Every nerd *cough* literary enthusiast knows the struggle of the holiday season. We want so desperately to share the magic, mystery, and morale that we’ve enjoyed so much through the books we’ve read and loved. But enough of us have endured the heartbreak of the following scenario: you gave your friends your favorite book, nay, you gave your friends your very heart and worldview bound up in glue and paper. They smiled, “This is amazing! Thank you!” and you settled back, smug with that dramatic irony that you know what they are about to endure, emotionally, but they still have no idea. Because they haven’t read the book. Yet. After a few weeks have passed, you go to your friends’ houses. The book you gave them–that piece of your soul–is on their furthest bookshelf with a fine layer of dust across the top of the sacred pages.
What went wrong? We lovers of literature will never know. Maybe the book was outshone by flashier gifts, maybe your friend “doesn’t like reading,” maybe they judged the book by its cover.
But never fear! Now we have a means of curtailing this situation. Use these five examples to craft a real knock-out gift this year, while still managing to force your friends to read amazing, life changing prose or poetry. Everyone will thank you in the end.
1. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
This luscious morsel is the perfect candidate for a book bundle. Small, stylish, it was made to be shared. Kaur’s words are intimate and important, her poems are short and accessible. Even people who “don’t get poetry” will “get” this. And love it. Pair this little dish with:
- A jar of local, organic honey
- A box of the recipient’s favorite tea
- This Lush milk bath (or a similar one from a local farmer’s market)
- This mini honey soap from WildHerb on Etsy
2. What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi
Fresh off the press, give your friends not only the gift of beautiful literature, but also of being hip and reading something new that not many other people have read yet.
Pair this treasure with:
3. By The Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Though an integral part of her series of books, this book does stand by itself quite well. Though written with children in mind, these books are fascinating stories of pioneer life in the mid to late 1800s.
Thus of course you must include:
- Biscuit mix by Forage South
- Apple butter by Regular Chef Jams
- The Pioneer Woman Cook: Recipes From An Accidental Country Girl by Ree Drummond
- A beginner knit kit from Stitchandstory
4. Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them by JK Rowling
Everyone really should have this book by now, but if you know someone unfortunate enough to not own it yet, they are in luck: you are here to rectify their situation.
5. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
Quirky and crazy, who doesn’t love time travel? Thought provoking while also relatively light, time travel books never feel as “impending-doom” as dystopian novels because of the lack of time travel technology: there’s just something safe about knowing that this future or past is not possible.
- This actual time travel watch by Perryswatches
- This magnetic hourglass
- This time mug cozy by DizzlePop
- (kind of a stretch, but has the word “time” in it!) Hot Chocolate Time pillow by ourTraditions
Sometimes the gift of a life-altering, world-shattering literary experience is not enough. Sometimes people need a little extra, a little nudge, to get them going in the right direction. And you know, it might even end up being pretty cathartic for us to dress up our favorite books with related knickknacks.
All of these little beauties are short, easy to read, and unusual, but vastly important (in their own ways). Everyone needs these books in their lives. And they just might need some fantastic candles as well.
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Featured image via Ruby Lane