AfterEllen.com’s Gift Guide for the Gay Woman 2011

The Lesbian/Bi Biblioholic

The number one problem in buying gifts for a booklover is that we love books so much that it’s hard to find one we don’t have/haven’t read — especially now that e-readers are so inexpensive. But the other side of the biblioholic token is that we love gifts that show how much you appreciate our lit-loving ways.

 

1. “Old-style” lesbian fiction. In memory of Barbara Grier, gather some lesbian classics from Naiad Press. They aren’t always the best-written books in the world, but they’re a nice way to get lost for a few hours — the stories are fun and sexy. Look for authors like Katherine Forrest, Jane Rule, Ann Bannon and Valerie Taylor. Don’t worry about finding new copies; used versions probably were owned by lesbians “of a certain age” before we could surf the internet to find out we weren’t alone. But if you do want to buy new, Bella Books purchased the Naiad library, so you can find a lot of the titles at Bella Books’ site. (Used books Free and up, new $12-$15)

2. Keeping track. Confession: When I really love a book, I often buy two copies — one to keep and one to lend. I can’t count the number of books borrowed but not returned. (OK, not true – I know exactly how many books I’ve lost to loans.) Earn eternal gratitude by helping your favorite booklover keep track of her books. Personalized bookplates are inexpensive and cute, although you’d better get to ordering if you want them in time for the holidays. A book journal like Reading Journal lets bibliophiles record details and thoughts about their books — and keep a record of anyone who borrows them. ($7-$15)

3. Cover stories. I admit it — I don’t have an e-reader. I love the feel of books, the look of books, the smell of books. But a cover that simulates a book would go a long way toward compensating. These Kindle and iPad covers are just like hardback covers, made of greyboard and bound with bookbinding tape, with titles like Pride and Prejudice, War and Peace and Origins of Species. If you don’t see the title you want, or want to save a few bucks, make your own. (And tell me – Kindle, Nook, or iPad?) ($50-$70)

4. The funny. Sometimes serious readers overlook not-so-serious books that offer a great read and a good laugh. This year’s funniest include memoirs Happy Accidents by Jane Lynch and Bossypants by Tina Fey; a special Jane’s World: A New Frontier from our own Thursday comic creator, Paige Braddock, celebrating her 10th year in comics; and the highly educational tome Pawnee: The Greatest Town in America by Leslie Knope. ($12-$30)

5. Light reading. Reading is more fun if you can see the words. Trust me. Clip-on book lights are a good idea, but not the $3 version at the checkout counter. You want the same thing in a light that you want from a date: One that puts out. My favorite is the double bulb, because you don’t have to move the light as you move across the page. ($25) But if you’re going expensive, go with a floor lamp. For the Configurable Reader from Hammacher Schlemmer, any book reader would put out. ($300)

TheLinster

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