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Holiday gift guide for book lovers: if you've got a bona fide book lover on your holiday gift list and don't want to buy another book, book-on-tape or e-book, here are a few suggestions to consider.


Protect your favorite paperback with a picture frame bookcover from You Gotta Have It. The cover features an attached bookmark and has space for four photographs. It's $12 and available at Lycra book suits from Levenger's (Tools for Serious Readers) are washable and reusable. They come in a set of three colors: emerald, fuchsia and turquoise and can stretch to fit books up to 8" x 10" in size. The price: $16.95 a set, and is available at

Reading Journals

One of the more practical and coveted gifts for the 2002 holiday season is a reading journal. Book lovers enjoy keeping track of the books they've read, jotting down notes, adding to their TBR (to be read) stack, listing books they've lent and writing down memorable quotes. Most journals, which are available from booksellers and online, are particularly handy for book club members. Here are some you might want to add to your shopping list:

Book to Check Out Journal is a great-looking notebook with a cover reminiscent of those old library checkout cards, complete with due date. It's a 128-page, spiral-bound journal from Chronicle Books that retails for $10.95. Booknotes: The Booklover's Organizer is from Jackson Creek Press and sells for $12.95. A Good Book Is the Best of Friends: A Reader's Journal from Hyperion is $17.95. Reader's Journal from Stewart, Tabori & Chang is $17.95. Maira Kalman's "Dog With a Book," from a New Yorker cartoon, graces the cover of a journal from Harry N. Abrams. It retails for $9.95.

Gift Certificates

Still can't decide? You can never go wrong with a gift certificate. Many of the retailers mentioned in this article offer gift certificates. In addition, certificates are available at a number of African-American bookstores throughout the country. These include Heritage Bookstore and More in Fort Meyers, Florida (, 2000-Plus Bookstore in Long Beach, California (edunow. com), Sibanya, Inc. in Baltimore, Karibu Books throughout Maryland (, Black Images Book Bazaar in Dallas (, and Eso Won Bookstore in Los Angeles (


Metal bookends keep all your titles together from A to Z. Covered in leather with a nonskid base, they measure 6" x 4" x 6 1/2" each and sell for $55 a pair. For a more whimsical approach, literary mice on a wedge of cheese bookends are an option. Each bookend measures 3 3/4" x 2 1/2" x 5 1/4' and has a felt bottom. The pair is $75. Both sets of bookends are available from Red Envelope at also offers a set of two exquisite serpentine stone bookends ($68) from Zimbabwe.

Book Caddies

Fabric-covered bedside caddies have pockets to hold magazines, glasses, remote controls, notepads and pens. The armchair caddy will hold glasses, the remote and a paperback book. They're $10.95 and $11.25 from

Toys and Games

Scrabble, one of the world's most popular word games, was created in 1938 by an unemployed architect named Alfred M. Butts. Three million copies are sold each year in 121 countries and in more than 20 languages. In addition to regular and deluxe editions, Scrabble Express, a handheld version is available for $21.99. (Three AAA batteries are required.) The Spanish-language version runs $14.99, Scrabble Junior, for children ages 5 to 10, is $10.99, and the PlayStation version sells for $14.98. Available at toy stores nationwide and at

The new kid on the block is Best Sellers: The Game of Novel Ideas. It's designed for two to eight players of all ages. Players pick a title card from the deck and two letter cards. They have two minutes to write a story using the two letters drawn as often as possible. Best Sellers is available from Faby Games at

Kanes Publications, based in Tampa, Florida, has a variety of African-American tchotchkes and gifts available through A 300-piece Kwanzza Family Celebration jigsaw puzzle goes for $12.95. Once completed, the 14" x 18" puzzle is suitable for framing. Larger puzzles featuring works by African-American artists Synthia Saint James, Charles Bibbs and Paul Goodnight are $22.95.

T-shirts and Sweatshirts

What's a biblio-holic? There's a T-shirt that explains it all: "The habitual longing to purchase, read, store, admire and consume books in excess." Available in navy blue, 100% cotton in sizes medium through 2XL for $19; sweatshirts are 90/10 cotton blend for $32 and $35. Edward Gorey images (those familiar Mystery) adorn T-shirts that proclaim "There's No Such Thing As Too Many Books" and "So Many Books, So Little Time." T-shirts are $19; sweatshirts, $35. All are available at


Bookmarks make great stocking stuffers. From comes a personalized silver heart-shaped bookmark for $12.95. The American Library Association sells packs of I00 bookmarks for $7. One series carries Frederick Douglass' inspirational quote, "Once you learn to read you will be forever free" Former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove's bookmark, "Open It" includes her poem about the joys of reading. Both are available at

Tiffany's sterling silver bookmark is shaped like an open book. It is 2.75" long and costs $45, and is available at tiffany. com. On the other end of the dollar spectrum are Levenger's book bungees for $5.95 each, or two for $9.95; a set of five goes for $19.95 at offers high-tech book junkies a clip-on bookmark dictionary that includes 50,000 entries, a clock and calculator. It runs on a lithium battery that is included. It sells for $49.


African baskets are great accent pieces and wonderful gifts that can hold a cache of magazines or those books at your bedside you've been meaning to get to. and Pier 1 stores (also at have a great selection.

Reading Table

This rolling reader's table is reminiscent of hospital room bedside trays. It has casters that make it convenient to slide under beds or chairs, provides storage space and tilts at a 45-degree angle to help make reading comfortable. It's $79, also at

Reading Lights

Zelco's Itty Bitty Book Light is popular with readers. They come in a variety of styles. The Booklight hardcover comes with a battery pack, AC adapter, cord and spare bulb. It sells for $32, and is available at zelcoinc .com.


Be sure everyone knows your books belong to you. offers 144 personalized bookplates for $7.95. Choose from 12 styles.


Newspaper and magazine subscriptions are always welcome gifts. A one-year subscription to BIBR is $14.95. Subscribe online at bibookreview. com or call 1-800-7833-199, weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., ET.

Posters and Prints

Younger readers will enjoy the American Library Association's celebrity reader posters featuring various entertainers and athletes who are part of its literacy campaign. They include Brandy, Chamique Holdsclaw, Coolio, Danny Glover, Denzel Washington, Marion Jones, L.L. Cool J, Shaquille O'Neal, Muhammad Ali, Grant Hill, LeVar Burton, Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg and Bill Cosby. The message is clear: READ. Posters are $12 each at the American Library Association Store, or online at

Prints for younger readers include "In My Footsteps" and "Three Generations" by artist Melinda Byers. 20" x 16" prints are $25; 24" x 20" prints are $32. Brenda Joysmith's 8.5" x 11" versions of "Reading and Friendship" and "Reading From All Sides" make a welcome addition to a bedroom or reading room. Melinda Byers is available at; Brenda Joysmith's is available at

Popular artist LaShun Beal's reading-themed lithographs: "Deep in Thought"; "The Edge of Paradise"; and "Tales of Paradise" are each 19" x 24." They are available at for $45 each. Beal's figurine "The Journal" is $65 at

Reading Pillows

Curl up with a good book and recline on a group of soiree silk pillows available in five colors from Crate & Barrel. These 16" squares are $24.95 each at A plush, comfortable bed pillow from Red Envelope, perfect for reading in bed and comes with a slipcover that has handy pockets for a book, reading glasses and the TV remote. It's available at

From Urban Style Village, "the complete marketplace for African-American products, stationery and gifts," comes bead-trimmed pillows available in two sizes, and brown or white satin. They're $15 and $17 at

Cookbook holders

This acrylic book homer, with a hardwood base, will protect cookbooks from splatters and spills. It adjusts to the book's thickness and is angled for easier reading. It sells for $24.95 and is available at


The Blackshear Vision 2003 Calendar is a collection of some of artist Thomas Blackshear's popular paintings and sculpture. $19.95 from The Blackshear Store, black The Official Scrabble Page-A-Day Calendar gathers 365 words, games, plays and tips for the Scrabble enthusiast. The box calendar is available for $10.95 at

Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats have been captured in a wall calendar. The calendar is available for $10.95. For those who like tear-off calendars, Black Humor: Satire, Comedy & Wit is a collection of 313 quotes and sayings from African folklore, including Langston Hughes, Moms Mabley, Chris Rock among others; it sells for $10.95. Both are available at Cush City stores and


So where are you going to put all those books? offers a revolving bookcase for $79. Stylish selections like the Arc bookcase ($119) from Crate & Barrel and the Billy bookcase ($79) from IKEA are also perfect choices. Wal-Mart's ABS-plastic bookshelves are easy to assemble and washable. They are great for children's rooms or in the kitchen. Do-it-yourselfers can make excellent gifts with materials found at Home Depot, the store will inspire good ideas, especially for those creative Kwanzaa gift-givers, in keeping with the principle of kuumba.

Magazine Racks

Crate & Barrel offers a gorgeous split-grain leather magazine tote ($89.95) with cross-stitching, a welcome gift for home or office. There's also a silver mesh magazine rack in a contemporary design for $19.95 at Crate & Barrel (, and an inexpensive unpainted wooden magazine storage file for ($7.95) at IKEA stores.

Gwendolyn E. Osborne is associate editor at BIBR for the "Market Buzz" section and public affairs director for the Illinois Institute of Technology's downtown campus. She also serves as senior reviewer for two Internet publications, The Romance Reader and The Mystery Reader. Osborne, a self-proclaimed bibliophile, helps make holiday shopping for the book lover on your list easy. The Gift Guide begins on page 52.
COPYRIGHT 2002 Cox, Matthews & Associates
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Black Issues Book Review
Article Type:Buyers Guide
Date:Nov 1, 2002
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