The alternative gift guide: Book-related gifts

Juliette Bowen 11 December 2016

That Time of the Year™ is upon us and chances are a high proportion of our loved (and thus gift-deserving) ones are very passionate about books. But what if you don’t know which book to get them, or want to be a bit more original this year? Hallelujah, there is an array of book-related gifts out there, from relatively standard mugs and bookends to typewriter-shaped earrings and socks with Poe’s face on them. Here’s a selection of some of them – just make sure that the gift actually reaches its destination and doesn’t just cosy up on your own desk/bookshelf/mantelpiece! I promise you that The Literary Gift Company has not sponsored this piece.

1) Bookends

This one is pretty standard. There is a myriad of bookend designs out there, from heavy pseudo-Victorian globes and ornaments to modernist human figures and amusing installations. Bookends are the perfect gift precisely because of the variety they offer, meaning that there will be a match for every personality match, be it your funky friend or old-fashioned grandma.

 2) Mugs

Another option which offers a lot of variations – and, if you don’t manage to find something that really fits, you can always get one made to order. The Literary Gift Company offers one of the most intriguing selections out there: you can get a mug with romantic quotes from Shakespeare for your beloved English student, a mug with an illustration or the Penguin cover of a particular book, or (my absolute favourite) a mug with a collection of opening or closing sentences from famous novels – it’s so fun to try to remember the books that they came from! Of course, there’s also a whole realm of fandom book-related mugs out there.

3) Stationery

You can get standard literary stationary, too, such as book-themed pencil cases or notebooks with engraved handwritten first pages from famous works of literature (my green Great Gatsby notebook from first year will be in my heart forever). However, most of the fun starts once you get to something a bit more unusual – conceptual pens and pencils, for example. My personal favourite are The Literary Gift Company’s Depressed Pencils with slogans like ‘You’re just going to write me off’ and ‘In time I’ll be pointless’ engraved on them, though some might consider them a bit tasteless.

4) Jewellery

Etsy is good for book-related jewellery, if you’re looking for something extra special. However, jewellery that hasn’t been custom-made can be quite fun too, and a bit more merciful to your budget. The Literary Gift Company offers quite a sweet collection, including novel-themed earrings – one earring has a tiny book with the cover of a famous novel, and the other one is typewriter-shaped.

5) Posters

This seems pretty obvious, but it can easily go horribly wrong. There are many more compelling options than just a vintage cover of their favourite book. The Literary Gift Company has several elegant posters. One of them has quotes from iconic books, in no less iconic shapes (for example, a pipe). Other items on offer include a collection of literary maps (of London, the UK, or the US) – London is arguably the most fun, as it maps out the most iconic fictional streets.