Dear Santa, I've been a very good writer this year! (Gift ideas for book makers)

If there's a writer on your holiday shopping list this year (or if you're a writer who wants to drop a few hints), here's a few ideas for the annual Festival of Avarice. Basically my five favorite things that dropped down the chimney into my writing life this year:

ThermaCare HeatWraps for the type-weary wrist. After a day of way too much word count, I ice my hands and wrists with bags of frozen peas, then don these oh-so-comforting...I don't know what to call them. Smittens?

My Canon LiDE200 Color Image Scanner has been an incredibly valuable research tool. It cost less than $100, lightweight, slides right into my laptop bag, nice high res images, and it's super easy to use. I bought one for my mom, too. Gets power from your computer, so you can take it anywhere.

My little red Sony ICDUX70RED Digital Voice Recorder also cost under $100, stores up to 290 hours of interviews, has a slow-down feature on the playback for easier transcription, and plugs directly into a USB port for lightning fast upload. (I also store a couple hours of music on it so it doubles as a slightly less slick iPod on the airplane.)

At 2 AM, I was packing my bags for a 7 AM flight and discovered that my new widescreen laptop didn't fit into my classy leather laptop bag. I had to cart it in an unpadded canvas tote. The answer to my prayers (okay, it was more like swearing): a felt laptop sleeve from opens out to create a cool, mousable work surface. Great for backpack travel to library, coffee shop, first class, or grandmother's house. Swaddling clothes for your computer. A little pricey at $85, but it also keeps your laptop from burning your thighs in bed. (Unless you're into that kinda thing...)

While we're at it, the funky merch dept at features all sorts of bangles, trinkets, T-shirts, and treats for people who love letters, typography, and the visual art of words. (Click here to see the Veer logo spelled out in cheese, balloons, gymnasts, pencil shavings, and pie!)

The under-mistletoe motherload -- sorry, book purists -- for my purposes, the Kindle wireless reading device is the greatest thing since toast on a stick. Again, it's a little pricier than I'd like, but so worth it. The last two or three years, I've been reading less and less because my eyes are fried by the end of a long writing day. The Kindle text to voice feature may not be super-expressive entertainment, but it's fine for research material. That means I can save my eyes for pleasure reading, which is made more pleasurable by print and margins that adjust for comfort.

Yeah, yeah, I know, there's nothing like the interactive feel of a nice hardcover book in your hands, and a book shouldn't feel like a Gameboy and blah blah blah. Bottom line: I'll be reading ten times more and enjoying it thoroughly. And if you're hoping to have me review/blurb your book, your best bet is making it available to my Kindle.

(By the way, if you're shopping for someone in cancer treatment, the Kindle is even more perfect. Oy! What I wouldn't have given for one of these babies when I was in chemo!)

Fellow writers, chime in! What do you want for Christmas this year?


I second the rec on the Kindle. I'm reading more on it and love the larger-text. Would recommend buying a clip-on light for ultimate eyeball comfort.

I love that text is searchable. Makes research quicker. Also, you can highlight and save clippings and make notes.

One bad idea on Kindle: recipe books. It's really not cut out for browsing or viewing illustrations.
Jen Singer said…
I covet your Kindle.

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