Thursday, December 10, 2009

Holiday Gifts for Writers

As I’ve said before, I’m not especially handy these days. I won’t attempt to tell you how to craft a delightful gift for your loved ones and friends.

Instead, I’ll do what I hope I’m more skilled at: ideas.

Those who read this blog tend to be writers or readers. A lot of us have friends and family who are writers, or who want to be writers. What can you give them for the holidays?

Number one for me this year is... some large capacity and attractive thumb drives! I’m always worried about disappearance of what I’m working on, so I back things up. Of course, I work on an old computer and still use the nearly obsolete small floppy disks out of habit, but I also use thumb drives. Some of those thumb drives come in decorative cases now, so I wouldn’t mind at all receiving one or more of those pretty ones or the holidays.

Then there are books. Writers love books. I certainly do. I’d enjoy receiving books by my favorite authors. Even more, I always love receiving research books. These kinds of gifts may require strong hints, so people will know what to get. Or, another alternative is to buy a gift card from a book store and let the recipient choose what presents they want.

Bookmarks are always a great gift for writers. Check out the wonderful one designed and made by my fellow Killer Hobbyist Monica Ferris, in yesterday’s post.

Another idea is a tote bag... to carry one’s books in! I seem to collect a lot at writers’ conferences, and you can always buy one these days in most stores as an alternative to paper or plastic bags. Those are not always especially attractive, but you can always purchase a pretty one.

If you get the idea that I’m a bit old fashioned and prefer printed books, you’re right. But another kind of gift is the e-reader, such as a Kindle or the Sony E-Reader, or the upcoming Nook by Barnes & Noble. If your intended recipient already has one of these, you can buy downloads... although I have to admit I’m not sure how that works as a gift.

There are, additionally, peripheral kinds of gifts. Writers love words. Words appear in crossword puzzles. I always enjoy a gift of a good book containing crosswords, or even other word games.

Finally, it never hurts, if you happen to be a published writer, to give a very special gift: a copy of one of your books, signed especially to your gift recipient.

What other ideas do you have for gifts for readers or writers?


Janie Emaus said...

I'm a big fan of giving books. I go to several conferences a year and always try to get signed copies to give out at the holidays. BTW, I had no idea I could get a fancy thumb drive. Thanks for the info.

Terri Thayer said...

Great ideas! I've been going to local bookstores signing copies. The booksellers tell me they love to suggest an autographed book to someone who's undecided.

One year at a our annual CA Writers club holiday party, the most popular Secret Santa gift was two reams of paper. Authors fought each other to get to be the one to take those home. We don't need much!

Linda O. Johnston said...

Planning in advance by getting signed copies for others at conferences is a great idea, Janie.
And I agree, Terri, that I'd love to get paper as a present. I can never have enough!

Linda O. Johnston said...

Also, Terri, I'm always signing stock at bookstores, too--and I'd love for booksellers to suggest them as presents!

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

I just used one of my gift certificates from the last holiday season to stock up on books to read this holiday. What fun!

My best gift suggestion for an author? A massage. My shoulders really ache after hours at the keyboard!

Linda O. Johnston said...

Wow, does a massage sound like a great gift, Joanna! I'll start hinting now.

Betty Hechtman said...

Starbucks gift cards are always nice, too.

Good idea about going around to bookstores and signing stock now. Thanks

Linda O. Johnston said...

Coffee's always good for writers, Betty! Have fun signing stock.