Catherine’s Xmas Gift Guide 2011: 5 Gifts for Book Lovers

If you were around these parts this time last year, then you’ll already know that I am great at doing Christmas. Like, seriously great. Potentially better than I am at anything else, which is a bit worrying. One thing in particular I’m really good at is finding perfect presents for people, which I’m guessing has something to do with the inordinate amount of time I spent online window-shopping when I’m procrastinating…

But, um, anyway. I’ve made a Christmas (or Holiday, American friends) Gift Guide, starting today with Gifts for Book Lovers.

Clockwise from top left:

  1. Out of Print Clothing offer a range of T-shirts for men, women and children, tote bags, coasters, stationery and other gifts adorned with classic book covers. I love this beautifully blue The Great Gatsby t-shirt, $28.00.
  2. Out of Print also do e-reader covers and it was them that led me to M-Edge. But here’s a far greater idea than buying a Kindle, iPad or Nook cover with a book cover on it: design your own! M-Edge lets you upload your own images to create your own personalized e-reader cover—or make one for someone else—for very reasonable prices. (A Kindle Gen2 cover is $20, for example.) If that’s a bit much for you, they also have hundreds of beautiful designs to choose from.
  3. One of my favorite things about Christmas is all the kooky little books that suddenly start appearing everywhere. Just My Type by Simon Garfield has been out a while, but it definitely fits the bill as a perfect little present for the book lover. It’s a book about fonts—yes, fonts—and according to the New York Times, it’s “a smart, funny and accessible book that does for typography what Eats, Shoots and Leaves did for punctuation.” Click here to find it on The Book Depository which has 30% off and free shipping on all its books, worldwide.
  4. You could do all your Christmas present shopping on NotOnTheHighStreet.com, a vast treasure trove of fantastic and original gifts, but for book lovers I’m going to point you in the direction of their book ends collection. I want them all but I especially like these Book Endings Book Ends, £19.95. (Off the point a bit but I also love this “My book club only reads wine labels” tote.)
  5. I was the lucky recipient of a box of these amazing Penguin Postcards: 100 Book Jackets in 1 Box last Christmas, although I haven’t sent any of them because I plan on framing them on the walls of my Imaginary Future Dream Library. You can get these in most bookstores or from Amazon.co.uk, or direct from Penguin for £14.95. This Christmas has brought a few variations on the theme, such as 100 Writers, 100 Puffin Covers and 100 Classic Vanity Fair Covers. For extra Catherine gift-wrap-matching brownie points, wrap them in this equally lovely Penguin Books wrapping paper which you can buy from another great bookish present site, The Literary Gift Company.

So what do you think? Would you like to get some, any or all of these from Santa?

Next week it’ll be Gifts for Writers and Gifts for Coffee-Drinkers. You can re-live 2010’s exquisite home décor, too-good-to-open gift wrapping and adventures in calorie preparation—read: baking—by clicking here, if you like.

Help a coffee-addict in need of caffeine this Christmas: tell every new Kindle (or other e-reading device) owner you encounter about my cheap and occasionally amusing e-books, pretty please. I find a Post-It to the forehead works wonders. 

11 thoughts on “Catherine’s Xmas Gift Guide 2011: 5 Gifts for Book Lovers

  1. Steven Lewis says:

    Brilliant list. I’m off to look at Kindle covers immediately (considering getting one of my own covers as the artwork of course); and would buy the book on fonts but it isn’t available for the Kindle. I was going to assume that was because one couldn’t see examples of the different fonts on the Kindle but it’s available as an audiobook so go figure.

    My own quibble is that it’s too probably too late for this Christmas. Next year’s list in October please.

    • catherineryanhoward says:

      You’d have to have a quibble, wouldn’t you?! ;-D

      Well the thing is I can’t post about Christmas before December, because you know people have this inexplicably visceral reaction to Christmas things before Christmastime, like when they’re shopping in October and they hear carols playing in a store and then they take to Twitter to freak out about it as if it doesn’t happen every year. Also, M-Edge says manufacture times are 1-2 weeks and international shipping is by FedEx in 5-6 days, so allowing for the fact that these things are always bumped up to worst case scenario, I’d say you’d JUST about make it!

      P.S. I don’t want anyone buying Just My Type on Kindle. If you saw how beautifully put-together the physical book is, you wouldn’t dream of it. No audios either! 🙂

  2. L.S. Engler says:

    Ohmygod, excuse me for a moment, I had to wipe the drool off my keyboard before I could type…

    These are incredible! I’m so terrible, because I’m thinking I need to get these for myself rather than gifts…well, the postcards count if I’m sending them to people, right? And I’ll be very excited to explore the ecover link there, too. How exciting! Thank you so much for sharing, Catherine!

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