And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
Susan Cooper, “The Shortest Day”
I was going to write about the 11th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, which I own in its entirety. Long and fascinating story. It is possible, however, that not everyone is as interested in the 11th edition as I am. So I cogitated until I had a mini-brainstorm. It’s Hanukkah now (ridiculously early; what’s up with that? And next year Hanukkah is in November!) and will soon be Christmas (good old reliable Christmas, always on the 25th, in case you didn’t know). How about gifts for writers/book lovers? Which we all are.
I have combed the web for you,hoping to inspire further ideas. Here’s an idiosyncratic list but not a random one, in no particular order. I don’t claim unusual originality, so please chime in with your own ideas. There’s nothing techie here. Let’s take a break. And if, like me, you don’t celebrate much of anything, light some candles on the solstice.
- I have often thought one of these bracelets made from old typewriter keys belongs on my wrist, but I don’t actually wear bracelets. Maybe you do. These are cool. Lots of sources.
2. Moomins: of course you love Moomins. I read my first Moomin book at the age of 9, and I still have it. Moomin paraphernalia is a big deal, but I never knew about the cookie cutters before. http://www.cheapcookiecutters.com/products/moomin-cookie-cutters or here if you prefer them in Swedish (looks Swedish. Finnish?): http://www.martinex.se/produkter.php?page=image-detail&album=1&image=748
Here if you want to add other Moomin objects to your collection: http://www.designshopuk.com/products/%20MOOMINS.html
3. Obvious but perfect: a gift certificate to your local Indie bookshop.
4. And two terrific books: The Children’s Book-A-Day Almanac, by the one and only Anita Silvey:
And My Ideal Bookshelf, a new book that seems irresistible– though I haven’t actually held it in my hands.
5. A good reading lamp.
6. A book-related wall calendar. Here’s an excellent one: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/2013-tintin-wall-calendar-herge-moulinsart/1108513448
7. Alice in Wonderland teapot, teacups, dishtowel (who can resist?): http://www.fishseddy.com/browse.cfm/2,110.html
8. Book earrings and book socks (socks!!). http://www.stopfalling.com/Stacked-Book-Earrings-p-16279.html
9. A VCFA totebag (I’ve never seen this. Have you? Found it online):
10. Levenger page nibs for marking interesting things: http://www.levenger.com/Reading-17/Bookmarks—Bookweights-671/Page-Nibs-Core-6917.aspx
11. Children’s literature in Britain map! (There’s a USA one—grownups–as well.) http://www.theliterarygiftcompany.com/from-neverland-to-wonderland-a-map-of-childrens-literature-in-britain-11142-p.asp
13. Multiple copies of books written by faculty, students, and alumni of VCFA.
14. A Maurice Sendak Wild Things poster from the Eric Carle Museum. www.ericcarlemuseum.org Just because—
15. A Peter Rabbit book tin to hold some of your favorite things. http://www.peterrabbitstore.co.uk/*/Storage-Tins/Peter-Rabbit-Book-Tin/103IL00XO000
16. You knew this one was coming: a puppy. Not this puppy, because she is mine (and is now 4). But don’t get a puppy without serious thought, of course.
17. Finally, if you’re like me and have too much stuff already, please consider a donation to your favorite environmental organization. We only have one planet.
I’d love to hear from you with your own suggestions.