Gift Guide: Literary Gifts That Keep On Giving

Every year, the holiday shopping frenzy seems to get bigger and bigger. As Brett Arends points out in this interesting (if overtly religious) MarketWatch article, we can no longer even expect to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal without being inundated with the calls to shop, shop, shop.

So this holiday season, I'm trying to take a step back from the the buy-buy-buy mentality to try to give-give-give-give. Here are a few easy ways to give back to the literary community this holiday season, whether you shop til' you drop or... not:


Out of Print Clothing (and gifts and jewelry): For every purchase made on Out of Print's site, one book is donated to a community in need through the site's partner, Books for Africa. And they have awesome bookish goodies, from t-shirts to fleeces to necklaces to tote bags to journals.


AmazonSmile: From the AmazonSmile "About" page:
"AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. You can choose from nearly one million organizations to support." 
Amazon may not be the best friend of indie bookstores across the country, but if you're already shopping on Amazon, this is a simple, no-brainer way to make your purchase give back--and you can select your charity, allowing you to customize your donation. The list of participating charities is loooong, and includes regional and national organizations.


FirstBook: FirstBook is an organization committed to obtaining access to new books for children in need. You can shop the FirstBook Gift Catalog, selecting from sets of books or more general support funds, in the name of your gift-ee, or you can make a donation directly to the organization in honor of your gift recipient. Now through December 31st, all donations will give triple the number of books to children in need due to a matching offer.


Reach Out and Read: Reach Out and Read serves 4 million children annually, according to their website, with 5,000 program sites nationwide (in all 50 states). They distribute new books to children and advice to parents on the evidence-based benefits of reading aloud. You can donate directly on their site and make the donation in the name of your gift recipient--and they currently have a match that will double all donations made (up to $250,000).


  1. I adore Out of Print and I didn't know that they had a Madeline pullover! I have to stop by their site to see what other new things they have. I use Amazon so much but I wasn't aware they had a charity program. Definitely going to use it now. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I love them too! They launched the Madeline sweatshirt with some other new items a few days (weeks?) ago. I don't remember exactly, but they are still relatively new! And the Amazon program is new, too, but makes SO much sense for anyone already shopping on Amazon.


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