Thursday, December 15, 2016

Bookish Gift Suggestions

The December holidays are fast approaching, and no matter what occasion you celebrate - be it Hanukkah, Yalda, Yule, Mawlid el-Nabi, Festivus, Christmas, Kwanzaa - or if you just enjoy giving gifts to friends and family, there can be so much choice in presents.  If you have someone on your gifting list who likes books and/or reading, here are some suggestions.  I know I'd be happy to receive any of these!

Antique Book Plates

image of 'Construction Site"
bookplate via Davidson Gallery
These are actual book plates (or reproductions) from libraries around the world.  You'll sometimes find them in bookstores, but will probably have to turn to online retailers like Etsy, and they often come matted and ready for framing.  These would be a beautiful addition to a personal library, or to display anywhere that needs a little bookishness.

Personalized Book Plates 

image of Raven book plate via Etsy
seller Exlibrisstudio
If artwork isn't your gift-ee's thing, maybe she/he would like personalized book plates.  These are typically sheets of adhesive stickers, or stamps.  Some of them are of a cheaper material, but others are as high quality as vintage bookplates.  Stationary stores, sites like Etsy and Amazon, and crafting stores would be sources for product or inspiration.

Book Messenger Bag

image via ThinkGeek
Carrying books can be a drag, but carrying books in a large bag shaped like a book is awesome!  If you have someone on your holiday list who loves reading and is often on the go, this would be a great gift. I received this as a gift last year, and I can honestly say it's a conversation starter when you're walking around with a giant book over your shoulder.

Bookish Pillow

image via ThinkGeek
Do you know someone who tends to fall asleep with a book?  Curls up with a good book and would appreciate some head and neck support?  Maybe that person would enjoy a pillow that is shaped like a book.  ThinkGeek has three book options - Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.  

Book Subscriptions

image via BookRiot
There are so many book and book-adjacent subscription options out there - it seems like 2016 has been the year where this model bloomed and grew.  If your gift recipient is a fan of a particular bookstore, like The Strand or Persephone Books, check their websites to see if they might have a subscription service available.  BookRiot has a service called BookMail.  The Book of the Month Club has various subscriptions on offer, and tends to have special deals available around holiday times.  For the YA reader, OwlCrate is a great option.  LitKit is for those readers who like more experimental writings and hipster-ish bookish items.  For more options, the website CrateJoy lists all kinds of subscriptions, so give it a browse to see if something might strike your recipient's fancy!

Bookish Fragrances & Candles

image via Demeter
Fragrance and candle companies are joining the bookish bandwagon, and creating custom scents that are reminiscent of books themselves as well as book settings.  Demeter Fragrance makes a scent called Paperback, which is available not only as a fragrance but as body lotion, shower gel, room spray, and other items.  I haven't experienced this scent to be able to comment on its accuracy, but I would love to someday.

The brand Commodity makes a fragrance called Book, but with notes of cucumber and sandalwood, it smells more of a drink that one might enjoy with a book than a book itself.  However, in my experience I've found that a combination of Commodity's Wool and Whiskey smells very bookish indeed!  

Frostbeard Studios offers a large selection of bookish candles and wax tarts in scents like Bookstore, Lallybroch, New Paperback, and Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey.  Paddywax has a whole catalog of scents based on famous authors' libraries.  So, if you've ever wondered what Leo Tolstoy's library smells like, check out the candle.  There are also lots of options on Etsy for bookish fragrance.

Book-Based Clothing

image of Library Stamp tee via Out of Print

If you're giving a gift to a book lover, and that person wears clothes, consider giving them bookish clothing!  The most well-known purveyor is Out of Print, and they have options for women, men, children, and infants, as well as accessories.  Socks with a silhouette of Sherlock Holmes?  They've got it.  A mug with a print of the tea party from Alice in Wonderland?  They've got it.  A onesie with the cover from Madeline on it?  They've got it.  Some bookstores stock Out of Print items, because their images are so iconic, so check your local bookstores as well as the company's website.  The BookRiot store also stocks some Out of Print items, as well as other custom items, so give them a browse too.  

I hope that this list gives you a starting place for gifting to the readers on your holiday list.  Happy shopping, bibliophiles!

Librorum annis