Stocking Stuffer Ideas For Bookworms

15 Stocking Stuffers That The Bookworm In Your Life Will Absolutely Nerd Out Over

The best thing about book lovers? They're easy to shop for.

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Christmas shopping can be hectic. But if you exchange gifts with a bookworm, you know that readers are easy to shop for.

When it comes to finding stocking stuffers, things can be a bit more complicated. After all, it's not easy finding exciting gifts that can fit in a tiny stocking — especially when the person being gifted typically prefers 800-page tomes as presents. Try fitting one of those into a stocking.

If you're looking for stocking stuffers for your bookworm friends or relatives, we've got you covered. These 15 suggestions are all tiny, and all of them will make the book lover in your life nerd out on Christmas morning.

1. Bookmarks

Most book lovers don't like folding their precious pages over, so bookmarks are a necessity for keeping track of where they are in their stories.

Unfortunately, bookmarks are incredibly easy to misplace. And that means they're always in search of new ones. So, why not throw one or two in their stockings?

2. A book light

Book lights may seem obsolete in the age of e-readers, but some people still read physical copies of books on long car rides or during blackouts. And those readers will greatly appreciate having a small light to use while reading in the dark!

3. Candles

There's nothing better than lighting a delicious-smelling candle and curling up with a good book. You can go for more traditional scents, or you can even find bookish candles from their favorite stories.

4. Tea or coffee

How do you think bookworms get so much reading done? Caffeine is key, and readers are always on the hunt for more fuel. Small packs of tea and coffee will keep them energized, and thus able to read more books.

5. Mugs

Speaking of caffeine, bookworms need something to drink their coffee and tea out of. You'll be surprised at how many book-related mugs exist in the world, and you can probably squeeze them into a stocking!

6. Sticky tabs

Sticky tabs are the perfect solution for readers who like to mark pages but don't like folding them over or writing on them. But packs of sticky tabs are easy to go through, so you'll be doing bookworms a favor by giving them more.

7. A notebook

Some readers prefer taking actual notes to marking passages with sticky tabs. For that endeavor, a notebook is always useful. And besides, you know that plenty of readers also aspire to be writers.

If that sounds like your loved one, then get them a new notebook. It'll be much appreciated.

8. An e-reader case

If your bookish loved one enjoys e-books, you can always buy them a new e-reader case. Those things wear quickly, especially when they're constantly going from place to place.

9. Headphones

When it comes to format, some readers like audiobooks the best. They're efficient and accessible almost anywhere.

If the reader in your life is an audiobook person, they might be in need of a new pair of headphones. And if they're not, they probably like music — so you know they'll eventually get some use out of these.

10. Bookish pins

So many readers wear their love of books like a badge of honor, meaning that they'll happily utilize any book-related buttons or pins you give them.

11. Bookish tote bags

Tote bags are pretty easy to fold up, and Barnes & Noble sells ones with popular books on them. Find out their favorite classic, or just gift them a generic tote with a stack of books on it. Either way, they'll love it.

12. Bookish socks

The weather's cold and your bookworm friend probably can't wait to curl up with a gigantic book. Why not make their reading time even cozier with a new pair of socks?

This idea will be even cuter if you get them bookish socks, like this pair from Out of Print.

13. A bookish t-shirt

Believe it or not, you can squeeze a t-shirt into your book lover's stocking. And Out of Print sells adorable ones with book covers on the front.

They also just completed their line of "Harry Potter" shirts... just saying.

14. A giftcard to a bookstore

Can't fit an actual book in their stocking? Or don't know what book they'd actually want? Don't worry! You can always just give them a gift certificate to their local bookstore.

15. A short novel or novella

A hardcover book might not fit into a stocking, but a small mass-market paperback or novella certainly will. And you'll be hardpressed to find a reader who complains about getting new books for Christmas — even if they already have plenty of unread books on their shelves.

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5 Companies That Still Use Slave Labor

Let's talk about the modern slave trade.
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Growing up in a country where freedom is always a right and expectation — whether you live in the United States or one of the other 86 "free" countries — it is easy to believe that, compared to the well-known 1800s slave trade, we are doing pretty well when it comes to civil liberties, freedom, and overall social welfare. Documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) have been approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations, meaning that the vast majority of nations have agreed that every individual has the right to basic human dignity.

Despite this significant progress, however, there are 45.8 million people enslaved today, more than any other time in world history. The United States Department of Homeland Security has launched the Blue Campaign in light of this growing industry, hoping to raise awareness of the human trafficking that persists in local communities. Additionally, you can watch this video for a summary on the Global Slavery pandemic. I will write about the problem of human trafficking in the United States on another day; however, global slavery affects us whether it is in our city or halfway around the world. In fact, companies that you purchase from every single day use slave labor for their work instead of paying employees a fair wage.* Don't believe me?

Here are five companies that are using slave labor to make their products TODAY, and where you should shop instead.

Nestle

Nestle is one of the largest companies that has consistently carried out human rights violations all over the world. Not only did they illegally take water from California during the drought in 2015, but in the 1970s they got third-world mothers to use infant formula by selling it at reduced prices, and then when the mothers could no longer breastfeed, they raised the price of formula so much that many children were malnourished and starving.

Their most recent problems revolve around slavery in the cocoa industry. In 2009 several former child slaves sued Nestle because they were trafficked and forced to work on Nestle farms in Cote d'Ivoire. Another suit was filed by former child slaves in 2014, stating that "Studies by International Labour Organization, UNICEF, the Department of State, and numerous other organizations have confirmed that thousands of children are forced to work without pay in the Ivorian economy." In 2016, the Fair Labor Association executed an assessment of Nestle in Cote d'Ivoire. They claimed that 70% of Nestle farms were not trained on the prohibition of forced labor. Further, they stated that "there is no process in place to monitor, report, and remediate cases of forced labor at the farms." With this in mind, they did find evidence of potential forced and uncompensated labor. Additionally, they found evidence of child labor—many of these children never enrolling in school — in which children were getting paid little to nothing, and often working in dangerous conditions.

INSTEAD: buy from Ben & Jerry's or Theo. They will satisfy your sweet tooth and are Fair-Trade guaranteed.

Nike

Nike has REALLY cleaned up their act in the last several years, but with a standard of no slave labor, they still have quite a way to go. In 1992, activist Jeff Ballinger published an exposé in "Harpers" that revealed the story of a child in Indonesia working in disgusting conditions, and for a mere 14 cents per hour (far below the minimum wage in Indonesia at the time).

Since then, Nike has begun to report supply chain information. The most recent report claims that, in 2016, only 86% of their factories were up to the minimum standards they set. Though they give a good indication of how far the company has come, these standards are set by Nike and assessed internally, making it difficult to compare standards to a universal one.

INSTEAD: shop at Patagonia! All products here are Fair Trade Certified!

Starbucks

Starbucks claims a mission for ethical sourcing, meaning their company policy requires them to abide by a standard of "ethical sourcing" that they have created. They only have two Fair-Trade coffees available for purchase. After the development charity Oxfam reported that Starbucks was depriving Ethiopian coffee growers of $90 million every year, Starbucks was challenged by the public eye to “clean up their act,” and did so by creating their own “ethical sourcing” standards, that they implement themselves, and certify 99% of their coffee with. Whether or not these standards are viable, they are not Fair Trade Certified at this time.

The U.S. Department of Labor has a list of locations and goods that use forced and child labor. Starbucks lists coffees from countries such as Guatamala, Kenya, Costa Rica and Panama; however, none of these single-sourced coffees are certified by them as “Fair Trade.” Rather, they are all regions that are known to use child labor.

INSTEAD: buy the Starbucks Italian Roast and Café Estima; they are certified by Fair Trade! You can also order online from Café Justo, Jurang and Equal Exchange —entire companies dedicated to producing Fair Trade coffee.

H&M

A 2016 report stated that as of December 31, 2015, 31 out of 72 H&M suppliers were using illegal contracts. In other words, these contracts allowed for wrongful termination. Now I know what you are thinking: the current system of hiring/firing in the U.S. is full of problems, and it takes way too much work to fire a bad employee in most cases. Well, the situation in countries like Cambodia and India are a little different. Often times, employees of H&M will be forced to work for excessive overtime hours—far beyond the legal limit—with no increase in their weekly take home pay. They are also often working in sweatshop conditions, with no breaks and unsanitary environments. Moreover, the contracts allow the factory to fire a worker for refusing to work these long hours. In fact, a garment worker in Cambodia stated: "We often get sick around once a month. We don’t eat enough and work too much trying to maximize the piece rate. Also, we don’t stop to go to the bathroom. We often work through lunch breaks or go back into work early, so there is hardly any time to rest."

INSTEAD: shop at one of these other retailers that are guaranteed to have fair-trade labor!

Walmart

Well, this one is probably the least suprising yet. According to a 2016 report by the Wage Alliance on Walmart's value chain, Walmart refused to sign the 2013 Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh that 200 companies signed following the collapse of Rana Plaza. It also stated that all 14 factories in Cambodia were studied, and they all violated local overtime laws consistently, with some forcing 14 hour work days without overtime pay "in sweltering heat, without adequate supply of clean drinking water or any breaks." These same conditions were expressed by workers in factories in India, Indonesia, and Bangladesh. The report continued to list countless instances of workers given severely less than they were promised, or even cases where owners of factories fled without paying workers at all.

INSTEAD: OK, I know it's hard to pass up Walmart prices. However, here is a full list of companies that are fair trade. Even if you start small, I know you can find a way to cut back on your slavery footprint! Want to know how many slaves work for you now? Visit the Slavery Footprint mission to find out.

*I use the term “fair wage” because many people who are enslaved are trapped in a cycle of debt bondage. This means that an individual or family works for pennies per hour to pay off an ever-increasing debt. Oftentimes this debt is passed down for generations. To learn more about debt bondage and other forms of slavery, visit the non-profit End Slavery Now, here.

Cover Image Credit: iragelb / Flickr

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17 Holidays Coming This May That You Need To Prepare For Now

It's going to be May!

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Oh the month of May, the month of spring, the winding down of the school year with summer slowly approaching. May is notoriously known as the month that holds Mothers Day, but did you know that there are actually a handful of holidays happening in the month of May that are just as exciting as Mothers Day? Well, in case you didn't, I've decided to list a few.

1. May is National Salad Month

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Oh yeah, celebrate your healthy side and try out numerous salads throughout the month of May!

2. May is National Hamburger Month

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Not a salad fan? Well fret not because you can get your loose pants on to celebrate national burger month by trying different burgers everyday! Actually, for health purposes, you probably shouldn't. But hey, I do not judge your journey.

3. May is Older Americans Month

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Take the time during the month of May to appreciate our older Americans. Go out and spend time with your granny, or heck volunteer at your local assisted living area or nursing home - those guys need some loving too.

4. International Tuba Day - May 3rd

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This day falls on the first Friday of every May which happens to be the third! Go on and celebrate your tuba playing or your tuba playing friends!

5. Lumpy Rug Day - May 3rd

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This day is always celebrated on May 3rd. This is the day where we take the time to appreciate a good rug. How do you enjoy lumpy rug day? Go buy yourself a new lumpy rug. Or, take the time to appreciate the rug you own.

6. Free Comic Book Day - May 4th

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This day always falls on the first Saturday of the month of May. Go to your local comic book shop on this day to pick up some new comics you've been dying to read. Maybe even brush up on your comic book knowledge for Endgame (even tho it has already hit theaters by then).

7. Clean Up Your Room Day - May 10th

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Hey, May is spring and spring is for cleaning.

8. International Migratory Bird Day - May 11th

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This day falls on the second Saturday of every may. Take the time to go out into nature and learn about the bird flying into your area for the season.

9. National Windmill Day - May 11th

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This is a traditional Holiday celebrated in Holland, the land of the Windmills. Take the time to brush up on your native roots or brush up on a new culture and dwell in this nation's pride in their windmills. Trust me, the history of it all is actually interesting.

10. Dance Like A Chicken Day - May 14th

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Life is too serious guys. Take the time to dance like a chicken.

11. National Bike To Work Day - May 17th

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In a time where our planet is needing clean energy more than ever, dust off your ol' bike and ride it to work. Hey, you may actually be touching base with that New Year's resolution you made about being more active by engaging with this holiday.

12. No Dirty Dishes Day - May 18th

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Let's face it, dishes are the worst! This is the day where the goal is to not make any dirty dishes so that you can give yourself a break from doing the dishes. How can this be done? Use biodegradable, disposable dishes or take the family out to eat for all three meals!

13. World Goth Day - May 22nd

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Black not your color? Well, have no fear because this day is not about wearing black, but about goth culture. Celebrate you uniqueness this day. Maybe listen to some Black Veil Brides for old times sake.

14. Don't Fry Friday - May 24th

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Always celebrated the Friday before memorial day, don't fry Friday is the day to remember that summer is approaching and you need to take the proper steps to help protect the skin on your body. Sunscreen baby, sunscreen!

15. National Brown Bag It Day - May 25th

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Very few people take their lunches in brown paper bags. Take it back to old school times and take your lunch in a brown paper bag.

16. Water A Flower Day - May 30th

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Take the time to love Mother Earth by taking care of her plants on this day.

17. Save Your Hearing Day - May 31st

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This is the day to take the time to learn about what causes hearing loss and how to prevent it.

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