I'm a sucker for whimsy, especially when it's tied to bookish things (or crime fiction). And since it's never too early to start planning ahead for those on your Christmas list who have everything, consider this a two-fer of whimsical items that could be gift ideas.
The world's largest Scrabble game spans over 49 square feet, about five times the size of the original. One of only nine in existence, it's handmade by John Kahn, renowned mixed media artist and creator of colossal pop art. Due to the price, it's probably not a good stocking-stuffer candidate.
You don't even need an e-book for this one. A point-and-click dictionary slides over reading material, and its integrated flip-up camera scans any word with the touch of a button to instantaneously display definitions on its screen.
This diminutive typewriter is actually a USB-capable device created by Jack Zylkin that plugs into device such as your PC, Mac, or even your iPad. So you can get the thrill of the old-fashioned click and clack of typewriter keys and still have the modern convenience of your digital device.
Richard Hutton created this table for Milan Design Week 2008. The legs are composed of layers of books, piled upon each other. As Hutton notes, "A book is all about layers, layers of meaning. This collection is about objects and what we can read in them. Design is not only about beautiful forms, but also about the stories an object can tell."
This umbrella may not be a work of art, but it looks like one. The Sky Stack Cane Umbrella uses nature and sky-high piles of vividly colored books placed along a grass border, a bold blue sky, and fluffy white clouds. Supposedly, it even keeps the rain off.
This one is cheating a little bit because these are "vintage" items from the 1980s that are no longer made, although you can still find them on eBay and other similar sites. These gun-shaped hairdryers were created by Jerdon industries and include such beauties as a 357 Magnum with holster. (Go ahead: make my bad-hair day.)
Did you know there is a Library Hotel near Grand Central Station in NYC? Each of the 10 guestroom floors honor one of the 10 categories of the Dewey Decimal System and each of the 60 rooms are uniquely adorned with a collection of books and art exploring a distinctive topic within the category. Splurge on the Love Room, with a private terrace with views of the New York City Public Library and books chosen by Dr. Ruth Westheimer.