‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the land
Pages were turned, cocoa in hand
As evening crept on, and Christmas drew close
Jólabókaflóðið reminds us of what we love most
An Icelandic tradition of hot chocolate and books
When readers gather on sofas and nooks.
But what do you gift the content marketer
Seeking to make their skills even sharper?
A festive tradition around books, hot chocolate and late-night reading, it might come as no surprise that we’re rather big fans of Jólabókaflóðið, or the Christmas Book Flood. Recognised officially in 1944, the Icelandic tradition encourages loved ones to exchange books on Christmas Eve, and spend the evening together enjoying their new gifts.
Which got us thinking, what would we give to our fellow content marketers and copywriters? What books do you gift a writer who devours words day in and out, or an editor who has polished more words in a single week than most are likely to write all year?
We asked the experts, compiled their thoughts, and wrapped it up in a neat bow to present…
Collective Content’s Guide to Jólabókaflóðið: What to Gift the Content Marketer in Your Life.
Published in 2007, this book is brought to us by the folks behind CBC Radio’s The Age of Persuasion. The book gives an irreverent ‘insiders’ look into marketing as a growing field and its massive influence on modern culture, and vice versa. A fascinating study of how marketing came to be today from two very witty gents.
- The Deluxe Transitive Vampire: A Handbook of Grammar for the Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed, Karen Elizabeth Gordon
A classic that’s older than most of our writing staff, this book’s wry humour makes even the most dense aspects of grammar and quirks of the English language compelling. Clever, cheeky and full of character, this style bible is a firm favourite across the team.
Part memoir, part guide for smaller businesses, and wholly enjoyable. This book comes ten years after The Age of Persuasion, and goes beyond just the field of marketing, getting right into the weeds. It covers working with clients, trying to help them succeed and what businesspeople should know about advertising and marketing.
Style is one of the more difficult aspects of copywriting and copy editing. Dreyer’s experience as a copy editor comes to the rescue in this sharp, witty guide. Filled with tricks learned or developed over 30+ years as a copy editor at Random House, and sprinkled with his enthusiasm for language, the effect of this guide has rippled through the writing community, (it’s not often a book on copywriting gets its own game), becoming the subject of many online debates.
In the man’s own words: “Only godless savages eschew the Oxford comma.”
Well, these savages enjoyed the Dreyer’s English immensely and would happily recommend it for the editor, copywriter or language lover in your life.
One of our writers refers to the Chicago Manual of Style as their copywriting bible, and it’s no wonder why. Presented by the experts at the University of Chicago, the manual is in its 17th edition at the time of writing. More recent updates include guidance on the correct use of technological terminology, using gender neutral pronouns, advice on bias-free language and writing for self-publication and social media, while still packed full of resources and rules on its previously covered areas. Classic and current, all in one. An excellent resource.
A satirical dictionary more recently embellished with illustrations from Ralph Steadman, The Devil’s Dictionary shows us why Ambrose Bierce was considered both friend and rival to Mark Twain. Initially compiled in 1911 and largely overlooked by contemporaries, the dictionary now stands as one of ‘The 100 Greatest Masterpieces of American Literature’, and the only humour-based work in that list.
More recent editions, like the one linked, include stylistic illustrations or snippets from the writer’s other works. No matter the edition, the dictionary makes a marvellous gift sure to make your copywriting loved ones chortle their way into Christmas.