Perhaps the most ironic thing about a bookworm is how difficult it is to actually buy them books. There is, after all, the inherent fear that they’ll already own any you opt to gift them. That’s part of why I enjoy putting together these bookish gift guides, hopefully giving you some ideas for the festive season (whether you’re giving gifts to others, or simply treating yourself).
A cup of tea serves as the ideal companion to a good book, don’t you think?
With that said, any mug could make a nice gift for a bookworm, but one with a particular bookish slant would be even more appropriate. As an example, I have one with a pleasingly snarky nod to Harry Potter (and The Handmaid’s Tale, technically). I also really like the lovely range of mugs available from Penguin and Virago that are styled to look like old-school book covers from back in the day. This means you could get someone a mug to match their favourite classic, which would give it a more personal touch.
Examples of these, and lots of other fun bookish mugs, can be found at The Literary Gift Company.
How else are we supposed to carry all those books home from the bookshop? Tote bags in general come in handy for book lovers, but again, if you opt for one with a bookish design, it’ll hopefully go down even better. You can find all sorts out there, but here are a few I think will appeal to most bookworms, available at Etsy, Not on the High Street (including personalisation), and Redbubble respectively.
Not all readers reach for physical books; there are those that prefer the convenience and minimalism offered up by a Kindle. But those who favour e-readers shouldn’t have to miss out on all the pretty bookish swag; that would just be sad! So, why not treat them to a new cover for their device?
Unlike buying them a book, which risks them ending up with duplicate copies, I think it’s a pretty safe bet, as even if they already have a cover, it can’t hurt to give them the option of switching it up from time to time.
Again, there are all sorts of different designs available to suit individual tastes, but I’ve included a picture of my own cover as an example. (I don’t use my Kindle very often, but yes, I do own one.)
HOUSE CREST BOOKMARKS
Most readers need bookmarks, and most readers are also fans of Harry Potter. So, what better than a bookmark that bears the crest of their own Hogwarts House? These officially licensed bookmarks should be widely available, but they’re decent quality and come in a box, which makes them look a little more gifty.
If, of course, you know a bookworm who isn’t all that keen on HP, standard bookmarks should still go down a treat, and there will no doubt be tie-in designs for virtually every major book or franchise. Here are a few from my own rather extensive collection.
It’s not a universal truth, but most bookish people tend to love a bit of stationery. As such, notebooks are often well received. But I’m sure you’ve noticed the theme by now: if you want to go one better, you could hunt out one with a specific book-themed design. This could feature anything from a mock-up of a Hogwarts textbook, to a portrait of a beloved character, to a recreation of a vintage book cover. Here are some examples I’m particularly fond of, available from Literary Emporium, Cultural Bindings, and Holly Dunn Design, respectively.
STOCKING STUFFER BOOKS
If you can’t resist treating someone to an actual book, but you aren’t sure what to get them, a little stocking stuffer could be the perfect compromise. Small, inexpensive, and the kind of read many of us are less likely to pick up for ourselves, here are a few suggestions:
The Gifts of Reading by Robert Macfarlane. This simple but resonant anecdotal essay is about the joy of books both given and received, and the power they have to inspire and transform lives. It’s a message most bookworms should feel some affinity with.
The Christmas Truce by Carol Ann Duffy. Each year, the UK Poet Laureate writes a festive themed poem, which is published as a lovely little hardback, complete with illustrations. Last year, I read and thoroughly enjoyed Another Night Before Christmas, with The Christmas Truce on my TBR for this year. Centred around the extraordinary real-life ceasefire that took place on Christmas Day in 1914, it would make an especially timely gift this year, given that it’s the centenary of the end of WWI.
The Robber Bridegroom by The Brothers Grimm. This is essentially a placeholder for Penguin’s Little Black Classics range in general, which give you bitesize samples of classic authors’ work. There’s something about the timeless magic and dark whimsy of fairy tales that makes them feel particularly appropriate for this time of year, hence picking Grimm, but with short stories, poetry, essays, novellas, and other forms all featured within the collection, there should be something to suit every reader’s taste.
There we have it! I hope you picked up an idea or two, and I wish you all a lovely festive season, however you may be spending it.