I love books. I love the weight, I love the feel, I love what they contain. I suppose that's not surprising since I've wanted to be a published writer since I was 12 and have actively moved towards that goal ever since! And my best friend, Lucy, is the same! So you'd think, with that driving passion and many other shared interests beside, that it would be easy to find her a gift.
Then you'd be wrong.
So, as always, I've scoured the internet to put together this gift guide for readers and book lovers in the hope that I'd find something along the way! And with any luck it'll help out people in a similar predicament!
A book rest lamp! By All Things Brighton Beautiful (guess where they're based?), this house-shaped reading lamp gives off a soft glow that is perfect for reading - not too harsh or bright, but not low enough to strain the eyes. And its shape means you can rest your book upon it if you haven't got a bookmark - or indeed somewhere to put it down while you search for your bookmark - without damaging it.
At £60 it is a bit steep, but it's quirky, useful and a great gift for those you know will use it!
Keeping it simple and functional, this set of three literary quote bookmarks make the perfect accompaniment to any book you might be gifting, for readers and writers alike. Designed by the fabulous Raspberry Finch, the quotes are available on a number of other products such as tote bags and pocket mirrors, as well as other designs entirely.
At £4.65 they're affordable, and being bookmarks they'll take little to no additional wrapping if you slip them into a book or notebook as a gift - a nice bonus for strange people who dislike wrapping!
How about something a little more ambient? This candle - and more besides - are simple and far from loud, but still make a statement about book passions. I like the Dr Jekyll & My Hyde votive, complete with a quote from the book itself as well as a fabulous illustration that reflects the dual personality of the lead character. And, once the candle's all done, the glass can be cleaned out and a new candle poured in, or kept for little knick knacks!
Alternatively, you could always buy them a candle that smells like old books. Why not? Many book lovers sneak a sniff in a library, though they may not admit it! The simple candle would make a fabulously quirky gift for book lovers of all kinds! But what if they don't like the smell of old books? Well, then they're strange, but Frostbeard Studio has a great many other book-related scents, and a 4-tealight sampler set if you can't make your mind up!. It's a highly...specialised shop.
I mostly read in bed because it's the comfiest place to be, but reading hardback is annoying because I get sleepy and drop it on my face. I could move the pillows and sit up instead but I like tidy, and a bed without pillows looks incredible messy and really distracts me from anything I'm doing. I'm highly finickety. So it would be a great idea to have a large cushion on hand to snuggle up with instead.
This Penguin Books inspired pillow is the perfect choice. The text can be customised, meaning, of course, any book title and author can be selected, or you could make it a fabulous gift for a writer and have their name and a title of their almost-finished book written on it instead! I'm considering buying it for myself, to be honest! It's affordable, too: £12 for just the cover, or £18 for the cover and cushion!
And how about some book-shaped chocolates to go with it? Made by Chocolate On Chocolate from white and milk Belgian chocolate they are a fabulous little treat for the book lover in your life! And certainly not something they'd find in any old shop, either, making them even more special! Like the bookmarks, they'd make a great accompaniment to any other book-related gift.
Now then, let's get down to louder expression. Because being a book-lover is cool and the world should know when someone is well-read! So why not a skin for iPads? A case for kindles? I like this Moby Dick iPad snap case. I'm not a fan of the story - you know me, I prefer my fantasy, like this Discworld iPad case - but it's one of the best-looking designs I've seen. I've stumbled across it a few times on Red Bubble and it's caught my eye each time! It's perfect for people who use their iPad for reading.
How about a necklace made from a book? These book flower necklaces are only even made from pre-read books and especially copies with pages already falling out. I've tried to read a book that's been in such a state but while it's easy to keep track of broken chunks of pages, when it's just one leaf that falls out it's easy to miss, and who knows what you've missed if you lose that page?! Sod's law says it'll be a plot twist. So what better use for old books than to give them new life as a necklace? Book rings, book earrings and book jewellery gift sets are also available and can be made from any book!
How about something louder still? This book charm bracelet is absolutely covered in miniature books! It's so cute and so clever and well worth the £22! I don't usually go for antique brass when it comes to jewellery, I think it rarely works with the charm unless the charm itself is brass, and it's equally rare that I will buy such a thing as I prefer silver, but I think it complements the aged look of each miniature book so so well! It would make such an unusual and extravegant gift for any book lover.
How about the loudest expression? A book print dress. Get any passage from any book you like printed on the dress, which is, of course, made to order and available from (UK) size 8-18 with measurements provided on the listing, or a custom size or length if you have a less than uniform size. Perfect. And the seller, Rooby Lane, has made almost 10,000 sales and has almost 2,000 5-star feedback, so if you're uncertain about the purchase - because I certainly consider it a risk to buy custom made clothing online - let this settles your concerns! Best part? Handmade in the UK, but ships worldwide. And with that kind of feedback, I'd say £145 for the dress was reasonable!
The last gift idea on my list isn't loud so much as insanely clever. A gift subscription of 3 months (£39, delivery included) or 6 months (£59, delivery included) will get the recipient a vintage book, pouch of tea and a piece of stationery sent to their door each month! How fabulous?! The book can't be guaranteed, but Bookishly do request three preferred genres. They state that they're not guaranteed but it does help them make sure that the books that are sent out are as appropriate as they can be. As both Lucy and I are fantasy lovers, I think it would be a bit unlikely that we would receive a fantasy book, but if the reader is more open-minded or likes the classics, then this subscription would make such an amazing, amazing gift! It's completely original! And though Bookishly are based in the UK, they do ship internationally! So no one has to miss out on this amazing idea!