Ah, Christmas time! The streets are packed with people, there’s a bite of frost in the air, everything smells a bit like cinnamon and if you’re lucky, there might just be some lovely book-shaped parcels under the tree. Christmas is a brilliant time for book-lovers everywhere! The bookshops are stocked with all sorts of wonderful Christmas releases and if you have a family that listens quite closely you can replenish your entire to-be-read pile with the fantastic new titles you’ve been lusting over for ages!
However, if you happen to buying for a book-lover and they are not entirely explicit about exactly which book it is they would like to receive from Santa, then having a successful Book-Christmas can be a tad tricky! But don’t you worry; I am here to help you through this difficult time of year! This is a book-lovers guide to Christmas!
1. I am going to get this out of the way first because I love you all and I don’t want you to waste your money. If you don’t know almost exactly what titles a person may want, don’t guess. Seriously, either just ask them what they want or avoid the bookshop entirely, it isn’t worth it. If your loved one is quite an intense book-lover then chances are that they will have read quite a lot of what Waterstones, Barnes & Noble and WH Smith have to offer. Unless you happen to be a crazy stalker or know their exact reading tastes and experiences inside-out then I really wouldn’t bother. Play it safe and don’t be tempted by that gorgeous new John Green box set, if you don't know for sure, it’s much too dangerous!
2. Okay, so you’ve read tip number one and you’re thinking, but if I can’t get a book-lover books, what the hell do I buy?! No fear, my dears! This is where your trusty friend, the book token, swoops in to save the day. It may seem impersonal and a bit weak but trust me, stick even just a £10 book token inside a card and you will be able to watch the sheer delight on your loved one’s face as it falls out onto their lap! Physically, a book token is just a small rectangle of plastic, but emotionally it is so much more. Book tokens are exciting, they hold all sorts of possibilities, and they give book-lovers an excuse to go for another thrilling adventure through the shelves at the local bookshop!
3. Now obviously, we don’t all have obese wallets of cash to spend on festivities but buying books really doesn’t have to be expensive. It is so easy to get cheap books if you buy second hand. You’d be surprised the amount of good-quality, well-known books hidden inside your local charity shop. I’m lucky enough to have two different Barnardos bookshops near me and an Oxfam one as well, but if you don’t have access to these shops specifically, any old charity shop will do! I once found the entire Hunger Games series in almost brand-new condition for only about £3.50 in a random Hospice Care on holiday. I really don’t think your loved one will care if the books are second-hand or brand new, if it’s a good story they’ll thank you profusely and stick their teeth in right away. After all, it is the thought that counts!
4. But when shopping for Book-Christmas you are not solely limited to the bookshops only. Book-related merchandise is a fantastic gift for any passionate fan girl or boy! If your friend happens to be a massive potterhead then the possibilities are endless! Replica Marauders Map? I do think so. Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans? Yes please! Magical heat transforming ‘Mischief Managed’ mug? Well, I don’t mind if I do! Simply search your loved-one’s favourite book or series along with the word ‘merch’ into your favourite search engine and I guarantee you’ll get hundreds of gift ideas in mere seconds! Personally, when I want to find cool and interesting merchandise I hop on over to Etsy.co.uk, there’s thousands of people on there, hand-crafting and creating merch every single day! Just a few quick clicks and Christmas is sorted.
5. If you really are strapped for cash, but you still want a love-filled, heart-felt gift to give for book-Christmas, well, why not get a little arty? Sure, it takes a bit more time and effort, but, even if it doesn’t turn out quite the way you want it to, the finished product can still be something quite awesome and special. It doesn’t have to be all that complex – if you have art skills and some coloured card you can make cool book themed cards like this one – and if you can’t think of any ideas there’s tons of guides and templates on the internet. It’ll cost you one day, some knitting needles and a couple balls of wool to make a long cosy Gryffindor scarf, or if you want to get really fancy you could even have a go at crocheting yourself a woolly Potter dolly! Just, have a go. It’s fun and a great way to get the expensive book merchandise you really want.
6. Lastly, don’t be afraid to write inside the books. I know some people might crucify me for saying this, but there’s something so fantastically gorgeous about opening up a book someone has given you, ready to start reading, and finding that they’ve left you a little message. It’s so sweet and cute and very personal! It adds a lovely little touch to an otherwise fairly usual present. If you want to leave a message but are a bit scared to commit so fully to leaving a permanent mark on the gift, just write it lightly in pencil, then it can be rubbed out at the reader’ own discretion. It’s counter-intuitive but it is an undeniably romantic, I’ve wanted someone to do this for me ever since I first read ‘The Fault In Our Stars’. So go on, be a bit cheeky!
So there we have it! Six great tips on how to have an absolutely blurbtastic Book-Christmas!