Welcome to Blue Monday, the shopping day for those of us who don’t have much money, time, or energy to buck up the national economy. Herewith, and for the next few weeks of holiday shopping, a frankly biased and small-scale sampling of odds and ends for the worthy recipients in your life.
For New Yorkers, New York aspirees, or just those who appreciate the weird and wonderful humanity that the city has to offer: Karyn Klouman’s New York Eye 2012 calendar. Each watercolor sketch is accompanied by a tiny piece of calligraphic urban flash fiction—favorites from last year include “Oh, to be adorable enough to get away with prancing around town pantless! A-train, noon” and “The almost surrealist joke of an empty glove hanging outside a subway car window seems subtly reinforced by the “dada” label on her duffy coat. 10:30 am, 5-train.” Calendars are 25% off at lulu.com through December 14 with the code BUYMYBOOK305.
Anna and Tess Knoebel, founders of the excellent postcard art journal Abe’s Penny, have a mail art publication just for the small fry: Abe’s Peanut. Each issue consists of a story, divided into four postcards and sent each week to the literate squirt of your choice, and they’re all strange and cool enough for any little hip kid on your gift list. And because it really is better to give than receive—really, it is—you can also help them out with their Kickstarter campaign. Budding mail art lovers everywhere will thank you.
Perhaps but not necessarily for philosophical youngsters, Three Sardines on a Bench is a little French picture book by Michaël Escoffier, illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo. It makes me wonder what would have happened if René Magritte and François Truffaut had collaborated on a children’s book. I’ve been a little obsessed with it since Julia Rothman featured it on Book By Its Cover—now I just have to find a worthy thoughtful soul to buy it for.
While a product from a company called Dynamic-Living.com probably doesn’t really count as buying locally, this bamboo bath caddy is pretty much guaranteed to keep your favorite shopper… home. A book and a glass of wine, bar of soap optional—I’m pretty sure that’s all you need in life, ever. (via Book Riot.)
And in the name of feeling righteous rather than cheap, a reminder from Melville House to shop small this holiday season. The original target date was last weekend, but there’s no reason it can’t hold true for the rest of the month as well:
The goal is yet important and one worth being conscientious of over the holiday season. Support you local indie booksellers by making at least half of your book purchases from them. Most of them can get a special order in just as quickly as a chain bookstore and all of them will be able to give recommendations unlike anything you’d find online or from seasonal help at a chain.