Mini-Edition: Curated Bookish Gifts & Giving
Curated list of book-giving organizations, bookish small businesses, & light-hearted links to brighten your day.
Greetings readers & writers,
This weekend was the first night of Hanukkah. While Hanukkah is not nearly the critical holiday that media makes it out to be, it is a lovely one. It’s about shining light into darkness, the miracles inherent in belief, victories over enormous obstacles, and re-dedication. All things I know I could use reflecting on right now, as we dive deeper into the short, cold days of winter, with more tough COVID news on the horizon. So much of the holiday season, whatever your beliefs, is about hope and that’s what I’m choosing to sit with right now. Also, of course, gifts and potato latkes.
I’m sure your inbox is flooded this week, between #GivingTuesday, the holiday retail crush, and catching up on work. So to help you out, I’ve crammed all these things into one handy, curated newsletter! Below you’ll find a list of awesome organizations working to get books in the hands of readers; small businesses that sell delightful bookish gifts; and fun links to bring some light to your chilly work day.
#GivingTuesday (or any day): Getting books in the hands of readers
Book Industry Charitable Foundation (BINC) offers grants and funds to comic/bookstores and their employees who are coping with emergency needs.
PJ Library provides free, age-appropriate, Jewish-themed books to kids every month, across the world. Full-disclosure: We receive PJ Library books! They rock!
Reach Out and Read encourages early literacy through education and providing free books to kids at their pediatric well-visits, among other literacy initiatives throughout the country. Raising Readers is a similar state-wide program in Maine!
Little Book Locker was started by the team that started The Writer’s Loft (now located in Hudson, MA) to provide books to children who, due to the pandemic and remote school, may not otherwise have access to books. They provide a free, fully-stocked, indoor alternative to Little Free Libraries (and sometimes help stock those too!)
More Than Words is a Boston-based job training and youth development program that empowers young adults who are in the foster care system, court-involved, homeless, or out of school to take charge of their lives by taking charge of a bookselling business. You can also support them by shopping their online marketplace!
Prison Book Program is a grassroots organization based in Quincy, MA that mails free books to people in prison to support their educational, vocational and personal development and to help them avoid returning to prison after their release.
These are only a handful of the amazing causes out there! Check out my list of non-profits from last year or share your favorite below. Do you have a favorite literacy cause? Please share in the comments!
Small business bookish gifts for your friends (or self!) for under $25
Social Print Studio is a lovely small business out that makes beautiful quality photo products, including postcards and these adorable tiny or mini photo books. I am in love with their photo necklaces and bought one as a launch present for a friend (with her book cover on it!)
Obvious State is one of my favorite graphic designers; they do evocative, cerebral, black & white designs incorporating literary quotes (plus everything on their website is $25 or less!) I have several of their art prints and notebooks!
XOXO, Sierra is a Black-owned gift shop for book lovers and writers. Author Sierra Elmore sells sassy, bookish stationery, notebooks, candles and more.
Ideal Bookshelf is an illustrator that makes the most beautiful bookshelf art! I’m building a small collection of their mugs but they also sell stationery, pins, and if you’re looking for a bigger gift, they even do custom bookshelf prints.
Adagio Teas (you know I couldn’t do a gift list without tea) sells not only a wide variety of luscious teas and accessories, but they also do custom blends, many of which are themed around favorite story fandoms! Or create your own!
Share your favorite creative gifts or small businesses in the comments!
Little gifts from the internet to bring you light
Make your workday more zen with this screen saver of 30 straight-minutes of lovely Studio Ghibli landscapes.
This Simple Carbonara recipe
Just, like, some really awesome bookstores from around the world
Hope you can bring some light to one another this season (and always). Happy writing, reading, and gifting!
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