5 WAYS TO BOOKISHLY DONATE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

Towards the end of every year, a lot of people decide to give money to charities to make the world a better place (or get a tax write-off. Hey, your mileage may vary). Here’s a couple of suggestions of bookish charities for this year:

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library


Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library donates a free book every month to children birth through five in the U.S., United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada. Over 100 million books have been mailed since the program started, which is pretty amazing. There’s a couple of ways to donate. You can donate to the main organization here or you can find your local affiliate and donate directly to them: Australia , Canada, United Kingdom, and the U.S.

Your Local Nursing Home/Assisted Living Home

Check with your local nursing home, but many of them will happily accept large print books. It might be a good idea to gift some of the newer, more exciting things you read this year (please God, no more da Vinci Code) and maybe even take some time to visit and read them to some of the folks living there (depending on the rules, of course).

Classrooms


The sad reality is that a lot of teachers need assistance in order to get the supplies they need for their classrooms, because America’s public school system needs some serious help. I won’t go into it here, but part of the answer is to vote and advocate for a better system that takes care of teachers (in a good way, not in a murdery way), and part of it is to help teachers and your local schools however you can now. One way is to donate through donorschoose.org. You can help classrooms with various needs, and make sure that teachers have the tools they need. You can also check with some local child care centers and see if they accept donated books! (Pro-tip: bring over some LGBTQ+ and titles about and by people of color!)

Local Literacy Council

There’s a good chance you have some kind of local literacy council or reading program near you. A lot of literacy councils provide ESL services and reading programs to adults and children free of charge, and it is a good way to invest locally. Just google literacy council/reading programs near me, and donate your time or funds to help people in your community.

Local Library


This has been mentioned before, but it bears repeating. Friends, it is worth investing in your local library (you could even be a “friend” of the library. Ha! Ah, such quality content here at Bookriot). They may need volunteers, they may need cash, they may need something for their upcoming book sale, but what better way to help this season than reaching out to a place that helps people from all generations and income classes in SO MANY WAYS. The library rocks, ya’ll.  Give it some love.

By , November 
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This Literary Wrapping Paper Will Take Your Holiday Gifts to the Next Level

The holiday season is officially underway, and you know what that means—it’s almost time to start wrapping presents. To make the process a little less painful, I usually combine the activity with two of my favorite things: wine (so I don’t spiral into a procrastination-induced panic), and festive music. But this year, I’m stepping up my gift wrapping with another item: adorable bookish wrapping paper.

There’s no better way to make your presents look great (and make the act of wrapping presents more fun) than to use some stylish wrapping paper. And although I like snowman-patterned or red, green, and gold paper as much as the next person, this literary-themed paper just speaks to my book-lovin’ heart. Plus, it’s perfect for any gifts to fellow readers, whether that be friends, family, or members of your book club.

The one catch: This specialty book wrapping paper isn’t as readily available at local pharmacies as the conventional kind. So where can you find it? Read on for some cute and festive options!

Zazzle has some great choices, including this two-toned “Once Upon a Time” gift wrap that will appeal to any fairy tale fans.

The Literary Gift Company is also a great site to scour for bookish items, for obvious reasons. It has a lot of festive wrapping paper perfect for avid readers, but my personal favorite is this one featuring various vintage typewriters:

This Literary Life package from Amazon sticks with the bookish motif and comes with 12 sheets of wrapping paper, along with 24 gift tags:

Give your presents an antique feel with this matte craft paper from the Etsy shop, SoChroma.

Have any superhero fans in your life? Wrap their gifts with this wrapping paper that pays homage to some classic comic book sayings, from PartyEleganza on Etsy:

Prefer to stick to solid-colored wrapping paper? No problem—you can add a little bookish magic with this tape from Etsy’s ColourSplashSupplies store:

Last but not least, you can simply download this printable Word Search paper from Something Turquoise. The best part? It’s customizable, so you can include the gift recipient’s name or any other words you wish to feature.

Happy wrapping!

By , December 

Do Good: 12 Literary Nonprofits to Support This Holiday

Asian American Writers’ Workshop

Established in 1991, the Asian American Writers’ Workshop is a national not-for-profit arts organization devoted to creating, publishing, and developing creative writing by Asian Americans. Since 2010, the group has committed to giving away more than $100,000 to emerging Asian American writers. Its online magazine, The Margins, has attracted more than half a million visitors. The AAWW also hosts events featuring hundreds of writers a year, with Maxine Hong Kingston and Chang-rae Lee among the luminaries.

Find out more »
Donate »

Barbershop Books

Barbershop Books is a community-based literacy program that creates friendly reading spaces in barbershops for boys. The nonprofit’s mission is to help black boys between the ages of four and eight become readers by bringing books into barbershops—and involving the men who work there to help foster a love of reading. Every dollar invested in a reading space results in 27 minutes of reading in a barbershop. Find out more about the program’s impact as well as how you can get involved.

Learn more »
Donate »

Books Through Bars

Based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the volunteer-run nonprofit organization Books Through Bars distributes free books to incarcerated people in the states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and West Virginia. Each week, the organization receives hundreds of letters from prisoners requesting books. And every year Books Through Bars sends more than 8,000 packages of books.

Learn more »
Donate »

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

In 1995, country singer Dolly Parton started the nonprofit Imagination Library to promote reading in her home state of Tennessee. Today the group has donated millions of books to children in need throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Every month the Imagination Library mails more than 1 million books to children’s homes, and in February the nonprofit sent its 100 millionth book. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library partners with local communities; if your community would like to get involved, learn more here.

Get Involved»
Donate »

Girls Write Now

Celebrating its 20th year, the nonprofit Girls Write Now is a community of women writers from ages 13 to 83. The group matches girls with professional women writers to work on portfolios and readings as well as provides writing workshops and college preparation. The New York City-based organization accepts donations and is seeking mentorsmentees, and people to join its team. “We take girls seriously for who they are as well as who they will become,” the group says. “The relationships we foster tear down stereotypes, building a community of women writers of all ages who work to inspire and support one another with every pair session, every reading, and every workshop.”

Find out more »
Get involved»
Donate »

International Literacy Association

The International Literacy Association is a global nonprofit organization of more than 300,000 educators, researchers, and experts across 78 countries. Its mission is to make literacy accessible for all. ILA collaborates with its partners to develop, gather, and disseminate high-quality resources, best practices, and cutting-edge research to empower educators, inspire students, and inform policymakers.

Find out more »
Donate »

Lambda Literary

The nonprofit Lambda Literary believes “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer literature is fundamental to the preservation of our culture and that LGBTQ lives are affirmed when our stories are written, published, and read.” The group traces its beginnings back to 1987, when L. Page Maccubbin, owner of Lambda Rising Bookstore in Washington, D.C., published the first Lambda Book Report. The Lambda Literary Awards, or “Lammys,” followed in 1989. Then in 2007, the group founded its Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices, a residency designed to offer intensive and sophisticated instruction to select writers over a one-week period. Lambda Literary accepts donations to sustain all of its programs.

Find out more »
Donate »

Learning Ally

The nonprofit Learning Ally uses educational technology to assist struggling readers who have learning differences and visual disabilities. Its cloud-based library of narrated audio textbooks and popular literature—all voiced by volunteers—gives these students access to grade-level content so they can become successful, engaged learners alongside their peers. Working with schools across the U.S., Learning Ally provides teachers with tools, training, and support to help students.

Get Involved»
Donate »

Little Free Library

Painted red and shaped like a miniature one-room schoolhouse in honor of his schoolteacher mother, the first Little Free Library—built by Todd Bol in Hudson, Wisconsin, in 2009—launched what would become a worldwide movement. Just nine years later, more than 75,000 such “Little Free Libraries” dot the globe in all 50 U.S. states and in 88 countries. Often custom painted by local artists, these tiny book collections are outfitted with the cheerful motto “Take a book, return a book!” Believing that no one should have to live in a book desert, the nonprofit Little Free Library needs donations to keep the movement going. Find out how you can help place a Little Free Library in your hometown and in cities across the globe. You can also get involved by becoming the “steward” of your own library by ordering one ready-made or designing your own!

Learn more »
Donate »

National Novel Writing Month

Each November means something special in the writing community: It’s time for National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo). The basic challenge is to write 50,000 words of a rough draft in the month of November, but NaNoWriMo is so much more than that. The organization provides the structure, community, and guidance necessary to help people find their voices and develop the tools and discipline necessary to build writing mastery. Its programs extend beyond November and go year-round to help people get from the first draft to the last draft and provide opportunities for all ages to participate in a literary community on local and global levels.

Learn more »
Donate »

We Need Diverse Books

We Need Diverse Books is a grassroots nonprofit program that is run by children’s book lovers and aims to increase the diversity of books available to young readers. The group works to promote literature featuring children’s book characters who are from diverse racial, ethnic, cultural, religious, indigenous, LGBTQ, and other minority communities. We Need Diverse Books was spearheaded by author Ellen Oh and 21 other children’s book writers and industry professionals. The group was founded on the belief that more diversity in children’s books better reflects the world and teaches kids about our differences as well as our shared feelings and aspirations.

Find out more »
Become a fund-raiser »
Volunteer »

 

Words Without Borders

Founded in 2003, Words Without Borders is an organization that promotes cultural understanding through the translation and publication of contemporary international literature. Every month the group publishes 8 to 12 new works by international writers, including Nobel Prize laureates and new writers. To date, Words Without Borders has published more than 2,400 pieces from 132 countries and 112 languages. In 2014, it also began an education program that provides educators with resources to incorporate contemporary international literature into their classes.

Find out more »
Get involved»
Donate »

By Cybil, December 02, 2018, first appearing on Goodreads Blog

15 PAWSITIVELY PERFECT GIFTS FOR BOOK-LOVING DOGS AND CATS

My dogs have holiday expectations. For Thanksgiving they anticipate leftovers. They want turkey and sweet potatoes, and they know if they wait patiently beside my grandma a little dessert might slip their way too. For Christmas their presumptions deepen– they’ve smelled those stockings for weeks, and they know there’s something delicious hidden inside.

Of course, we’ve had some holiday mishaps too– a living bird brought in by the cat on Christmas; my dog pulling down the turkey carcass on Thanksgiving, and my mom wrestling it away from her– these things happen, but if we keep our pets happy and healthy during the holidays, these little setbacks can be avoided.

I have two book- loving dogs; in fact, they love books so much they eat them:

picture-of-books-destroyed-by-dogs

My dogs obviously love to chew-up books, so I thought I’d better find them books that were chewable.

Do your dogs/cats also love to chew on books? Do they like to curl up in your nap while you read? Do you think your cat would love a Jane Austen- style hat? And your dog would love a Sailor Moon snood (a snood is an infinity scarf for dogs)? Well, I might have found a few perfect gift options for your pet!

HERE ARE 15 PAWSITIVELY PERFECT GIFTS FOR BOOK-LOVING DOGS:

 

picture-of-teachers-pet-book-stack

Teacher’s Pet Book Stack, Bark Shop, $10

picture- of-elephant-piggie-catnip-toy

Elephant & Piggie Catnip toy, Charlie’s Toy Box, $6.75

picture-of-not-all-who-wander-are-lost-cat-tags

“Not all who wander are lost” J.R.R. Tolkein quote cat tags, Firefly Lane Stamping, $17

picture-of-dog-poop-bags

Superhero dog poop bags, Crafted Geek, $8

WARNING: your cat will hate you for this–

picture-of-jane-austen-cat-hat

Jane Austen cat hat, Patrikka, $25

picture-of-adventure-time-dog-leash

Adventure Time dog leashes, Dog Collar Boutique, $17.99

picture-of-harry-potter-dog-tags

Harry Potter Muggle dog tags, Shop Lemon Tree, $16.99

picture-of-harry-potter-house-dog-tags

Harry Potter House dog collar, Adorkable Boutique, $13.99

picture-of-superhero-dog-bandana

Superhero dog bandana, Wooflings, $9

picture-of-one-ring-puppy-collar

One Ring to Rule them All puppy collar, Dotties Pet Boutique, $22.90

picture-of-slytherin-dog-bowtie

Slytherin Dog Bowtie, DressedtotheK9, $9

picture-pf-sailor-moon-dog-snood

Sailor Moon Dog Snood, The Gallant Greyhound, $24.50

picture-of-charlie-brown-dog-bandana

Charlie Brown Dog Bandana, GoldenDogCo, $10

picture-of-the-grinch-dog-toy

Young Grinch for Dogs, Bark Shop, $10

picture-of-gryffindor-pet-collar-charm

Gryffindor Pet Collar Charm, AshleyHayDesign, $10

By , November 

Wish List for Readers

Grant Snider. New York Times Book Review: Sketchbook, 11/30/18

We completely understand. But don’t forget that you can find many of those at the library for free.

20 GIFTS PERFECT FOR ROMANCE READERS

Picking just the right Christmas gift for someone  is never easy, and for bookish loved ones it’s twice as hard! You can always turn to the old gift card standby (after all, everyone loves free book money!) but sometimes you want to do something a little more specific. If you’ve got a romance reader in your life (or you’re a romance reader and looking for the perfect Christmas gift for yourself—I won’t judge), and you want to make sure you pick something that celebrates their favorite genre, this list is for you!

“AROUND THE HOUSE” GIFTS FOR ROMANCE READERS

A beautiful bookmark is always a welcome gift for any bookworm, and an inexpensive option for givers with a small Christmas budget. This romance bookmark is both pretty and practical!

romance bookmark romance reader gifts

These romance novel mini-book wine charms are too cute! Perfect for book club nights.

romance novel cover wine charms romance reader gifts

I love this James Griffin romance cover art magnet, and it’s a great way to celebrate the beauty of the genre’s classic clinch covers. There’s a second magnet as well, if you want to make a set!

james griffin romance novel cover art magnet romance reader gifts

Looking for a gift for someone who is a romance reader and a baker? These are technically Pride and Prejudice cookie cutters, but the silhouettes are general enough that these cookies could be any of their favorite (and delicious) romance heroes and heroines.

pride and prejudice cookie cutters bookish baking romance reader gifts

This set of 24 postcards celebrates the vintage romance cover art of Enrique Torres Prat. They’re colorful, beautifully painted, and postcards are great multipurpose gift! I love to stick them up on a wall like an art mosaic.

vintage romance novel cover art enrique torres prat romance reader gifts

Not a fan of Prat’s work? Pay homage to the early day of the genre with this set of 17 Vintage Harlequin Cover Postcards from before the days of the mighty clinch cover.

vintage harlequin romance novel cover art postcards romance reader gifts

BOOKISH CANDLE FOR ROMANCE READERS

Okay, four different types of candles, Jessica? But hear me out: you could mix and match them with other things on the list, or make an epic romance genre candle Christmas basket!

Described as “a very mild and gentle blend of honeysuckle, silk, cashmere, and tea” (what does silk smell like?), this Historical Romance candle is perfect for the dedicated historical romance fan! All it’s missing is the ever-present hero smell: Bergamot.

historical romance bookish candle romance reader gifts

You scream, I scream, we all scream for our favorite romance tropes, and for strawberry and champagne scented Romance Trope candles.

romance trope bookish candle romance reader gifts

Scented with champagne, pear, and pear blossoms, this Epic Romance candle will sweep your giftee away.

epic romance bookish candle romance reader gifts

This Romance candle is scented like raspberry, cherry, and sugar which frankly sounds like something I’d like to eat, so I’m going to bet it smells almost as good as a new book. It’s also available in 8 and 4 oz sizes!

romance genre bookish candle romance reader gifts

MUGS FOR ROMANCE READERS

Know someone who’s tired of having their romance reading criticized in favor of books written by old dead white men? This “I only read the classics…” mug might be for them.

romance genre bookish mug romance reader gifts

Do not get between a romance reader and her book, especially if her “Hell hath no fury” mug is full of unconsumed caffeine.

hell hath no fury romance genre bookish mug romance reader gifts

This (somewhat defensive) mug is for the romance reader who is definitely not late to every morning appointment because they were up late reading that shiny new release. Definitely not.

up late reading romance genre bookish mug romance reader gifts

Not a fan of the romance tropes candle? (How dare you.) This “My Favorite Romance Tropes” mug is super cute and features that all-time favorite: the fake engagement.

romance tropes bookish mug romance reader gifts

This last mug is for the paranormal romance fan in your life, and all their beastly or fangtastic book boyfriends.

paranormal romance bookish mug romance reader gifts

JEWELRY FOR ROMANCE READERS

This romance comics bracelet is probably the most expensive item on this list ($80), but it was too pretty not to include. All the images are taken from retro 1940s romance comics and it’s decorated with Swarovski crystals.

1940s romance comics bookish jewelry romance reader gifts

On the other hand, this romance novel bangle bracelet is a charming (and much less expensive) option. I particularly like the heart shaped glass charm with the flower.

romance novel bangle bracelet bookish jewelry romance reader gifts

simple but lovely little cuff to represent all those fictional boys that make the heart go pitter-pat. (And, let’s be honest, book boys really are better.)

romance genre cuff bracelet bookish jewelry romance reader gifts

As necklaces go, this romance novel necklace is pretty uncomplicated, but I love its little book charm and red glass heart!

romance novel addict necklace bookish jewelry romance reader gifts

The last but certainly not the least, this “romantic” necklace will let your friendly neighborhood romance reader show off their favorite genre.

romance genre necklace bookish jewelry romance reader gifts

By , November 

YOUR 2018 GUIDE TO THE BEST GIFTS FOR COMIC BOOK LOVERS

With the gifting season upon us, we figured it was time for a little shopping inspo for those awesome comics nerds in our lives. I endeavored to find a solid variety of products, and it wouldn’t be too hard to branch out from here with something a little more personal if you like a style but not necessarily the property I chose. Check out a few choice gifts for comic book lovers below, and tell us what you’ll be rockin’ under that shiny gift wrap for someone special.

she-ra inspired fight like a girl pin

You knew this was coming, right? With Netflix’s She-Ra making waves, it’s only appropriate to share this rad She-Ra-inspired pin. It makes a great accessory for any cap, bag, or cardi.

the iron giant ceramic tiki mug

The Iron Giant is the best Superman movie ever created, FIGHT ME.

captain america dress

Not only is this dress super-duper cute, but it’s made out of soft cotton tees and is probably super-duper comfy. More designs and styles in the linked Etsy shop.

she-ra helmet ring

I promise this isn’t a She-Ra-centered post, I just really loved this ring.

jojo's bizarre adventure black to be continued cap

Are you (or is someone you know) one of those folks who looks for literally any opportunity to talk about how amazing Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is? I’ve got you, boo.

aquaman mafex action figure

If you or someone you know is excited for the upcoming Aquaman with Jason Momoa, maybe they’ll enjoy this detailed action figure designed for not-little-kids that is modeled after him.

chilling adventures of sabrina and salem magnetic bookmark

This Sabrina and Salem magnetic bookmark is just one of many adorable designs in this Etsy shop. Check them out for more witches, Cardcaptor Sakura, Ghibli characters, and more.

calvin and hobbes light blue wooden bookends

I leave you with these cute Calvin and Hobbes bookends, great for all ages.

By , November