• Abigail Woodruff

Bookish Birthday Wishlist

It's that time of the year again when everybody is asking me what I want for my birthday and I am forced to delve into the depth of my mind where all of my bookish desires hibernate to assure that I don't spend my life savings on a book binge at Waterstones. Other than a new pair of slippers and a ridiculously soft throw blanket for the new house, my mind is pretty much solely focused on the book category, so I thought it would be apt to make a blog post about it, so other people that are just as emotionally invested in the process of gift-giving for book-lovers can have a comprehensive guide. For those of you who are new here, I made one of these for Christmas as well which I will leave linked HERE if none of the things that I link now catch your fancy.

For people who are intimidated by the thought of actually going to a bookstore and choosing a book for someone to read (which I totally get), I would recommend either gifting a book that you yourself really loved because there is sentimentality behind the thought or simply getting a gift card to Amazon or their favourite bookstore. I have always wanted to just tell everybody to get me their favourite book as a gift, but I do not have enough friends and family that read to do something of that nature. If you know that the person you are giving a gift card to really likes going into bookstores and buying their books, then go that route, but otherwise I would stick to Amazon gift cards. That way, the reader can get e-books or physical books and the prices are always lower online, so they can buy even more books with your generous gift.

If you want to give them a book that has more meaning than a gift card, but you are not a reader yourself, I would recommend doing a little bit of sleuthing. A true bookworm in the modern age will probably use social media platforms to talk about their reading interests (in particular Goodreads). I know that I have a whole "shelf" on there dedicated to books that I want to read. You can also ask mutual friends, or dig into their family's thoughts. Or, and I know this is boring, but it is also your surest bet... you can ask the person what books they would really love to have in their collection. The only downside here is that they will probably list the top 150 books that come to their mind and you have to figure out how to narrow it down. *Once again, I would like to note that Amazon is probably the place to find your cheapest reads, but I would also highly recommend Book Depository if you are sending the book straight to the recipient. Book Depository has free world-wide shipping, so you can even ship it to your loved one who is across the globe from you.

For some inspiration, I thought that I would list some of the top books that I would currently like to have in my collection (all suggestions are linked to the best deal):

Khaled Hosseini Box Set: It is certainly not an over-exaggeration when I say that this man's writing changed my life and the way that I look at the world. I read The Kite Runner at the perfect time in my life, and I do not think that any book since has given me an insight into cultural differences and my own empathy until I read A Thousand Splendid Suns by him this past summer. Both of these books are in my top 5 most powerful books that I have ever read. I gave my copy of The Kite Runner away as a gift to a friend because at that time it was one of my most treasured possessions and she was one of the most treasured people in my life, and I took A Thousand Splendid Suns out from the library, so it would mean the world to me to have a copy of both of those books, and have the opportunity to read his third book.

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow: For those of you who know me, you know full well that I got completely and utterly wrapped up in the phenomenon that was the musical "Hamilton". In fact, last year for my birthday, my incredible fiance (now husband) bought me tickets to see the show in London before we head out on our Nordic honeymoon cruise. I know, hard to beat that. But, one thing that I would really love to do is read the monstrosity of a biography before seeing the show in June. I think it's one of those books that would be amazing for people that are big fans of the musical. It was the inspiration for the whole thing after all!

A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman: This is one of those books that I have been hearing about absolutely everywhere and that seems to have rave reviews from everybody that has read it. It looks so sweet and heart-warming and heart-breaking and I feel like it's my duty to read it and add my 2 cents. Also, I lost my grandfather right after Christmas, so a book about an old man makes me feel like it will hit me right in the feels. This is a book that I have told myself to buy so many times and then end up talking myself out of it, but it would make an amazing gift for anybody that loves lit fic!

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah: I have been more than enamoured with historical fiction reads lately. While I love a good fluffy read just as much as the next person, there is something about historical fiction that makes it feel like you are learning something as well an devouring an amazing story and I think that is so important. I have seen so many people say this is one of their favourite WWII novels of all time and I would love the opportunity to have it in my collection.

Right, other than books there are a few options, definitely. Some of my favourite gifts that I received over the holiday season was a book sleeve (has already saved multiple books) and a Kindle for easy travel! I also had subscription boxes, bookmarks, and book candles in my holiday book guide, which I stand by whole-heartedly. * I recommend a silicone bookmark to stop slipping and sliding from between the pages. That being said, there are only a few bookish goodies that I wouldn't mind receiving this year as we are moving and I would like to try to avoid collecting too much clutter. 

Item #1: A booklight. While I adore my Kindle for reading in the dark, I can't help that some of my books that I acquired first are paperback and do not have glowy pages. Also, my husband seems to have a heavy disliking towards having the lamp on in the bedroom at night, ergo, it would appear that I need a booklight. I am kicking myself for not packing my $1 light from the dollar store when I moved here, but I didn't even think about the fact that I was going from having my own room to sharing one again. I am definitely not picky, but there seems to be decent reviews from the one I linked above, and it's not too expensive. A great pick for those that like to wind down at night with a good book.

Item #2: Cute Giraffe/Book Things. Have you ever heard of Society 6? When I would get stressed in college, I used to browse their website all of the time. You just type whatever you like into the search bar, and they give you a bunch of different things that has whatever you like on it. There are two things on there that have been on my wishlist for almost 4 years and I love them so much. If you like giraffes and books, or know somebody that does, these are for you! The first is this tote bag for carrying all of your books with you when you go to the library or to your grandma's house. Anyway, it's necessary. Next is this print of a giraffe on a vespa with books. I have a huge poster of a giraffe on a bike, so when I saw this, I thought it was only fair that I continue to grow that collection, especially when books are involved. If the person you are buying for doesn't like giraffes, just type "_____ and books" into the search bar, and I bet you'll find what you're looking for.

Alright readers, until next time-

Happy reading.

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