November 02, 2020 3 min read

Never believe that old excuse –“I can’t buy them a book they have read everything and I wouldn’t know what to buy”. They haven’t read everything (although they may have tried). The true booklover really, really loves books. Their little hearts beat all the faster when the package is square and book-shaped. They don’t think they have too many books. You don’t need to paint behind bookshelves they say and piles of “I will read that someday” are handy for supporting cups of tea. They are flattered to receive a book, you have noticed their interest and they welcome recommendations which lead them out of that rabbit hole of just buying the next thing by a favourite author. And if it is by malign chance something they already have they will just take it back and change it for something they really want (without telling you of course).

Let us suggest a few perfect presents for that book lover in your life. First up is Richard Ovenden’s Burning the Books. This is a book about the importance of books and the 3000 year struggle by librarians and archivists to preserve written knowledge. From the destruction of the monasteries to the notorious bonfires of Jewish literature Ovenden discusses the power of the written record and lengths people will go to preserve it. This is an important and totally absorbing read. It casts librarians as heroes (if you know a librarian buy them this). Also, this is shallow but significant, it has an amazing copper foiled cover design which absolutely glows. 

Something a little more light-hearted perhaps? How about The Kew Garden Girlsa delightful historical novel based on the story of the women who worked in London’s Kew Gardens during the First World War? A touch of women’s suffrage, a bit of romance and tragedy –all in all a heart-warming read.

Is your giftee a confirmed Janeite ? Give them The Real Persuasion(this is on sale at the moment so a total bargain) the story of Katherine Bisshopp whose life is so very similar to Anne Elliot, heroine of Persusaion. A real case of art mirroring life.

What about a signed copy of something by a favourite author? We have limited numbers of signed copies available of a variety of titles including Dermot Turing The Codebreakers of Bletchley Park, Wendy Holden’s The Governess, Robert Harris’ V2, Trevor Barnes Dead Doublesor Jane Robinsons Ladies Can’t Climb Ladders. There should be something for everyone there : lovers of espionage, historians, feminists and fans of The Crown. Each copy comes with a 'signed by the author' ribbon which can be used as a handy bookmark. A signed copy is a special gift. No one can sign a kindle … just saying.

With all this reading to be done maybe just tuck in a little stocking filler in the shape of some whimsical earplugsto keep the real world at bay whilst they plunge deeper into the far more enticing world of books.

Do you think that booklover might harbour a secret desire to be a book maker or want to learn more about the process of bookmaking ? If so then consider giving them a copy of Making Books or if they are more of a medievalist Making Medieval Manuscripts.The first is more of as how to guide with simple but practical instructions for bookbinding projects whilst the second looks at the craft itself.

And if they absolutely insist on reading on an electronic device, and it really isn’t the same, then how about a handy tablet holder ? This can be clamped to the side of the dining table holding the device stable at perfect height for an uninterrupted read through dinner or extended out over the bath to allow the bookworm to read without the ever present danger of dropping the device into the bathwater (this never ends well).

 And if none of this is quite right our last thought this time is to suggest a gift voucher –that way they can choose their own book from the incredible selection we have in our online shop.

 

Sally Hughes
Sally Hughes



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