How to buy presents for book lovers 4 Comments

How to buy presents for book lovers

Buying presents is never as easy as you expect. It’s a particular problem when buying for the book lover. They like books, let’s get them a book, I think to myself. Oh wait. Will they already have it? Will they like it? Will they turn their nose up and forever doubt my literary tastes? Maybe I should get them a nice Moleskine instead.

It seems one solution is to buy them a gift that looks like a book but isn’t one. Like this:

I’ve been given a tea cup and a notebook with the Penguin classics design. I’ve also bought similar gifts for heavy-reading friends.

It would be easy to see these products as overpriced commercialised trinkets. Austen certainly has an army of devoted fans who will snap up almost anything with her name on it, from biographies to biscuits.

This would be unfair. I enjoy them. It doesn’t matter a bit that I come from a non-fiction writing background. Somehow drinking tea from a Jane Austen mug makes me feel like a proper writer. It’s an encouragement when the words won’t flow or the ideas won’t come. If a minister’s daughter from eighteenth-century Steventon, Hampshire could write some of the most-loved novels in our language, then I can certainly file 800 words by deadline.

Having said that, I was once jotting down notes in my Virginia Woolf notebook in an actual newsroom and momentarily confused some of the journalists. The notebook does look convincingly like a novel. It would have to be a tiny novel, with the words squashed into a tiny font covering the entire tiny page, but you could fit it in your pocket and pull it out on quiet tram rides.

Do you have a particular object that encourages you to write? Perhaps a favourite pen or a sizeable teapot? Or even a gift from someone who inspires you?

  • Jenna Sten

    It might just be me, but I think mugs in general are pretty cool gifts. This is most likely because I am usually drinking tea/coffee/hot chocolate/wine (classy) out of a mug when writing/doing assignments/sitting at the computer generally.

    (in the spirit of VW guidelines:

    themed mugs: good
    good mugs: better
    good themed mugs: best)

  • phill

    Someone in our department has one of those mugs, I think it’s the one with The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells on the ‘cover’. I stare at him with envy every time he goes to wash up. :<

    One of my very best friends gifted me a nice fountain pen a few years ago. While I do most of my writing on a computer screen, when I take notes I always take them with his pen. (:

  • Megan

    I love love love the Penguin merch. Love love love.

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