Well, it’s that time again: the gift-giving season is upon us. If you want to impress the grammatically inclined on your list but you’re not sure where to start, this gift guide will help you make the word nerds and grammar geeks in your life very happy campers this holiday season. (Just don’t misspell the card!)
1. Pictorial Webster’s: A Visual Dictionary of Curiosities by John M. Carrera
What self-respecting wordsmith isn’t desperately, achingly in love with dictionary illustrations? (This one is!) This gorgeous hardcover by Chronicle Books collects over 1,500 illustrations that originally appeared in the original Webster’s dictionaries in one beautiful volume. I’m completely enamored. ($35, hardcover)
2. Grammar Grumble Mugs
This set of six coffee mugs from the Literary Gift Company will put a smile on any writer or editor even before the coffee starts flowing. Whether you’re figuratively dying for a cuppa, already being affected by the caffeine effect, or adding less milk and fewer sugar lumps, there’s no way you won’t be literally laughing. (£40 + free delivery in the UK)
3. Moby-Dick in Pictures: One Drawing for Every Page by Matt Kish
The classic Norman Rockwell line drawings may be beautiful, but librarian and artist Matt Kish (pardon the pun) blew Rockwell out of the water, taking Herman Melville’s magnificent whale tale to a new level. Tin House Books published this book after Kish completed his Ahab-level obsession 552 days after he began his task—one picture/page every single day—and each painting is inspired by the words that lie beneath. Also see Kish’s blog. ($35, paperback)
4. Refurbished Vintage & Antique Typewriter from The Antikey Chop
Sure, technology allows us to edit documents, create cloud backups, and publish digitally—but to help unlock your special writer’s inner Hemmingway, give the gift of classic typewriter goodness. The Antikey Chop’s Etsy account boasts consistently five-star reviews, so you can buy with confidence, and each refurbished typewriter is sent out with a new ribbon so it’s all set to produce that masterpiece: just add paper and fingers. (Price and availability varies)
5. On Writing by Stephen King
Ubiquitous thriller author Stephen King is one of the most interesting writers out there; now’s your change to dig into his process, learn about his early career, and learn to eschew outlines and pants a manuscript like the best of them. Part autobiography, part how-to guide, On Writing (re-released by Simon & Schuster as a special 10th anniversary edition) will light a fire under veteran and unpublished authors alike.
What about you? Any special gifts in mind for the wordsmiths on your shopping list this season? I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions!