My shopping excursion today included a stop at my local Books-a-Million, where I did some widget and teenager shopping. BAM has all the best widgety stuff for readers and writers, and a nice buy-2-get-1-free sale going on YA books.
I love buying books for kids of any age, but teens can be tough. Just as I was getting comfortable with my daughter's Twilight obsession, she outgrew the books, told me she was done with Team Edward and Team Jacob, and moved on to reading (cough) classic literature. I'm bracing myself for the day she comes home and asks, "Mom, did you read this Salinger book?" and I have to discuss that damn story with her like a rational parent should.
I don't try to think like a teenager when it comes to picking out books for them; my mindset is the same as when I'm looking for an adult. I rely primarily on authors I know are talented and can tell a great story, but now and then I'll also try new-to-me writers at random (I always buy myself a copy first to test-drive it before I give the book as a gift.) I also talk to teenagers and see what they're currently reading, what they like and don't like in a story, and what books their friends are talking about lately. They can really surprise you, too.
Once I had amassed my pile of YA gifts, I went in search of widgets. I love BAM's widgets and I always find something new whenever I'm gift hunting. On this trip I discovered a cool pen and two interesting reinventions of the bookmark:
1. Seltergoods.com's Seven Year Pen, which is Swiss made, boasts a jumbo ink supply, and has a long-life tip ($7.99, which works out to a dollar a year if it lasts as long as the manufacturer claims. According to the package, a portion of the purchase price will be donated to environmental causes)
2. The Electronic Dictionary Bookmark, which not only keeps your place but provides over 38K definitions for words you may not recognize while you're reading ($29.95, and yes, I thought that was quite pricey, but worth it for someone who is vocabulary-challenged like my intended recipient)
3. A cat-shaped iMark magnetic bookmark by Thinking Gifts, the tail of which keeps your place as you read ($4.99, handy and exceptionally cute.)
Btw, I also found a single version of the three boxed pop-up Snow Globe greeting cards I found at B&N yesterday; one small size was $6.95 and one large size (not quite as cute as the small size) was $8.95. So if you just want one instead of three, check your local BAM for it.
Today I'm adding to the Let It Snow tote a trade paperback copy of my YA novel After Midnight and an iMark cat bookmark to help the winner keep their place while reading it. As for the mystery addition, it's a new hardcover YA novel by a debut author. This one has gorgeous cover art that caught my eye, and the premise of the story sounded quite interesting, so much so that I bought two copies so I could add one to my own holiday TBR (look carefully at today's tote pic to spot the hint.)
If you'd like a chance to win this giveaway, in comments to this post tell us which YA book or author you think a teenager would really enjoy (or if you can't think of one, just toss your name in the hat.) I will draw one name at random from everyone who participates by commenting on this or any of my other Let It Snow giveaway posts from now until midnight EST on Wednesday, December 21, 2011, and send the winner the tote with all the contents. This giveaway is open to everyone on the planet, even if you've won something here at PBW in the past.