Editors’ Picks: Last-Minute Gift Ideas for the Editor in Your Life

By Alicja Minda

Collage includes photos by Eugenia Pankiv and Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Collage includes photos by Eugenia Pankiv and Annie Spratt on Unsplash

During the holiday season, we are bombarded with ideas on what to buy for the special people in our lives: family members, partners, friends. There are gift guides broken down by age, interest (for movie fans, for yoga lovers), and even occupation (for teachers, for chefs), yet I’ve never seen a list put together with editors in mind (and I believe we can be a fussy bunch). 

So if you need inspiration for what to get a fellow editor in your life, look no further. Just see what BoldFace contributors put on their wish lists!

Jennifer D. Foster, freelance editor, writer, mentor

Wish list: yoga bolster, Edward Gorey picture-book biography, handcrafted chocolates, beginner embroidery kit

This has been an exceptionally challenging year for everyone, and self-care goodies are at the top of my wish list, to bring some much-needed comfort and joy this holiday season. As a long-time hatha yoga devotee, I’ve recently experienced some of the benefits of restorative yoga. A round yoga bolster is definitely a key support for so many poses, including one of my faves, savasana.

I adore the incomparable wit of the ever-eccentric Edward Gorey. The picture-book biography Nonsense! The Curious Story of Edward Gorey, written by Lori Mortensen and illustrated by Chloe Bristol, looks quirky and delightful—a perfect distraction in these difficult times.

Chocolate, which should be its own food group, has been a mainstay for me lately. And small-batch, handcrafted chocolates are the best. I especially love the Brazilian-style creations of the store in my neighbourhood, founded and run by a female immigrant entrepreneur—truly glorious!

Any chance to avoid a screen, and I’m there. If the activity involves creativity with my hands, even better. Embroidery is a craft I enjoyed as a young girl, and a beginner embroidery kit like these, from a Nova Scotian small business donating five per cent of its profits to supporting women and children experiencing homelessness, would be ideal to reignite my artsy side and help calm my jangled nerves.

Deepi Harish, published storyteller, digital marketer

Photo of Deepi Harish

Wish list: bamboo bathtub caddy

I love a good relaxing soak in the tub while enjoying a glass of vino. One thing that would heighten my tranquility is entertainment in the form of a good book. I say book because I’m on my computer all day long, and this is a time when I prefer to step away from the screen.

However, the thought of accidentally dropping my book into the water or having my wet hands on it stresses me out, which is the opposite of what I’m trying to achieve here. This is where a sturdy bathtub caddy comes in handy: one that has expandable arms, compartments to hold a glass of wine, and of course, a book holder that’s able to prop up my book, so I don’t have to. Tip: I would keep a towel by the side of the tub to dry my hands for page turning.

Michael Iaboni, freelance writer and editor

Photo of Michael Iaboni

Wish list: Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wicked Good Prose by Constance Hale

To be completely honest, I already own this book. But mine is so full of sticky notes, highlighter marks, and bends in the spine that I would love a new one just to display on my bookshelf and leave untouched in pristine condition.

But the contents are fantastic, and this book really does have something for everybody. End-of-chapter exercises have you doing things like identifying conjunctions and figuring out whether a writer is using parataxis or hypotaxis. You know, for fun.

And let’s not forget all the grammar jokes either. Who doesn’t love a good dangling participle joke? “Walking into the mortuary, the open coffin frightened me.” “I found a dollar walking home.” I don’t know about you, but the picture of a dollar walking with a hat on and holding a briefcase makes me laugh.

But jokes aside, the book is a treasure trove of valuable information. I know it’s supposed to teach you how to craft good prose, but it can also help an editor learn how to identify prose that needs crafting. I’ve returned to it many times to brush up on sentence structuring, lyricism, and the list goes on and on.

Berna Ozunal, examinations editor at Medical Council of Canada

Photo of Berna Ozunal

Wish list: day planner, audiobook subscription

I’ve experimented with different tools for organizing my schedule—various apps and so on—and I always go back to the old-fashioned paper day planner. I find it’s much easier and more gratifying to write things down with my favourite pen than to painstakingly type them into my smart phone or other device. There are many designs to choose from nowadays, and you can really tailor your purchase for the editor on your list. Some of them have incorporated a journalling component, some have built-in spaces for to-do lists and mind mapping, and some have scrapbooking features. I love that planners of certain brands can be monogrammed, and they come in cool colours and in various time periods (academic year, 12 months, 18 months).

Another idea is a subscription to an audiobook streaming service. Editors read all day, and our eyes and brains can be pretty fried after a long day of editing. But we still love learning and we love being immersed in stories by our favourite writers, so listening to audiobooks is a logical alternative. It could be the answer for the editors in your life, who would be able to enjoy books while walking, driving, cooking, and so on. Listening to audiobooks would also give editors a different perspective, as it’s a different type of experience—it could help them with work on dialogue, for example.

Jes Trudel, co-founder, WritingCommunity.ca

Photo of Jes Trudel

Wish list: The Chicago Manual of Style

Style guides often say, “We adhere strictly to The Chicago Manual of Style.” No problem…until I can’t remember the rule regarding this specific apostrophe or that particular gerund. It’s not easy to quickly reference The Chicago Manual of Style if you don’t own it.

Editors Canada members get free access to it online, but it would be ever so nice to be able to browse the physical book at will. It’s a bit of an extravagant purchase, though, and I can never bring myself to take the plunge, so it’s on my wish list.

Michelle Waitzman, freelance writer and editor

Photo of Michelle Waitzman

Wish list: Litographs blanket

Most of us love to snuggle up with a good book. After a hard day, our old favourites can be as comforting as a hot cup of tea! But you can take it to the next level with words and images from your favourite book printed on a blanket.

Litographs has more than 200 books to choose from (plus song lyrics, poetry, political documents, and even the dissents of Ruth Bader Ginsburg), and you can order a throw blanket for your couch or a queen-size blanket for your bed. Images on the blanket are made up of text, and you get to select the text colour.

Tell us what is on your editor’s wish list in the comments below!

Alicja Minda is a freelance journalist, editor, and researcher based in Toronto. She is the editor-in-chief of BoldFace.

This article was copy edited by Josephine Mo.

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