Last year, I put together a bookish Christmas gift guide, and I still stand by all the recommendations I made there, so thought I’d take the opportunity to re-share it now (just click on the link above), whilst also adding a few more suggestions below that the bookworms in your life (or you, yourself) may hopefully enjoy. Let’s get started!
BOOK MANUSCRIPT POSTERS
These posters are very cool, in that they both look great and have a fun bookish twist. From a distance, they appear to simply show a silhouette of an iconic character or moment from a book, but on closer inspection, you realise that the poster is constructed using the actual text of the book itself printed in minute form to create the image. I, myself, was gifted one that shows Alice falling down the rabbit hole, using the original text by Lewis Carroll.
Here are some more examples, created using Moby-Dick, Sherlock Holmes and Peter Pan, respectively.
BEAUTIFUL EDITIONS OF A FAVOURITE CLASSIC
If you’ve got friends who love to read, you’ll no doubt be aware of the ironic struggle to actually gift them books, due to the fear of buying them something they already own. This is where I think classics come in handy. The very nature of a favourite classic lends itself to several re-reads throughout the years, and their decades (or even centuries) in print mean there are invariably dozens of editions to choose from. I’m willing to venture, therefore, that most bookworms would be more than happy to receive a beautiful edition of their favourite classic, even if they already own a different copy.
As an example, my mum’s favourite book is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, and whilst I don’t doubt she will continue to treasure the battered old copy she’s owned for years, a couple of years ago I bought her a beautiful edition published by White’s Books so that she can have a copy to display on her shelves.
Here are some ranges of classics that I think are especially pretty, and thus lend themselves well to being gifted:
TICKETS TO A STAGE ADAPTATION
If you know someone already loves a book but don’t necessarily want to buy them a duplicate copy, why not help them experience the story in a whole new way by booking them tickets to a live stage adaptation? All kinds of books make the transition to plays and musicals, both classic and contemporary alike. I, for example, already have tickets booked to see Strangers on a Train next year, based on the classic crime novel by Patricia Highsmith; and tickets to see War Horse the following year, when the hit West End show based on Michael Morpurgo’s book tours the UK. It’s always worth taking a look to see what’s coming to your local theatres!
I couldn’t put together a bookish gift guide without including some specific books. So, here are a couple of festive reads that I think would make lovely gifts – one I read last year and one that’s on my own TBR for this year. Both are beautiful aesthetically, and both contain short stories, which I think are ideal for this time of year, when you may want to dip in and out of something, or read one tale each evening in the countdown to the big day.
The first is a collection by Jeanette Winterson, interspersed with recipes for festive treats she’s acquired over the years and short anecdotes about her own Christmas memories. The stories include one about a snowman that comes to life and helps to make a poor girl’s life a little bit easier; one about a couple on their way to a cottage for Christmas, who learn along the way that it’s the company, not the material things, that make the festive season special; one about a talking stray dog who realises that love is the greatest gift of all; one about a bunch of frogs who come to the aid of orphaned children; and the nativity story told from the perspective of the donkey who carried the Virgin Mary.
The second is an anthology of Christmas themed stories published in the Everyman’s Pocket Classics range by Alfred A. Knopf, which includes contributions from an impressive range of classic authors, such as Charles Dickens, Leo Tolstoy, Muriel Spark, Vladimir Nabokov and Arthur Conan Doyle, amongst several others.
There we have it! I hope you picked up an idea or two for the bookish people in your life, and that you all have a lovely festive season.