Member Blogs > Kristian Strom, BooksellerFive Last-Minute Gift Ideas for the Bibliophile in Your Life

  • Thu, 06 Dec 2012 03:11:35    Permalink

    5.  T-Shirts for Book Nerds

    My two favorite places to buy book related clothing are Buy Olympia and Out-of-Print clothing.
    My personal favorites are the Forest Green "Reading is Sexy" hoodie in XL, which is a cozy number.  The Out-of-Print tees feature classic dust jacket art and designs, and are also printed on high quality shirts that are very soft and wearable.  I order these for myself in an XL, as they tend to run a bit smaller than some other tees.

    At the risk of being shunned and ostracized by some of my male friends, I've created a Pinterest Board with graphic representations of most of the items on my list here.  Feel free to add your ideas in the comments section below and I will continue to update the board.

    4. Any Custom Creation from Juniper Books

    Thatcher Wine at Juniper Books is a true craftsman, and was the first person I ever saw to create the now widespread Christmas tree made out of books phenomenon.  But he didn't stop at a tree, he used books to spice up the staircase in his office and deck out a bookcase with an American flag.  Check it out.

    We have worked together on several projects, including the upcoming Extreme Makeover Holiday special and the Green Room at the Academy Awards.  OK, so he did all the cool stuff, I just supplied some of the film books:)

    For the ideal gift, choose one of his collections with custom created dust jackets based on the literary tastes of the Bibliophile in your life.  Also, it looks like he is currently running a special with free FedEx Ground shipping on all domestic orders through December 20th, so make sure to get in your order early to avoid being empty handed later in the month!  Here is his online store.  Make sure to check out the sweet personalized Cook Book sets and the sweet Sherlock Holmes set.

    3.  Ahearn's Collected & a Subscription to Firsts Magazine

     Ahearn's Collected Books is my favorite offline reference guide for determining the value of rare and out-of-print books, and also in figuring out whether or not you have a true 1st Printing in your hands.  It is a must have for all aspiring book collectors and booksellers.  I keep a copy right above my desk and I also never leave home without it!  An I.O.U. for an annual subscription ($40 for 10 issues) to Firsts Magazine, another publication from the Ahearn's, makes a nice addition to any stocking.  Or you can order a back issue or two to stuff in there as well, but make sure not to crease it haha...

    "Allen and Pat Ahearn are the authors of Collected Books: The Guide to Values and over 200 individual Author Price Guides, all of which require they keep current on the market prices for collectible books and make them uniquely qualified to offer professional appraisal services and to establish fair prices when purchasing books or libraries."

    2.  Buy Local- A Gift Certificate to Your Favorite Local Independent Retail or Used Bookstore

    For the past several years, I have been giving away Gift Cards to Watermark Books as gifts for people who have helped me out or had my back in one way or another throughout the year.  A nice benefit of their gift cards is that if the person I give it to doesn't happen to be a big reader, they can always enjoy a great lunch or a few lattes instead.

    Another book that I highly recommend is My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read and Shop.  It's an "enthusiastic, heartfelt, and sometimes humorous ode to bookstores and booksellers" where over eighty writers honor their favorite shops with short stories and essays.  Perhaps I'm slightly biased, as I was immortalized by poet Albert Goldbarth on page 139, "Shirley King was whisked up to the podium too, and Skyler's friend Cindy, and rare-book dealer Kris Strom."  First things first, Albert- I only let family call me Kris!  Oh what do you care, you'll never read anything online anyways.

    His contribution recounts his 1989 wedding at the original Watermark location, followed by the more recent renewal of his wedding vows where we all got to wear silly hats (except for him- his was cool), and is cleverly intertwined in a larger story about the renewal of our commitment to local bookstores and the books within them.  On November 13th, Watermark hosted a reading to promote the nationwide release of the book, and Goldbarth mentioned that this would certainly be the only time in history where a story in an anthology he was featured in was followed by John Grisham.  I'll be glad to sign page 139 for you if you'd like;)

    1.  Between the Covers Collectible Book Covers Card Sets 

    My absolute favorite gift idea for 2012 is a product I just discovered from Between the Covers, who also has one of my favorite websites for online browsing, which always does pale in comparison to the real deal (you know- browsing in an actual bookstore).  I ordered these off their website on a curious whim whilst ordering a few scarce and out-of-print paperbacks they had in stock from local Wichita publisher Four Ducks Press, and I couldn't have been more happy with what arrived in the mail a week later.

    Combining my youthful love of sports cards with my current love of rare and collectible books, this little set "contains 76 unique rare book trading cards, each card featuring one of the best first editions in the world, with a picture on the front and "stats" on the back. Includes mint copies, dedication copies, presentation copies and author's copies of such classics as Gone With the Wind, The Catcher in the Rye, The Sound and the Fury, The Great Gatsby, Huck Finn, Moby-Dick, The Wizard of Oz, The Lord of the Rings and many more. Each set is attractively packaged as a faux miniature book in an illustrated wraparound cover and clear plastic case. 228 unique book cards total (some representing different rare editions of the same title), plus three checklist cards."  Are you kidding me?  Now I can quiz myself, organize by author, re-organize by title, re-re-organize by publication date...a baseball card collector turned book dealer's dream come true.

    They're a steal at $50 for the entire set of 3, or you can buy them one at a time for $20 each.


    I'm sure I've left off a few things.  Jane Mount's "Ideal Bookshelf" and recently released book is the first one that comes to mind.  Feel free to share other ideas in the comments selection below and I'll do my best to continue to add to the Holiday Gift Ideas for the Bibliophile: 2012 Edition Pinterest Board in a timely manner.

    Happy Holidays!

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