Yes, that may be the most convoluted gift guide title you will see this holiday season. We’re trying to think outside of the box this year. Obviously we are big fans of giving books as gifts, and many of the books that we have positively reviewed on the site would make excellent gifts when matched with an eager reader. But sometimes your fellow bookworm friends fill up their punch cards at the local bookstore faster than you can keep up. Or they may have a teetering stack of library books that they want to work through. In those situations, what do you give them? I’ve collected a few ideas, and picked up a few more from fellow book lovers.
For the young readers who also love a good board game, pick up Tell Tale. This simple game challenges players to create their own stories. Each card has a unique image on it. You draw a card and have to somehow incorporate the concept represented by the image into the story. My niece and nephew love this game, and my niece is a pro at it. She’s really good at working each image into a story. You can also use the cards in different ways – there are other game suggestions included in the tin. This would be a great gift for young readers who are learning about story structure. I think it’s a wonderful game because it puts players in the role of author and reminds us that we have agency in shaping the narratives in our lives. Available from Blue Orange Games.
I can’t be the only one who secretly wishes he or she had pursued a career as a librarian. I have this SMASH date stamp by K & Company, and every time I use it I get to live my circulation desk daydreams. This would be a fun gift to young aspiring librarians or to grownups who dream about being a librarian in their next life.
For older board game lovers, this buffalo party game by Tiltfactor isn’t exactly book-related, but it’s definitely Slatebreaking. I’m going to paste the description from the website to show you why: “buffalo was developed as part of a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded project called “Transforming Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) For Women and Girls: Reworking Stereotypes & Bias.” The two-year grant has allowed Tiltfactor to develop a number of game designs with additional assistance from the National Girls Collaborative Project, a nationwide organization that wishes to promote gender equity within STEM fields.” That’s so cool. I kind of want to buy buffalo for everyone on my shopping list.
Feeling crafty…and also cheap? These DIY geometric felt bookmarks from How About Orange look really nice and are inexpensive to make. I love crafts that look like they were way more expensive to make then what they actually cost. And these look so upscale, fancy, and architectural. Make a whole set for readers (like me!) who are constantly misplacing bookmarks.
If you have a sewing machine and some basic sewing skills, you can whip up a library tote for little or big readers. (Here’s another version that looks fun to make.) You could also make an e-reader case (tutorials here and here) for friends who prefer to read on their Kindle or Nook. There are some really neat book-print fabrics out there, too, to make a handmade reading-related gift extra special. I like this bookshelf print by Alexander Henry and any of the prints in the Connecting Threads Bookish collection.
For theatre enthusiasts looking for live singing and dancing Slatebreakers, the soundtrack for the new Matilda musical is an excellent gift. The song “Naughty” is a pinnacle of musical theatre solos for girl characters. I listen to that soundtrack over and over and sing along at the top of my lungs every time. It also is the pinnacle of Slatebreaking: Matilda is singing about young female heroines who break the rules because they have to craft better endings to their own stories. Instead of the soundtrack, you could give tickets to the real show, which would just be the best gift ever. I know I’m gushing, but I love Matilda the book so much, and to know that it has been transformed into a smart, witty, and delightful stage musical makes me so happy.
If you are gift giving on a budget this year, there’s nothing more practical than the simple gift of a classic composition notebook and a nice pen. How is this Slatebreaking? Well, anytime a woman young or old realizes their own agency in shaping outcomes – whether in the narrative of their life or a fictional narrative of their creation – that’s a Slatebreaking moment.
What else is on your shopping list this year? Tell us what Slatebreaking book and non-book gifts you will be giving!