The obvious thing to give a book lover for Christmas is a book (or two). However, if you don’t know the person’s reading tastes well enough or are unfamiliar with which books they already own and you feel that book tokens or a book store gift certificate is not personal enough, here are some suggestions. First the practical ones:
- a reading light, either a clip-on battery-operated travel model or one they can put on a desk or stand on the floor.
- a book stand or book holder. They come in different shapes and sizes, from big stands made for reading in bed to small travel models designed to hold books open.
- a reading pillow. The luxury model looks like the back and armrests of a comfy chair, while the cheaper versions look sort of like breastfeeding pillows.
- book marks.
- personalised book plates.
- a book case.
- removable book covers to protect the books they carry around with them.
- a book bag.
Here are some more ideas, ones that will help your book lover proclaim their love of books to the world (be careful giving these, as they might offend):
- a t-shirt, apron, scarf or tie with a bookish message or picture.
- book jewelry, for example a pin or some earrings.
- book wallpaper.
- a book-themed rug, throw or dishcloth.
And, finally, here are some books it may be safe to give your book lover, whatever their taste in reading is like:
- a reading journal.
- one of Nancy Pearl’s Book Lust books.
- a gorgeous book-themed coffee-table book like At Home with Books: How Booklovers Live with and Care for Their Libraries by Ellis, Seebohm and Sykes, or Living with Books by Alan Powers.
- a literary reference book. It can be something general like a companion to literary characters, or something more specialised like a guide to superheroes or worlds that only exist in books, or even more specialised ones like a guide to a specific author’s works, or to an era or a place. One of my favourite literary reference books is What Jane Austen ate and Charles Dickens knew by Daniel Pool, a guide to things you might see mentioned in novels set in 19th century England (although there are a few inaccuracies in it, it is for the most part a fascinating look into 19th century British society).
- a book of literary essays or quotations. One I like is A Passion for Books : A Book Lover's Treasury of Stories, Essays, Humor, Love and Lists on Collecting, Reading, Borrowing, Lending, Caring for, and Appreciating Books, edited by Rob Kaplan.
Dear reader: What do you plan to give the book lovers in your life for Christmas?