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‘Tis the Season: Writer Gifts

I love the end of the year: the holidays, the decorations, the end of year reviews. It’s the perfect culmination of a year well spent. It’s also when I bury myself in holiday classics and stories. Somehow the dark nights and colder temps make reading better. I mean who can argue with reading a book before the fire, a cup of tea in hand and a cat curled up in your lap?

There’s such a sense of comfort of wrapping up the end of the year with a huge celebration of joy, love and wonder. It’s also a great time to look back at what I’ve accomplished the past year and what I hope to do next year.

This is when I wrap up presents and projects for those clients who must have their work before the clock chimes twelve on New Year’s Eve. It’s an ending and a beginning. A clean slate. A time of resolutions and fresh starts. I always feel motivated to reach for lofty goals.

I lay out books I want to read the next year and log them into my Goodreads account. I plan my marketing for the coming year and arrange my production schedule so I can prepare for the year. And I shop.

How can I not troll those lists of ideal gifts for writers? It’s not something I tend to do during the year when I am too busy working to worry about the latest bells and whistles available for people like me. This is when I discover supplies, apps and fun things often later than anyone else.

Here is what I’ve found so far:

Software

Scrivener Update
I just found out there is a new update ($25 for previous owners) for Scrivener. Since this is what I use for most long form writing assignments, I am definitely buying this. Maybe as soon as I finish writing this blog. It’s also available for $45 for new users. This is a must-have for writers. I also use FinalDraft for scripts, though Scrivener can do that too.
Literature and Latte

Unique Gifts

Little Prince Blank Book
You need a place for your ideas. What better one could you find than in a blank book with a classic cover?
Little Prince Journal

The Monster Book of Monsters
Hagrid’s textbook is available for purchase. Remember to gently stroke the spine to open.
Monster Book of Monsters

Precious
Get your own ring to carry…but this time on a chain so you aren’t corrupted like Gollum.
http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/jsiu/

Writer’s Fuel (Coffee)
What could be better than coffee specifically made for writers? Try a bag today.
Writer’s Fuel

Banned Books Pouch
Support writers by storing your writing implements in a bag sporting titles of banned books.
Banned Books Pouch

Shakespeare Insult Mug
There’s no one better at insults. Get inspired by your mug.
Insult Mug

Book Tent
You can camp in a book! I love this.
Book Tent

Magnifying Glass Necklace
Perfect for research trips when reading tiny marginalia.
Magnifying Glass Necklace

Nancy Drew Pencils
Need I say more? That should be enough to click.
Pencils

Stores:

The Literary Gift Company
How did I not know about this place? There’s a store for the UK and one for the US without duty! This is the US version of a store filled with so many amazing literary-based gifts I want to own.
Literary Gift Company

Literary Covers for Electronics
Hide your electronics in books.
Klever Case

Apparel:

Banned Book Socks
It is what it sounds like it is. Banned books never looked so good.
Socks

Pigeon Socks
Mo Willem’s pigeon featured on socks! What could be more perfect?
Pigeon Socks

Book Cover Scarf
Show your love of books with a scarf covered in covers.
Scarf

Games:

Liebrary
This is a fun game. Players are given a title, author and brief description and then told to write the best first line for the book. The actual line is added to the mix and players vote on which is the real one.
Liebrary

Book Lover’s Scrabble
Scrabble designed for book lovers with special rules and tricks.
Book Lover’s Scrabble

Dixit
Become a storyteller and challenge your fellow players to figure out your inspiration. The game uses image cards to inspire flash fiction spoken aloud. Very fun for writers of all ages…or at least over the age of 8.
Dixit

Balderdash
Who can bluff the best? The point of this game is to define bizarre words and make people believe it is the correct definition. What the word really means is included in the mix before players vote. The one who convinces the most people to choose her definition wins. This is a fun game in a group.
Balderdash

Things
Pick a card and read the phrase printed on the front. Then everyone writes down the first thing that comes to their mind. Players vote who said what and are scored by how correctly they guess. This a fun, creative game to play with adults and teens.
Things

The Play’s the Thing
Take on a role in an Elizabethan theatre and audition your way through Shakespeare. No knowledge of Shakespeare is necessary. You’ll learn as you go. This game does involve performing, if you want. They say it’s optional, but I say what’s the fun in that?
The Play’s the Thing

Typoman
This video game is a fun, old-school game of letters and words. The main character, Hero, makes his way through the world by solving puzzles and fighting bosses. I had a minor problem with the ending, but only from a writer’s perspective. Otherwise, I highly recommend this moody video game, available for download at computer version or you can get it from the Nintendo eStore.

Subscriptions:

Audible Membership
Think of it as a Netflix membership for audio books. It’s heaven.
Audible

Bookbrowse
A great resource for readers. They review books coming out each week and have a sizeable website focused on books. It even has an author pronunciation guide! For $29 you get weekly newsletters, opportunities to receive books throughout the year to review or discuss (guaranteed 3 books). I’ve been a member for two years and love it.
BookBrowse

Mystery Experiences
Solve your own mystery. The company sends everything you need to solve a case—evidence, background, interviews, etc. Try your hand at being the detective. I can’t wait to try this.
Mystery Experiences

All-Time Favorites:

Selected Shorts
I subscribe to this through iTunes, but they have older episodes on their website for stories no longer available. If you haven’t listened to Selected Shorts, you are missing out. It is a recording from live readings of short stories by professional actors and celebrities from Symphony Space in NYC. Symphony Space

Gift Cards to Bookstores
I don’t care if it’s a gift card to Barnes & Nobles, Politics and Prose (my local bookstore) or any other bookstore on the planet, I love getting books as a present. I don’t know a single reader who would turn away access to free books.

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