Jo Talks Books: A Bookworm Christmas Shopping Guide For Non Bookworms

Hi everyone! I am so sorry that I had no discussion posts for you guys in November, I had so many deadlines and it just wasn’t possible to write a lengthy post-but, I’m planning on making it up with not one but two posts this month-that hasn’t happened since May! Anyway, with Christmas coming up, I thought it might be a quite nice idea to do a Christmas shopping guide, but with a bit of a twist. As bookworms, we all know the sorts of things that we like to receive for Christmas, but for our non-bookish inclined friends and family, shopping for us can be a little more difficult, so I thought I would create a handy little guide that can be shared with any non readers amongst our friends and relatives, to make Christmas shopping season that little bit easier. So here we go:

  1. Listen to our interests

If you aren’t a bookworm, it can be easy enough to think, “well this a book…insert friend here likes books….I’ll just get this for them” but alas, things aren’t as simple as that. Bookworms are complex creatures, with a myriad of different interests, and you cannot guarantee that any book you put in front of them will be one they’ll like (I mean there’s a high chance but it’s not 100% certain). My favourite book presents have always been the ones that show the person who bought them for me has really tailored their present to something they know I like-for instance my mum got me a book called Modern Women: 52 Pioneers, because she knows how much I like reading about historical women and it meant a lot to me because it shows that she listens to the things I like.

2. If you don’t know what books we own, ask!

Often times, the less avid readers in my life (and to an extent my friends who do love books) don’t get me books because they’re worried about getting me something I already own-I mean fair enough, I do have a lot of books, and sometimes even I lose track of what I own. But I do have a Goodreads shelf with them, and quite a lot of bookworms will, so if you don’t know what we already have, just ask us!

3. Gift cards are not a cop out! Giving us the opportunity to buy more books is just as much of a gift as buying them for us

I can’t speak for anyone else here, but I love getting gift cards, and it’s not even a book specific thing, although in this case, I am of course speaking about gift cards for book shops. It seems like often people think that gift cards are less of a present, because you can’t exactly unwrap them, but personally I love the chance to get to choose what I want myself at a later date. A book gift card for Christmas inevitably leads to a trip to Waterstones (or elsewhere, if it’s a National Book Token since those are non specific) and that is a gift in itself!

4. Etsy is a great starting point for bookish related goods

Gifts for bookworms don’t always need to be books! We love merchandise as much as the next fan, and Etsy is an amazing starting place for fandom merch. I have bought so much great stuff for both myself and friends over the years, so if you know the books that your friend is into, then searching on Etsy for related merchandise is a great way to get your bookworm friend something book related that’s not an actual book.

5. Book subscription boxes make brilliant presents

Not that this is something I have ever personally received, but I know it’s something that I would love to get. With a book subscription box, you can either get your bookworm friend a continuing subscription, so a gift that keeps on giving, or a single box, and they get the joy of both books and book related gifts. Plus, there is such a wide variety of book subscription boxes out there, you can tailor your gift to your friend’s personal interests.

6. Get a special edition/foreign language edition of one of their favourite books

If you know what their favourite book is, then a special edition of your bookworm friends favourite book, especially if they are a collector, would be a very well received Christmas present, though obviously this is not possible for every single book. If they speak another language though, or are trying to learn, then a foreign language edition of one of their favourite books might be a good idea. Penguin Classics is a great idea if your resident bookworm has a favourite classic book, as they’re so pretty (though sadly don’t have a pretty hardcover copy of my own favourite classic, Black Beauty).

7. Look out for events with your friend’s favourite authors

If your friend has a favourite author whose event they can’t make it to, because they don’t live near the event or have a clash or whatever, then you could surprise them with a signed, personalised copy of a book of theirs for Christmas. If their favourite author isn’t doing an event near you, but they’ve had a book recently out then you could always check the Waterstones/B&N/wherever you get your books from website to see if a signed copy is available.

8. Bookish Christmas ornaments

If you’re wanting to get your bookworm friend something a little quirky, then how about getting them a bookish themed Christmas ornament? Harry Potter baubles are quite common, you can get House themed ones at Primark. You can also get baubles filled with strips of paper with text from books, so if you can find one from your bookworm friends favourite book, that would be a good one. You could even make one, if you are particularly crafty.

9. Tickets to a book event

If you really want to make the resident bookworm in your life love you, then give them the opportunity to meet their favourite author/s. If you have a little more disposable cash, then tickets to a book convention like YALC or a Comic Con would be a great idea. If however you can’t afford that, then just have a look out for what events their favourite authors are doing in 2019 and if there are tickets available yet, as tickets for book events are usually relatively reasonable-the most I’ve ever paid is I think £20 and that usually includes the book.

10. Get the film version of their favourite book

Okay, okay hear me out because there is a caveat for this one. If they like the film version. Book lovers can be notoriously picky about adaptations of their favourite books (as they should be) and if they really hate the way their favourite book was adapted, it’s probably not a good idea to give them a permanent reminder of that. However, if they loved the film, or they haven’t seen it, then it might be a nice idea to buy them a copy, so they can relive their favourite book in a different way.

So there we go, my tips for shopping for bookworms at Christmas. Do you have any to add? Have you ever had difficulties with non bookworm friends/family members buying presents for you? Alternatively, have you had problems buying for non-bookworm friends? Let me know in the comments!

I am going to have another discussion post for you in December-I know, shocking! I’ve been analysing the books I’ve read this year to see whether they pass the Bechdel Test, and I want to discuss the results of my little experiment, so that will be coming around the end of the month. In the meantime, I’m going to have my latest review up for you guys, I think tomorrow!


4 thoughts on “Jo Talks Books: A Bookworm Christmas Shopping Guide For Non Bookworms

  1. taylortalksbooks December 13, 2018 / 10:02 pm

    Oh I definitely agree that gift cards are NOT a cop out (especially ones for Barnes and Noble lol). I’m at the point where I own a large of books so it wouldn’t be too unlikely for someone to gift me one I already have. This was such a wonderful list, I might just have to send this post to all my friends next year ahahah 🙂

    • iloveheartlandx December 14, 2018 / 4:02 pm

      Absolutely-with a gift card you are basically giving the gift of shopping and who doesn’t want that? Ah thank you, I’m glad you found it helpful 🙂

  2. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight December 16, 2018 / 2:25 am

    This is AWESOME because like- I feel like non-bookish people think books aren’t a good gift and WRONG! And I legit would be THRILLED to receive any of these! ::Forwards post to entire family::

    • iloveheartlandx December 18, 2018 / 4:15 pm

      Ah thank you! Yes, I feel the same way, non-bookish people think books are such a boring gift and I’m like NO! Ha ha yes, I should send this one to my family too 🙂

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