Gifts with big hearts for those with a small budget we’re writing this week about great gifts for writers and readers here on the Debutante Ball. I could spend a lot of money on some of the things suggested. I love them all! If there’s anything bookish people love more than books, it’s stuff related to books. And there’s lots of it out there, but I have some other suggestions. And none of them cost money!

Time to read or write. I don’t have kids, but I have a lot of friends who do. And there’s one thing I hear a lot from my friends who are young parents. “I miss reading/writing! Who has time!?” So here’s what I propose. If you know a young parent who misses their quite time with words, what better gift could you give them than time to themselves to read or write? Offer to babysit a couple of Saturday afternoons so they can soak up some words. Maybe even loan them the latest best seller on your shelf because I pretty much guarantee that they haven’t had time to even look at the bestseller list so you can forget about getting to the bookstore to buy it. Seriously, time to read or time to write. What better gift is there?

A love letter (or sticky!).  A few years ago, a book came out from the late George Carlin’s wife. Apparently, throughout their marriage, he’d leave Post-it notes all around their house with sweet thought about how he loved her. They were, of course, also very funny. But I found the notes particularly sweet and wonderful because they were unexpected and short. My husband travels a lot for business, so sometimes I hide a note in his luggage somewhere. He loves finding them. So instead of the beer-of-the-month subscription, how about sending a love letter or two.

So those are my two gift suggestions for anyone with a big heart and a small budget. But no matter what you decide to dofor those fellow word lovers close to you, I’m sure they will love it. After all, isn’t just having other people in your life who love books as much as you do the best present of all? Happy Holidays.


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Shelly is the author of THE MOMENT OF EVERYTHING, story of love and books in Silicon Valley. She lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains with her husband, two big dogs, and a disapproving cat.

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