Yes, I’m aware that it’s not yet December but the Festive season certainly seems to be upon us – mince pies on every aisle end, novelty jumpers in every clothes shop and, if you’re anything like me, a vague sense of panic that you haven’t even started your Christmas shopping yet. Fear not though because The Shelf is here to help with a selection of book-related gifts to give your nearest and dearest this festive season.
Beautiful, Beautiful Books
Book lovers, unsurprisingly, love books. But buying a book for your bookworm is not always the easiest thing to do. Bookworms, by their very nature, buy and/or borrow a lot of books. So how to get something they’ll love and treasure? Simple – buy a beautiful edition of an old favourite. There’s some absolutely stunning series of classics out there at the moment from the every-expanding Penguin Clothbound Classics to Vintage’s oh so pretty Russian Classics series (pictured) released earlier this year. There’s also the latest in the Harry Potter illustrated editions – Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban, Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them and A History of Magic – or, if you prefer your children’s books a little more classic, some lovely new hardbacks of Tove Jansson’s Finn Family Moomintroll books. On the contemporary novel front, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale has been released in a stunning black covered hardback with red sprayed edges by Vintage whilst Alias Grace has been given a gorgeous orange hardback from Bloomsbury. Chances are, if your bookworm has a favourite classic, children’s classic or contemporary classic, there will be a beautiful edition out there with their name on it.
I’ve mentioned Scribbelicious jewellery in a previous gift guide but they’ve expanded their range to include a wider selection of classic and contemporary titles, more styles and even homeware such as mugs and magnets. Also worth a mention is Coryographies, an Etsy store that features beautiful earrings, necklaces and bookmarks shaped like bookshelves and stacks of books, such as the Jane Austen Bookcase necklace (pictured right). Eclectic Eccentricity don’t specialise in literary jewellery but their gorgeous range features plenty of pieces suitable for matching up to books such as the Ursa Major Bear Necklace which always reminds me of Iorek from Phillip Pullman’s Northern Lights trilogy.
The Literary Gift Company stock gifts suitable for all tastes and wallets ranging from pin badges to jigsaws via socks, mugs and stationary – it’s like a one stop shop of book related presents. My personal favourites include the Bodleian High Jinks Jigsaw (pictured) – perfect for keeping your bookworm occupied over the festive season – and the Personal Library Kit which allows book lovers to fulfill all their childhood librarian dreams. They also do a lovely range of clothing including T-shirts, scarves and socks, as well as homewares such as cushions, mugs, tote bags and book pouches. Speaking of book pouches, Book Buddle gives your book a hug with lovely padded book sleeves for paperbacks, hardbacks and e-readers in a variety of pretty fabric. The stock changes regularly so keep checking back for new items – or you can request a custom order. Also on Etsy are MyBookmark with a fun and eclectic range of handmade bookmarks.
Book subscription services are starting to gain more traction here in the UK so, whilst we still don’t have access to the US’s Book of the Month club, there are some great UK based alternatives out there. Book & a Brew is a monthly subscription service that sends a hardback book and a lovely box/tin of specially chosen tea to complement that month’s title. Book selections are across a wide range of genres and gift subscriptions and one off boxes are also available. For a real adventure into the unknown, how about The Random Book Club? Run from the famous Wigtown bookshop (the largest second hand bookshop in Scotland), the titles are hand-picked, a mixture of fiction and non-fiction and sure to contain an element of suprise – great for anyone who wants to leave their literary comfort zone behind in 2018. If a book subscription is slightly beyond budget, why not consider a magazine subscription instead? Offering both print and digital subscriptions, NewBooks Magazine (pictured) is a quarterly filled with reviews, extracts, features and author interviews tailored to readers and reading groups. Featured titles in the magazine are available for only the cost of postage and packaging and there’s an exclusive offer for Christmas to include two free books with your gift subscription. I’ve been a subscriber for a few years now and can genuinely say I look forward to each issue landing on the doormat.
Finally I wanted to mention a wonderful campaign being run by BookTrust, the reading charity. Their £10.00 book gift campaign aims to provide books to 9,700 children in care this Christmas time. A donation, either from you or on behalf of someone you love, could help make a real difference so please do consider giving if you can.
Hopefully that little lot will provide a few ideas for bookish gifts to give to your loved ones this season – or possibly some things you want to add to your own letter to Santa! If you’ve got any other Christmas gift suggestions, I’d love to hear them so please drop me a comment down below or say hi over on Twitter. What will you be buying this Christmas? And what are you hoping to receive by way of bookish goodies? Do let me know and, until next time…
Happy Reading x