Friday, December 07, 2018

Great Gifts for Readers and Writers

It's that time of the year, when most of us are buying gifts for friends and family and looking for that special something that will be the perfect gift for the recipient. Personally, I love choosing gifts for people and finding just the right thing.

Of course, my go-to gift is...a book! Whether the recipient is an avid reader or only occasionally picks up a book, I love to choose just the right book to make his or her face light up. I've picked out a cool vegan cookbook for my newly-vegan young cousin, a fun book on starting your own business for my non-reading business school son, and a gorgeous coffee table book about football for my sports-obsessed step-father.


Two years ago, I wrote a Book Gift Guide for Vital! magazine - the suggestions for books and authors according to the recipients' interests are still a good starting point now.

But, aside from books, here are some other fun ideas for the readers and writers on your gift list this year:

Eyeglass Holder
If you're like me, you now have reading glasses stashed in almost every room of your home, and if you're like my husband (who wears different pairs of glasses for different purposes), you are constantly misplacing your glasses! Last Christmas, I gave him this awesome and stylish wooden eyeglass holder that looks a bit like those stone figures on Easter Island. In fact, I gave him 3 of them, each wrapped separately, for maximum laughs while opening gifts! He now has one each in the family room, kitchen, and bedroom and can (usually) find his glasses.

Book Journal
A book journal is a great gift for the casual reader who can never remember what she's read or the avid reader who likes to keep track of his books. There are lots of different ones available, but The Book Lover's Journal meets my criteria: lots of room for recording books read, TBR lists, books lent or borrowed, and book group info, plus some cool extras, like a checklist of great books. Best of all, this one is compact but hardcover, with a spiral binding so it lies flat for writing.

Cookbook Holder
One of my pet peeves is cookbooks that won't lie flat so you can't leave them on the counter to refer to the recipe while you cook (and let's face it - very few cookbooks come spiral-bound). The answer is a holder that will not only hold the pages open but also hold the book up, at a comfortable angle for easy viewing while cooking. This Best Book Stand is ultra-adjustable, both in the angle of the holder and in its ability to hold your book open, plus its plastic is easy to clean after kitchen splatters. For something a bit more stylish, the Bamboo Bookrest will hold your cookbook open at whatever angle you choose, with a design that will look nice in your kitchen. If your gift recipient likes to cook from recipes on their tablet, then this iPrep Adjustable Stand is the perfect choice, comes in two sizes, and fits all kinds of tablets.

Book Holder for Reading
If your gift recipient would like a more comfortable way to read books, try The Book Seat for print books, a comfy little contraption that can be used on a flat surface or in your lap. (Note that it comes in different colors but each is listed separately, so just search for The Book Seat to see them all). For e-readers, the cutely named Flipy provides 3 different angles in a soft holder that can stand on flat surfaces or on your lap.

Both readers and writers enjoy writing in journals and often have multiple journals for different purposes. I have one for a brief daily recounting of my day, one for recording the books I read, one where I write quotes from books I want to remember, I kept one each when my kids were young for recording the sweet, funny things they did and said, and I have piles of travel journals! Here are some ideas for the journalers on your list. I love a spiral binding because it lies perfectly flat for easy writing. Graphique's Gold Polka Dot Journal is one of many designs that looks inspiring and lies flat. Maxdot's Kraft Paper Spiral Notebooks come in a set of 4 color-coded journals, including pens, and multi-colored Post-It notes mounted inside each one. The set makes a nice gift for the creative or super-organized person on your list! Of course, Moleskine Soft Cover Notebooks are the Cadillac of journals, coveted by readers and writers alike for their smooth, high-quality paper and ability to lie flat. They come in large size or pocket (or purse) size, and you can choose lined, plain, or dotted pages in a range of cover colors (you can also get hardcover Moleskines, though I am partial to the soft covers).

Finally, in spite of my large collection of all kinds of journals, each Christmas, my husband gives me a Sierra Club or Audubon Weekly Engagement Calendar, which I find perfect as a quick daily journal to jot down a few sentences at the end of each day (each page has one week, divided into 7 days), plus I love turning the page each Monday to see another gorgeous wilderness photo. I have a box in my closet with 30 years' worth of these!

For the Book Lover
The latest in a long string of books about books is the ultimate reading guide, 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die: A Life-Changing List, this season's hot new release. This one is sure to be a hit for any avid reader (hint, hint...)

For All Readers and Writers
Last but not least, the best gift you can give to any book lover is a gift certificate to an awesome bookstore so they can have the fun of browsing and picking out their own books!

Use this link to find an independent bookstore near your gift recipient, then use their website or call the store to order a gift card or certificate.
Support Independent Bookstores - Visit

Also, this is a great time of year to help support your own local indies. I admit I do order from Amazon if I need to ship something, but for books I will hand deliver, I order them all through my tiny local bookstore - they sell mostly used books but will order new books, with a discount for their customers. Check with your local indie, and if you don't see what you want on their shelves, ask them to order it for you.

How about you? What gifts do you like to give to the readers and writers on your list? And what gifts do you want to receive??


  1. Great gift ideas Sue. I love the journals.

    1. You can never have too many journals!!

  2. Our family always does lots of books under the Christmas tree. The wish lists have already started to circulate.

    1. Us, too! I take a long list over to my tiny indie bookstore nearby :)