Saturday, December 06, 2008

Gifts for Readers and Writers

My holiday shopping is finally done. Today I'm sharing some of my favorite purchases along with suggestions for the readers and writers on your list.

Readers always love books, but sometimes gifts that enhance the reading experience or allow them to show their love for literature can be fun. Here are a few ideas.
The next time you step out in the rain, sport one of these Literary Luminaries umbrellas. Perhaps you have a friend who loves to read comic strips just as much as Shakespeare. Then the choice is a Gazette Comic Umbrella. (And really, sporting an umbrella with Kalamazoo on it will inspire such interesting conversations!)

For the friend or family member with a large collection of titles, you can't go wrong with bookends. I'm quite enamored of these James Thurber Dog Bookends. My favorites, however, are the Reading Gargoyles that adorn my shelves.

These days lots of folks take their own bags to the store for groceries, or the library to carry their books. You can carry a tote bag with Driven to Read (Mo's pigeon), Click, Clack Read (farmer Brown's crew), Share Books (Kevin Henkes characters), or several other options.

On those days when you need a good insult for co-worker or friend (or heaven-forbid, a family member), try a package of Shakespearean Insult Gum. Each set includes seven boxes that look like miniature Shakespeare volumes. Inside each box are two fruit flavored gum balls and an eloquent Shakespearean insult printed on the inside.

Bookplates are always a good idea, but they can be expensive. Here is a relatively inexpensive source of customized bookplates with some very cool vintage images.

For the reader who must mark important lines, but hates to write in his/her books (that's me), these Book Leaves are folded bookmarks with inspiring quotes about collecting meaningful words on the front. There are also lines to write your thoughts.
You don't need to be a published author to be a writer. My mother continues to write actual letters, and lots of folks I know write thank you notes. Others still like to scribble away in notebooks. Here are some ideas for them.
I have a love for notebooks and notecards made out of recycled paper. Give your eco-loving writer friends a journal or stationery made out of elephant poo. Believe it or not, elephant poo is largely made of fibrous material (undigested plant matter) that can be processed to make lovely, STINK-FREE paper.

I'm also quite fond of this set of 10 Quaderno notebooks in a rainbow of colors.

If you have a friend writing a novel or working on revisions, I suggest the T-shirt that reads "Careful, or you'll end up in my novel." (Being nice to your writer friends is always a good idea!)

Let your writer show his/her love for children's literature with a packet of notecards featuring Curious George, Olivia, Max and the Wild Things, and more.

While scribbling away in your notebook, tickle your fancy with these sweet smelling pencils called Smencils. If you like to write in color, try these Colored Smencils.

Is your writer friend suffering from writer's block? Try The Observation Deck: A Toolkit for Writers. Inside the portable box is a 160 page book of proven techniques and 50 cards with verbs to stimulate action. The book offers inspiration and practical advice from writers and shares their secrets to approaching work with renewed creativity.
Do you have a Jane Austen lover on your list? Here are some ideas from the ridiculous to sublime.
Do you know someone trying to get her inner Jane on? Get her this Jane Austen finger puppet for a bit of fun.

For even more inspiration, superhero style, go for the Jane Austen Action Figure.

Lesley at Small Meadow Press makes "beautiful and useful papers for everyday life." Her gorgeous Jane Austen stationery consists of three missives each of three different designs, with nine decorated envelopes in matching colors. The quotes are from Jane's letters to her sister Cassandra in the early 1800's.

Laini Taylor, author and artist extraordinaire makes Laini's Ladies, beautiful adornments with inspirational quotes. Perfectly Happy and Silly Things both contain quotes by Austen.

While rereading your favorite Austen novels, keep your place with a Jane Austen bookmark.
Finally, for readers and writers who love to cook, I recommend the book Writers in the Kitchen by Tricia Gardella. It contains 200 hundred recipes, including appetizers, entrees, and desserts, from more than 150 writers.

That's all for now. If you have favorite gifts for the readers and writers in your life, please share your ideas. Happy shopping!


  1. Tricia, I've barely even started my Christmas shopping--so I love these suggestions! But--done? How can you be?

    (Don't answer that. I am a slacker...)

  2. I've hardly started--but thanks to you, I'll be done much sooner than I thought I would be! Thanks.