HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE: 2018

Bibliophiles can be tough customers.  It’s not easy shopping for books or literary-related gifts for people who are well-versed in authors and have specific thoughts about what they will or will not read.  Many bookworms I know are a fussy lot who take great pride in their esoteric tastes.  This is why it’s so much fun to shake things up with snazzy presents that will take them out of their dusty book zones!  Here’s my roundup of holiday goodies that will (hopefully) bring a smile to the most manic bibliomaniac among us.

Books are the most obvious place to start, but why not give a beautiful coffee table book with illustrations of literary people, places and things?  Or what about a cool tome that chronicles the edgy underground scene of writers, artists, and performers in New York during the 70s and 80s?  The Writer’s Map is a clever atlas of the fictional, inspirational, and real-life journeys that storytellers have narrated in their books–perfect for Harry Potter or Treasure Island fans.  I think that libraries are near-sacred spaces and Massimo Listri takes us inside the world’s most extraordinary temples of knowledge and information.  For the writer who loves fashion and books?  Legendary Authors and the Clothes They Wore will satisfy their sartorial and literary cravings.  Plus you can’t go wrong with Joan Didion on the cover!

I work better when I have good gear.  Blame it on the neurotic Virgo in me, but an organized desk breeds and organized mind.  But that doesn’t mean my desk accessories have to be boring!  Practicality and aesthetically-pleasing can go hand-in-hand.  Why settle for a plain stapler and tape dispenser when these marble gems can be found at Target?  I’m always searching for my phone or favorite pen underneath the papers on my desk and this valet tray would keep essential items in a designated spot.  The Hay Beak Scissors are a whimsical Danish design classic.  Swedish Svenskt Tenn’s weighty Alpha Omega bookends are a heritage piece that can be passed down from generation to generation.  The pewter Syltkruka Vase, also from Svenskt Tenn, is the perfect container for storing pens and pencils or filling with a small bouquet of flowers.

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I received this Smythson planner as a gift last year and I used it so much–despite being so dependent on my iPhone for managing appointments and notes. There was something so tangible and satisfying about writing stuff down and I found that I was less forgetful.  I’m treating myself to a new diary for 2019 and because it is such an investment piece, I handle it with care.  Smythson also has wonderful small notebooks to catalog a writer’s free-flowing thoughts!

While we’re on the subject of organization, I can’t seem to keep all my cords, devices, passport, etc together when I travel and am always frantically searching for something.  I think a Shinola Tech Travel Folio such as the one above would solve the problem!

Reading for pleasure is a cozy, self-indulgent exercise.  Why not take it to the next level and burn this divine, aptly-named Byredo Bibliothèque scented candle while enjoying the new private label Lost in the Stacks Coffee or Enchanted Library Blackberry Tea from Strand Book Store in New York City?  Drink from this New Yorker mug with a groovy illustration of the Strand itself!

These retro-inspired tee-shirts of classics from Out of Print would get even the most screen-obsessed person in a reading mood.  They’re also the perfect gift for the bibliophile who has one or two or three favorite works of literature!  Since 2010, Out of Print’s mission has been to spread the joy of reading by transforming literary classics into bookish apparel and accessories. With every purchase, you help them to donate books and support literacy programs around the world.

I love John Derian’s vintage aesthetic and these trays with decoupage images of fonts and phrases are a lovely way to bring the writing and book-loving theme to your home.

John Derian paperweights are stylish decorative objects to keep on your desk.  They also look great in a coffee table vignette or as part of a shelfie!

I don’t know about you, but I get the munchies if I sit too long at my desk and oftentimes the best energy-infusion is something sweet!  The holiday season brings with it a host of tempting flavors and colors and there’s no need to break the bank either.  Give classics like M&Ms or Hershey’s Kisses and popular peppermint bark in a glass jar or small basket to your writer and reader friends. Tie a ribbon around it, pair with a book you’ve already read and like, and they’ll be so touched and thankful!

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While in Los Angeles for her Becoming book tour, former First Lady Michelle Obama made a surprise visit to the Para Los Niños Tina and Rick Caruso Early Education Center, located in Skid Row, to spend time and read with a group of four-year-old children from an underserved area of Los Angeles. Mrs. Obama’s visit was in Partnership with Penguin Random House and First Book and is a part of Penguin Random House’s one million book donation in the Obama family’s name. (November 15, 2018)  Source

Do-it-Yourself gifts are usually the most personal as are the ones extended in the spirit of giving.  One organization that I support is First Book.  Since 1992, First Book has distributed more than 175 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families in more than 30 countries.  Books have the power to transform lives and a donation–no matter how big or small–made in your or someone else’s name can have a significant impact.  This gift guide was meant to inspire and entertain, but the true meaning of the holidays centers around gratitude and community; spreading love, peace, and joy.  Wishing you and your nearest and dearest the very best for the season!