If you’re stuck for ideas on Cyber Monday, New York magazine has suggestions for even the most generous holiday shopper. Nothing says “I love you” like a new helicopter from Airbus for $8.5 million.
But gift-givers with a more literary mindset will find plenty of reasonably priced items in the magazine’s gift guide. In fact, the whole feature starts off with books for a penny.
Alexis Swerdloff, the magazine’s Strategist editor, says, “The fact that you can buy anything officially in this day and age for a penny, especially online, is kind of amazing.” Determined to start their gift guide at that lowest possible monetary unit, she and her term dug around the used books offerings on Amazon and found “there are tons and tons of beautiful, perfectly weathered paperbacks going for one cent — plus shipping and handling.”
She mentions, among several treasures, a George Giusti-designed edition of S.J. Perelman’s “Crazy Like a Fox,” Edward Gorey’s version of Joseph Conrad’s “Victory,” and a Ben Shahn-illustrated “Three Lives.” (Amazon CEO Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Washington Post.)
For the bookworm with more than a penny to spare, the magazine provides a number of other modestly priced literary gift suggestions, including:
* “This Equals That” ($19.95), a clever picture book by Jason Fulford and Tamara Shopsin.
* A boxed set of John Green’s YA novels, “Looking for Alaska,” “An Abundance of Katherines,” “Paper Towns” and, of course, “The Fault in Our Stars” ($42.96).
* “Sunrise to High-Rise: A Wallbook of Architecture Through the Ages,” by illustrator Lucy Dalzell ($24.95).
* “To Wit,” a book of Raymond Pettibon drawings, which Swerdloff suggests buying “in order to tear out the pages and frame” ($45).
* A first edition of “Bridge to Terabithia,” signed and annotated by Katherine Paterson. Price will be determined on Tuesday when this copy is auctioned off to benefit the PEN America Center.
The writer in your life might appreciate the J. Herbin Scented Fountain Ink Sampler ($22), including orange, rose, apple and lavender. Since that aromatic ink is likely to make your loved one feel even more self-conscious about his horrible handwriting, send him to London for a handwriting course with Cherrell Avery ($352).
But why stay stuck on paper when the 3Doodler pen ($99) allows you to write in three dimensions?
If that can’t drive your book lover to new heights of ecstasy, it’s time for the ultimate literary-bathroom appliance: the halo blu•stone™ bathtub ($7,890) used by Christian Grey in the movie version of EL James’s bestselling “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
(Stop — stop, stop! — at 2:11.)
Blu Bathworks director of marketing Paula Coen tells me that the halo tub “features varying sloped sides for bathing comfort, allowing the bather to extend out or sit more upright.” Like Anastasia, this eco-friendly material is “visually luminous and soft — almost warm — to the touch.” It’s also highly durable and scratch resistant, which is especially handy if you’re bathing in handcuffs.
Coen, who has read the first two “Fifty Shades” books, says, “A man like Christian Grey would appreciate such a tub for its clean, minimalist design aesthetic. And of course, his choice of tub must accommodate two people, so the halo bathtub is ideal!”