10 Gift Suggestions for Book Lovers
By Karen Ballum on December 14, 2012
BlogHer Original Post
You would think that people who love books would be easy to shop for but that's not always the case. They love to read but do you always know which books they've read or that they want to read? Probably not. Gift cards for bookstores are always appreciated by a book lover (really!) but sometimes you want to go beyond the gift card. Here are some suggestions for the book lover in your life that are (mostly) not books.
I want a Spineless Classic for my house. I really, really do. I just can't decide which room I'd put it in, which would help me decide which one I want to order. Their selections do veer toward the classics but they score big points for having Price and Prejudice and Zombies and it would fit in perfectly in our media room. I think Persuasion would look fabulous in my powder room. A friend of mine who teaches human evolution would love the one for The Origins of Species. And since we're just getting through a politics-heavy year, perhaps a copy of the United States Constitution might be just the thing for someone on your list.
Splurge on Beautiful Editions of Favorite Books
I think most of us know someone who not only loves books but loves beautifully crafted books. Look no further than the Folio Society, a membership-only subscription service. They will run you a bit more than some other editions but they are stunning. I'm so very tempted by their box set of The Chronicles of Narnia. Their version of The Crimson Fairy Book would beautiful on anyone's bookshelf. These editions can become beloved keepsakes for children but there is plenty on offer for adults. There's Master and Commander, The Handmaid's Tale and Tinker Tailor Solider Spy, for example. Or do a tie-in with the much anticipated film release and snag a beautiful copy of The Hobbit. If the Folio Society is out of your price range, Penguin's Clothbound Classics are an equally stunning yet budget-friendly option.
Give Gifts Made Out of Books
Using books to make other objects can ruffle some book lover's feathers. Personally, I both love and sometimes weep over them. I think purses and iPad covers made from book covers, like the ones sold by chicklitdesigns on Etsy, are darling. I feel the same way about the dictionarypage art prints from Stay Gold Media. BlogHer's Community Manager Denise loves these phone and tablet chargers from Rich Neely Designs and I agree they are beautiful. I mostly find myself wanted to contact them to see if I can just the book without it being modified, especially this gorgeous edition of Alice in Wonderland.
Have Yourself A Merry Little Library
Does your book lover like to share their collection? Do they love libraries? Then look no further than the Little Free Library. I'd personally be torn between little red British phone booth library, which I'd want to stock full of British literature, and the cranberry crate library. If they are out of your price range the Personal Library Kit from Knock Knock Stuff is also fun for someone who loans out their books.
Go For Tech!
Don't get me wrong, I love the feeling of a hardbound book in my hand and I strongly believe that e-books will never completely replace physical ones. That said, you simply cannot beat the convenience of an e-book. I love being able to download a book the day it is released and I'd be lost on vacations without my e-reader. Versions of Amazon's Kindle, Barnes and Noble's Nook and Kobo's original Kobo reader are now available for less than $100. Tablets are another option and range come in a variety of price points. If your book lover is going to use their e-reader a lot away from the house, I recommend pairing it with an external battery pack, like this one from Aluratek, because there's nothing worse than running out of juice just as you hit the best part of the book.
I love reading books but sometimes an audio book is just the right fit. They are great option for people who commute or want to branch out of listening to music at the gym. They got me through many, many days of doing data entry. I've also used them when working on multi-hour projects around the house, such as painting a room, and this time of year I love to wrap gifts while listening to A Christmas Carol. Audible.com offers an excellent selection of audio books and they have some great gift subscriptions options in a variety of price points.
I am chronically cold so pretty much the only time you'll find me reading a book while not under a blanket is when I'm reading outside in the summer. I have a variety of blankets around the house that I use when I read and yes, I even have a throw with sleeves. I was totally against Snuggies and Slankets and other such things until last year when I received a Harry Potter blanket with sleeves for Christmas from my husbad. The cuteness converted me. (Note: Blankets with sleeves are also awesome for people who play video games.) If you are looking for something without sleeves, Red Envelope has a beautiful monogrammed chenille throw and I've been secretly lusting after Indigo's holiday throw since they started offering it several years ago.
Reading Tools Rock
As much as reading is a solitary activity, a reader can become interactive with the books they read. Many readers love to take notes, mark pages and flag passages and we prefer to do this without writing in the book or damaging it in any way. That's where reading tools come in to play. Levenger dedicates a whole section of their site to reading tools and I'd be thrilled to receive any of their listings. I especially love their monogrammed book weight. Book darts are a great way to mark pages and I've even been able to find some at my local bookstore. More often than not, I use sticky notes to flag passages. They come in all kinds of sizes and shapes but the Post-It page markers are the ones I use most often.
Reading in Bed
One of my favorite places to read is in my bed but it's not always the most comfortable place for reading. Growing up I had a pillow with arms, much like the BedLounge pillow, and it was the best thing ever. I don't know what happened to it but it was awesome and I really missed it when I was in college. I've been thrilled to see them pop up in stores again. You can get them with funky designs or even with massage options. While that holds me up, there are also times when I need sometime to prop up my book. Bonus? Most do double duty and are appropriate for propping up your e-reader or tablet. Levenger's Thai reading pillows are lovely, but Etsy offers a variety of options as well, including this PropABook pillow book holder from MyCousinsCrafts.
Gift Something They Can Wear
I love finding fabulous book-related I can wear. You're first stop for wearable items really must be Out of Print Clothing. The hardest part of shopping there is deciding what to buy. The women's Little Women t-shirt is lovely and the one for Harry the Dirty Dog makes me giggle.
Book lovers can also wear jewelry. You can find jewelry for pretty much every book on Etsy. I've been seeing a number of people read (or reread) Les Misérables in preparation for the film release and I love the simplicity of the "I dreamed" bracelet from SpiffingJewelry. If you are buying for a young adult fiction lover, RaeGun offers a variety of YA Book Nerd Necklaces.
Good luck and happy gift giving this holiday season!