(A version of this article first appeared in Kingston Neighbours magazine, December, 2021.)
Are you feeling festive yet?! No? Well, perhaps this holiday season is making you feel less jolly and more jangled because you’re stuck for gift ideas. Look no further! I’ve some great gift suggestions for bookworms of all ages.
I can hear you protesting right now, “They already have too many books!” Nonsense. There’s no such thing as too many books, just not enough bookshelves — which is also a thoughtful gift, come to think of it! But seriously, buy a book by their favourite author, pick up the next title in the series they’re reading, or look for books on their favourite topics … the possibilities are endless. The bookworm in your life will sincerely thank you, or at least mumble it under their breath as they open the pages of their new gift and immerse themselves within.
Just as you can never have too many books, you can never have too many bookmarks! I’ve been the recipient of many unique bookmarks over the years from students and family members. Bookmarks are also great low-cost or no-cost items if your budget is tight. If you can knit, sew, bead, crochet or otherwise do something crafty, you can make a beautiful bookmark that will be treasured for years.
- Book Lights
Does your bookworm like to read in bed? You could get them a book light then! There are hundreds of different models, most under $25. With a clip to attach to a book, many book lights now also have touch-activated light settings and can be recharged with a USB cable. I received one for Mother’s Day and use it almost daily!
- Phone and Tablet Cases
If your book lover enjoys reading on their electronic devices, consider getting them a book-themed phone or tablet case. It is a unique gift that will spark conversations!
- Cozy Items
Who doesn’t like to be snug and warm while reading? Your bookworms will appreciate anything that makes their reading experience more pleasurable: snuggly socks, cozy blankets, soft shirts, teas, coffee or hot chocolates.
- Gift Certificates
If you’re stuck for ideas, a gift certificate to a bookstore will always be appreciated. Really. I encourage you to make it a shared experience by accompanying your bookworm and browsing with them. They’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness and your company.
Where To Shop
Many items can be purchased online. I like The Library Marketplace, the official store of the Ontario Library Association. It sells literary-themed merchandise like bookmarks, tote bags, stationary, posters and clothing. With online purchases, however, be aware of shipping times because of supply-chain delays and plan accordingly.
Another option is to shop local. Many independent bookstores belong to the Canadian Independent Booksellers Association, (CIBA) so you can look up stores near you on their website. Alternatively, you can check with your local Business Improvement Association, (BIA), or Chamber of Commerce to inquire if there are any local bookshops in your area.
I encourage everyone to visit an independent bookstore or gift shop this year in your quest for gifts. After months of pandemic interruptions, small local businesses will appreciate your support.
Happy shopping to all and best wishes for joy, peace and lots of reading in the New Year!