It is the first week of December and Christmas shopping mania is in full swing. Just step into any shopping centre or High Street in the country and you’ll find yourself mobbed and stampeded by hundreds of frantic shoppers, desperately seeking the perfect gift for their friends and loved ones. Christmas is of course, as the song says, the most wonderful time of the year. But it can also be stressful. I for one, love nothing better than finding the perfect gift for that special someone. To see their face light up when they unwrap the paper fills me with all the Christmas joy and it was worth every second of panic buying induced stress. But it can be tough going at times. The streets can become franticly busy with shoppers and with so many shops and businesses literally at your fingertips online, how can you possibly find the time to properly peruse the sites and find that perfect pressy?
Well, since I love you guys so much, I thought I would put a little list together of some of the best gifts out there for book worms and bibliophiles (hey, they say write what you know, right?). There is something on here to suit every taste and every budget, so put your feet up and relax, because I got your back!
For those of you unfamiliar with the concept (where have you been living, under a rock?) a subscription box is a box full of specialised goodies posted through your door each month. You can get one to suit every taste and hobby, from Golf to whiskey, foodies to fashion, there is a box to suit everyone. But, as this is a list for book worms, I will of course be focusing on the book variety. I love the idea of a subscription for a present because it’s essentially a gift that keeps on giving long after the turkey has been eaten and the tinsel taken down. Most boxes come in a single month, three month or six month subscription and there are a variety of boxes available to suit every readers taste. These are just a few of my personal favourite.
The Wildest Dreams Book Box: This is a UK based Young Adult book box. Each month’s box features a newly released YA book along with a bunch of other bookish goodies, such as bookish themed tea, beauty products and book marks. At £18 per box or £50 for a 3 month subscription, these boxes are great value for money. Plus, I have had the privilege of being their rep for the past 3 months and can personally vouch for how amazing these boxes are (check out previous blog posts for full unboxing and product details) and my rep code MARIE15 still works until the end of the month for 15% off!
My Chronicle Book Box: Another UK based box, this time released every 3 months. You have a choice between a regular ‘crime and mystery’ themed box and a ‘science fiction and fantasy’ themed box or one off boxes such as the ‘A Discovery of Witches’ box. Each box contains THREE books, most of which are signed or contain signed book plates, along with a bunch of themed goodies. Again, I have had the privilege of representing this box and I can personally vouch for how fantastic they truly are. Again, have a look on my blog for full unboxings and even an interview with the box’s creator. At £35 per regular box and £55 for specialist boxes, they are great value for money considering how much is in each one and you can use my rep code MIRRORS10 for 10% off
GoScribbler box: This subscription box is designed for us aspiring writers and authors and is curated by actual best selling authors. Not only do the boxes contain beautiful items but they are also a great resource to help writers with everything from writers block to publishing tips. I have literally spent hours drooling on Instagram over their boxes and hope to find one under my tree this year (take the hint Santa). Each box features curated Writerly Gifts, a new Release Fiction Novel, an Inside Look at the Publishing Process, an Exclusive Invitation to Chat with a Publishing Professional and a Collectible ‘Writing Passport’ from a Bestselling Author Teaching You How to Master a Writing Topic. Boxes retail at $29.99 for an individual box, with 3 month, 6 month and one year subscriptions available. Photo by @mybookishbones.
Now as I stated, there are plenty of boxes to cover specific genres out there such as Fantasy and Romance, but I am going to explore some boxes in my favourite genre…HORROR! Fans of the macabre and spooky such as myself, love nothing better than a horror themed gift under the tree!
First up, Night Worms book box: This is a fairly new, US based subscription service created by the hugely talented horror Bookstagrammers Sadie Hartmann (aka @Motherhorror) and Ashley Saywers (aka @Bookishmommy). This is not a book box in the traditional sense. Instead of random merchandise you may never use, each month the subscriber will receive at least 2 Horror books, original artwork and exclusive content such as discounts and swag direct from the publishers. Having been long term fans of these badass ladies on Instagram, I am genuinely excited for their company and the energy and philosophy behind it. They genuinely care about promoting Horror fiction and have even collaborated with rival horror boxes (including the one featured below) to support and promote one another rather than getting caught up in all the petty rivalry! Like I said, Badass! Boxes retail at $27.99.
Next up, we have the UK based Abominable Book Club: Another box fairly new to the market and another member of the #promotehorror club mentioned above, these monthly boxes feature 2 horror reads. There is their featured book release and also a randomly selected, gently used book sourced and supplied by the box’s mysterious Brother Usef, Head Curator of the Accursed Library. As well as these lovingly chosen book, you will receive a delicious snack and hot drink to enjoy while reading. Perfect!
I LOVE candles and I have several in every room in my house. They smell good, they create a warm and cosy atmosphere and there’s something heartwarming about reading a literary classic by candlelight. These are some of my absolute favourites:
Gunn Dean Candle Company: I cannot express in words how stunning these candles are! Each one is handmade in the US, using all natural soy wax and Phthalate Free fragrance oils. Most importantly for me, they are guaranteed to be vegan and cruelty free. Everything about this candle company gets me excited…their delicious scents, their bookish themes and their stunning packaging! The best part? They even have their own epic subscription boxes featuring their candles, exclusive prints and other bookish goodies (also known as heaven in a box). Candles retail at $14.00 for a 4oz jar or $19.00 fr an 8oz jar and the subscription box is $39.00….SANTA!! You know what I want! Photo by @novelscript.
Alchemy and Ink: These stunning candles are all about luxury and beautiful aesthetic. The alluring scents are blended by hand and poured into recycled glass jars featuring drool worthy labels. The love and care taken over these candles really shines through with every package including a handwritten note, a lovely bag of tea and hand stamped packaging. This company also creates some of the most drool worthy bookmarks and enamel pins I have ever seen so definitely a great stop for Christmas shopping! Candles retail at $18.00 for a 10 oz jar. Photo by @paperbackbones.
Bookworm Candles: Bookworm candles and crafts is a UK based one stop shop for hand poured bookish candles and all sorts of awesome bookish accessories, ranging from bookmarks to enamel pins. Featuring adorable packaging and delicious scents, these candles are wonderful and at prices starting at only £6.50 for a 5oz jar, they are a great bargain and make a perfect stocking filler or little extra for your book obsessed chum!
Every book worm considers their books to be precious cargo when out and about, and a dog eared page or a wrinkled cover can be a disaster to someone (like me) who likes to keep their books in good order. Thus, a book sleeve is a bibliophile’s best friend! To those unfamiliar with the concept, they are essentially little sleeping bags for your books, to keep them cosy and safe in your bag and as these shops show, they can be beautiful as well as practical.
Cosy Sleeves: These stunning hand knit book sleeves really live up to their name. Made in Norway and available in an array of wonderful colours, all the sleeves are little chunky knit jumpers for your books, truly keeping them safe and cosy! I love the artisanal style of these sleeves especially this time of year when they give me all the winter feels. Best news?Occasionally hats are also available in the same style so that you and your favourite book can match! Heaven! Sleeves cost £26.75 and are available on Etsy.
Books Breathe Magic: This Irish shop creates stunning handmade book sleeves in an array of designs to suit all reading tastes and preferences. Featuring sleeves celebrating every fandom from Harry Potter to Raven Boys, as well as as some featuring stunning patterned fabrics, everyone is catered for. My personal favourite features skeletons on a black fabric background. Also, this year there is even a Books Breathe Magic calendar, perfect for under the tree!
Sweet Sequels: This shop features hand painted, drool worthy original art on everything from t-shirts and blankets to book sleeves and stockings. Featuring every fandom from Harry Potter to Narnia, Tolkien to Shakespeare, there is literally something for everyone here and trust me when I say, you will fall in love when you see what’s on offer. There is something to suit every taste and every budget.
My Dream? To one day own one of those epic bookish blankets…one day!
The obvious gift for a book worm and the perfect size to slip inside a stocking, a book mark is a bibliophile’s best friend!
My Book Mark: These quirky, fun book marks are all hand made and are guaranteed to put a smile on anyone’s face. Their most famous, are the ones with little legs sticking out of your book but there are so many designs and styles available as well as lots of fandoms and themes. Is your bookish buddy a fan of Harry Potter? Why not get them the book mark featuring quidditch boots in their team colours. Are they obsessed with the world of Tolkien? Get the bookmark featuring hairy little hobbit feet. But since it’s Christmas, why not grab a Santa or Ginger bread man? These stunning book marks retail at $25.00 and are a guaranteed gift hit! Photo by @melinwonderland.
A Stranger Dream: This is a one stop book mark shop for all fans of horror and macabre. Each bookmark features an original design, lovingly printed and cut just for you. My personal favourite are the ‘doll’ bookmarks. Featuring everything from Stephen King to Scream, these bookmarks really will make the day of any horror fanatic. Check out her awesome Christmas themed ones, like this spooky ginger bread man! Bookmarks retail for less than a fiver so they are a real bargain and the perfect stocking filler. If you live outside the US, you can DM her for cheaper postage too (that’s what I do).
I have discovered that Instagram is an unending source of incredibly talented people, including an array of fantastic artists. There is something to suit every style and taste, so have a look out there, but I have selected two of my absolute favourites…well, let’s face it, I chose them because I want these under my tree!
Caitlin McArthy art: Caitlin is an incredibly talented artist from the US, whose hauntingly beautiful images immediately appealed to me. In fact, I loved her work so much, I will be collaborating with her on an upcoming short story. Her work is utterly divine and I hope some day to have more than one piece hanging on my walls. For book worms, her image, ‘Bury me in books’ is the embodiment of our love of reading. Head to Etsy to check her out, where you can purchase prints for as little as £12 or original pieces of art from £80 to £130 if you feel like splashing out!
Wornkey Emporium: This shop is a must for all Potterheads out there. Remember that scene from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone, with all the flying keys? Well, this shop produces unique, handmade flying keys all of which look beyond magical. The keys come in all sizes, colours and shapes so vary in price depending on which one you go for. It’s blatantly obvious to anyone who see them, just how much love and work goes into every single one and again, I hope some day to have a little key of my own…or a bunch of them!
I have two honourable mentions which do not fall into a main categories above. These are shops I personally own products from and who I continue to visit and purchase from over and over again….
Lit Emporium: With a vast array of bookish goodies including t-shirts, jewellery, notebooks, prints, bookmarks, enamel badges and everything in between, this is literally your one stop shop for all things bookish. I am a huge fan of this shop and use it regularly. This shop has all the presents and stocking fillers any book lover could ever possibly want. And the best bit? It’s great value for money as well! My personal favourites are the Gothic Literature and classic penguin enamel pin badges (£7.00 each), this Jane Eyre sweatshirt (£26.00), the magic book notebooks (a bargain at £4.00 each) and the Frankenstein heart necklace (£15.00). Check them out now…you know you want to!
Adagio Tea: This is a tea company close to my heart as I currently rep for them on Instagram. They have a huge range of tea flavours to suit every taste as well as stunning brewing essentials like teapots and cups. But that’s not why I am featuring them here. No, I’m featuring them on this list because of their epic fandom ranges. They have teas inspired by every fandom you can think of, from Sherlock to Harry Potter, Tolkien to Austen and Game of Thrones as well as non literary fandoms like Supernatural, Star Wars and Doctor Who. My favourite are the fandom sampler tins. They look great and it’s an amazing way to try all of the flavours available in that fandom. Sampler tin sets are £19 for 6 tins. For the full range of fandoms, I recommend using the US version of the site.
So that’s it folks, I hope you find it useful! I basically made a blog post out of my own Christmas list and I sincerely hope that Santa reads it. What about you bibliophiles? What are you hoping Santa brings you? What are your favourite bookish shops? Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!