The Black Friday Christmas Shopping Guide

Alice McKeever, The Literary Platform

A bookishly-techie and techishly-bookie Black Friday Shopping List especially for you.

We know how terribly daunting Christmas shopping can be. There are just so many questions: What should I get? Where should I get it from? Who do I really really have to buy gifts for? Can I find a way of supporting indie booksellers for the entire holiday season? (Yes you can, I believe in you.)

We’ve come up with some book gifts for tech lovers and tech gifts for bookish types to ease you through the period. For all of your physical book needs The Guardian website has a great free tool for locating your nearest bookshop.

Book gifts for tech lovers

1 | Some social 

The Circle by Dave Eggers

If you haven’t read it yet, get it for your mother/ sister/ brother/ lover so that you can. Dave Eggers presents an extremely uncanny valley in this near future novel that explores the (not too distant) future of our digital lives. It’ll give you the shivers in such a great way.

2 | Some gaming

Minecraft: The Unlikely Tale of Markus “Notch” Persson and the Game that Changed Everything by Jennifer Hawkins and Linus Larsson

For Minecraft lovers, for gamers, for anyone that enjoys a tale about someone small making it big.

3 | Some creative:

The Animators Survival Kit (Print/ iPad)

If you fancy doing something more than eating, sleeping and box sets this year, get animating with Richard William’s manual for Classical, Computer, Games, Stop Motion, and Internet Animators.

4 | Some pleasure:

Nigella Lawson Quick Collection (iPad / iPhone)

This is the cookbook at its absolute pinnacle. A pleasure to read (over 100 recipes), to taste, to watch (20 videos of the lady herself) and to use: with its revolutionary voice control feature, it’ll keep your buttery (So. Much. Butter.) fingers off your beautiful device, this classic is yet to grow old. 

5 | Some kids:

Horrible Science Annual 2014 

For some reason Scholastic’s editors have described this book as “The perfect gift for boys who love all things horrible. ” I’ll take the liberty of confirming that this is in actual fact a perfect gift for the other half of the human race too!  

Techie gifts for book lovers

1 | Some Thrills

Device 6 (iPhone)

Over the last few years we have seen apps such as the Silent History and The Craftsman; websites like Black Crown and Inanimate Alice: all blending text based storytelling and game like mechanics, a trend that continues to be explored in more and more impressive ways.

Device 6 takes the text itself and moves it on screen according to the movement occurring in the story. This may sound slightly sea-sickening – it’s not – it simply means that you move your device in accordance with the protagonist’s movement; and the sound – so often detrimental to the reading experience – is so well-placed that it does nothing but enhance the thrill.

2 | Some Typography  

Type:Rider (iOS / Android)

Simple and beautiful: this typography-focused game teaches the player the history of typography whilst giving him/her the relaxation and satisfaction found in endless obstacle games. Beautifully done too.

3 | Some Creative

Scrivener

For the burgeoning author in all of us (seriously, who do you know that isn’t writing a novella/ short story/ biography on their great aunt); Scrivener is a word processing program for novelists, it helps you manage your documents, notes, (multimedia) research and sanity. Once you get it you will never go back.

4 | For Kids

Lego Book Light

A bit of a stocking filler here, and I know you may not want to give this to your kids, and that you may actually want them to go to sleep. I get that, I do. But they don’t want to. 

5 | Some Reading

Kobo Aura HD

The competition is rife when it comes to the eReader, and Kobo really set the bar high with the Aura HD, it’s a pleasure to hold and to use. And it is just so pretty.

| STAR XMAS BUY |

Inside The Rainbow

Ok, so it is not strictly speaking a tech gift, but it’s bloody beautiful. Edited by Julian Rothenstein and Olga Budashevskaya, with a foreword by Philip Pullman and an essay by Arkady Ippolitov; the tales of childhood in communist Russia, along with the stunning and strange children’s book illustrations from the time will make your head spin. And I’ll bet you know at least one person that would love to curl up with a tea and this beautiful thing in an arm chair this boxing day.

AND it’s on special offer on their website now…

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