A Subscription to a literary journal, magazine, newspaper or some kind of periodical. (An extra bonus is that many of these are available digitally on multiple platforms). I recommend looking for one with more words than pictures. The New York Review of Books, Granta, Times Literary Supplement, The Paris Review, The New Yorker and The Economist are all perennial favorites. NewPages.com is a great resource for more information.
ASnuggie or Slanket. I know, I’m as horrified as you (and Tim Gunn) are. But the reality is: a blanket with sleeves can be very convenient when you’re trying to stay warm, balance a book and juggle a hot beverage. Now, my man (an early adopter) claims that Snuggies are inferior to the Slanket – but I believe that’s a personal decision each of us has to make alone. All I ask is please, remember, its a blanket with sleeves… that you should never be seen wearing in public.
Page Points (bookmarkers) and a Bookweight – I know Levenger makes these, though I’m sure they’re not the only ones. Page Points clip onto a page and are handy not only as a bookmark, but at marking specific passages. A Bookweight holds the book open to the page your reading or just working from. Both look really useful, and I’ve been waiting years for someone to slip them into my Christmas stocking.
An Older Dog or Cat – There are few things better, in my mind, than curling up to a good book with your dog or cat sleeping close by. Or chewing on a bone. Or sticking their face in the middle of the pages your reading to get patted. Or drooling… lots and lots of drooling. Any pet is a lot of responsibility and should never be bought or given on a whim (so, technically, this isn’t a last minute gift). But, if you have been considering a pet – there are a lot of benefits to broadening your search beyond puppies and kittens to adopting an older animal. Benefits include avoiding the trials of housetraining, the destructive behavior that even the best animals go through as part of growing up, and the boundless energy of puppy- and/or kitten-hood. And while many people believe that adopting an older animal means taking on someone else’s problems – my family has adopted several and found it to be just the opposite. I know there are people out there who will say I’m anthropomorphizing but older, rescued dogs and cats seem to know that they’ve found a home. Plus they tend to be better read. I advise checking with your local rescue or SPCA for more information.
And last, but not least…. an iPad. Because, seriously, who doesn’t want an iPad???