Good morning! It’s finally that time of the year when we start planning gift shopping. I don’t know about you, but I feel it was just a couple of months ago when I took down the Christmas tree! And now I’m going to put it up again soon. Anyway, if you’re a writer or you’re trying to decide what to get a writer friend of yours, I’ve come up with a good Christmas gift list. We can’t get a Cloak of Invisibility like Harry Potter, but there are other items that we as writers would love just as much.
1. A NEW LAPTOP/CONVERTIBLE TABLET
A computer is perhaps the most important tool for today’s writer. It’s akin to a camera for a photographer. For most writers, a mid-level PC will suffice. The Asus Vivobook (pictured above, left) is very portable at just 5 pounds. It has an LED touchscreen, a Core i3 processor, and USB 3.0. For the writer who can’t settle between a tablet and a laptop, opt for an HP Envy Split (pictured above, right). Its specs are similar to the Vivobook, but it comes with a 128GB solid state drive. That’s impressive for a $599 computer.
Tip: This suggestion is meant more for writers than for their friends. Not many people bestow gifts this costly.
2. MICROSOFT OFFICE OR SCRIVENER
I’ll go back to the photographer analogy. A writer with a PC that doesn’t have a decent word processor is like a photographer with a camera that lacks an SD card. Gift them with a copy of Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013. It costs just $139.99 and includes Word and OneNote. For serious writers (or those who’d prefer something that’s not Microsoft), you can get a copy of Scrivener. It costs $40 and works on both Windows and Mac.
3. EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE
For most people, the files on their computer are worth eons more than the computer itself. That is especially true for writers. An external hard drive is a great tool to safeguard those precious files. The AData DashDrive is relatively affordable at around $80. It comes at capacities of either 500GB or 1TB, and boasts military-grade waterproof and shockproof construction. It also has USB 3.0 capability for speedy file transfers.
Tip: External hard drives are meant to backup your files. As such, you should not leave them plugged in to your PC all the time.
4. POCKET NOTEBOOK AND PEN
Give the writer in your life a way to jot down ideas with a good pocket notebook. The Moleskine Classic Notebook is among the most notable and favored. If your writer friend enjoys the outdoors—or lives in Seattle—get them a Rite in the Rain notebook instead. For a pen, you can get a Staedtler Pigment Liner. As an alternative, the Inka Pen is great for folks who’re always misplacing their pen.
5. A COMFORTABLE CHAIR
Writers can spend several hours a day typing away, usually on their desk. For that reason, they need a good chair that will reduce strain. The RealSpace Briessa Mid-Back Vinyl Chair is good-looking and comfortable. It won’t break the bank if you are able to catch the special $49.99 price.
6. A STYLISH COAT OR BLAZER
Winter is here, folks. Unless your writer friend’s a woman, they probably aren’t very good when it comes to fashion. Give them some help with a coat that won’t have other people frowning. The Structure 2-Button Wool Blazer or the Flatseven Men’s Premium Blazer Jacket are excellent and affordable choices.
7. A GREAT COFFEE BREWER
Writers can be diligent folks, often bordering on workaholics. Most love what they do. A nice coffee machine goes a long way to keep a writer going. It’s highly likely that your writer friend already has a basic coffee maker, so get something better. To impress them, get the Jura Capresso 4-Cup Cappuccino/Espresso Maker.
8. MUSIC STORE GIFT CARD
A lot of writers enjoy working with music on the background. They either buy more music at iTunes or Amazon, or get a Spotify account. Your writer friend will be very thankful to receive an iTunes or an Amazon.com music gift card. The amount is your choice. I recommend spending at least $20.
9. SET OF ADJUSTABLE-WEIGHT DUMBBELLS
Due to their reclusive and diligent nature, some writers think they don’t have enough time for exercising. Give your writer friend a hand with a set of adjustable-weight dumbbells. With those, he’ll be able to stay in shape and increase the weights as he gets fitter.
10. A NEW KEYBOARD
If your writer friend uses a desktop computer—instead of a laptop—it may be time to invest in a new keyboard. A nice model will help increase their WPM and counter fatigue. This Beyondtek keyboard is mechanical, which means that it will last a lot longer than your average keyboard. It has backlit keys in various colors and is ergonomic and waterproof (yes, coffee spills won’t trash it). Plus, it comes with a high-definition mouse.
11. A FURRY FRIEND
Writers are particularly known for being reserved. Not all of them have a large number of friends or acquaintances. If your writer friend lives alone, a companion would make for a fabulous gift. Dogs are generally a better choice, unless your friend prefers cats. Small or medium, friendly breeds are preferable.
Tip: Always buy puppies from reputable breeders. Also, avoid getting a puppy that’s less than ten weeks old. They need that time with their mother so she can teach them canine etiquette 101.
12. AIRPLANE TICKETS
It’s almost December, so your writer friend may just be coming back from NaNoWriMo. He/she may be eager for a breath of fresh air. For that, you can buy plane tickets to their favorite city, or to one that they’ve wanted to visit.
13. A LASER PRINTER
When writers finish a manuscript, they want to revise it. At one point during the process, they’ll print their words on paper. A laser printer is a better investment than an inkjet in the long run. This HP LaserJet Pro is a great model to give as a gift. You can throw in a ream of paper or two. If they need a color printer, it will cost more.
14. CATCHY BOOKENDS
Most writers are avid readers. And as such, they may have several shelves in their house (unless they prefer reading on a Kindle). A fun pair of bookends can make for a thoughtful gift. As a suggestion, these chess piece bookends and these Arc de Triomphe bookends are great to start.
15. A BOOK REVIEW
The biggest reward writers can get is when someone likes their book. If you have read your friend’s book and enjoy it, strongly consider submitting a review as a gift. You don’t have to go over the top. It just has to be honest. It goes without saying that, if you didn’t like the book, there’s no point submitting a bad review.
16. AUTOGRAPHED BOOK BY A FAVORITE AUTHOR
This is a biggie, at least for me. For avid readers, our favorite authors are like Hollywood stars. We look up to and admire them. If you know your writer friend’s favorite author and are able to procure an autographed copy, you’ll shoot up to BFF status.
17. SPECIAL EDITION HARRY POTTER BOOK BOX SET
It’s hard to find a bookworm who’s not a Harry Potter fan. If your writer friend is one of those, they’ll be thrilled to get the full collection of Harry Potter books. This set with the new cover art is recent, so your friend may not have it yet.
18. HARRY POTTER ITEMS
If by any chance your friend already purchased the gift above for themselves, you have a bunch of other choices. Girls will most likely love this quote bracelet, this quote shirt, or a set of gloves and a scarf bearing their favorite Hogwarts House. For guys, you can get this Mischief Managed shirt or this Polyjuice flask.
Tip: If your friend is a big fan of another book series, get them items related to those books.
19. A STATEMENT SHIRT
This is for writers that like quotes and aren’t tired of being gifted clothes. Find a shirt or blouse with a writing or reading-related quote. This is a nice one.
20. A STYLISH LAPTOP SLEEVE
If your writer friend already has a relatively new laptop, help them protect it from wear with a good laptop sleeve. This one isn’t something you see every day, and could make a good conversation starter.
21. NINTENDO 3DS
Writers can spend so much time writing that they ‘forget’ to have fun. Some even see their work time as leisure time. I wouldn’t argue with that :). To get your writer friend to have fun for real, you can get them a portable videogame console. The Nintendo 3DS is the best one right now. For games, I recommend Mario Kart 7, Super Smash Bros for 3DS, or the latest Pokémon title.
Tip: You might want to wait a few months until the New Nintendo 3DS is released in the U.S., unless your friend doesn’t mind having the existing version. Opt for a Wii U, Playstation, or Xbox instead.
22. A BICYCLE
If you’d rather give your writer friend a gift that will make him more active than videogames, go for a bicycle. It’s not just for recreation, it’s a great method of transport for getting to nearby locations. No one drives a car to someplace a couple of blocks away, unless they’re picking up something heavy.
23. A CREATIVE BOOKSHELF
Avid readers can never have enough books. They can’t have enough bookshelves, either. You can never go wrong with a stylish one as a gift. The Invisible Bookshelf is sure to turn eyes. Your writer friend will get a kick out of this one. And this one might freak people out.
24. QUOTE POSTERS AND/OR WALL ART
This is mostly for female writers. If you have such a friend, she may already have bought herself a few. Choose a good canvas art instead of a quote poster if she already has more than two. It’s too much of a good thing.
25. THIS CLEVER USB FLASH DRIVE
When your writer friend sees this, they’re going to wish they found out about it sooner. No matter if they’re not really into tech, they’re going to love it. This flash drive contains an entire library of classic novels, from Bronte to Dickens and Wilde. There’s something here for any writer to enjoy.
26. SOMETHING FROM LEVENGER’S
Computer whizzes have Newegg. Artists have Michael’s. Wizards have Diagon Alley. What’s there for writers and readers? Levenger.com.