Gift Ideas for Your Favorite Writer/Reader

Happy Holidays!

I don’t know about you, but every year I find it harder to put together a gift wish list for family members. It’s probably because I’m in that season of life where I’m mostly focused on my kids, so I’m not usually thinking about what I want for myself. And when there is something I’d like, I don’t need someone else to get it for me. However, just as I enjoy giving gifts to others, I understand they enjoy seeing me unwrap presents.

The last couple years, I’ve found myself Googling “gifts for writers” and “gifts for readers” when it’s time to make my list. I thought it would be helpful to share some of what I found. Plus I put out a call on Instagram for some additional tips. Now my list is even better!

Book jewelry/swag. This is such a broad category and applies to both writers and readers. As an author, you will get me with anything that has my book covers on it. Pictured here are my custom book earrings. Every time I wear them, people comment–and ask about my books. I ordered these from EbbyEarrings on Etsy, but many shops offer them. MG/YA author Catherine Bakewell recommends InkandShrinkSwag for keychains, ornaments, and other items. But there’s so much more you can get–necklaces, bracelet charms, coasters, framed prints, cups, etc. Basically, if you could make something like it with your personal photos, you could also do it with a book cover.

And readers love swag too! One reader replied to me that she loves fan art, t-shirts, overlays, and special covers. A simple search will lead you to all kinds of book swag, and if it’s a popular book, maybe it’s already available and ready to ship to you immediately.Tote bags. A sturdy canvas bag is great for carrying lots of books! Or, in my case, for carrying supplies to an event or signing. I asked for this one last year, and my aunt had it personalized with my name and book covers. I love it! I also have several totes from book festivals.Paper products. On my desk right now, I have:

  • A spiral notebook
  • Sticky notes
  • At least three tear-off notepads

And I use them all. I’m constantly jotting down ideas and spreading them out until I have used the information, then I recycle and start all over. Cool writing utensils. Another follower listed a quill pen as a favorite gift, and yes! Special pens, pencils, colored Sharpies and signing pens, etc., are fantastic gifts. We will use them!

Fingerless gloves. Okay, maybe this is just me: I am cold ALL THE TIME, but I also need my fingers to type or turn pages. Last year I received a four-pack of fingerless gloves, and I have them strategically stashed at my desk and reading areas to ensure my hands stay warm while working and reading.Mugs/cups. You can’t have too many mugs or cups, in my opinion. The cups I actually use to drink out of, and the mugs often end up on my desk as holders of things–especially if they have a cool saying. My favorite is one that says “I am silently correcting your grammar.” (My husband points out that maybe it’s sometimes not so silent 🤣.)Gift cards. I mentioned gift cards like they’re a fallback, but they’re totally awesome. Here are a few great suggestions beyond the easy grabs at your local grocery/convenience store:

  • Your writer/reader’s favorite local independent bookstore. It might require a bit of extra effort (especially if they don’t offer them online), but you’re supporting shopping local, and then they can go pick out their own books–or other fun merchandise.
  • For writers, a gift card to a writing retreat. (Thanks to Mary Boone, who writes non-fiction for young readers, for that excellent tip!)
  • On the reader side, a gift card/reservation to an author festival.
  • Coffee shops! As YA author Meredith Tate reminded me, writers need fuel when they’re writing at their local Starbucks or Bread Co. (or Panera, for those of you outside St. Louis).

A timer. Catherine Bakewell offered another tip for writers–a physical timer for writing sprints. As someone who also does sprints while drafting, I love this idea. I’ve always used an online timer, but this way you can see how many minutes remain. Bookmarks. You can never have too many bookmarks! Indie bookstores are another great resource for finding fun bookmarks, but also check out your neighborhood Barnes & Noble or gift shops. As a reader, I know I’m constantly misplacing my bookmarks, plus they eventually wear out, so it’s nice to have a running supply!Books! Did I forget to mention books? Definitely buy any requested books, but if you find one you think someone will love, it doesn’t hurt to throw it into the mix! (But if you buy a book someone didn’t request, maybe don’t keep asking them if they’ve read it? Not every book is for every person.) And for the writers in your life, craft books are a great option too. Here are a few I highly recommend:

  • Save the Cat! Writes A Young Adult Novel by Jessica Brody
  • Structuring Your Novel by K.M. Weiland
  • The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi

Baby name books, dictionaries, and actual thesauruses are also great resources. And if you want to make those books even more special…Signed books. Until I started writing seriously toward becoming published myself, I had no idea I could get signed books from my favorite authors. Once I discovered this magical option, I started checking author websites to see where I could order them. It’s usually at their local indie. Sometimes they’ll even go personalize them for you! Speaking of which…

Check out my local independent bookstores, The Novel Neighbor and Main Street Books, for signed copies of My Second Impression of You or Your Life Has Been Delayed. Both stores have signed copies available, and I’m also happy to pop in to personalize. When ordering, make a note that you would like a signed copy and request any personalization.The Novel Neighbor: YLHBD MSIOYMain Street Books: YLHBD MSIOY

Happy shopping!

In other news, my December newsletter is out today. Check it out for a writing update, info on how to sign up for World Read Aloud Day, and what I’m currently reading/watching.

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)