Red Letter Gifts: Book Accessories

Sometimes the last thing a reader needs is more books. So you may find more success with some of these great accessories.

Bookends are great for the reader who’s running out of shelf space and is putting books on the floor or on top of boxes. But they’re also great for someone who just wants to add a little bit of decor or whimsy to their shelf.

We love these Pushing Rabbits Bookends that make it clear that holding up books isn’t always an easy job. These rabbits are really putting their backs into it.

You can find bookends in just about any shape or size, we recommend searching Amazon where you’ll find the standard along with the whimsical as well as a variety of price points.


And for that reader without shelf space, consider this awesome floating bookshelf. Useful and a great icebreaker.

What’s its secret? It grips the inside cover of one large book and then the others just stack nicely on top. No one can see the mounting behind your books.

And for only $12.95 you may be able to get a few and give yourself a neat office makeover.


iconTote bags are the new way to wear your philosophy on your… well, not exactly your sleeve. Barnes & Noble has our favorite book-related totes, including this awesome old-school tote with the Penguin logo and a frank statement of truth: “I’d rather be reading.”

Wouldn’t we all?

Use it for library books or groceries, this tote is perfect for any activity.

Or if you’re looking for a bag just to carry books, check out this B&N Book Bag.


iconAnother big problem readers face? Loaning out their books and never getting them back. Make sure everyone knows who a book belongs to with a set of bookplates.

We like this set of Antiquarian Bookplates that have the look of another age and a variety of styles.

You may also want to consider a book stamp, like this Ex Libris set.

Every time your friend opens a borrowed book they’ll get a lovely reminder that this piece of literature has a loving home waiting for it.


What are you aching for this year? Any gift recommendations?

Red Letter Gifts:
Our Favorite Subscriptions

Some of the best gifts are the ones that keep giving all year long. Here are some of our favorites for the reader in your life.


From Powell’s, $39.95 per installment.

Visit Scenic Powells.comMust love: modern fiction, surprises, supporting small businesses, all things hip and new.

Every 6 weeks Powell’s puts together a box for their Indiespensable program. These aren’t just gift boxes, they’re carefully thought out packages that contain more than just books. You’ll find beautiful editions, signed copies, books that follow some kind of theme. One recent Indiespensable box contained a signed first edition complete with special features including an author Q&A, a chapbook with essays from a not-yet-published nonfiction book on music and a Hohner harmonica.

Audible Gift Membership

1 FREE Audiobook RISK-FREE from Audible
From Audible, $45 for 3 months, $90 for 6 months, $150 for 12 months.

For the reader who: lives in the car, lives in the gym, lives with their headphones on.

Here at Red Letter Reads, we’ve been the fortunate recipient of a 3-month gift membership to Audible. And it’s better than ever. Now checking out audiobooks on cd from the library is so 20th century. You can now play your audiobooks on your smartphone. It’s a big game changer. We’ve been known to turn on a book through the Auxiliary hookup in the car, while we’re out and about, or just while we’re cleaning the kitchen. And the book credits you get through your membership are good for any book, big or small. Their library is pretty fantastic, great if you have a picky reader on your hands. Also great for teens.

The New York Review of Books

From Amazon, $3.49 per month for Kindle edition, $74.95 for 12 months of print edition

If your recipient is: serious, smartest guy in the room, loves essays, a consumer of books and current events.

If you know someone who thinks The New Yorker is just so juvenile with all those cartoons, hook them up with the New York Review of Books. If you’re only going to read one literary magazine, this is the one to get. This isn’t a magazine you can finish while you get a pedicure. Full of deep and thoughtful essays and reviews, this is a great gift for the year. Just be ready for the knowledge smackdown that’s headed your way from your super-informed gift recipient.


Black Friday Deals for Readers

We’ll be posting gift guides for the next few weeks along with our reviews and hope to show you some interesting finds for the readers in your life. (Or for yourself.)

But to start things off we’re going to let you know about a few Black Friday deals so you’re ready to snag them.

Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble will have their Nook Simple Touch on sale.

Barnes & Noble

The Simple Touch is small, has great battery power, a touch screen and is ad-free. If you don’t have the cash for an HD, color or light-screen reader, you may want to snag one of these babies. Sure, it’s basic, but the price is right. Note, this is an IN-STORE ONLY deal.

If you’re looking at another model of Nook, if you shop on Cyber Monday, you can get get a free $20BN Gift Card when you buy a select NOOK®! Online only, while supplies last.

For non-Nook deals, you can save 30% on one item with coupon code T9P3E3W from now until Sunday. You can get a $10 egift card if you buy $75 worth of gift cards until 12/2.


Powell’s Visit

Indie bookseller Powell’s has taken over the Kobo, formerly available from Border’s. They’re offering the Kobo Mini for $49 on Friday and Saturday. At just 4″ by 5″, this is a great compact option if you want something you can slip into the pocket of your bag. This will be available online.



Amazon has deals all week, which I suspect is their way to keep us constantly coming back every time they post a new one. Check out their book deals which include sales on their books of the year. (Including Gone Girl and The End of Your Life Book Club, which we reviewed.) There’s also several mysteries and thrillers marked down to under $5.

No Kindle deals listed yet, but we’ll keep you posted.


Book: Accelerated

Author: Bronwen Hruska. She spent years as a journalist and is now the publisher at Soho Press. This is her first novel.

Genre: Thiller, Commercial Fiction

Reviewers: Editor Kristina, teacher madriscoll, higher ed administrator Renee and stay-at-home moms Krysta and Sarah L.

Publisher Summary:

Every afternoon Sean Benning picks up his son, Toby, on the marble steps that lead into the prestigious Bradley School. Everything at Bradley is accelerated: 3rd graders read at the 6th grade level, they have labs and facilities to rival most universities, and the chess champions are the bullies. A single dad and struggling artist, Sean sticks out like a sore thumb amongst the power-soccer-mom cliques and ladies-who-lunch that congregate on the steps every afternoon. But at least Toby is thriving and getting the best education money can buy. Or is he?

When Sean starts getting pressure from the school to put Toby on medication for ADD, something smells fishy, and it isn’t the caviar that was served at last week’s PTA meeting. Toby’s “issues” in school seem, to Sean, to be nothing more than normal behavior for an eight-year-old boy. But maybe Sean just isn’t seeing things clearly, which has been harder and harder to do since Toby’s new teacher, Jess, started at Bradley. And the school has Toby’s best interests at heart, right? But what happens when the pressure to not just keep up, but to exceed, takes hold? When things take a tragic turn, Sean realizes that the price of this accelerated life is higher than he could have ever imagined.

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Crossing the Paris

Book: Crossing on the Paris

Author: Dana Gynther, this is her first novel.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Reviewers: Consultant Alila, student Selina, lawyer Abby R. and stay-at-home-moms A Military Mommy and Megan V.  Want to know more about our readers? Just click their names to see their bios and get links to their reviews.

Publisher Summary: In 1921,the SS Paris leaves Le Havre on her maiden voyage. Aboard, passengers dine in glittering grandeur on French cuisine, served by hundreds of unnoticed servants and chefs. Below the waterline, the modern oil-fired engines throb day and night. And for three women, this voyage will profoundly change their lives.

Traveling first class, elderly Vera Sinclair is reluctantly moving back to Manhattan after thirty wonderful years abroad. In cozy second class, reveling in her brief freedom from family life, Constance Stone is returning after a failed mission to bring her errant sister home from France. And in the stifling servants’ quarters, young Le Havre native Julie Vernet is testing her wings in her first job as she sets out to forge her own future. For all three, in different ways, this transatlantic voyage will be a life-changing journey of the heart.

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