Oh, 2020. What a year you’ve been. As I did last year, I’m posting a holiday gift guide especially designed for the bookish people on your list. Consider this a very special Covid edition as well.
This is the year of the face mask, and they’re going to be with us for a while. So why not make the best of it and go in style? To me, Etsy has the best selection, including those that pull up like turtlenecks.
Gift cards to our favorite bookstores are always a good idea, and this year is a really good time to support our Indies. My local go-to bookstores are bbgb, Fountain Bookstore and Chop Suey Books. And bbgb has a fabulous subscription program, aptly called A Year of Tales.
Ornaments: How about trimming the tree with a way to remember how we felt about this loooong year? Here are two of my favorite ornaments: Santa and his mask, as well as this rather cute bottle of hand sanitizer.
Portable lighting: Authors who normally do school visits or attend conferences have had no choice but to become video stars. One thing is for sure: you need good lighting. Lume cube has a range of products, from standing lights to little ones that clip on to your laptop to give you a well-lit effect.
Computer eyewear: All those hours on screen has spelled eye-strain for some of us. If you’re looking for a stocking stuffer, how about glasses that block out blue light*. I like these cat glass shapes, but there’s a full variety, usually less than $20.
Backdrops: If you want to splurge and do someone you love a big favor, consider buying them a portable video background. There are virtual options, of course, but they pixelate or make you disappear if you move to the wrong spot. These vinyl ones, while a bit pricey ($200,) offer an instantly neat and professional background for even the smallest apartment.
Ergonomics: Ouch. Sore backs are a job hazard for writers. For the person on your list who is criminally practical (like me) how about a good lumbar pillow*?
I recommend some aromatherapy by way of a candle. This one is meant to recall browsing in bookstores. Remember that?
We’ve been at home writing (or trying) and reading (or trying). But this might be a time to try to learn something new with a master class. At $15 a month or $180 for the whole set, you can offer the writer in your life an entire library of good advice as they learn from the likes of Judy Blume or James Patterson.
Readers own books, usually too many of them, so we never have enough of these bookends. A nice surprise might be some cool ones to decorate the shelves? These come in the $25 to $80 range.
OK, scarves, blankets, pillows, tattoos, t-shirts. Literally, you can make anything out of good quotes from famous books: Lithographs.com proves this.
Meal from Goldbelly: My friend, Lamar Giles, turned me on to this when he made it possible for me to enjoy a Maine lobster roll this past summer, all from my quarantined living room. Send your author a Goldbelly gift certificate so they can order a meal from their favorite literary city – and help out the restaurant industry along the way.
This Cats of Instagram calendar warms my heart just because these furry creatures have kept us entertained this whole year.
Notecards: Brave. Black. First by Cheryl Hudson follows the accomplishments of 50 African American women. Even if you don’t have a school-aged child who can enjoy the book, this box of 100 stunning notecards through the Smithsonian is a gorgeous way to stay in touch with friends and shine a light on the many accomplishments of Black women.
Don’t forget to check last year’s suggestions, too. Happy shopping!