifts
Lots of people like to go the route of giving the gift of an experience, instead of giving stuff, which is a great idea! There are tons of options for reading/writing experiences: conferences, movie premieres, author talks, book readings, book signings...

Buy Cassy's Book, "I See"

Shameless Self (Kinda) Promotion
I say kinda, because Cassy in no way put me up to this, but here it is anyway. She wrote a very good book for NaNoWriMo 2012 and it is available for purchase via Amazon. It's an excellent pick for readers who enjoy modern twists on mythology, and/or fiction in a contemporary high school setting. And I'm not just saying that because Cassy is awesome; her book is, too.

When all else fails... gift cards!
While I understand the stigma against gift cards, I don't personally agree with it, because I love getting gift cards! It's like getting money, but with two improvements. (1) When I get cash, I hold on to it forever and don't spend it. A gift card makes me spend it because I know exactly where it's going to be spent! (2) It shows that the gift-giver knows something about you, even if it's just that you like a certain restaurant, or books, or a particular store. (Unless they get you an Amazon card, which means they just want you to pick out something you like instead of feeling guilty about getting rid of something you don't like that they gave you. Or they know you have a Kindle.)

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