Christmas gift Inspiration for Book Lovers and Bibliophiles.

Christmas gift Inspiration for Book Lovers and Bibliophiles.

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!

Book Boxes

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.

wdboxoctThe 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 BoxAnother UK based box, this time released every 3 months.  You chronicles 1have 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

GoscribblerGoScribbler 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!

night wormFirst 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 abominablemarket 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!

Bookish Candles

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:

GunndeanGunn 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. alchemy 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.

MCBB Nov 6Bookworm 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!

 

Book Sleeves

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. cosy sleeves 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.

booosbreatheBooks 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!

sweetsequelsSweet 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!

Bookmarks

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 tomybookmark 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.

strangerA 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).

Bookish Art

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 hauntinglycaitlin 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!

wornkeyWornkey 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!

 

And finally…

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, OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAnotebooks, 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!

adagioAdagio 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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Tail: A Short Story.

santaMerry Christmas everyone!  We are nearly there now.  There’s just a few days left to wrap your gifts, make your Christmas cake and hang the mistletoe.  With that in mind, tonight’s short story is a festive one.  I hope you like it!

A Christmas Tail

I bury myself further into the dead leaves and detritus, seeking out whatever warmth I can from my make shift bed, but it’s so cold now I can see my breathe. There have been so many nights like this, where I shiver myself to sleep, teeth chattering, and with the temperatures continuing to drop, and the imminent threat of snow, I am terrified that at some point, I won’t wake up again. My stomach rumbles. I haven’t eaten for hours, and what I did have, the remnants of a discarded coffee shop sandwich abandoned by a satiated patron before I was shooed away by staff, wasn’t much to begin with.

It wasn’t always like this. I had a home once, I had someone who loved me, who I loved in return. But they died, and my life fell apart without them. I think of her now, her smile, her comforting touch on my face, the scent of her skin. I look up at the stars, millions of tiny pinpricks in a backlit canvas, and I imagine she is up there, somewhere, watching over me. But the thought brings little comfort on this cold and lonely night, and I feel a tear make it’s way down my cheek as I lay my head down to sleep.

****

“Mum?”

“Yes sweetheart?”

I can hear she’s distracted, only half listening as she stirs the wooden spoon in the big bowl. We are making cake, which smells so good, and I am waiting to lick the spoon.

“What if he forgets me?”

“Who dear?”

“Santa. What if he forgets me. There’s so many children. My teacher says there are squillions all over the world. He might forget one or two, it’s understandable.”

“Santa won’t forget you. You wrote him, remember?”

I remember. I had asked for a puppy but my mum told me he couldn’t bring live animals in a sleigh, that it’s super cold up high in the air where it flies, and a puppy wouldn’t be able to stand it, so I changed it to a pink bike. I still wish for the puppy.

“Grown ups forget things all the time, even if they write it down. You make lists on the fridge and still forget stuff.”

“He won’t forget Sara.”

“But what if he does?”

“He won’t. He’s magic.”

“But…”

“Sara, mummy is trying to concentrate. If I can’t make the mixture properly, there will be no spoon to lick and no cake to eat on Christmas day.”

“I stop talking. I want the spoon.

****

I feel like I’ve been walking for hours now. My feet ache, and my coat isn’t warm enough for this weather. I need some heat and some food. I move back into the town centre, following the smells and sounds. I take the back alleys and entry ways. People don’t like my kind, the waifs and the strays, the unwanted and undesirables. We are something to sneer at sitting outside their shiny department stores while they throw away their money on trinkets and baubles. We are the ugly thing you ignore when we beg for food. I learned early on that I got on a lot easier when I stayed in the shadows, out of sight and out of mind.

I find the place I’m looking for, a restaurant near the University. Their bins are always overflowing with food, and there’s a spot by the basement level kitchen, a grate used to vent air, which will be warm and dry. I lie against it, chewing the old loaf I have found by the bin. I can usually get an hour or so here, until one the staff emerge for a cigarette and move me on. Then it will be more hiding, more sneaking, seeking out another spot to survive where I won’t be in someone’s way. I always seem to be in their way.

****

I stare at the boxes under the tree. I know Santa hasn’t been yet, and these are just the gifts from Uncle Tom and Aunt Betty, and Granny and Grandpa, but I check them one by one just in case. None of them are bike shaped and none of them have little barks coming from them. I keep checking the time. It’s almost my bed time, and that means Santa will be coming soon, but I already know I’ll be far too excited to sleep. The night will drag, and I will feel every single minute as I count down until Christmas day.

Last year I got yelled at because I got up too early. I could see that the presents were there, and that Santa had been, but Mummy said that he was still watching, and that only naughty girls got up at 4am and woke up their parents, and we all know what happens to naughty girls…they get coal. She said that my gifts could still be magicked away if I didn’t go back to bed. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure I believe her, but there is way too much at stake to risk her being right.

So I will just have to wait and listen and hope that he hasn’t forgotten me.

****

It’s night again, and it’s colder than I have ever felt before. I did’t know this kind of cold existed. It’s in my very bones, along with the damp, and I can’t stop shivering. I have been walking for an age, trying to stop the numbness spreading from my feet into the rest of my body. I know what will come of me if that happens. I think I’ve taken a wrong turn somewhere along the road, as the streets I am in now are unfamiliar. The moon is shrouded in thick, black clouds and only the yellow street lights illuminate my path. They cast long and ominous shadows, and I find myself afraid, of what I am unsure, but I feel it nonetheless.

It’s Christmas eve, and the houses I pass all have cheerful coloured lights on strings outlining their shapes in the darkness. Through an occasional open curtain, I can see families gathered, drinks being drunk and food being eaten, and I can hear their laughter carried faintly on the wind. This is the worst time of year for the lonely. There is so much emphasis on family, on parties and gatherings of friends and embracing loved ones or kissing them under mistletoe. But I don’t have any of that. I don’t have a family, or friends, or mistletoe. I feel so alone.

I pass a garden, the gate hanging from rusted hinges, and inside I can make out the outline of a shed. I hesitate, always reluctant to risk showing myself, to face their rejection, that expression on their faces, disgust mixed with annoyance. But as I feel the first snow of winter begin to fall from the black inky sky above, the decision is made for me, and I carefully, and quietly make my way across the lawn to what will be my bed for the night.

****

I check the clock. The big hand is pointing at the 12 and the little hand is pointing at the 5, which means I’m still not allowed to get up. I hate waiting; it never leads to any fun. You wait at the Doctors to get jabs and gross medicines, you wait at school for your teacher to start the lessons, you wait in lines and at bus stops. No good ever came from waiting. I try to resist the temptation to get up, but I can feel my toes wriggling and my feet tapping and I know they have already made the decision to get up on my behalf.

I walk quietly and quickly, avoiding the squeaky floorboard and stick to the very edge of the stairs, taking each step as delicately as I can. I pretend I am a spy like in the movies, on a super secret mission. I feel a little bad for getting up, and I know I could get in trouble, but I won’t open the presents or anything, I’ll just check they’re there, and perhaps give one or two a squeeze to try and guess what’s inside. That’s not naughty really is it?

I poke my head into our big living and dining room, to find the tree lights reflecting off lots of shiny paper and bows. I barely contain a scream as I run towards them, forgetting how a spy would act, and becoming a child again. I place my ear to a few of the bigger boxes, but there is no whimpering, no barking. There is a pink bike in the corner with a big gold bow. I should be happy; it’s pretty and has streamers on the handlebars to make you go faster, but I can’t help feeling a little disappointed about the puppy. If Santa is really magic, I don’t see why he can’t bring me a puppy. Maybe next year I should write to Amazon, they seem to deliver anything.

It’s just then I see him, walking across our back garden, towards my play house. He sees me and stops, and for a moment we stare at each other.

“MUMMY!!”

****

I only make it half way across the yard when I spot her. She is small, perhaps 5 or 6 years old, wearing red pyjamas covered in smiling ginger bread men. I freeze, as we stare at each other. It’s so cold now, and I am beginning to feel so sleepy. The little wooden shed in the garden is so close, and I so desperately need a place to sleep, to seek shelter from the snow now falling in great waves of white. If only she would look away for a second, I could perhaps dash inside and hide, but I know I won’t make it, and I know I haven’t the strength to find somewhere else.

And so, I sit down in the snow, and close my eyes, and wait for the people to come and yell at me, to kick me or curse me. I’m too tired to stay hidden any longer, and besides, I have already been seen. Perhaps these people will be kind, perhaps they will let me sleep in their little wooden house, and give me a blanket and some food. But in my heart, I doubt the thoughts almost as soon as their formed, and I know the cold will take me, like it took my love.

I’m just so tired. I’ll just close my eyes for a second.

****

“That’s enough blankets Sara.”

“But he’s still cold.”

“He’s fine, let him have some air for goodness sake or you’ll suffocate him.”

“Maybe we should get your hot water bottle too. Mine is only small.”

“He’s fine Sara. Look, he’s wagging his tail.”

And he is. It’s just a little movement at first, slow and deliberate, but soon he is wagging it like the puppies on the TV and the thumping noise it makes as it bangs off the chair makes me giggle. He was so cold when we got him inside, and mummy even rang an animal Doctor to check what to do. I learned in school that they are called Vets. The Vet said to make him warm and comfortable, and see if we could get him to eat something. No trouble there, he wolfed down my Mummy’s turkey and gravy potatoes, and he even ate the bones!!

He is little, and white with a big black spot over one eye and one black foot, as if he lost all his other socks except that one. Even his tail has a little black end, like it’s been dipped in paint. I stroke his head as he sleeps in the giant blanket fort I have made him, and occasionally, he licks my hand, which tickles.

I tried to pick a name, but Mummy says we have to check to make sure he doesn’t already have a family and another little girl before I name him, in case we have to give him back. I named him anyway; he’s called Spot.

“Now, don’t get attached Sara. He may belong to someone who is out there right now, worried sick.”

“No, he’s mine. Santa brought him. He looks exactly like the pictures I drew for Santa, see?”

She takes the page I thrust at her, and looks at me the same way she does when I have a cough or the chicken pox.

“I suppose he does, but…”

“I guess you were right though.”

“I was? What about?”

“About it being too cold in the sleigh for puppies. He was shaking when Santa delivered him.”

“Yes, well…”

“And you were right about Santa, he didn’t forget me. He remembered me, and he brought me my Spot. This is the best Christmas ever.”

I kiss her on the cheek, before going back to stroke Spot’s little nose. She looks like she may say something, but seems to change her mind, and instead she just takes Daddy’s hand and mine in hers, and we all stroke Spot together, until his tail is wagging so fast, it’s just a blur.

And it is the best Christmas ever, because I have Spot and he has me. Next year, I’m going to ask for a kitten.

Christmas Gift Guide Part 2: Perfect presents for the book worm in your life!

My last Christmas gift guide was such a huge success, that I thought I would do another one!  There are so many amazing book related products and shops out there, I could never fit them into one blog post, so sit back and relax, because I have everything you need for the bibliophiles and nerds in your life!

  1. Book Subscription boxes continued

As I said in the last gift guide, there is literally a box to suit every taste and personality!  Whether you are a horror fan, a fantasy fanatic or lover of Young Adult, there is something out there for you.  I love the idea of these as a gift, because it lasts beyond Christmas and spreads the joy for longer!  It is the literally the gift that keeps on giving!  So here are a few more examples for you!

Owl Crate: This is the ultimate subscription box for fans of Young Adult.  Every month,owlthey hand pick the best of the newly released Young Adult novel, and give you a hardback copy, along with three to five other bookish goodies, all of which are tailored to that month’s theme.  The theme for December is ‘Seize the day’ which is perfect, because you can seize the day and get yourself one of these awesome book boxes!  They retail at $29.99 per month, and there’s even a junior version available for the little bibliophiles in your life!  Photographed (by @mlovesreading) is the Mythical creatures box, and it looks BADASS!  Definitely going in my letter to Santa!!

lit crateLit Joy Crate: This US based book box contains a carefully chosen, new release novel plus a bunch of extra bookish goodies to bring your reading experience to life.  The best bit is that they do a box to suit every age, from kids, to middle grade and finally young adult, and you can even buy past boxes from their shop, so if you have missed any of their amazing themes, you can always catch up!  Boxes cost $29.99 a month and I think they are perfect for the little book worms in your life!

Vellum Box:  This subscription box is just getting started, and it’s one with a difference, because each month you get a unique and exclusive bookish t-shirt, along with two to four other book related goodies! The best part?  Each month, the t-shirt is designed by a different artist, so you get a one off design that supports artists within the bookstagram community!  Sounds good right?  Boxes cost $29.99 for regular sizes and $31.99 for plus sizes!

2. Bookish Clothing

They say you should wear your heart on your sleeve, well why not wear it right across you chest instead?  No, this doesn’t require any surgery or permanent ink tattoos, it just requires a kickass t-shirt to declare your nerdy soul to the world!  Everything from logos to quotes are available out there in every colour and design you could possibly want, so get shopping!

litLit Emporium: This site really is a one stop shop for everything bookish.  From jewellery to stationary and notebooks, they have everything your little bookaholic heart could desire.  Some of my favourite items, are from their clothing range.  Featuring authors such as Mary Shelley and Sylvia Plath, as well as some badass book worm motifs,  they are stylish and unique and would fit perfectly in any bibliophile’s wardrobe.  And at £15.00 for a tee and £25.00 for a sweatshirt, and free standard shipping on orders over £10.00, they’re affordable too.  My personal favourite?  The Frankenstein heart motif.  I dare you to visit and not buy something!  So many things from this shop feature on my wish list, it’s hard to keep track!

Vivlyo: This US based site features a huge range of bookish tees.  They feature authors poe shirtfrom Shakespeare to Bronte, in simple and modern motifs, in every colour you could possibly want.  They cost $28.00 and would satisfy any book worm.  This store also features their simple, bold designs on prints.  Starting at just $12.00, these would look great in the home of any book lover.  My personal favourite is this Edgar Allen Poe shirt and the Sherlock Holmes print.

Check them both out now!

3. Quirky Prints

I love nothing better than a great piece of art, and frankly, the nerdier and the quirkier the better!  Who wanted to have the same thing as everyone else on their walls, when you can have a lovingly created, original piece of art featuring some obscure literary or televisual reference.  Perfect!

Yandrawsamon: Yannie is a friend of mine, and I simply had to introduce you to her dumblegorgeous shop.  She creates the most unique and original artwork, covering all your geeky obsessions, from Studio Ghible to Stranger Things, you can purchase prints or original pieces of art on her Etsy store.  My personal favourite has to be this quirky Harry Potter print, because who doesn’t love a good play on words?  There is a whole series of Dumbledore puns, starting at £12, and the best part is that the proceeds from every sale goes to fund and train new Guide dogs.  So not only do you get to give your friend (or yourself) a gift, but in doing so, you give the gift of a friend, and a vital support, to someone in need!  Magic!

Tula Makes: I came across Tula in my bookstagram travels, and immediately fell in love 11
with her sweet and unique designs.  She makes stunning prints and bookmarks, which truly are one of a kind.  Are you a Harry Potter fan?  Perhaps you adore Stranger Things?  Tula captures these fandoms perfectly, but in such a sweet and magical way.  I am OBSESSED with this Eleven print, I mean look at it!  It’s awesome!  She also makes the sweetest bookmarks with little tassels on them, and I am a sucker for a tassel.  CThis print is only £4.79!!  Check her out immediately!

 

hogwartsFour Seasons Fox: This is another shop I discovered on Bookstagram, and fell immediately in love with.  Based in Luxembourg, they have prints to suit every nerd and bookaholic, from Doctor Who to Harry Potter, your geek dreams will come true.  Check out this gorgeous Hogwarts print, costing just £2.29! Bargain!  The shop also contains notebooks, enamel pins and calendars and is definitely worth a visit!

 

4. Stationary 

Us book worms love nothing better than a nice journal or pen, because the only thing better than reading a book, i.e. writing your own!

Icey Designs: This is the ultimate stationary shop for book lovers.  They produce the most bbgorgeous journals and notebooks, in every style and genre you could ask for, along with kickass planners, pencils and even enamel pins and candles.  One of my personal favourites if this stunning Beauty and the Beast journal at $15.00, and I could go mad buying their pencils and enamel pins.  Their prices are really reasonable and their products super stylish, so perfect for the list makers and obsessive compulsive organisers out there (me lol).  Check them out!

4. Something different

braceletDillon designs Jewellery: These stunning and unique jewellery designs are just swoon worthy!  Each beautiful piece is hand stamped with your favourite literary quotes, and would compliment any outfit.  Check out this stunning Jane Eyre quotation bracelet at just $16.00!  Along with their amazing jewellery, they also produce keyrings, dog tags and even bookish tees! I have recently found out I have the privilege of becoming a rep for this wonderful business, which means as my readers you get 15% off with my exclusive discount code MARIE15…so what’s stopping you?

Punky Pins: Your one stop shop for a truly badass range of patches, stickers, keyring, pinjewellery and as the name would suggest, an epic range of enamel pins!  Each one is so unique and fun, and is guaranteed to brighten up even the most boring of lapels.  Take this awesome ‘The Book was Better’ pin as a prime example.  I can guarantee there isn’t a book nerd alive who wouldn’t jump with joy at finding this bad boy inside their stocking this year!  And at only £7.00, it’s also a total bargain too!  Head to their site now and see their huge range of beautiful goodies, and watch as your shopping cart grows and grows!

Amos Plush: This page features a range of Harry Potter enamel pins, as well as theharry cutest plush toys EVER!  The hand made Harry Potter plushes are honestly so adorable, you will scream when you see them…I mean look at Harry here!  Amazing!  Unfortunately, the plushes aren’t for sale too often, but find solace in her epic enamel pins!  One of my all time favourites, is mad eyethis adorable Mad Eye Moody pin badge, with a 3D eye!  Too cute.  Pins range from $8.00 AUD for seconds and $12.95 AUD for the more elaborate one .  She has advised me her stock is a little low right now (so get what’s left while you can) but she will be restocking in the new year, so watch this space!  The best part?  International shipping is dirt cheap at only $3.50 AUD worldwide!  So, no excuse not to buy really!!

 

wesGroundhog Day Crafts: I found this shop on Instagram, and I am so in love with their amazingly quirky designs.  Their embroidery hoops feature felted portraits of anyone and everyone your heart could possibly desire.  I am a huge Wes Anderson fan, and I am in love with this Bill Murray hoop!  If you want to buy something truly unique and special for the bookend in your life, then this is where to go!  You could get a Harry Potter portrait, or perhaps your favourite hobbit?  Prices are on request and vary based on the design.  Ranging from $120 to $200, these are obviously not a small gift, however when you think of the hours and love put into each amazing design, plus the fact that you would own a one off, original piece of art, and it’s actually a massive bargain! One day i will own one on my wall!  One day!!

 

 

Christmas Gift ideas for bookworms and bibliophiles!!

It’s that time of year again folks!  Time for eating, drinking and generally being merry, for Christmas parties, silly jumpers and TV specials, for family visits and party games, slush and snow and winter coats, and of course, PRESENTS!  I don’t know about you, but one of my very favourite parts of the holidays, is giving gifts.  When I find something unique and special, that suits a person perfectly and makes them smile and laugh, well I just adore that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you see their faces light up.  Saying that, finding that perfect gift for that special someone, can be somewhat stressful.  So, in this edition of my blog, I am writing to give you some pointers in that particular area, and I am sticking with my particular area of expertise: Book worms.  Being one myself, I know what will make our little book addicted hearts skip a beat, and it doesn’t have to break the bank!  So have a look through my very own gift guide, and see if anything tickles your fancy!!

  1. Book Subscription Boxes!

Any bibliophile out there would be ecstatic to receive a book subscription box.  You can pretty much find one to suit any taste, from classics to Young Adult, from Horror to Fantasy, there is a book box out there to suit everyone!  They range in price, but are usually around the £25-£30 mark.  This does not include postage, so check that before you order.  The boxes are bulky, so postage can be expensive, so I recommend opting for a book box in your own country.  You can purchase most as a one off, or in a package of several months.  I don’t have the space to feature the full list of what is available, but here are some of my favourites!

The Once Upon a Book Club Box : This is a book box I can recommend personally!  It is book boxbased in the USA, with the boxes costing $34.99 each.  It is a book box with a twist.  Instead of a normal book box, with a series of themed gifts within, this box is all about immersing you in the featured book.  Along with the carefully chosen book, you get five gifts, all of which are wrapped and marked with an individual page number.  Once you get to that page in the book, you open that particular gift, and within you will find a unique item which is linked directly to that particular point in the book.  I found the book, the gift choices and placement and even the packaging and wrapping to be spot on!  For a full review of the box I received, check out my previous blog entry.  Good news is, if you fancy this box, you can get 10% off any purchase with my unique discount code MARIE10!

Prudence and Crow: This is a Vintage book club box based in the UK, and retails at £15.00 prudence and crowper month.  Inside, you receive a vintage paperback book in the genre of your choice (you can pick between Classic, Science Fiction, Thriller, Children’s or random) a handmade book bag, a library card and a selection of surprises.  If you follow me on Instagram, you will know what a fan of vintage fiction I am!  Perfect for any fellow collectors!

They sell individual vintage books and you can also choose to receive a random vintage book only, minus all the other bits and pieces, all wrapped up for Christmas for just £6 (available until December 5th)!  Bargain!

Bookish Flickerings: Based in Holland, these one off boxes feature candles, teas and bookishflickeringunique and carefully sourced items related to that month’s theme (pictured is the Harry Potter Themed box).  This is one of the most reasonable of the book boxes, particularly considering all of the goodies you get!  A full book box comes in at only £20.46!  Postage can be combined, and is not that expensive, so perfect for any European and UK residents.  Best of all, you can buy the individual items from each of the boxes…so if you don’t want to spring for the whole box, you can just buy that candle you have your eye on, or that tea which sounds too good to be true!  I have already personally placed orders with this one and can’t recommend it enough!

Nocturnal Readers Box: For the lover of all things ghoulish and horrifying, this awesome nocturnal boxhorror themed box based in the USA, retails at $35.00 a month and features awesome hand selected items surrounding that month’s theme, such as badass pin badges or creepy socks.  The box photographed is the July box, entitled ‘The Feast’ and as you can see, you get a lot of ghoulish gear for your dollars!  Alongside the monthly subscription service, you can also purchase individual items from the shop separately.  Perfect for the dark and twisted people in your life! (Like me…hint hint Santa!!).

 

Letters Lit:  This US based company is an anomaly on this list because technically it’s not letters lita book BOX but a book LETTER.  This unique and inspired idea means that you get all the joy of a subscription box, but at half of the cost (because of reduced postage).  Each month, a letter is themed around a particular book and features loads of gorgeous bookish delights within it, all lovingly wax sealed inside the envelope!  Letters retail at $16.99 a month (Bargain!!) and are perfect for any fans of classic literature and all things vintage! Definitely on my wish list!

 

2. Book Marks

It seems like the obvious gift I know, but book marks make the perfect gift or stocking filler for any book worm!  They are not only inexpensive, and practical, but these days, with the amazing artists and craftsman out there, you are basically buying a little book sized piece of art! Plus, being small and light, postage is not really an issue!

Louise’s Make Believe: This US based shop features designs which are so unique and louise 3stunning, they are almost too pretty to put inside a book!  I have several and they are displayed in a frame on my wall, they are that gorgeous!  You can see the effort and love that goes into each one of the artist’s prints and book marks! Available through Etsy, bookmarks average around £4.69, a bargain! Plus, you can get 10% off with my exclusive discount code MARIE10!

Keep an eye out for the Luna Lovegood book mark- my personal favourite!

 

Millie Rose Designs UK:                     This company has a range of lovely goodies, but the focus of this millie2post is their hand stamped metal book marks.

Each one has an inspiring phrase and a colourful tassel, which just makes me fall in love with them.  You can even personalise them if you like, and get the name of your bookish friend on one, or perhaps their favourite literary quote.  I have a couple myself and they are so pretty!  Available on Etsy, they retail around £8.00 for the small ones and £15.00 for the larger ones!

3. Bookish Jewellery

Now every lady, book worm or not, is a fan of jewellery, but for the true bibliophile, onlyfangirl book themed jewellery will do!  Yes, you can get jewellery for all of your favourite books, and again, with the item being small, postage isn’t such an issue.  Take for example the fabulous Fan Girl Pixie Jar, a unique, Canada based shop on Etsy selling hand crafted, book themed jewels!  I have several of her pieces and they rock!  So whether you are a fan of The Hunger Games, Harry Potter or Peter Pan, she has something for every book lover.  Plus, you can receive 15% off with my exclusive discount code MARIE15!  Perfect!

4. Bookish Candles

Everyone loves a scented candle.  They fill your house with the sweetest smells, and provide that comforting, homely glow!  Nowadays, not only can you get unusual scents and styles, but you can even get candles themed around your favourite books or fictional characters!  Perfect right?

As mentioned above, A Bookish Flickering sells the candles featured in their boxes bookishcandleindividually.  Take Hogsmeade, a Harry Potter Themed candle described as smelling like ‘Woodland Walks and Rainwater’…sounds heavenly right?  Or what about The Burrow which smells of ‘candied clementine and apple pie.’….delicious!

They retail at £7.91 each and postage can be combined.  Bargain!!

Madame Fiction: A UK based seller, her stylish candles feature unique blends of scents madame fictionperfectly matching the book themed.  Take for example ‘Circus of Dreams’ consisting of slated caramel, smokey wood and pistachio.  Heavenly!  I have personally sniffed one of this retailer’s candles and they are as yummy as they sound!

Candles retail at around £11.50 and are available through Etsy.

My Burning Classics:  This French based company hand pours classicstheir lovely candles into Mason style glass jars which just look stunning.  You can buy individual candles at €9.00 each, or opt for boxes containing multiple candles.  They too have themes around your favourite literary characters and fandoms.  One of my personal favourites are the Hogwarts House candles, available individually, or all four for €33.00.

5. Book themed Teas.

C.S Lewis once said, ‘You can never get a cup of tea large enough, or a book long enough to suit me.” and this is a sentiment I definitely share!  There is nothing better than reading a good book while sipping a lovely, cosy cuppa…but what if the tea itself was book themed?  That takes it up a gear!

Try for example, UK based shop The Rosie Lea Tea company.  They feature gorgeous teas rosie leathemed after your favourite fandoms, authors and fictional characters, all hand blended and packaged.  One of my favourites has to be the Harry Potter potions set, retailing at £12.00.  They range in price depending on the amount of tea ordered.

I know I keep mentioning a bookish flickering, but I have just butterbeerhad the privilege of becoming a rep for this fledgling company and I am a huge fan, having ordered some of the tea myself!  Bags retail at a bargain £3.26 each.  I have ordered the Harry Potter themed teas myself, including a butterbean flavoured tea and a pumpkin spice flavoured tea!  Can’t wait to try them!

6.  Book Buddies

What exactly is a book buddy I hear you ask?  Well, any true bibliophile understands the pain and horror of dogeared and creased books.  Book buddies are essentially a little sleeping bag for your books, to keep them safe in your bag.  Genius right?

Melvis Makes: Every book bag, Christmas decoration and book buddy is hand made here in the UK, and features a huge range of prints and themes.

They range in price from a small one for £11.50 to an extra large for £15.50.  Most notably, there is a massive range of Christmas themed fabric, perfect for a Christmas present!

Because these items are just fabric, postage isn’t a huge issue either!

Sweet Sequels: I simply had to mention this shop, because I pretty much want sweet 1EVERYTHING in it.  Based in the USA, each of the stunning designs is hand painted onto muslin fabric before being digitally copied and printed on other fabrics, and then hand sewn into your chosen book buddy, quilt of baby muslin.  The designs are just spectacular, and I urge you to check them out!  You can also buy prints for around £7.82 if you want to display these beauties on your wall, which trust me you will!  Book buddies retail at around £21.11.  One of these bad boys is definitely featured on my Christmas wish list, that’s for sure!

7. Something totally different

These shops provide something so unique and awesome, they cannot be categorised!

House of Worry Dolls: I know what you are thinking…why would my book worm friend doll2want a doll?  But trust me on this, as soon as you see these unique, handmade designs, you will need to order yourself some!  Based in the USA, this company creates whimsical worry dolls from your favourite literary characters and books, such as Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, as well as TV and Movie fandoms like Star Trek and X-Files.  I mean look at this Snow White and Maleficent…how could you not want these?

You can even order customised dolls, or a family portrait, which would make an incredibly unique piece of art on your wall, and a great talking point!  Prices depend on whether you order a single doll or a set.  On my wish list for sure!

Hairy Potter: A must for any Harry Potter Fan!  Based in the UK, the Hairy Potter makes unique Harry Potter themedhp pottery, as well as cards and even hand carved magic wands.  The owner said he was disappointed with a lot of the Harry Potter merchandise available, as it looked plastic and modern, in other words, nothing like something you would find in the world of Potter.  His aim was to create items which look like they were purchased from Diagon Alley, and he has 100% succeeded.  He makes everything from signs to Christmas decorations, and everything is just stunning…I mean, how could you not want this hanging on your tree?  I own a multitude of his pieces and will continue to collect because they honestly rock- I cannot recommend him enough!  Prices depend on what you are purchasing, but he is not expensive at all.  PM him for orders and enquiries!

robertaLast, but definitely not least, I had to mention my dear friend, the very talented Roberta Marina.  She makes hand sewn embroidery hoops in every colour and theme you can think of.  She takes personalised orders, so can make the item to your specifications…so if you want a Harry Potter hoop or a Hobbit hoop, she is your woman!  I own two of her embroideries, and I pretty much order one for every friend’s birthday and Christmas presents!  Prices range from £12.00 to £20.00 depending on the amount of work involved and she ships internationally!