Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

The Gift of Organization

One of my favorite online companies is Levenger. Their tagline is “Tools for Serious Readers” which hooked me right in. Their tools really are great – my friends joke that my husband should be calling them to establish a monthly limit for my spending with them! One of my favorite lines is the “Circa” line of paper and notebooks. You can see it here. The idea is that you can take secure notes (like a spiral notebook) and then move them within a notebook or from notebook to notebook; the flexibility of a three-ring binder without the bulk. The new covers are available in a bright microfiber cloth or a colorful glossy cardboard which is appealing to the younger crowd and makes this a terrific graduation gift idea for the student moving on to college. A bunch of loose paper along with a couple of notebook covers and he/she can travel from class to class with just one notebook and rearrange the notes into separate notebooks once back in the dormitory. Just beware: if you are a reader or writer this is addictive territory!

A Gift for New Moms

As a mom who is wishing on a star for grandchildren, one of my favorite gifts to give a mother-to-be is a basket filled with all the books that became childhood favorites for my girls. The classics “Good Night Moon”, “Love You Forever” and “The Hungry Caterpillar” are just three of the many well-read books that became bedtime rituals in our home. It’s amazing how many times a child wants to hear the same story over again. No matter that as the reader one wishes for a reprieve from the repetitiveness, as time passes the memory becomes dearer. I realize what a new mother has to look forward to, and my great wish is to hold out my arms and say, “Here, look! You don’t know it yet but these are books you will cherish – memories you will build with your child on your lap as you whisper, “I’ll love you forever.”

For a bigger basket:

The Napping House

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

On the Day You Were Born


A Gift Full of Memories

There are a few sites that offer photobooks on the internet now.  My favorite is It’s so easy to use their software and the end result is as professional as anything on the shelf at your local bookstore. I heard about this site when I received a gift of a photobook from a family who had visited our vacation home with us. They compiled photos from that trip, many featuring my children with their children having a wonderful time together and “published” a book as a thank you gift. It was one of the best gifts I’ve ever received and it has become my “go to” place on the web for personalized gifts at Christmas. Pull together some digital photos, upload them to site and start arranging them into your own special gift for someone.

A Gift for Readers and “Techies”

I tend to get lost in a great book from time to time, but what if your laptop could get lost in one? The BookBook hard cover Macbook case is the perfect way to hide your laptop in public situations where you’d rather keep your prized possession under wraps. It looks exactly like an old, worn book, and is available in both black and red. It is also a novel way to protect your laptop from scratches and dust. It is a great gift idea not only for those who need their laptop with them at all times, but also for anyone who is a fan of classic books.

Questions to Start Great Conversations

We all have that friend or those family members who always love to entertain and be the hostess. When selecting a present for them you might as well take advantage of this and give them something that you know they will get plenty of use out of. Table Topics is a great, unique gift for anyone. They are similar to the conversation starters you may find at some restaurants, but are available in a seemingly endless amount of themes. Their topics range anywhere from book club to dinner party and even teen. They come in small clear cubes filled with cards and are then decorated in fun and playful patterns and colors. They are perfect to simply leave out on your coffee table when having friends over or even to entertain you during a long car ride or when sitting in a waiting room. The “Girls Night Out” addition is the perfect present to give to your friends as a small holiday gift. If you are looking for something extra to give to your significant other, the “Couples” addition is a great thoughtful present and includes questions such as, “what possession of your partner’s would you like to throw away.” With the endless selection of items available you are guaranteed to find something for anyone, no matter the occasion, as there are cards specialized for even a bachelorette party and going to college. These creative questions are also available on napkins, coasters and even placemats. This year I couldn’t resist buying these for my friends and family members and even purchased one for myself as well. 

    A Little Gift with Big Meaning

    If you are looking for an inexpensive and easy gift to give to a loved one, you have plenty of options available to you; particularly if they are as much of a bookworm as I am. Even those who only pick up the occasional book could use a bookmark. Instead of turning to scraps of paper to hold your spot or folding up the book itself, a bookmark is a great alternative that is not only effective but that adds style and some fun as well. You can find bookmarks ranging anywhere from classic sterling silver ones, to magnetic ones filled with vibrant designs. It is a simple gift to give regardless of the person’s age, sex or interests that will keep you on a low budget. You could also always select your favorite book and wrap it up along with the bookmark. If you are interested in poetry or short stories, select your favorite page or something that expresses a message that you want to share with your loved one. It is a gift that is ultimately not only useful but that will show how much you care without spending a fortune. 

      Lose Yourself in Reading

      A great gift for someone who loves to read but it always on the go, is the latest kindle. Kindle is the newest wireless reading device that gives you access to thousands of books at your fingertips. Not only is it lightweight and easy for travel but it is also capable of storing up to 1,500 books. It is great to bring on business trips or family vacations, allowing you to bring as many books as you want, while only taking up the room of less than one book. Newspapers are also easily accessible through it as well for a low price. You should also not be intimidated if you are not as technologically skilled, as it is fast and easy to use. Before giving it as a gift you could even always upload a few copies of your favorite books or articles. The kindle is also equipped with an instant dictionary and access to Wikipedia, a luxury that books do not have. Depending on who you are buying it for the added feature of audio books is a perfect addition and great for long car rides or just laying down. 

        For Literature Lovers

        I must admit that in addition to my jewelry addiction, I am absolutely in love with reading. I simply love James Patterson and his newest release, Trial, was no disappointment. I borrowed it from a friend of mine and managed to finish reading the entire novel in one sitting. Unlike most of his other novels, Trial includes a bit of history. The reader is transported back in time to a small, southern town when lynching is rampant. This realistic piece of fiction is a must read for anyone who is a James Patterson fan. It is not at all what I expected; however, I was pleasantly surprised. I actually paced myself as the novel came to a close because I wanted to savor every last word. I want this book as my own and so will anyone on your shopping list who appreciates fantastic literature. 

          A Gift to Occupy

          Dan: Both myself and Grace are going on study abroad trips soon and my flights are going to be very long.  My first on New Years goes from JFK in New York direct to Hong Kong (roughly 20 hours), and then we are switching with a 3 hour lay-over to a flight going to New Zealand from Hong Kong which will be over 5 hours.  With all of this free time I do not know what I am going to do with myself.

          My iPod will run out of battery, and my friends and I can only play so many card games in a row, so I’ll need something to keep me busy for sure.  A great gift, would be a book!  Books can be really personal because it shows that you know what the other person enjoys to read.  Books are also a sophisticated and often times expensive gift.  It is scary to think of the day that books won’t exist with all of the technological advances society is experiencing.  So, I recommend books for a holiday gift or just any occasion, books are an excellent choice!

          Grace: Books have always been my favorite gifts to receive (and give)!  You can never go wrong with a good book, and it’s always a great way to introduce people to things you love.  Many of my favorite books are ones that people have recommended to me.  If you don’t know what kind of book to get someone, a gift card to a bookstore is also a great idea.  Although I’m normally not a fan of gift cards, I never complain when I get ones to bookstores.

          The Gift of Health

          Dan: Today, everyone is so busy running around doing errands and trying to make a living that other things such as your health significantly suffer.  I suggest, that if you know someone who is constantly busy and continually stressed to give them a gift this coming holiday season that reminds them to be healthy.

          There are so many great books out there that provide endless well-being tips.  Everything from proper exercise techniques, healthy eating, and stress reduction activities such as yoga.  A great place to look for a large selection of these types of books are internet retailers such as Amazon or your local Barnes & Noble.  I do not suggest going to a Borders because they have a poor selection given their brink of bankruptcy situation.  Nothing is more important than one’s health, make that known with a gift this holiday season!

          Grace: This is a really great gift idea but for the right kind of person.  You don’t want to accidentally insult anyone by giving them a health book.  However, if you feel confident that you won’t insult the recepient, this can be a great gift.  A lot of these books are really funny and really interesting, which makes them a great read.  For example, before I went off to college, one of my friends bought me this book called The Little Book of Stress.  It’s a really funny book that “teaches” you how to induce stress in your own life and others, and in the process, calms you down just because it’s so ridiculous.  I would definitely recommend a gift like this, but be sure to err on the side of caution.