Gifts For Your Friend Who Still Loves to Send Snail Mail

Gifts For Your Friend Who Still Loves to Send Snail Mail

For everyone who shudders at the thought of using a Bic or writing on a yellow legal pad, here's a shopping list of indulgent desk and office goods.

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Daily Planner, Ramona & Ruth
Daily Planner, Ramona & Ruth
Image: Ramona & Ruth

Stationery, paper goods, and general desk and office supplies make for some of the best possible presents. They exist at that gifting sweet spot where practicality and luxury intersect: Everyone uses pen and notebooks, and yet a well-made one still feels like a special item. Even those whose lives are almost entirely digital find that they need to write something down from time to time, or that they’re better off holding the papers in their workspace in place with a paperweight instead of a coffee cup. And if you’re looking for a present that works as a graceful Secret Santa gift for a coworker you don’t know too well, it’s tough to do better than a stationery store stocking stuffer. Then there are the paper goods devotees, with our strong opinions on the merits of ballpoints versus rollerballs, who delight in the heft of a perfect sheet of letterpressed stationery and who always appreciate a gift that brightens our workspace. So here are a few gift ideas for all the paper-heads on your list.

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For the person who always has a stack of papers on their desk

For the person who always has a stack of papers on their desk

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Image: Metropolitan Museum of Art

I keep going through my desk’s piles of paper and tossing them out, but they keep stacking right back up. The only thing to do is to try to make the piles look a little prettier along the margins, and one way to do that is to slap an attractive paperweight on them. Museum gift stores make for a great source for pretty paperweights, like this one from the Metropolitan Museum of Art ($24), which includes an image from a 19th-century still life.

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For the person who goes through pens by the box 

For the person who goes through pens by the box 

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Image: Pilot

I’m a pen-and-paper person through and through and own at least ten of my favorite pens at any given time. If you know anyone like me, a package of rock-solid pens is one of the very best gifts you can give them, and the ones in the Pilot Precise ($12.84) line are some of the best around. They’re super-smooth rollerballs that provide one of the most satisfying writing experiences I’ve ever had, and perhaps best of all, they’re very easily found in stores.

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For the person who pays attention to every detail

For the person who pays attention to every detail

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Image: Alissa Bell

Look, is a piece of paper a piece of paper? Yes. Technically, will any piece of paper usually do the trick when you need to write something down? Sure. But there’s something irresistibly luxurious about elegantly presented, high-quality paper. Writing on it transforms me from someone sitting down at her desk to compose a grocery list into an Austen heroine, quill in hand. If there’s someone near and dear who’s a paper obsessive, look no further than this collection of memo pages and brass holder ($148) from Alissa Bell studios.

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For the person who likes to mark up their books and papers—but who’d rather not leave a trace

For the person who likes to mark up their books and papers—but who’d rather not leave a trace

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Image: Book Darts

You can’t very well fill up a hardcover with a dozen bookmarks, and not everyone’s a fan of underlining in books and papers. Plus, marginalia can be hard to find without flipping through every page. Enter the book dart ($12.99), which I honestly believe to be one of humankind’s best-ever inventions. They’re subtle, elegant ways of marking the important stuff in your favorite written works. Pop one on the top of the page to use as a bookmark, or on the side to mark particular lines of writing. When you’re done with them, they pull right off without doing any damage.

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For the person who needs to make a note to themselves

For the person who needs to make a note to themselves

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Image: Poketo

There’s something deeply exciting about a fresh packet of Post-its, with all their promise of productivity and organization. But your standard square deck of yellow notes can still feel a bit bland. Luckily, these days you can find cute Post-it alternatives from smaller stationery companies, like Poketo ($8), which makes these cute little stocking stuffers.

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For the person to likes to journal as much as they like to read

For the person to likes to journal as much as they like to read

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Image: Kunitsa Co.

When you read a book, there’s always something you want to take away from it—a theme, some unforgettable lines, even just a scathing mental review. If you’ve ever wanted to find a way to organize all those thoughts, a book journal is exactly what you need, or what you need to give to the resident reader and scribbler in your life. With space for all reviews, quotes, and takeaways, these journals ($24.95) from Kunitsa Co. help make sure that no book goes forgotten.

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For the person who owes you a letter back

For the person who owes you a letter back

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Image: Tiny Bones Press

That Austen heroine feeling? There’s no better way to kick that into high gear than by writing a letter on some personalized stationery. The delicate heft of the paper, emblazoned with your own initials or some other signature styling—it’s enough to make you eager to write that thank-you note you owe. So if you’re in a letter-writing correspondence with some distant friend or loved one, consider getting them a box of personalized stationery. I have one from Tiny Bones Press ($95), and it’s one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. Hefty paper, lovingly printed, and all tucked away in a beautiful and endlessly reusable wooden box.

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For the person who stood you up last time you were supposed to hang out

For the person who stood you up last time you were supposed to hang out

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Image: Ramona & Ruth

At any given time, I’m using at least three written calendars or datebooks to keep myself organized. There’s one on my fridge, on my desk, and a daily one that I carry around in my purse, and yet things still fall through the cracks. If you know anyone like me (or just want to make a passive-aggressive point at the pal who forgot to show up to your last house party), an elegant calendar or organizer like this desk planner ($16) from Ramona & Ruth could be just what they need.

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