The ultimate gifts for book lovers, selected by a book lover.
Welcome to the very first Almost Famous Writer gift guide of 2018! In the first of six (!) installments, I’ll be sharing my top tips for buying a book lover the perfect Christmas present. No wait, scratch that. There’s no such thing as the “perfect Christmas present”, so don’t stress about achieving that with your Christmas shopping this year. Instead, buy, DIY or bake something you think the other person would like, and it doesn’t have to be groundbreaking or bringing them to tears with joy (or disappointment…). So here are just a few Christmas present recommendations I think any book lover would enjoy.
Perhaps the best tip when it comes to buying Christmas presents for book lovers, would be to visit the Waterstones online Christmas Gift Finder. It truly is a Christmas miracle, as they’ve categorized the best books (and stationary!) of the year in neat little sections, such as the Waterstones Book(s) of the Year, stocking fillers and beautiful books. There are so many books on that gift guide it can get a bit overwhelming, so these are my five picks to gift a book lover.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Illustrated Edition – J.K. Rowling & Jim Kay
Big chance that the book lover you’re buying a Christmas present for is also a big fan of Harry Potter and in that case, you’re in luck. There are so many thoughtful Harry Potter-themed gifts on the market these days, from Hufflepuff keychains to stuffed Nifflers. Every Potterhead of course already has all the seven books, but the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Illustrated Edition would make a great gift in my opinion. One, because the illustrations are absolutely beautiful and they make the reader experience the beloved story in a completely new and different way. Two, Prisoner of Azkaban is my favourite Harry Potter, indulge me.
Killing Commendatore – Murakami
Every self-proclaimed literati loves some Murakami – am I right? Killing Commendatore is the latest addition to the already impressive Haruki Murakami bibliography, and tells the story of a thirty-something portrait painter who is abandoned by his wife and holes up in the secluded former home of a famous Japanese artist. One day he discovers a strange and mysterious painting in the attic, which will irrevocably change his life.
The Penguin Classics Book – Henry Eliot
A classic Christmas gift for book lovers would be a beautiful Penguin special clothbound edition of someone’s favourite novel, for example these editions of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice or Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. But there’s always a chance that these literature fanatics already have the most beautiful or special editions of their favourite novels in their precious collection, so here’s a little tip for a gift for the book lover who already has all the books. The Penguin Classics Book by Henry Eliot is a book about books, which dives into years and years of literary history and features some new insights into the beloved Penguin classics.
If cats disappeared from the world – Genki Kawamura
Even though the title makes me think of a scenario I never wish to happen ever (what is the world even without the mischievous fluff we cal Ziggy?!), the novel by Genki Kawamura would make for a great Christmas gift. If cats disappeared from the world chronicles the narrator’s final days. He is estranged from his family and his only companion is his cat Cabbage (10/10 for the name!). Then the Devil comes knocking on his door with a special offer: if the narrator makes one thing in the world disappear, the narrator can live for one extra day. Which brings us to the burning question: what would happen if cats disappeared from the world…?
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Marie Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
If there’s one novel that’s perfect for book lovers, it would be The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Marie Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. I read the book over the summer on my daily train journeys to Amsterdam and every time I was sad the train ride came to an end (and believe me, no one is sad when that train journey ends), because that meant I had to stop reading the book. Set in England just after World War II, young writer Juliet Ashton discovers the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and all of its funny, lovable and quirky characters. The book consists out of letters the members of the literacy society and Juliet write back and forth to one another, and before you know it, you feel like you’re one of the pen pals yourself. I think it would be the perfect book to start reading those wintery days after Christmas.
So let’s wrap up the first Almost Famous Writer gift guide, shall we (see what I did there)? What better way to do that than hinting at tomorrow’s article: bah humbug.