The holidays are here, and all we want to do is curl up by the fire with a good book, with a book-related pin on our lapel and a book-themed scented candle wafting nearby. Don’t you?
If you do, have no fear, because the Winning Edits Word Nerd’s Holiday Gift Guide is here, with thoughtful gift ideas to transport you and your loved ones to literary heaven all season long.
Any book-focused gift list would be woefully substandard without some, you know, actual reading material. Here are the books and magazines we joyfully urge you to throw under the tree for someone you love this season.
Word By Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries by Kory Stamper
Non Wels: “This book by Kory Stamper, lexicographer at Merriam-Webster, is part memoir and part word nerd heaven.”
The Believer Magazine
David Grabowski: “The Believer is one of the most eclectic collections of nonfiction and poetry writing available. It is published six times a year with striking cover art and a breadth of fascinating subject material—the December/January edition includes an essay on Haitian Vodou and its relationship to Christian Pentecostalism, a micro-interview with Bear Grylls, and an account of a Scottish botanist’s disappearance into the mountains of Vietnam. The Believer is a conduit for some of the most striking modern work out there, and a gift that your giftee will enjoy all year long.”
The Shape of Ideas by Grant Snider
Grant Snider’s The Shape of Ideas is, according to Non, “a delightful and inspiring collection of Grant’s illustrations, focused on what it means to make art, be creative, and live like an aspired human.”
Under the Gum Tree Magazine
This one’s a bit of shameless self-promotion from Janna Maron, but we’ll let it slide because she’s awesome, and more importantly, Under the Gum Tree is awesome. Says Janna, “Under the Gum Tree is a literary arts magazine publishing visual art and creative nonfiction, or true personal stories. It’s the perfect gift for the literary aficionado in your life who appreciates the look and feel, and even the smell, of a quality full-color magazine in their hands and on their coffee tables. A unique and thoughtful gift that you won’t find on Amazon.”
Living the literary life means more than just being great at reading stuff. It means adorning and outfitting yourself with the accoutrements of a literary life well lived. For the word maven who’s aching to literar-ize their life—or who’s simply out of shelf space—here are some options to help them whisk their obsession into new domains.
Old Books Soy Candle
David: “Who doesn’t like the smell of old books? Not anyone who loves reading as much as I do, I’m sure. Here’s a great way to fill your home with the smell, making you feel as if you’re in a stately library or hole-in-the-wall bookstore. The same studio that makes this candle, Frostbeard, based in Minneapolis, also makes an assortment of literary-themed candles with names like ‘Christmas at the Burrow,’ ‘Through the Wardrobe,’ and ‘Sherlock’s Study.'”
Jewelry from Authored Adornments
Janna: “A great way to personalize a gift for word nerds and book lovers. Authored Adornments makes customized jewelry, bracelets, rings, necklaces, key chains, featuring favorite literary quotes and characters. Select the item and the words, and you’ve just created a one-of-a-kind gift.”
Out Of Print Bookish Enamel Pins
Non: “It’s no surprise I love all things Out Of Print. Recently they’ve created some lovely enamel pins, including Where the Wild Things Are!”
Nemosine Fountain Pens
David: “Fountain pens are a treat because of how customizable they are. Everything from the width of the nib to the color of the ink is interchangeable, and writing with them is one of the smoothest writing experiences you can have. For the editors and writers alike out there, a fine writing instrument is a prerequisite—why not gift one that will last forever? Derived from the Greek word Mnemosyne—the Titan goddess of memory—Nemosine pens come in an array of colors and nib sizes. I recommend the Fission. It’s been my go-to for the past three years.”