To Buy or Not to Buy? A Bookish Christmas Gift Guide

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Photo by Juliana Malta (CC-BY-SA 4.0)

Whether you celebrate it or not, Christmas is quickly coming around once again. After what has been a difficult time for, well, everyone, coupled with the fact that we may not be able to spend time with those that we love this year, what better way to show your appreciation and care this year than with a thoughtful gift? Anyone with a book lover in their life knows that although books are an easy gift, the trouble is knowing what your favourite bookworm hasn’t read. So we’ve whittled down some of the best tips, tricks and gift ideas we have to make your shopping experience a little easier this festive season! 

  1. Shop local

Now more than ever, shopping locally is so, so important. As COVID-19 enters its second wave, many independent shops are still struggling to recover from their closures in the first wave of spring. Shopping locally as opposed to online from huge chain stores not only benefits the welfare of shop owners and their works, but also helps to keep the local high street alive!

2. Shop independent booksellers!

Following on from the previous point, while it is so easy to shop on Amazon in a few simple clicks, there is a reason that so many independent bookstores have sadly shut their doors for good this year. More and more bookstores are launching websites so that they can continue to receive an income throughout the chaos that has been 2020, so if you’re self-isolating this is a great way to buy any Christmas presents! Independent bookstores have more agency to curate what exactly comes into their stores, from the genres of texts to the editions, so browsing their shelves may present you with a beautiful edition or a text that has been out of print for years!

3. Look at their Goodreads

For anyone living under a rock, Goodreads is a digital book cataloguing website and sort of a Facebook for bookworms. If you know a bookworm, they probably have a Goodreads account! Search their name (or subtly ask them for the link) and take a scroll through their to-read shelf, which will no doubt be filled with books they have been intrigued by and want to buy/read/love in the future! No matter how many books your resident bookworm has, they can always make room for one more, and this is the perfect way of finding what they are dying to get their hands on!

4. Search the charity shops

Charity shops are excellent places to find books to gift to loved ones, from the recent publication to some rare editions, there is something for everyone! You’re making a donation to people who really need it this year as well as perhaps finding a gift someone will truly treasure! Being second hand doesn’t mean that a book will be in poor condition, it’s just pre-loved!

5. Make the reading experience with other essentials! 

Book lovers are easy to please – it really is the little things that mean a lot, so why not consider the little details that could enhance a cosy afternoon of reading? Sachets of hot chocolate or a delicious box of tea and some homemade gingerbread could work wonders for your budget and as a delightful treat for your friends and family!

If you know of a person’s favourite book, another idea is to browse Etsy and independent artists who make bookish gifts! For example, an enamel pin from LiteraryEmporium, an exquisite set of bookmarks from Sonnet and Fable; or washi tape from FelfiraMoonDesigns!

Happy Shopping, and a Very Merry Christmas!

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Books Editor | 20-21 Travel Editor | 19-20

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