A membership in the Folio Society. The Folio Society publishes beautifully bound and illustrated editions of some of the world’s greatest books that make perfect gifts. Reading Cicero, Tolkien, Gibbon, C.S. Lewis, and John Lukacs is even more pleasurable and seems more, well, civilized, when you are holding one of the Folio Society’s luxurious books.
A fountain pen. You will want to jot down memorable ideas and pithy quotes from all the books you are going to read in the coming year. Tablets have their advantages, but nothing can match the tactile joy of taking notes with a fine pen. Levenger fountain pens are high quality, attractive, and affordable. You will want to take notes with this pen.
A Moleskine pocket notebook. Perfect for carrying with you. You will always be prepared to record ideas as they come to you. Some say their fountain pens don’t like the paper used by Moleskine, but I have never had a problem writing in my Moleskine notebooks with a fountain pen. This and a fountain pen is the atavistic person’s iPad.
La Colombe Coffee Roasters’ Louisiane blend. If you are like me, you need a couple cups of good coffee in you before you are ready to wrestle with the great books and ideas. And this is a very, very good coffee. The Louisiane blend is the result of La Colombe’s efforts to recreate the coffee enjoyed by Americans in the antebellum South.
A bow tie from the Cordial Churchman. With a hand-crafted bow tie from Ellie and Andy Stager of South Carolina, you will look the part of the gentleman scholar. Imaginative conservatives should remember that Churchill and FDR wore bow ties, while Hitler and Stalin did not.
Books mentioned in this essay may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore.