Tuesday, December 15, 2015

30 Last-Minute Bookish Gifts

Let's be honest: I rarely need lists like "Top Ten Great Gifts for Readers" because it's generally the non-readers in my life that I have the hardest time shopping for. ("You don't enjoy reading? I know a great book about that you might like!") But I love looking at those lists anyway. It's a like a catalog of all the things I didn't know I wanted. So here, in an attempt to be useful, but with the understanding that I am probably just tempting you, is my last-minute gift guide for 2015.

Shipping and tax are included, but the cost estimates are based my location in the U.S. Items should arrive in time for Christmas (particularly if you have Amazon Prime), but do double-check with the seller (particularly on Etsy). Some of these sellers only guarantee a Christmas delivery through their standard shipping method if you order by Dec. 16th.

You'll notice that at times I've stretched the term "bookish" to mean "things Bethany likes."

Gifts Over $25 (with some exceptions)

Digital Subscription Services. When you just don't know what to get a reader, but you know you want to give them reading, this may be your best bet. At this point, most people know about Amazon's Kindle Unlimited service (at $9.99 a month, or $59.99 for six months, and $119.88 for a year). But there are many other options.

1. Scribd has a wide range of books available, including comics and graphic novels. It's $25 for three months, $50 for six months, and $100 for a year.

2. I don't know much about it yet, but there's also the recent Playster, which allows you to choose between movies, music, books, video games, or a combination of your favorite services (runs between $3.95 a month for movies to $9.95 a month for books or music, with deals on bundles).

3. For the comic book fan, Marvel Unlimited is available for $9.99 a month. (The fact that there is no similar service for DC keeps me up at night. Just take my money already, DC!)

Non-digital Subscriptions.
4.  In spite of how often I hear that print is a "dying medium," I'm constantly surprised by the number of small journals and literary magazines I run across. These publications vary widely in price and themesci-fi, YA and children's lit., poetry, religion, and much moreand chances are pretty good that you can find something for any reader. I find that small literary journals produced by colleges are sometimes a little cheaper (but it really depends), and many print journals also offer a digital version of the publication for a reduced rate. This could run anywhere from $50 to $10 a year, depending on the publication and how frequently it's printed.

Home Decor

5. Customized Penguin Book Pillow from DecorByEdna on Etsy ($22.00, plus $7.50 shipping).

6. If you want me to fall in love with something, just tell me "It's a normal household object. . .except it's tiny." This isn't directly book-related, but I find that readers also tend to be "collectors of bits of paper." (Recently, I've been overrun with business cards.) Just look at this miniature filing cabinet from Kikkerland and tell me couldn't use one ($30.00 w/ free shipping).

Clothing and Accessories

 7. I'd be lying if I said that I knew why anyone would need this $44.00 Literati Club Hamlet umbrella, but I'd also be lying if I said wouldn't use it all the time if I had one.

Gifts Between $25 and $10

8. What does Edgar Allen Poe smell like? I'm not sure I want to know. But you can give his essence in the form of candle from Bookish Gifts ($18.00, plus approx. $4.00 shipping for the U.S.). The description simply says "Can also be used to summon ravens." (There's also a Dickens candle and an Austen, as well as smaller travel candles for $7.00.)

9. What goes together better than books and tea? This Kate Spade thermal travel mug lets you celebrate both ($22.95 w/ free shipping through Amazon Prime).

10. Dictionary is one of my favorite group games, so Discovery Bay's Liebrary game sounds amazing. It's basically a similar bluffing game, but with the first lines of books. The game doesn't seem to be in production anymore, but "collectible" editions are available at Amazon for $24.99 (after tax and w/ free shipping through Amazon Prime).

11. These tea-scented erasers available through The Academy of American Poets should make mistakes a little sweeter (five for $5.00, plus $7.15 for two-day USPS priority shipping; these can also be found at Kikkerland).
Clothing and Accessories

12. I have this tote, and I love it. The bag goes with most outfits, it's fun, and it has room for several books. It's available from the wonderful Out of Print Clothing for $16.00 (plus $5.95 for USPS shipping). It also comes in a variety of colors.

13. I didn't even know this existed until I received one for my birthday this week, but oh. my. word. I love this! Yes & Yes Designs makes pins from recycled, falling apart books, including these lovely ladies. (Pins are approx. $18.00, depending on style, w/ $4.50 for standard shipping.)

14. The only thing wrong with this Eric Carlye, Hungry Caterpillar umbrella is that it seems to only come in child-sized versions ($19.97 w/ free shipping through Amazon Prime). It seems like the sort of accessory that could brighten up anyone's rainy day.

Gifts $10 and Under

Bookmarks. When in doubt, readers always need bookmarks. Sure, any piece of paper will do in a pinch, but why not have a little fun?

15. Zipper bookmark ($7.00 or less w/ free shipping through Amazon Prime).
16. Hippo bookmark ($9.90 w/ free shipping through Amazon Prime).

17. Cassette tape bookmark ($8.09 w/ free shipping through Amazon Prime).

18. Woodland Friends magnetic bookmarks (eight for $3.95 w/ free shipping through Amazon Prime).

15. I have a weakness for cute notepads. And cupcakes. (From Kikkerland for $4.00 w/ free shipping.)

16. Or if you prefer something a little more natural looking. . . . ($3.00 w/ free shipping from Kikkerland.)

17. This ninja pen makes its own "SHHINNG" sound ($6.00 w/ free shipping from Kikkerland).

18. "I shot a pencil through the air. . .good thing I had three others" (4 for $5.00 w/ free shipping from Kikkerland).

19. And if you're buying pencils, you'll probably need a pencil sharpener. So why not get a fun one? (From Kikkerland for $5.00 w/ free shipping.)

20. Book labels are always a good stocking stuffer, and here some from one of my favorite Esty shops, boygirlparty (six for $4.50, plus $2.30 shipping). Other designs are available (but I thought the reading octopus was unusual).

Food and Drink
21. Jane Austen cookie cutter, enough said. From regencyaustenation at Etsy ($7.50, plus $2.25 shipping). 
22. Or you could get a regular book-shaped cookie cutter from Cheap Cookie Cutters (a three-inch cutter for $3.49, shipping runs between $2.90 and $5.99).

23. I am always looking for an excuse to combine books with good tea, and this Book Lover's Tea from Adagio sounds like the perfect stocking stuffer. (Sample tins start at $4, plus $3.75 for ground shipping.)

24. "Tea + Books = Bliss." This tea ball knows what's up. It's available from TillaHomestead through Etsy ($6.50, plus about $2.90 for shipping).

Clothing and Accessories
25. Ashi Dashi Pencil socks! ($9.99 w/ free shipping through Amazon Prime).

26. Or if you prefer to immortalize a slightly more "modern" writing instrument on your feet, Sock Smith offers these typewriter socks ($9.95 w/ free shipping through Amazon Prime).
27. Typewriter key jewelry. Typewriter key buttons are available from TursiArt through Etsy for $1.50 each ($2.99 for shipping). Typewriter key charms can be purchased for $2.00 each from Gvioletshop through Etsy ($1.00 shipping).

28. If you're looking for something similar but a little fancier, I suggest SugarLaneShoppe's necklaces ($6.95, plus $2.50 for shipping through Etsy).

29. Speaking of typewriters, SkullAndHawk has a silver typewriter pin/tie tack ($5.99, plus $3.00 shipping through Etsy).

30. Or there's this lovely wooden typewriter pendant, from FrillyChili ($6.95, plus $2.50 shipping through Etsy).

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