Recently, I surveyed a collection of websites that purvey gifts for booklovers. I would categorize many of these as bookish tchotchkes–more or less useless items or knick-knacks, that just add to the quantity of stuff you eventually have to get rid of (or re-gift if you are that tacky). But I thought I would highlight one item from each website that I thought might be useful or just fun (and others might think not, so I would just add IMHO).
At “63 Gifts for Booklovers and Avid Readers” I found a “Personal Library Kit” right at the top of the list. I wrote recently about the books we lend and never get returned. If this bothers your bookish friend, here is a gift that might help.
“The Best Non-Book Gifts For Bookworms” featured some really nice throws. We have one on my reading chair that I like to wrap myself in on chilly mornings when I get up to read, and it is one of those things you can never have too much of.
“22 Affordable Gifts For Readers” offers a “Book Lovers Journal”. They write, “Readers know the stress of seeing another list of the best books to read this month, this season, or this year. It’s hard to keep track of a reading wish list when there are so many genres and authors to tackle! This journal helps organize any reader’s inventory—the notebook includes spaces to record books you want to read, books you’ve loaned to or borrowed from friends, and the contact information for your book club. The main attraction: Pages and pages to record details from the books you’ve read, making it easy to reference and recommend your favorite novels in the future.”
Uncommongoods website has a number of suggestions, some which I saw elsewhere, but one looked particularly fun. It was the “Storymatic Game” which is a game that provides a series of “prompts” that allow a group to spin out their own stories.
“50 best literary gifts for a modern-day book lover” features an abundance of posters with book quotes, phone covers, e-reader covers, t-shirts and other items. I liked the personalized library sign that you could custom order.
The transparent book weight that I found on “24 Insanely Clever Gifts for Booklovers” caught my eye. It is transparent, keeps your books flat and protects them from spilled food and drinks! Insanely clever indeed.
“Bookish Gifts Under $20” features a t-shirt that says the obvious: “This is my reading shirt.” Others may be more fashionable. None is more basic than this!
“Gone Reading” has some of the nicest bookplates I found at any website, if you want to identify whose library that book that is in someone else’s library came from.
Of course, nothing says love to a book lover like books themselves. Astute book lovers will have created an Amazon wish list that will give you ideas. Looking at their GoodReads profile is another way of figuring out what they’ve read and what they like. Sometimes, I’ve appreciated gifts of books that are just outside the range of what I usually read–for example a book on social media shaming that I recently read is probably not one I would have picked up, but given my presence on social media, it ended up being a really fascinating read (thanks, Ben and Hannah!).
You might think a gift card to be a cop out. But not to the book lover! Knowing you have to spend so much at this particular store makes for fun as one thinks about that wishlist. It is easy to do that big chain of bookstores or that online seller. But I would suggest that this is your chance to support that favorite Indie store trying to make a go of it, particularly if this means introducing them to a new customer. By the way, I would recommend for the regular followers of this blog, and particularly my reviews, buying a gift card from Hearts and Minds Books. I asked my good friend there, Byron Borger, if they sell these and he said, “Oh yes, for any amount. We can send them to the recipient with a little note or, of course, to the person ordering it to sign themselves.” Typical of the personal service orientation I’ve come to expect from these folks, and what you will find from any good Indie.
Happy shopping for that book lover!
Coming tomorrow: My best books of 2016!