Setting aside, for the moment, the debate over whether “gifting” is a legit verb, here are a few sweet gifts for the writers, editors and other word lovers in your life.
Out of Print Clothing The classics never go out of style. Give your favourite book lovers (including kids!) one of the soft, distressed tees and sweatshirts by Out of Print Clothing. Titles include Moby Dick, The Great Gatsby, Jane Eyre, Siddhartha, 1984, Charlotte’s Web and many more, from $28 US. Also available: journals, tote bags, note cards, coasters, e-book jackets and phone cases.
Livescribe Sky Smartpen This new gadget has the same features as the much-loved Livescribe Echo—plus Wi-Fi! Your notes and audio recordings transfer wirelessly to Evernote (extra Evernote capacity included with purchase). Available in 2G, 4G and 8G models. Pen only from $165, bundles from $225 at SmartpenCentral.com. Special offer for EditFish readers: enter EDITFISH at checkout for a 5% discount on all products except Bundles. Offer ends Dec. 31, 2012.
Bananagrams is like Scrabble—but without the board, the scoring, the four-player maximum or the long waits between turns. It’s even more fun when you add your own rules. $19.95 at Indigo. (For a fun brain-buster with symbols instead of letters, get the clever game Qwirkle, $29.95 at Indigo.)
Caffeine Stuff their stockings with loose-leaf teas from Majesteas and a gorgeous mug (I love the ones by Vancouver’s Heather Dahl). For coffee lovers: a two-cup French press. Buy beans from an indie café or, for an indulgence that lasts well beyond the holidays, subscribe to Alberta’s Transcend Coffee. For chocoholics: fair-trade bars and drink mixes from Canadian co-op Camino.
That old-book smell For those who love the heady aroma of bookstores, Demeter Fragrance Library (how fitting!) makes perfume, foam bath, shower gel and other products in “Paperback” scent. From $6 US.
Crafty e-reader cover If you’re good at DIY, make an e-reader cover with the help of this Canadian Living article. If not, consider the cozy felted covers by Etsy vendor PinsnNeedlesCases. I have one, and I’m impressed by the handiwork. From about $25.
Super-sized computer monitor For someone who’s been really good this year, order a monitor (big enough to view two documents side by side—at least 24”) so the lucky recipient can create a dual-monitor setup with an existing monitor or laptop. I use a Dell UltraSharp model—its colour accuracy and uniformity rival those of pricier Apple monitors. Check often for sales. From $369.
Art imitating books Check out artist Jane Mount’s lovely (and lovingly rendered) paintings of book collections. Buy themed prints (such as “Writing,” “Fashion” or “Jane Austen”), the My Ideal Bookshelf hardcover or, if money is no object, a custom painting (from $250 US).
Stack of magazines One of my favourite indulgences is to walk into a magazine store and drop $30 on publications I consider a treat (or guilty pleasure). On my wish list this year: Dwell, Lucky Peach, WORN Fashion Journal, Granta and National Geographic Traveler. And, in case you missed it, Magazines Canada is offering a buy-two-get-one-free subscription deal.
Gifts that give back Make a heartwarming donation in a friend’s name to any of these fine organizations: Toronto Public Library Foundation, Frontier College Literacy Programs, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (disclosure: I’ve volunteered with CJFE for about five years), PEN Canada or World Literacy Canada
Do you have brilliant gift ideas for writers and editors?