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A Gift List for Book Lovers

It’s that time of year again. When we sit up in the morning, look at our phones and go…

It’s that time of year again. When we sit up in the morning, look at our phones and go, “Wait, it’s December? But it can’t be! It was only Easter the other month!” And then wonder if anyone would notice if we just vanished until January 5th. 

I mean, I know we’re not all like that. I personally know two people who shop throughout the year for Christmas presents. They see cool things and rather than just thinking, “oh, so-and-so would like that”, they buy it then and there and put it away until needed, without even keeping it for themselves. Which is just so organised and sensible, and every year I swear I’m going to do the same, but every year it gets to mid-December and I realise that not only have I not bought any presents, I haven’t even sent out any Christmas cards, and while the tree might be up, it’s still somehow faded enough into the background that it’s entirely failed to remind me that there should be things underneath it. Bad tree.

And, of course, there are people who actually enjoy Christmas shopping. In December. With the crowds and the Christmas music and the rashes of tinsel and fake snow and vaguely unsettling Santa dolls and … hang on. I need to go and lie down in a darkened room for a moment.

fun christmas gift guide book lover reader writer
This is a pretty accurate depiction of me shopping at any time of year, to be fair. Although my moustache game isn’t as good.

I will admit to enjoying Christmas markets, when the days are cold and thin, and everyone’s bulked out by winter coats and crowned with woolly hats. Sipping hot chocolate and wandering past stalls full of nougat and mince pies and hand-turned wood art is lovely, at least until my fingers start losing their feeling, someone bumps into me and I spill hot chocolate all over my jacket, and the speakers start playing that Mariah Carey song. But, you know. Other than that, it’s fun.

However, my best Christmas shopping tends to be done online, where I can save what catches my eye, think about it for a bit, then go back and buy it if I still think it’s a good idea a couple of days later, rather than in the midst of a mince pie-fuelled panic. I try to buy off Etsy or similar if I can, where I’m hopefully supporting smaller businesses and artists rather than big companies, and if I can find someone local I’ll go with that over others. It’s not perfect, and at the moment postage and delivery times are so questionable that it’s a bit of a lottery as to when things might arrive, but I work on the theory that a late Christmas present just means a lovely surprise in January, when things are all a bit dull and boring. 

Look, it’s my theory, and I’m sticking to it.

So, in no particular order – what can you get your book loving and/or writery friends and loved ones for Christmas this year? Read on for my handy and non-exhaustive guide! (Disclaimer – I don’t know if all of these will deliver to your location, or what the shipping will be if they do. But they might still be useful starting points for ideas!)

fun christmas gift guide book lover reader writer
Of course, being back in NZ this year means less chilly markets, more beach time …

Note: Some of these links are affiliate links, which means I get a teeny commission if you buy something. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, though. 🙂

A Completely Non-exhaustive Gift Guide for Book Lovers:

Book subscription boxes. I’m always fascinated by these – they seem like such a fun idea and a good way to try out new authors. You can find all sorts – classics, thrillers, book-and-candle, book-and-beverage, even secondhand bundles. CrateJoy has a whole range to choose from, and you can filter them by which countries they deliver to. You could also do a hunt on t’interwebs for subscription boxes in your country and see what comes up.

fun christmas gift guide book lover reader writer
Just because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean it can’t be gothic.

Mystery book boxes. Following on from your subscription boxes (which you can buy as just one month or for more), you could also go for a bit of a blind date in a box. Saves the embarrassment of picking a book your reader has already read (you won’t know what the mystery book is either, so it’s not your fault – genius!), plus who doesn’t want to receive a package from a Secret Book Society?

fun christmas gift guide book lover reader writer

Go classic with a bookmark. Great for a little gift to tuck inside a card, and I challenge anyone to think that bookmarks are boring these days. Check out these squished crochet animals (the frog’s adorable!) or go with some witches legs.

fun christmas gift guide book lover reader writer

Literary tea (and coffee). Look, I know I’m biased, being a tea-drinker, but I also couldn’t find any decent bookish coffee gifts – lots of mugs, but no literary blends. So you might have to get inventive here, if your bookish loved one already has all the mugs (not actually possible, we always need more fun mugs) and prefers coffee to tea.

fun christmas gift guide book lover reader writer
But seriously – would even a coffee-drinker refuse these?

You can find lots of different coffee with a quick search on Etsy, but I’d try picking some up from a local coffee roaster if you’re sending the gift yourself, or see if somewhere local to your booklover will deliver (I did this for my mum’s birthday, but somehow although I ordered the coffee from a shop just down the road from her, it was sent from the other side of Australia? So this isn’t foolproof …). For literary tea, you’re spoiled for choice on Etsy – go for quotable tea bags (above) or some lovely loose leaf blends.

fun christmas gift guide book lover reader writer

Just want a few fun things? Accuse them of lacking personal hygiene due to all the reading and writing they’re doing with these fun soaps.

fun christmas gift guide book lover reader writer

 Or let them wear their emotions on their sleeve/hat/bag with a pin.

fun christmas gift guide book lover reader writer

Or give them their favourite books in their ears! (This I really love – or would if I ever changed my earrings. You just send them the cover image or a link to the book you like, and they’ll make the earrings up for you. So cool!)

fun christmas gift guide book lover reader writer

Is your reader an ebook-lover? No problems. Get them a very cool case for their e-reader (look at that Grimoire! I love it!)

fun christmas gift guide book lover reader writer

You can also get a pillow for your kindle, which … I guess it needs? Not sure about that one, but I like the flamingoes.

fun christmas gift guide book lover reader writer
Comfy kindle, I guess?

 And of course a pouch is always nice if your reader prefers not to have a case (this one glows in the dark, which would be fun for me younger readers).

fun christmas gift guide book lover reader writer

And since we’re on to pouches – these are a fantastic homemade gift if you have the time, inclination, and ability. The whole festive season drives us to spend and buy and stack up those shopping bags, and too often we buy something just for the sake of having a gift to hand over, whether it’s needed or not. Making gifts can be a fantastic way to step outside all that, and in my mind it really is an act of love. It’s not just what you’re giving, but the thought and effort that went into it. Plus, no risk of accidentally regifting those lovely novelty socks back to the person who gave you them to you in the first place …

I love making homemade things as gifts, but as I don’t trust myself to sew a button on, let alone get a hem straight, I tend to stick to things I can cook. Rose’s Rom Truffles are fantastic to make ahead then store in the freezer until you want to pop them in a nice jar and give them away. You could also do a non-marzipan fruitcake (okay, you can put marzipan on it if you like, but, ew), which’ll keep nicely for up to a week, but can also be frozen. Just, you know, defrost it before you give it to anyone. Christmas chutneys are easy, delightful, and look beautiful in a nice jar (there are some good recipes here), and for more last minute additions to a food hamper you could do some Cranberry & Pistachio Cookies or Rose’s Shortbread.

fun christmas gift guide book lover reader writer
Rose’s Rom Truffles, Amaretti Biscuits, and Christmas Pudding Cupcakes, all from A Toot Hansell Christmas Cracker – and perfect for giving!

And if you’re rather craftier than I am (not hard), there’s a whole list here of DIY gifts you can make, from bookmarks to pouches to those pillows again (I guess e-readers get tired and need to lie down?). There’s also a fun list here of other things you can make – from designing your own cookbook to recording your own audio story.  

But, back to the list – everyone knows real writers drink heavily. In my case, tea. In other cases, they many need this book (see photo a little further down the page). And with all that drinking going on, you might need some literary coasters to keep things tidy.

fun christmas gift guide book lover reader writer

And maybe some wine charms so everyone can keep track of their drinks. Especially these days, no one wants to be sharing glasses.

fun christmas gift guide book lover reader writer

And just in case things get a bit whiffy, what with all that drinking, how about so bookish perfumes to keep it civilised?

fun christmas gift guide book lover reader writer

Of course, you may want to direct your writer away from the bottle and toward solid food, so you could try this book instead, or if your reader’s tastes lean more toward the poetic, this one would be lovely too.

fun christmas gift guide book lover reader writer
All the books for bookish food and drink!

Phew. Okay. I think you should now be armed with some decent options for the booklover in your life, but no list would be complete without mugs and bookish totes. And there are many, many examples of both out there, so I don’t need to tell you how to find them. Except for these ones.

fun christmas gift guide book lover reader writer

Was that a smooth plug for my merchandise or what? 😉 I mean, yes, I know it wasn’t, but still. If your reader loves snarky cats and tea-drinking dragons, you would do worse than a Beaufort mug and a Gobbelino tote, or any combo of the above … Or a Christmas book, of course …

fun christmas gift guide book lover reader writer

Over to you, lovely people. Are you an advance shopper or a last minute one? Have any of those caught your eye? What fun bookish gifts have you come across in recent years? Let me know below!

And until next time – remember it’s just one day, lovely people. The gifts don’t have to be perfect. The meal doesn’t have to be instagram-worthy. Whether you choose to celebrate or not, it’s just one day. You’ve got this. Breathe.

book lover, bookworm, christmas, gifts, holidays, writer

  1. Delightful list! So many things caught my eye. But… I confess to being one of those people who shops all year long, parking my finds in a “gift closet”. My best goodies are discovered at thrift shops and flea markets, because, thankfully, all my family are total “anti-snobs” who dearly love to proclaim, “You won’t believe how little I paid for it!” But I must say, I almost caved to the book soaps…except that one could never, ever actually USE them; they’re too cute! And the e-reader covers were great, but I’m the only Kindle fanatic in the family, so who would I give it to? Sigh. I’d send you another of my Little Black Cat Creations hand-designed Christmas cards this year as thanks for another year of the delight of dragons, but you’ve moved to a new address and country, so I’ll just tell you that the card will appear on my blog, on December 22 for the enjoyment of anyone who cares to look.

    1. Kim Watt says:

      Aw, I’ll look forward to seeing the card on your blog! I loved your one last year. And yes, I’m a terrible person for changing addresses. I’m surprised I can remember my own address at times …

      And yes on the soaps – they’re far too lovely to actually use! But very fun stocking stuffers, I’d say. I love that your family enjoy treasure hunting as opposed to just shopping – it’s so sensible! And you can really find some amazing things in flea markets and so on, as well as it being fun looking for them.


    Ooooh! I love all of those bookish gift ideas! Is it wrong that I want them all for myself?

    I’m one of those buy gifts all year. I start with the after Christmas sales and just pick stuff up all year. That style does have it’s down sides for instance the person you’re buying it for (and you’re sure they’ll LOVE it) changes their tastes mid year and don’t collect Unicorns anymore. Well what the heck do I do with all the Unicorn stuff I’ve picked up for them???

    Or when it comes time to wrap everything, every nook, cranny, cupboard, closet and well you get my drift is stuffed. There’s such an overload of stuff that I’ve forgotten what I bought, who it’s all for, can’t believe there’s so much and I’m really just done with it all. If only I could train myself to wrap it all as I go…

    I did pick up some Gobbelino and Beaufort Scales goodies for Christmas gifts and I’m terribly tempted to go do some more shopping on the site.

    I think I also must track down that frog. I love him!

    1. Kim Watt says:

      I think you sound immensely organised! I wish I could be so far ahead on shopping. I’d love to have all the cupboards stuffed with things just waiting to be gifted! Although I understand the wrapping issue. But just think – if you did that you’d probably forget what was inside them. Although that would sort of add to the excitement, as you’d be just as surprised as the recipient!

      The unicorn issue sounds like a problem, though. That’s most inconsiderate, changing tastes mid-year! And I’m so happy you like the Gobs and Beaufort fun stuff! I plan to add more things, but I haven’t made it just yet. They’ll get here, though!

      Also, I almost succumbed to temptation SO MANY TIMES putting this list together. There’s way too much fun stuff out there.

      1. MARIE CORDALIS says:

        I’d love to be organized enough to have a list of everything I’ve bought and who it’s for 🙂 I’m a work in progress since at least I’ve evolved from just hucking everything in a closet/cupboard/drawer etc. to deal with later.
        Speaking of Gobs and Beaufort goodies, I so hope there will be more IPhone covers. I’m pining to buy myself the one “Please mind the kraken” but it doesn’t appear to be available in the IPhone XR. I intend to stalk that site for more things I can’t live without 😉

        1. Kim Watt says:

          I shall add more cases if I can! I’ll take a look over the weekend or next week. It’s a really dangerous site, though. I’ve discovered a Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency T-shirt I *need*, as well as a Luci from Disenchantment one. So I need to write more books so I can get myself more book publication presents… 😉

          1. MARIE CORDALIS says:

            Oh so happy to have more Gobs and Beaufort goodies 🙂
            I’m SO with you on the dangers of sites where I can find book related things to feed my addiction. Especially if they are small businesses and individuals. I feel pretty strongly about supporting them as much as I am able.

          2. Kim Watt says:

            I unfortunately quite often use the small business thing to talk myself into buying more. “But it’s HELPING!” No regrets, however 😁

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