The Best Bookworm Gift List Ever (For now)
It's the time of gift giving and somehow, even though I'm somewhat prepared, the holiday season always runs away from me. I mean, I always have good intentions with November and National Novel Writing Month. And then I even have ordered our Christmas cards already since there are discounts during Thanksgiving week. Unfortunately my lovely orange box full of cards is still sitting near my bed with unaddressed envelopes. (Yes, I know there are services to get addresses pre-printed on there....but my loved ones addresses are in so many different places. I have a crazy system for getting holiday cards out. And if I miss you one year, it's not that I don't love you. It's that I may be a bit disorganized in the address system.)
So, my point is that even though I've done most of my shopping (Yay for online shopping!), I know there are some last minute consumers out there. This is not an ad for these choices--just a fun list I curated. However, some of these links are Amazon affiliate links, which will may give me a tiny percentage that would go toward the site or books for giveaways. xo
Here is my list of the BEST GIFT IDEAS FOR BILBIOPHILES....so far.
1. A Child of Books
As a book lover, I literally swooned over A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston. It's a picture book about a girl who loves books, and the illustrations include pictures made out of words. And not just any words, but excerpts from some classic children's books. What more is there to say? See my review here.
Summary: A little girl sails her raft across a sea of words, arriving at the house of a small boy and calling him away on an adventure. Through forests of fairy tales and across mountains of make-believe, the two travel together on a fantastical journey that unlocks the boy's imagination. Now a lifetime of magic and adventure lies ahead of him . . . but who will be next? Combining elegant images by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston's typographical landscapes shaped from excerpts of children's classics and lullabies, A Child of Books is a stunning prose poem on the rewards of reading and sharing stories—an immersive and unforgettable reading experience that readers will want to pass on to others.
2. Merry Makers' Plush Book Characters
I think the concept behind Merry Makers is brilliant. They've created plush versions of some of your favorite picture book characters like Duck and Goose and the Dragons from Dragons Love Tacos and crayons from The Day the Crayons Quit. They are high quality and oh-so-lovable. And if you purchase by Dec 19, there's a 30% discount. Please note that this is not an ad: I just love this company. We have Duck and Goose, and I've purchased Captain Underpants and the Construction Truck for my nephews. And I may have a certain dragon trio currently in my cart!
3. Sweet Sequels--Hand-Painted Book Covers and More
I'm sure I likely found Sweet Sequels on Instagram and I can't stop gushing over her book cover paintings. She has painted many favorite novels and then has them printed onto fabric. And then she has an array of book-related quilts or book sleeves and bookmarks to go with them. Unfortunately, many are sold out for the season, but you can bet I'm going to be ordering something when she opens up again in January. I did get each of the Hogwarts Houses as prints and plan on framing them and setting them up in our house. Yes, I got a Gryffindor one too even though the girls are staunchly anti-Gryffindor right now. :D
4. Baby Lit books
I may also be obsessed with this series. If there are too many books and too little time, there are also too many BabyLit books and not enough space in my house for all of them! Someday when we build our upstairs library, I may have them all. For now, I just have my lovely set from last year, and was drooling over the Midsummer Night's Dream version the other day.
For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, Baby Lit books are board book versions of classic and favorite books.
5. Lil' Libros
Lil' Libros are sort of the Spanish version of Baby Lit, with a twist. They feature bilingual board books that also teach about Latino culture. I first learned about Lil' Libros at their booth at the L.A. Times Festival of Books last Spring. I was already carrying bundles of books that we had purchased, however, so I settled for snagging one of their cards. The illustrations are bright and interesting with the bonus of learning two languages at the same time. Who wouldn't want to count with Frida?
6. Novelty Versions of Favorite books
I'm a sucker for a novelty book--a book with paper engineering or lift-the-flaps. So when I saw that Robert Sabuda created a version of Wizard of Oz, I snatched it right up for Mini Me. Sabuda is a renowned paper engineer. And, truth be told, we have two versions of Wizard of Oz with paper engineering, and they're both amazing. We also have the Hogwarts paper 'dollhouse' that I purchased a few years ago. I bought Mini Me amazing finger puppets of Harry, Ron, and Hermione (by TomBoy Togs) but they seem to have gone missing. See above for their beef with Gryffindor. (It's because everyone calls Slytherins evil and they're not evil. And Gryffindors get credit for a lot. I explained to Mini Me that they are the heroes of Rowling's series. But she knows. When she was four, Maleficent was her favorite....)
And my newest find? This version of Pride and Prejudice that makes me swoon every time I swing Mr. Darcy closer to Elizabeth Bennett on the cover. My favorite part? The wheel turning through a call and response section of Mr. Collin's disastrous attempt at a proposal to Elizabeth.
7. Book Cover Notebooks
Since I'm a writer AND a book lover, I'm always looking for great journals/notebooks to write notes or scenes in when I'm on the go, or when inspiration strikes. Sometimes I have to settle for writing notes in my phone, but I'm much slower that way and when my mind is whirring, I need to write things down. My go-to is usually the classic Moleskine, especially because it has an elastic plus a bookmark and a pocket. But I also love the Rifle Paper Company notebook series.
And I still have to get me some of these awesome journals from The Manuscript Company that feature book covers of some beloved classics. My favorite ones are The Little Prince and The Wizard of Oz. The covers look authentic so you may get some funny stares from other book lovers who might ask you, "How dare you write in your book?". Though, truth be told, I used to write all over my margins of my books when I was younger. Highlighting and all. Now I wouldn't dare. (I'm also no longer 'studying' texts or analyzing them for papers so I just get to enjoy myself as a reader, so there is that.)
8. Novel-related Board Games
This one is a no-brainer on our house. We have many Harry Potter-related games including Hogwarts Battle, Trivial Pursuit, and Scene It. There's also always lovely-themed Monopoly games for almost anything, like Disney Villains or Game of Thrones. We have the Star Wars Monopoly version, of course, which has a Millenium Falcon, X-wing fighter and more. The only bummer is that you don't get to hold 'deeds' to properties, at least in our version, though the new 40th anniversary edition may be different.
There is also a Trivial Pursuit for Book Lovers! And, you can't go wrong with the classic Scrabble. If you follow me on Instagram, you'll find a not quite proper game of Scrabble that Little Lion and I played last week, in which we broke ALL the rules, including spelling words backwards. But everything was properly spelled, unlike the creative way Maddy and her mom play Scrabble in Everything, Everything.
9. Page Mates and Magnetic Bookmarks
They're everywhere now, but these magnetic bookmarks are amazing. I love using them instead of receipts or random pieces of paper, or <gasp> dog-earing a page. No! There are also some great book-related ones like these Harry Potter ones. There are also some awesome ones on Etsy too, likes these from NerdyGirlDesigns.
Similar to magnetic book marks, I've been using Page Mates and also giving them as gifts. (Hint: they make a perfect stocking stuffer.) They are small tabs and work like post-it notes. Plus there are so many stylish ones like this forest animal set or this chevron set.
10. Hamilton: The Revolution
Finally, because I want an even TEN on this list, I'm going to recommend Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter for any Hamilton musical fans out there. We purchased ours at the show so paid a whopping $50 for it, but you can find it on Amazon and elsewhere for cheaper, especially with the holiday sales. It's amazing--full lyrics and photography of the original cast. And the backstory--the backstory is what you actually want to buy the book. It's a lovely tale of how Hamilton started as a few songs intended for a mixed tape and ballooned into the phenomenal musical it is today. McCarter tells the story with such heart, perhaps because he was there almost from the start. It's an intimate look into the genius that is Lin-Manuel Miranda but also at the game-changing effects the musical has made for theater in terms of type-casting and diversity. Not to mention adding rap, R&B, and modernizing a story from more than two centuries ago. Yes, there are some non-factual things put in the musical in order to make a story, but, as always, STORY comes first. And Lin-Manuel Miranda delivers the story and more.
Tell Dr. Bookworm!
What's on your must-have book list this year? What is a book that you keep gifting?