top: Blurb Gift Card
first row: Established & Sons Table Lamp, Campomaggi Messenger Bag, and Target’s Fish Bowl Bookends
second row: Knock Knock Personal Library Kit, Custom Embossed Monogram Seal, and Montblanc Pens
third row: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell, iBride Junior Polar Bear Bookshelf, and Out of Print Clothing’s The Catcher in the RyeTee
For some of us, the holiday season is about one thing and one thing only. Ok, two things. Ok, a bunch of things—all nicely wrapped and book-related. Because there is nothing more satisfying than winter reading, whether it’s the classic you know almost by heart, the novel everybody else already read six months ago, or the thriller you’ll never admit you couldn’t put down.
So check your friends and family. Who’s been stacking books around the chair beside the radiator? Who keeps slipping away for chapter-shaped intervals? Take note—and give them something from this list.
1Blurb Gift Cardvar.
Everybody has a story to tell. Whether you’re sharing yours with someone you love, or you just want to give that gifted nephew his first chance to see himself in print, Blurb makes it easy to edit your own oeuvre.
2Established & Sons Landmark Table Lamp$835
Good books on winter nights require a good lamp. With the Landmark Table Lamp, Established & Sons sheds a whimsical light on even the most serious page. And should your eyelids flutter and your hand get heavy, guess where you can rest your book?
3Campomaggi Leather Messenger Bag$725
Train platforms, airport waiting rooms, the sticky chairs in take-out restaurants, the benches outside dressing rooms: the world is full of places where you’ll want a book. Have one always at hand in this elegantly rumpled messenger bag from Italian designer Campomaggi.
4Target’s Fish Bowl Bookends$30
While we applaud the idea of propping up Moby Dick with a goldfish, we’d probably repurpose these Fish Bowl Bookends from Target as terrariums, leaning a collected Keats against selected titanopses. Kudos to Target for always having something design-savvy at a super-reasonable price!
5Knock Knock Personal Library Kit$16
Most of us have lent or borrowed books that never made it back. This
kit by Knock Knock is no guarantee that your set of Boys Own Adventures will remain whole in the future, but it may serve as a gentle reminder to some close, forgetful or unscrupulous friend that you know exactly where that volume’s gone…
6Custom Embossed Monogram Seal$66
And even if you’ve resigned yourself to lending books that end up gifts, at least you can leave a subtle and distinctive mark on the flyleaf. There are endless sources on the web where you can have a custom seal made – just Google it! Or click here…
Of course a pencil usually does the trick. But sometimes we just give in to the pleasure of an extravagantly well-made thing. We all choose our excesses: mine’s a Meisterstück Le Grand rollerball: warm in the hand, smooth on the page, an engagement present from my fiancée.
8The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell$13
In this case you can safely ignore the old chestnut about books and their covers. It looks and reads beautifully. Set in turn-of-the-19th-century Japan at the first, tentative point of meeting between Dutch traders and an isolated island nation, this new book is David Mitchell’s masterpiece.
9iBride Junior Polar Bear Bookshelf$1882
For readers of every age, a bookshelf (like this one by iBride) properly stocked is an object of wonder and adventure. We’re glad to see that, at last, form is following function. Two suggestions to start off a collection here: Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez and The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman.
10Out of Print Clothing’s The Catcher in the Rye Tee$28
Not just another crummy t-shirt. Our favorites from the collection include The Catcher in the Rye, 1984, The Hound of the Baskervilles (priced six shillings) and, dare we say it, the Hardy Boys classic The Mark on the Door. More about Out of Print Clothing here…