There are two things I love doing in my free time: reading and browsing websites to find beautiful things. It’s a little bit of a problem, really. I spend hours looking at books, clothes and various random things that I find beautiful, but I actually never buy them (well, sometimes but very rarely!). I just like looking at them. For that reason, I love gift guides because they gather all these pretty items in one place for me to admire. I thought I would try my hand at those this year, although I know that there are so many gift guides out there already. Hopefully, you will find my personal touch a nice addition!
This week, I will focus on actual books that would make a great present (for a loved one or yourself), and in a next article I will talk about bookish gifts in general.
Penguin Clothbound Classics
These books look so beautiful on a shelf! There’s currently a deal on the Penguin website where you can get 3 for £33, instead of £45. This allows you to get a nice little selection to spoil your favourite reader of classics.
Barnes and Nobles Leatherbound Classics
These are truly beautiful editions of your favourite classics – and not so classics! My personal favourites include Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. You can also just google ‘barnes and nobles leatherbound classics’ + the title of the book you’re looking for and it’s very likely that you’ll find the title you’re looking for!
Literary Gift Sets from the Literary Emporium
These gift boxes are so exquisite, it will make any bookworm happy. Three to four presents in one, and the utter joy of wearing your favourite book on your chest – nothing can compare. I especially like the Hamlet one.
For a higher budget, Juniper Books is a great alternative. They offer unique and gorgeous cover designs of well-loved hardback titles. You can get the books with it, or just the dust jackets. Special mention to the Nancy Drew set, Banned Books collection, and the Christmas Classics set.
Literary Box Subscription
Books can be such a personal thing, right? You know that a person close to you loves books, but choosing the right title can be a daunting thing – even if you too are a bookworm. This is when book subscriptions come into play and allow you to offer books without the pressure of choosing a specific title. There are so many out there but I personally prefer the more surprising ones with a general theme and goodies as well, everyone loves a little treat with a book. A perfect example of this is the gorgeous Books That Matter, pictured above. For secondhand lovers, this subscription is everything they could desire – including tea and stationery. Finally Reposed is a great option for a reader who needs to take a little bit of time for themselves (thinking of subscribing to this one myself!).
A Vintage or Antique Copy of Their Favourite Book
This one requires a little bit of research, but it’s so gratifying to find a gorgeous book for a gorgeous friend or relative. You can also adapt your budget very easily, and the most beautiful editions are not necessarily the most expensive. My favourite places to hunt for used books (online) are Oxfam, AbeBooks (which is owned by Amazon, but has a very good research tool) and PsychoBabel (their physical store is called Skoob Books and is located in Bloomsbury – would highly recommend paying them a visit if/when you can). It’s always worth having a look on eBay as well, there are some great bargains on there! This is where I found most of beautiful Stephen King paperbacks, for instance.
I hope you find this little guide useful – if not for Christmas, for a nice little treat to yourself! Anything in particular you’d love to find under the Christmas tree this year?