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The description of the arcane grimoire magic item states (TCE, p. 120; emphasis mine):

While you are holding this leather-bound book, you can use it as a spellcasting focus for your wizard spells, and you gain a bonus to spell attack rolls and to the saving throw DCs of your wizard spells. The bonus is determined by the book’s rarity.

I do not understand the purpose of the word "and" after the second comma. Hence why I still have this question in my head:

Do I need to use the arcane grimoire as a spellcasting focus to gain its bonuses?

If a wizard does not need to use it as a spellcasting focus to gain its bonuses, they could very well "stack it" with an imbued wood focus (ERLW, p. 277; WGE, p. 114):

An imbued wood focus is a rod, staff, or wand cut from a tree infused with extraplanar energy. If you're a spellcaster, you can use this as a spellcasting focus.

When you cast a damage-dealing spell using this item as your spellcasting focus, you gain a +1 bonus to one damage roll of the spell, provided the damage is of the type associated with the item's wood. The types of wood and their associated damage types are listed in the Imbued Wood Focus table.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Is a quick summary of your question, "Does the Arcane Grimoire grant +1 to spell attack roles and saving throw DCs if it is held, but not used as a focus, and does this bonus stack with that from another item that grants a similar bonus when being used as a focus?" \$\endgroup\$ Sep 23 at 21:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MichaelRichardson, thank you for summarizing it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kallenz
    Sep 23 at 21:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ I updated the question to refer to the general arcane grimoire and imbued wood focus magic items; the arcane grimoire, +1 and the Fernian ash focus are specific versions of those magic items, but those specific aspects aren't relevant to the question. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Sep 24 at 3:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ It looks like you've created a second account, see here for help on getting them merged: I accidentally created two accounts; how do I merge them? \$\endgroup\$ Sep 24 at 12:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov it worked. Thanks a lot! \$\endgroup\$
    – Kallenz
    Sep 24 at 15:43
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You only need attune to and hold the book to gain the bonuses to spell attack rolls and spell save DC.

Arcane Grimoir states:

While you are holding this leather-bound book, you can use it as a spellcasting focus for your wizard spells, and you gain a +1 bonus to spell attack rolls and to the saving throw DCs of your wizard spells.

The only requirements for gaining these benefits is that you are attuned to and holding the book. “You can use it as a focus” indicates that using it as a focus is optional. There is just nothing here to indicate that using it as a focus is required for getting the bonus to spell attack rolls.

Contrast with the Fernian Ash Staff mentioned in the question:

When you cast a damage-dealing spell using this item as your spellcasting focus, you gain a +1 bonus to one fire damage roll of the spell.

This item explicitly tells us that we must use it as a focus to gain the bonus. In the absence of an explicit requirement, we conclude that no such requirement exists for the Arcane Grimoir.

However, if using both of these items at the same time, you could potentially run into issues casting spells with Somatic components but no Material component, as you have no free hands. Taking the War Caster feat, which every wizard should do in a game that allows feats, resolves this issue.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ That was exactly my question due to my misinterpretation of the wording for this magic item. Thank you! According to your answer, my wizard who is already in poses of a Fernian Ash Staff, will become even more powerful once he puts his hands in one of those arcane grimoires, correct? \$\endgroup\$
    – Kallenz
    Sep 23 at 21:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Kallenz Yeah, these items work together just fine in most cases, however, see the note I added about spells with somatic components but no material components. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 23 at 21:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ Thomas, thank you so much for the added note. Would the War Caster feature help such a wizard? \$\endgroup\$
    – Kallenz
    Sep 23 at 21:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kallenz Yes, war caster would fix that issue entirely, plus it’s really a “can’t go wrong with this” choice for a wizard. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 23 at 21:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Torbilicious An improvised weapon does not count as a weapon for the purposes of features that require you to be holding or wielding a weapon, otherwise such prerequisites would be totally meaningless, as you could just say that anything is a weapon. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 24 at 12:46

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