Monday, November 29, 2010

Cyber Monday Ten

Ten Gift Ideas Under $10 for Writers or Readers

Books & Book store Gift Cards: We don't have to tell you again how much we love books do we? A book is a wonderful gift for the writer or the reader in your life. An even better gift is to give us the chance to shop for one on our own with an eGift Card (which is all done online, so you don't even have to leave the house.) B& is currently running a special for a free $10 eGift card when you purchase $100.00 of Gift or eGift cards. B& is my retailer of choice when it comes to sending e-mail gift cards because in all the years I've bought from them they've never once failed to deliver them to my recipients.

Bookends: These can be really pricey at department and book stores, so I suggest looking for the handcrafted or vintage variety. I found these these wooden book ends for $4.99 over on iOffer.

Booklights: Anyone who reads in bed with a sleeping spouse or partner uses them; so do writers with bad vision like me. I've tried a lot of booklights in my day, and my biggest complaint is that most of them either use watch-size batteries, which are hard for me to see much less change, or they die quickly. Someday I'd really like to have a reasonably-priced booklight that can run on my rechargeable triple-A batteries. In the meantime, the one I usually recommend is the no-muss no-fuss Energizer's LED clip-on booklight, which can be had over at for $10.00 (I did read an old article over on by Tom Bartlett to see if there were any other cheap booklights out there, but he didn't seem to think much of the two under $10.00.)

Charms: A small charm related to books or reading could make a nice addition to your book lover's favorite necklace or bracelet. has a cute sterling silver bookworm charm for $3.95.

Music to Write/Read By: If you already own an extensive music collection you can probably burn a CD mix tailored to suit your favorite writer or reader. Or head over to iTunes and download individual songs; $10 will buy you ten .99 songs [I love the first Prélude from Yo-Yo Ma's Bach: The Cello Suites (.99); The Theme from Harry's Game from Clannad's In a Lifetime collection (.99); and Chanter's Tune from Shelley Phillips's The Fairie-Round (.99)]

Neck Support: Both writers and readers have complained to me about suffering some sort of neck pain, which hits me pretty regularly, too. A pillow specifically designed to provide support to this area of the bod can be a big relief, like this Relaxzen memory foam neck pillow over at for $10.00.

Totes: Writers and readers tend to be pack mules, so a sturdy tote is a very practical gift. B& has this holiday-themed tote for $7.95 (this was the pretty tote I picked up on Black Friday, and at the time they were selling them for $4.97 if you bought two items from the store. I'm not sure if this is still going on, but if it is it's a little cheaper to get it from the brick & mortar.) If you're handy with the sewing machine and have some pretty fabric in your stash, this is also something you could make yourself

USB Drive: Having a backup of work, e-books and other stuff stored on our computers is a necessity, and a USB drive makes it easy and highly portable. Office Depot sells their name-branded 2GB USBs in different colors for $7.99, and for another $3.99 you can buy a USB clip-on case.

Wordy Gift: Words are something writers and readers can never get enough of, so look for word-themed or decorated items, like this Jonathan Adler words folding umbrella for $9.97 over at B&

Writing Instruments: Not on my gift list, but your favorite scribe probably goes through pens and pencils like crazy, so look for something interesting on sale, like this red and white holiday themed set for $7.47 over at B&

Finally, if you're looking for some new ideas, try giving the Gift Ideas Generator a go. Prices are in British pounds -- at this very moment, 1.00 GBP = 1.55970 USD -- but if you're not accustomed to converting that in your head, or you live in another country, you may also want to visit a currency converter like this one (and thanks to Gerard over at The Generator Blog for the link.)


  1. These are some really great ideas! I would personally love one of those charms!

  2. Thanks for the link to the tote pattern. I completely forgot to check My family goes crazy over totes. I got my mom that holiday one from B&N last year & she still uses it (it's very sturdy).

  3. These are perfect ideas! You definitely hit the jackpot here, these are basically all on my Christmas list this year. :P

    I love gift cards but I suppose I tend to think of them as less personal gifts, so I'd expect them from new friends rather than family members or people I'm really close to.

    Another good gift idea is bookmarks, by the way! :) A writer/reader can never have too many!!


  4. Thanks for the great ideas. I love the bookworm charm. Just an FYI... the items you mentioned from B&N (not the gift cards) are buy one, get one 50% off.

  5. Now you did it. I went to look at that bookworm charm and got sucked into that darned website for two hours! But what a great place to get lost in. :o)

    Word verification: menses
    No thanks.

  6. GayLeeK10:55 PM

    Reader music suggestion: I love Ludovico Einaudi's minimalist classical music. Try "Nightbook" or "Divenire". Also very handy for chilling out before falling asleep. For booklights, I use an LED headlamp - it points where I look. The color of the light is a little too blue but oh well.


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