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Last chance to sign up to be indie lit secret santa

December 15, 2009 |  7:27 am

Feel like bringing independent literature joy to a complete stranger? HTMLGIANT, the literary blog with attitude, is holding its second annual indie lit Secret Santa gift exchange. And today is the last day to sign up.

Participants are asked to spend $10 to $20 on independent literature -- a book or chapbook from an independent press, at an independent bookstore, even a literary magazine subscription. Think Hobart over Better Homes & Gardens magazine, or a short story collection such as "Rasskazy: New Fiction from Russia" from Tin House over the new book of short stories from John Grisham.

I frequently find myself searching for the right book for a person whose tastes I know well. In this case, it's kind of the opposite: You don't know anything about the person you're shopping for, except a general sensibility. Any kind of independent literature goes: You might get a pile of $2 poetry chapbooks or a brand new hardcover. And the project supports those writing and publishing literature outside of the big New York houses.

Of course, after you buy your gift, you need to mail it away; HTMLGIANT will have e-mailed you the name and address of your recipient. Make sure to add your address on the sign-up site (follow the directions from HTMLGIANT), so your independent press Santa knows where to find you.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Los Angeles SantaCon 2009. Credit: Christina House / Los Angeles Times