It’s always fun finding great presents for people, but it can be difficult at Christmas when you’re on a budget and buying lots of presents at once. Here are a few bookish present ideas which cost less than a paperback.
‘Reading Night In’ Box
Every reader likes a cosy night in to read, especially when the weather is wuthering outside. The great thing about a night-in box is you can spend as much or as little as you like and totally personalise it for the recipient. You just need a box (a shoe box is a good size), and fill it with things for an evening staying in to read. You can include things like nice hot chocolate, snacks, comfy socks, a bookmark, a mini bottle of wine, whatever your budget allows. If you can afford it, include a book, but if not, don’t worry – just label it as a ‘reading night-in box’ and the person will get the idea. (I’ve done night-in boxes as wedding, birthday and Christmas presents, and just adapt the box to the person & occasion. It’s my go-to gift).
Tea with Dumbledore
The gifts in the Harry Potter studio tour shop are lovely but too expensive for a lot of people. I did this ‘tea with Dumbledore’ for a friend’s secret santa and it cost about £6 (plus the brown paper & string which I already had):
- House Elves Christmas Tea – loose leaf Christmas tea that smells amazing from The Great Tea Blender (25g for £2)
- The Silver Snitch tea strainer – small silver spherical tea strainer also from The Great Tea Blender (usually £3.99 but bought in a gift set with the tea for £5 total)
- Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans – Sainsbury’s own brand jelly beans
- Muggle chocolate frogs – a couple of Freddos!
Rainy Day Activity Book for adults
There are some absolutely beautiful colouring books for adults by Johanna Basford, which would make a lovely gift alongside some colouring pens/pencils. However, if that’s too expensive check out these rainy day activity books by Pizza Eaters. They cost £2.50 each (plus postage), and come in different themes from eighties movies to Buffy to Game of Thrones, and contain things like colouring-in pages, dot-to-dots, and word searches.
I have little to no crafting skill, but if you do there are lots of ideas for beautiful and quirky bookmarks on Pinterest. Sometimes craft supplies can mean it ends up costing more that buying new, but you can make cool monster corner ones like these using an envelope.
The Literary Gift Company has a range of different book plates (£2.99 for 25 plus postage) for the book nerd in your life that likes to organise and lay claim to their books before lending them out.
Books and tote bags belong together (you can spot someone who works in publishing by the sheer number of tote bags they own) and now that carrier bags cost 5p they can double as bookish shopping bags. Out of Print Clothing do some gorgeous ones, but for about £13. You can find some author quote ones at The Literary Gift Company for £6 (and they also sell the more expensive Out of Print ones), and Waterstones also do some like the one on the right for £7-£10.
A dramatic reading
And if you get really stuck, you can always video a dramatic reading from one of their favourite books – it worked for Joey!