We are now well into the swing of “Christmas season” (or “silly season” as some may call it) and everyone is pondering what to get their loved ones, friends and secret santas this year. I always like to think I am easy to buy for – I like gin, chocolate, stationery, books etc – but, the more I think about it, the more I realise I am actually quite high maintenance when it comes to shopping.
I am a gadget/tech lover. But this means people can’t buy that stuff for me because a. I buy the new stuff the second it comes out and b. They will buy me the wrong thing.
Ok, well what about gin? Nuh-uh! I have a subscription to a monthly gin club so I have lots of gin (currently 27 bottles, actually) and I am a bit of a gin snob. Don’t get me wrong, I would never come to your house and turn my nose up at you offering me a Gordon’s, but, I would prefer Wessex gin, Manly Spirits or Aviation gin with my tonic.
So, stationery then? Nope. I have a stack of notebooks in my office – actually I have about 9 brand new notebooks that I have yet to decide to write in, and then when I start something new, I go and buy a new notebook for that purpose. Don’t get me wrong, I love receiving notebooks – especially if a friend says “I saw this and thought of you” – but they just go on the shelf with the others. And with regards to pens, I only use a certain pen (a papermate inkjoy gel 0.7mm pen). Sorry!
Books? No. Chances are I have either read it having been sent an ARC, or it’s in my TBR pile. If you read it and loved it so wanted to give it as a gift, chances are that I recommended you the book, or better still I gave you my copy!
See. I am high maintenance when it comes to presents (I’m funny about smellies too as I have sensitive skin, mugs are a no go as I only use Emma Bridgewater mugs, scarves/cloths have to feel a certain way…..) BUT, there are some lovely gift ideas out there for people like me. Some of them are novelty gifts and some are actually really lovely ideas and will be enjoyed and not just popped into the next ‘raffle donations’ box we get from the kids’ schools. So, here are my top 10 bookish gifts for bookish people (with affiliate links).
- A Kindle. I know this is a pricey gift but we will thank you for it. The latest Amazon paperwhite comes in a selection of lovely colours and is also waterproof (hello hot tub). Most bookish people LOVE books, actual books, but it’s also nice to be able to just carry around a Kindle loaded with 10, 20, 30 books we can pick up and read whenever we feel like it. There are also some fantastic daily Kindle deals for 99p every day. If you are giving someone a Kindle, if they are your loved one, it might also be worth looking into a Kindle Unlimited subscription. I know we don’t like to promote the big baddies who don’t always pay their taxes, and we all want to shop small and local this year but this is a great monthly subscription. I spend a LOT of money on books – I am the person the book sellers love because if they tweet a link to a book deal, I click it and it’s on my device in seconds. So, a £7.99 subscription with over a million Kindle books at my fingertips is so worth the money. I just need the watch that freezes time so I have the time to read all the books.
2. A 100 books bucket list poster. I LOVE this. I am also still waiting for someone to buy me one of these – I mean this the most obvious gift there is for a book lover. They do these in a range of different posters too – there’s classic novels, children’s books, films, gins……! And it’s only £10. A bargain.
3. A listography notebook. My mum actually bought me one of these a few years back and I love it. I am a list lover, a planner, a stationery fiend. This book contains pages and pages of list ideas for your future – pets I might own, holidays I might go on, courses I might take, etc.
4. Signed or special edition books. I love this idea. Often, when a book is due to be released, the author will have an agreement for a certain number of signed copies direct from certain retailers. They do make lovely gifts. Or even a special edition of a book. WHSmith have a whole section on this website with signed and special editions on. It’s also worth contacting your local independent book shop for any special and rare editions they may have in stock (definitely check charity shop book outlets for this).
5. A cloth bag. These are so versatile and I have tons of them. They are so good to just pop into your handbag and go to town, take to work, carry a bottle of gin over to a friend’s house. I love them because they can be such thoughtful gifts – you have chosen a bag for someone because it reflects their personality, because they love that book, because it makes you think of them. And, for me, I love seeing people using them because it tells me a little about them – it’s like a small crack in the door into their soul.
6. A blind date with a book. Now, I know I said don’t give books but this is a great idea. When you order this hamper, you just pick the genre and they pick the book at random. What a fantastic gift. It also means you will – hopefully – read something you’ve not read before. Why not buy it for yourself and pick a new genre?
7. A personalised book. I saw these recently when looking for a 40th birthday gift for a friend and I love them. You put in the recipient’s date of birth and they give a book all about the year, month, day they were born. I would really love something like this, it’s so thoughtful and so personal. And it shows the person who bought it really knows you as they need to know your date of birth! Haha
8. Cocktail delivery kit. I saw this a few weeks back and thought of so many of my friends. This is a little set containing all you need to mix up your favourite cocktails. They start from £16.99 and they go up to £80 so you can decide how drunk you want that person to be. All the major cocktails are on here and you can personalise the tag too. Get in quick as i have a feeling these might sell out.
9. A magazine subscription. Yes, really! I have gifted magazine subscriptions to family members before and they are lovely gifts that keep giving – you get a magazine every month for 6 or 12 months. Usually you pay for the subscription up front but some are monthly payments too. There are so many magazines to choose from too.
10. A bookmark. I know it sounds like a really simple idea but a nice bookmark is such a lovely gift. I don’t mean the leather ones with the tassels and the gold writing that we used to get at school, I mean a nice silver bookmark. I have been given 3 lovely bookmarks as gifts over the years – a lovely silver one when I graduated, a silver and bead one for my 30th birthday and a metal one with photographs of my family on. I treasure all of them – and they are all used. I am old fashioned and love a bookmark.
This is just a selection of ideas but there are so many more – book related board games (the Sherlock Holmes one is a favourite in our house), book top trumps, even personalised gifts from authors – I know Milly Johnson sends out signed bookplates and has links on her website to various book gift ideas related to her own books. Take a look!