There’s nothing like a good book to sweep you away into another world or enlighten you about things you’ve always wondered. Am I right?
If you are looking for the perfect present for a book lover you know and you want to skip the gift card, why not give them something that goes along with their passion for reading? This is a much safer bet than trying to choose them a book unless you have a list of titles they want or you are intimately involved in what they are reading.
Do not try to pick a book for someone based on what they are reading right now, or based on something you know they read a few years ago. You may have seen them deeply engrossed in a copy of The Goldfinch, doesn’t mean they are going to like To Kill A Mockingbird, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, or The Owl And The Pussycat
There is nothing worse for an avid reader than having a friend or relative hand you a gift that they carefully selected with love only to open it and discover a book you know you will never read. It is a sad moment because they have spent time and money buying you something you do not want and you have missed out on the chance for another hard bound escape from reality.
So here are a few slightly safer suggestions for you to consider, and I must say that as an avid reader myself I would be happy to receive any of these gifts, hint hint.
There are few things more frustrating than trying to remember exactly what page was read last. Sometimes the dust jacket is just the wrong size or shape to mark your page, and in our house, it is almost a mortal sin to fold over the corner of your page to mark where you are. So a bookmark or set of bookmarks can be a great gift for an avid reader because it’s both useful and very easy to personalize. If you are close enough to the gift recipient, you can make your own if they will appreciate the handmade touch.
You can find bookmarks featuring just about anything you can imagine, including books and literary characters, inspirational quotes, celebrities, famous places and more.
For book fans who like to get their reading done at night, or have to read into the early hours of the morning without bothering the quitters who don’t have the stamina to finish the last 400 pages before sleeping, book lights provide illumination that’s easy on the eyes but bright enough to enable you to read. Many of these lights clip right onto the book, while other styles actually clip onto the ear or a pair of glasses.
Many of these lights clip right onto the book, and you will have to know your reader well enough to know if they would be willing to clip one on, while other styles clip onto the ear or a pair of glasses. I like this style because it allows me to walk into the kitchen for snacks
and pretend I am of the Borg. without being at all geeky.
A touch reading light is a perfect choice for anyone who enjoys reading in bed. There’s no need for the reader to get up to turn off the lights, when he or she starts nodding off to sleep or when their partner starts to complain they have to get up for work in the morning and can they please just put the damn book down and go to sleep.
Many avid readers like to drink a bit of tea (or coffee) to keep them going. A personalized tea cup or coffee mug makes a great gift that they’ll probably use every day. It also affords the option for making yourself two cups of tea at once so you can knock back the first one while it’s super hot and enjoy the second cuppa immediately without having to interrupt your book.
If no stores in your area sell personalized cups, there are tons of sites online where you can choose from a variety of messages and designs. If you don’t want to go with a personalized cup, find one with designs based on one of the reader’s favorite books or hobbies.
Just remember the essential ingredient here is volume.
Personalized Book Labels
If someone has an extensive collection of books, it’s also possible that that person loans them out to others from time to time. Such book lenders are strange creatures to me as I would no sooner lend out one of my books than I would one of my children. Book labels allow your friends or loved ones to mark their books, so they don’t get lost in the shuffle and always get returned, at least almost always.
The disasters that can befall a loaned book are multiple and horrific to consider so to it is best to keep my dear darling paper-bodied family at home with me where I know they are safe.
However, if you know someone who is generous enough to loan pieces of their heart and soul to you, they might like book labels.
Getting a notebook or journal for a book lover encourages them to write something of their own. I have many great unwritten novels in my head that are periodically allowed to escape onto the page of a journal before I remember that writing a great book is considerably more work that it appears to be and hastily stuff all of those ideas back into my head.
Notebooks are also a fabulous choice for those who like to keep track of what they have read, what they want to read, or in the case of someone who shall remain nameless maintain a gleeful list of factual, continuity or editorial errors they find between the pages.
Make sure to get one that you think will inspire them to unleash their creativity. There are many journals available on the internet with themes from popular books that range from simple spiral notebooks with pictures on the cover to leather journals with embossed designs.
Don’t forget to look for a matching pen or pencil set so your gift recipient can always write down whatever’s on his or her mind. Creative thinking can happen at any time of the day or night. Indeed this gift links well with the nightlight because the best ideas always arrive at 3.00a.m.
Other ideas for the reader in your life might include magazine subscriptions – my kids andIi still get a thrill from receiving a magazine in the mail, literary candles, and prints. Bookends can be a beautiful choice, but I personally use them as decorations with a couple of carefully chosen books in between because the concept of having a shelf of books that has enough room at each end for a bookend is a strange one.
Literary clothing can be just the thing if you know what your book lover likes. For Christmas last year we bought our son this tee-shirt printed with the words of The Princess Bride and we still have fun finding favorite passages on his back.
One thing’s for sure; it’s almost guaranteed that when you buy one of these gifts for your favorite reader, it won’t end up gathering dust and the recipient will think of you every time they use it.