Reading time: About 4 minutes
In a panic over Christmas gifts for writers in your life? (Or wondering what to ask for, yourself?) Here’s a whole list of ideas, most of them reasonably priced.
Christmas is approaching and the panicked buying is about to begin. If you are purchasing a gift for a writer (or if you want some nifty ideas to suggest that your family buy for you) here’s a list of gift suggestions that should please even the most discriminating scribe.
Author items: If the person for whom you’re shopping has a favorite author, look for any of the following items featuring that writer or writing themes in general: tote bags, mugs, jewellery, notebooks, calendars, socks.
Here are some specific tips:
- Please do not annoy the writer mug.
- Jane Austen socks.
- Shot glasses featuring writers/philosophers.
- Hemingway pencil holder (shaped like a typewriter).
- Grammar-related tote bag.
- Quote-mark earrings.
- Other literary jewellery.
- Heck, you can even get a Jane Austen teapot!
Bathtub book caddy: Several Christmases ago, I received one of my all-time favourite gifts – a bathtub caddy. I love reading in the bathtub and the caddy gives me a spot to hold my book and a cup of tea.
Bookends: Most people who have lots of books can always use a new set of bookends, particularly if they have a writing theme. Consider for example, a typewriter bookend, a set of books bookend, or a bookend featuring a stylish rendition of the word “writer”.
Bookmarks: Consider making bookmarks for your family and friends. You can do this online or go to your local printer and ask to have them printed on cardstock. You can use a site like Canva to set up your own design.
Book weight: This unusual looking device will prop open your books while you’re reading them. I often take notes about books I read and I have usually held open the page with a bull-clip. This weight would make the whole process easier.
Facemasks: What could be a more appropriate gift in this difficult time than a facemask? But this is a facemask with a point. It contains a list of books that have been banned over the years.
Fingerless gloves: I’m not writing a book right now, but if I were, I know I’d appreciate these gloves. When I’m in book-writing mode, I start at 6 am and — at this time of year — my office is ferociously cold when I sit down at my desk. These writerly gloves would keep my hands warm and still allow my fingers to be nimble!
Let there be light: Whether you’re a reader or a writer, you need plenty of watts! Low level lighting makes it all but impossible to read and tiring to write. Back in the time when I could travel (those were the days!) there was nothing my husband and I disliked more than being at a rental suite with inadequate lighting. Understand that the sweet spot is a good task light because overhead lights are almost never enough. Here’s a good one for reading in a living-room or study. And here’s a good one for a desk. And for a stocking stuffer, consider an itty bitty book light or another portable light for reading in bed.
Noise-canceling headphones: If you want to go top-end, this is an expensive gift but I have never regretted the more than $350 I spent on my pair of Bose noise-cancelling headphones. If that’s too pricey for you, here is a well-rated budget pick that works well. And if that’s still too expensive for you, consider a pair of gun muffs, which cost only $15 and which do a really good job of blocking out the human voice.
Pens, pencils and pencil sharpeners: Most writers have favourite pens. Mine are the Pentel Liquid Gel because I really like the way they glide across the page. The colours are pretty, too. Just remember that pen choice is as personal as underwear preference. Get the person something you’re certain they really want. In terms of pencils, most people are a little bit more flexible, but the ne plus ultra for many writers is the Blackwing brand. And for a pencil sharpener, be sure to get a two-hole one (one hole is for removing the wood, the other is for sharpening the point.)
Shower writing board: Does someone you know always have their best ideas when it’s inconvenient to write? For people who are walking, I recommend they take their cellphone with them so they can dictate their epiphanies. But that strategy won’t work in the shower! There, you need Aqua notes. Kind of like a message board for divers, this device allows you to write under the streaming hot water of your shower.
Tea or coffee: Many writers are fuelled by either coffee of tea so consider gifts in that theme for them. Go to your favourite local shop or if that feels too risky to you, have a look at novel teas (each bag is tagged with a literary quote from authors from around the world). Or consider a package of the aptly-named Writer’s Block Coffee. Bonus: 5% of profits are donated to the literacy non-profit, First Book.
Need some help developing a sustainable writing routine? Learn more about my Get It Done program. The group is now full but there is turn-over each month, and priority will go to those who have applied first. You can go directly to the application form and you’ll hear back from me within 24 hours.
My video podcast last week addressed the controversial issue of how much time writing should take. Or, see the transcript, and consider subscribing to my YouTube channel. If you have a question about writing you’d like me to address, be sure to send it to me by email, Twitter or Skype and I’ll try to answer it in the podcast.
What’s the best Christmas gift you’ve ever given to another writer? We can all learn from each other so, please, share your thoughts with my readers and me in the “comments” section below. Anyone who comments on today’s post (or any others) by Dec. 31/20 will be put in a draw for a digital copy of my first book, 8 1/2 Steps to Writing Faster, Better. Please, scroll down to the comments, directly underneath the “related posts” links, below. Note that you don’t have to join Disqus to post. See here to learn how to post as a guest. It’s easy!