L’aventure des Stein
19 December 2011
Happy Holidays!
21 December 2011

10 Presents for Book Lovers (That Aren’t Books)

by Derwood Hunsdale-Talbot

1. Wakefield Chandelier

literary wakefield chandelier
I bring you the Wakefield Chandelier as inspiration. Perhaps you are a blacksmith on the side and need a new project. Or perhaps this will encourage you to go out and find a blacksmith and claim him (or her) as your own. Or perhaps you can reach into the depths of your DIY soul and create your own out of papier-maché and some clothes pins.

2. Personalized Bookshelf Paintings

Painting of favorite bookshelf
I fell in love with these bookshelf paintings (and their creator, Jane Mount, a little bit too) the second I saw them. Send her pictures of the spines of your favorite books, and she’ll create a one-of-a-kind painting featuring your ideal bookshelf. I can think of no better gift come Christmas (except for maybe the books themselves).

Like another person’s bookshelf more than your own? Ms. Mount sells prints of some of her finest works for a pretty penny less that the custom piece.

3. Library Smell in a Bottle

Book smell perfume
If you love the smell of 19th c. Dickens novels, but can’t afford a first-run copy, CB I Hate Perfum provides a solution. The purveyor of unique scents (including perfumes, room sprays, and pungent oils) has created In the Library, a “warm blend of English novel, Russian & Moroccan leather bindings, worn cloth, and a hint of wood polish.”

4. Postertext Pictures

Great Gatsby poster text
Postertext transforms the words on the page into the scenes in your head with their absolutely stunning black&white works. The team at Postertext transforms the entire body of work into a famous eye-catching and captivating scene.

5. A Word from Save the Words

save the words
It is hands down my favorite online campaign, even though it takes a good two minutes for the blasted site to load. Once it does, though, Save the Words has rounded up the endangered vocabulary that text messaging and emoticons have threatened with extinction. Browse the site for your favorite obscure utterance and adopt it, therefore promising “to use this word, in conversation and correspondence, as frequently as possible to the very best of [your] ability.”

It’s brilliant. It’s the perfect gift. And it’s free.

6. Book Page Wallpaper

Book page wallpaper
The downside to this great gift idea is that you need to make absolutely sure that the recipient really wants to have new wallpaper. And that his/her landlord is okay with it too. Note: pointing to a picture in a magazine and saying “that’s pretty neat” is not a green light for this project.

However, if the green lights are a go, a wall covered in beautiful book pages (old time-y dictionaries are the recommended vessel) is really, really pretty. Apartment Therapy makes the whole process sound easy. I’m not entirely sold, but those who wield their decoupage with dexterity: have at it.

7. It Was a Dark and Stormy Night – the Game

Literary board game
It’s a game for those who enjoy the concept of olde fashioned family fun but clam up any time a Humdinger comes around their way. All you do in It Was a Dark and Stormy Night is identify the book or author based on a series of opening lines and trot your way around the board. A bunch of book categories (ranging from non-fiction to short stories to children’s books to contemporary fiction) makes it equally interesting and challenging.

Fun, simple, smart and just pretentious enough.

8. Literary Tea

Literary tea
Sure they are a little bit cutesy, but what sort of reader isn’t also a tea drinker? I’m not 100% positive Novel Tea has the very finest English Breakfast tea on the market, but the packaging is nice and the concept, too, is nice: 25 teabags featuring classic quotes from the kind of books and authors you would expect to read while drinking tea. You’ve got your CS Lewis, your Louisa May Alcott, your Rita Mae Brown. Etc.

I feel like this would be the kind of thing you’d get your awkward book-wormish co-worker or your grandmother as a stocking stuffer.

9. Manly Book Cologne

Orwell cologne
I’m not sure how many men seek to own any scent inspired by Animal Farm‘s Napoleon, but in their defense Ah & Oh Studio did set out to exhibit “the dark sides of men’s nature with a line of scents named after famous writers” (sic).

I have a feeling I wouldn’t really like the man who loves loves loves this present, but I’m sure he is out there. So do it. Buy it. See what happens. The bottle is pretty swanky, after all.

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