So, if you want to make a special, memorable, beautiful and above all USEFUL gift for an academic, writer, architect, &c., this may be the perfect gift for you.
This particular version is my first attempt at making one myself. It was a gift to my brother-in-law. Since he is a seminary student, and since I had access to a CNC laser, I engraved a Bible passage on the front and a quote from one of his favorite theologians on the back. Yours can be customized however you want--with a painting, a personal note, a favorite poem or quotation, the first line of Beowulf, or anything else you can think of. If you don't have a CNC laser, I'm sure some local business offers custom engraving.
Best of all--despite its appearance, this thing goes together rather simply, and doesn't require any advanced carpentry skills. So let's get started!