The run-up to Christmas has officially begun, guys. At a mere five weeks before the event, it’s definitely an appropriate time to start jingling those bells and thinking about Christmas gifts.
First up I must share my colleague’s most excellent idea to ditch the Secret Santa in favour of a book-only gifting policy. (I have yet to come up with a snappy name for this – there surely must be something in ‘elf’, as in ‘booksh-elf’?)
If you want to replicate this idea in your own workplace, all you need to do is to get everyone to send you an email with their name and a genre they usually like reading (or an author they particularly like). Print them out and get people to draw them from a hat. Remember to grab a gift receipt and pop it inside the book just in case your gift is so on the money that they’ve actually already read it!
If a book swap isn’t your jam, or you know your book-loving pal would rather choose their books themselves, try the suggestions below. All are either book-related or are a useful reading accessory which any bookworm will love.
A reading subscription box
Subscription boxes are growing in popularity everywhere and the literary community is no exception. There are lots of different types on the market and several cater to different reading ages and tastes.
The Willoughby Book Club offers boxes which are aimed at quite general categories like ‘Fiction Lovers’, ‘Classics’ or ‘Young Adult’.
But perhaps the most personal boxes I’ve found are from Mr B’s Emporium. This bookshop based in Bath actually appoints an expert bookseller to curate your bookworm’s collection for you, based on their answers to a quiz.
You can customise them to last for a period of up to a year and can specify details like whether you’d prefer to include paperback or hardback books.
It’s the best of both worlds, introducing readers to books that are new to them, but which they’re very likely to enjoy.
A decent bookmark
Don’t mock (yet). A book lover is always in need of a bookmark and we get weirdly emotionally attached to the good ones.
As a commuter-reader, I hate bookmarks which stick out too far above the pages or are flimsy and easily breakable, as they will never survive being stuffed repeatedly into my rucksack. Instead, I love a sturdy bookmark that keeps your place while staying low.
This little cute-tea would make a great (and affordable) stocking filler, or if you are in need of something a bit more substantial, Etsy does a great line in charm bookmarks. This birdie version is rather sweet and will be kind to your beloved pages.
However, I couldn’t do this post without recommending a cat-themed bookmark – this one is sturdy enough to survive the dreaded rucksack commute and is adorable to boot.
Create a literary hamper
If you are paired up with a bookworm, you will understand that reading a book does not simply require “just” the book.
Settling down to read is a whole ritual which must involve a blanket, cosy clothes, a hot drink (or wine) and nibbles of choice. I’m a Galaxy Counters gal myself.
Therefore a hamper containing all of the requisite items for a “proper” read is an ideal gift for your resident book addict.
I’m quite enamoured with this hamper featuring female authors from The Story Gift, which includes items themed on authors from Agatha Christie to Jane Austen. You can expect such bookish accessories as a themed mug, candle, tea and a literary print.
If you want to create something a bit more individual, you can also create a bespoke hamper for your beloved.
An e-reader case
In all the excitement of finally owning an e-reader, the case is often overlooked. If you are like me, you have probably already fallen into the trap of buying a cheap one off Amazon only to have it immediately shed its decorative skin like a sad Kindle-snake.
My advice would be to invest in a proper cover for your bookworm friend. Look for proper, quality materials that will last, and try to find one with a magnetic closure if possible.
If you have a Kindle, the magnet will automatically turn your Kindle off when you close it, stopping it from draining the battery.
Obviously, it must also be beautiful and fill you with bookish joy merely by looking at it.
This Totoro themed cover is an almost unbearably cute case for a home-reader (I’m not sure it’d pass the rucksack test!) whereas for the more heavy duty reader you could try this case which will make you look like you’re always reading Harry Potter.
For those who just want an attractive, hard-wearing case, these ones from Etsy tick all the boxes and there’s a design for everyone.
A book blanket
As previously mentioned, all proper book reading sessions require a blanket. So, why not get a book-themed blanket specifically for reading which positively screams “do not let the dog sit on me!”?
Personally, I am very taken with this subtly creepy number which is patterned with text from ‘The Raven’ of Edgar Allen Poe. But you could always create your own blanket featuring the covers of books your beloved adores.
So there you have it: five gift ideas for your resident bookworm. Go forth and be merry!