Bitch in a Box: Gift Guide for Book Nerds

Bitch in a box logo

'Tis the season to stress out about making and buying presents for all the people you love. Here at Bitch, we're going to put together fun gift guides over the next two weeks to highlight the work of artists, designers, and groups that we love. You don't have to go out and spend a ton of money on presents, but if you are shopping around, it's nice to have ideas of great creators and organizations to support. 

To kick off this year's Bitch in a Box series: Gifts for Book Nerds.

 

POWERFUL PENCILS 

Pencils that say "I am a tool or a weapon, which is literally terrifying"

Artist Adam J. Kurtz's internet joke shop is full of funny little items—I like this bizarre golf pencil version of "the pen is more powerful than the sword." You get three pencils for only $1 and they're perfect for writing notes in books.

A SUBSCRIPTION TO TIN HOUSE

Pie chart shows TIn House bylines are majority female

Literary journal Tin House was the only magazine in the 2012 VIDA count to have more bylines from female writers than from male writers. That makes it more gender-balanced than The Nation, The New York Review of Books, and the New Yorker. Plus, it's a great magazine packed with long stories well worth your time.   

"WRITE LIKE A MOTHERFUCKER" MUG

mug that says "write like a motherfucker"

This quote from Cheryl Strayed's "Dear Sugar" advice column at literary website The Rumpus is straight-forward inspiration for any writer. Also, it holds coffee. While you're at it, subscribe to The Rumpus' monthly book club. 

AN INVISIBLE BOOK SHELF

A book shelf that makes it look like the books are floating.

Look, it's books just hanging out on the wall! Why is this so appealing? I don't know. But I love it. You can make this cool floating bookshelf yourself if you're handy. If you're the kind of person who might wind up wounding themselves if you attempt to wield a gluestick, you can buy a nifty pre-made version for just $13

CARSON ELLIS'S PILE OF BOOKS SHIRT 

A print by carson ellis

I have this print from Northwest artist Carson Ellis near my bed—it's a sign of a good piece of art that I can look at it every day and never get sick of it. You can buy the image on a shirt from independent small press book shop Reading Frenzy for some sweet book nerd stylin'.  

SO MANY FEELINGS JOURNAL

Journal that says "so many feelings" 

Any avid reader could use a place to write all their gushy emotions. Luckily, our friends at Autostraddle have this perfect blank journal for just $8. If the person you're buying a gift for isn't one for keeping a diary, this could be a good place to write down all the books they read in the year. 

A YEAR'S WORTH OF OCTAVIA BUTLER BOOKS

OCTAVIA BUTLER

Good news, feminist sci-fi fans! Ten of Octavia Butler's books are available as e-books, as of just last year. If you don't want to ship your sci-fi-loving friend a box of books, maybe they'd appreciate all her digital editions. You could also consider this Octavia Butler quote shirt that benefits the Octavia Butler Memorial Scholarship.   

A STRANGE NEW PIECE OF FICTION FROM MCSWEENEY'S

Lucy Corin's 100 Apocalypses 

I picked up this beautifully made new book from author Lucy Corin. Its cut-out hardback cover makes it a book I'm going to definitely hold onto. The collection of surreal short stories about various ends of the world feels like an anthology of disturbing modern fairy tales. 

TIMELESS TALES OF A YOUNG GIRL CAUSING HAVOC

Pippi longstocking cover  Pippi fixes everything cover

Pippi Longstocking is an old school rabble-rouser who does whatever the hell she wants. The new Drawn and Quarterly editions of these classic Pippi Longstocking tales are told as colorful, simple comics that remind readers of all ages that all madcap adventures are in good fun, especially if they involve drinking tea with a horse.   

A FEMINIST POP CULTURE ESSAY COLLECTION

Bitchfest cover

Just to round out this list with a pitch for Bitch, if you haven't read the magazine's collection of great essays on pop culture, check out Bitchfest for your feminist friend who likes curling up with a big book of thought-provoking reads. You can also get the book autographed, just let us know in the order comments.

That's all! Feel free to add your suggestions for good book lover gifts in the comments. 

Read past feminist gift guides here. 


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Comments

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motherfucking feminists

Not to put too fine a point on it ;-), but that Powerful Pencil is not a take on "the pen is mightier than the sword," it's a bulked-up riff on Ani DiFranco's line "Every tool is a weapon if you hold it right."

BIG POINT tho:
While most of my friends are feminists in thought, word and deed, and many of them brilliant writers, I can't imagine a single one who would want anything emblazoned with "Write like a motherfucker."

Reclaiming the word Bitch is one thing, and I have subscribed to your magazine from the beginning, but I really hope promoting this mug was an oversight on someone's part and not really something the feminists at Bitch have on their desks.
I know you're ramping up a lot of things at once with a small staff, but please don't make reaching out for wider attention and support become reaching out with compromised or mixed-messages.
Or just share whatever processing brought "motherfucker" into the Bitch feminist lexicon.
Thanks