When I was asked to create a list of gifts for book lovers I knew I was going to do something that would surprise some you. You see, my list...it doesn't have any real books on it. Nary a novel, biography or collection of short stories for you to sit down and read. My reasoning is quite simple really - unless you know the person that you are buying the books for very well you run the risk of buying someone a book they already have read, own, hate, or worse, find offensive. People have very personal connections to books and take your choice in books to give them very personally. If you know the person well enough to pick out a title for them without worrying about any of the above you really don't need me to suggest titles do you? I didn't think you did! So without any more rambling here's my non-book gift list for book lovers.
1. For the note-takers and list-maker: a book journal. Ok yes, this one pushes my no book statement but not if I define a book as something you read, not something you fill the pages of with your own writing (oh yes, I can be slippery when I want to). Even those of us that that blog like to jot down notes while we are reading and trust me, it can be hard to hold open a book, balance a laptop and type all the same time when you're on the subway. You can go with the New York Times Book Journal or go with the standard and ever popular Moleskin. Or look into bookbinding workshops at local community schools and sign up your book lover for course in how to make their own books.
2. For the commuter: audiobooks. Not everyone can read while in a moving vehicle. Mostly because many commuters are driving said vehicle. I also seem to have a large number of friends who get motion sickness if they try to read on public transit. Books on CD work well for people who commute in the car. For those that take public transit a gift credit at iTunes so they can download books straight to their MP3 player. If you really want to go out all out Audible offers several different monthly membership plans allowing your recipient to receive the gift of books all year long.
3. For the multi-tasker: a bookweight. I read while doing everything and unfortunately it can sometimes be hard to juggle what I want to do while holding a book in one hand - especially eating. Ever since a blog brought them to my attention I've been lusting after one of these leather Levenger bookweights. For that extra special touch you can have them monogrammed with the recipients initials.
4. For the book lover who doesn't write in their books: page markers. You'll recognize the people who need these easily because they are the ones with so many flags marking pages that their book resembles an odd sort of insect. Stuff some of these Post-it Flags in their stocking. If you are looking for a bit more whimsy how about punctuation page markers? Want something more sophisticated? Try book darts. When I give a book as a gift I like to mark the inscription with a book dart that the recipient can then use as a book mark.
5. For the book lover who can't get enough: a Bookmarks subscription. Blogs tempt us every day but is there even such a thing as too much temptation? Bookmarks will keep the reader up to date on publishing news, reviews and author interviews.
6. For the jewelry lover: Oh there are some many choices here! There are sterling silver book quote bracelets. I'm absolutely in love with the jewelry at the Julia Belle Vintage shop. For the banned book lover there's a banned books bracelet featuring the cover art of frequently banned and challenged books. There are bookworm earrings and book-shaped lockets. Don't think I'm forgetting about the men - how about these open book cufflinks?
7. For the home library: accessories or furniture. They may be called Banker's Lamps but to me they scream library. One of my friends has one of these Victorian library chairs that has now been added to my home library wish list. And a library isn't a library without a wooden globe.
8. For the double-stacker: storage. I don't know anyone that couldn't use more storage for books. I like this library book stand that can be used for both display and storage. These invisible bookshelves are sure to spark conversation.
9. For the reader on the move: magnetic bookmarks. I'll admit that most of the time I use scrap paper to mark my place but if I'm going to be on the go I love magnetic bookmarks. You can find them at most bookstores or you can make your own.
10. For every book lover: a gift card to a local bookstore. Yes, I know that a lot of people hate to give gift cards. But the one thing that all book lovers want is more books. And there's nothing better than FREE BOOKS. And I do stand by what I said in the introduction to this list - you shouldn't buy books for someone unless you know them quite well. And gift cards for bookstores are just plain fun. Last year I hit the bookstore with a couple of gift cards and bought myself what ever caught my eye and I have to tell you I can't remember the last time I had that much fun shopping for books.
Happy shopping everyone! Come back next Monday, December 10, for my children's book-centric gift guide!
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