Tag Archives: shopping

Best Bookish Jewellery Gifts 2020

Eeeek, it’s almost December already and this year is going to be a tricky one for shopping, even if you do feel comfortable going to the shops. Socially distanced Christmas shopping anyone? The whole thing is stressful enough anyway without the added complication of a pandemic. I think it’s really important this year to support local shops and small businesses, so I’ve put together my traditional bookish gift list with Etsy to highlight some gorgeous book themed jewellery from independent makers and seller.

This post contains affiliate links so I may earn a small amount of commission if you click through and buy any of these pieces.

little prince fox silver necklace“But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world.”

I love this silver fox necklace which has been inspired by the fox in Le Petit Prince or The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Not overtly bookish at first glance, I like the idea that it could be something of a secret message to the person who receives it. Just remember, you become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed.

Starless Sea Layered Necklace with bee, key and sword“Occasionally, Fate pulls itself together again and Time is always waiting.”

The book I loved the most last year was Erin Morgenstern’s The Starless Sea, so I was so excited to find this triple strand necklace with the motifs of a bee, a key and a sword the bee for the acolytes, the key for the keepers and the sword for the guardians of the stories, because who could choose just one role. There’s also a single strand version available.

Jane Austen Personalised Charm Bracelet“You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope…I have loved none but you.”

I didn’t used to be much of a fan of Jane Austen, but was given a folio set of her books for my 30th birthday, and reading Persuasion forced me to reconsider my position on that. Then of course there was seeing the new adaptation of Emma before lockdown earlier this year, and I may be a late convert. This Jane Austen charm bracelet is very much a one of a kind talking piece, and may well be the ultimate gift for a true Jane Austen fan.

Princess Bride Charm Bracelet“My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die!”

Yet again, it might be that you prefer your charm bracelets more cult than classic, in which case, maybe you could have fun storming the castle in this quirky charm bracelet based on William Golding’s novel The Princess Bride. It’s inconceivable that anyone could receive it and not love it. Of course, love is many things none of them logical…

Outlander wedding ring“Ye are Blood of my Blood, and Bone of my Bone,
I give ye my Body, that we Two might be One.
I give ye my Spirit, ’til our Life shall be Done.”

Right, giving the Outlander wedding ring as a Christmas present might not be a subtle gesture, but it’s 2020 and all bets are off so do it. Or treat yourself to a ring from one of the most popular book boyfriends/husbands out there. In the name of self-care. You’ve nearly made it to the end of 2020, so you definitely deserve it.

Steam punk book locket with dragonfly“Your science can save a man’s life, but imagination makes it worth living.”

I thought this steam punk book locket with moving parts and a gorgeous dragonfly was beautiful and it really reminded me of Natasha Pulley’s Keita Mori novels. If you know a fan, this is a good stand in, as the description sounds a little like that of Grace Carrow’s pocket watch. Today, the necklacce, tomorrow, Katsu the clockwork octopus.

Geometric book necklace for bookworms“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.”

Get one up on Lemony Snickett and take a book everywhere you go with this lovely geometric book necklace. It’s quirky enough to get attention, but would be versatile enough to go with any outfit while always showing your bookworm stripes.

Dragon's eye pendant ice dragon game of thrones priory of the orange tree“My armour is like tenfold shields, my teeth are swords, my claws spears, the shock of my tail a thunderbolt, my wings a hurricane, and my breath death!”

Who doesn’t love a dragon? Honestly, if they don’t like dragons, why are you even thinking about buying them a Christmas present? Literary dragons are not without pedigree, but I’ve had to choose a Tolkien quote to marry up with this seriously chilling but incredibly beautiful dragon’s eye pendant. Go in to 2021 with big dragon energy, I’m very tempted to get this for myself but I’d have to fight my daughters for it and I fear that they would win.

I hope that you like this year’s Bookish Jewellery selection, if you’re looking for a gift that will arrive in time for Christmas, I’d really recommend looking at Etsy’s Ready to Ship Gift Guide which really does have something for everyone.

 

Ten Secret Santa and Stocking Filler books for under £15

It’s that time of year again. You know, less than a month to Christmas and a lack of ideas for secret santa presents or stocking fillers has you panic buying “funny secret santa presents” like stressticles or office voodoo dolls which the recipient will throw in the bin by January 1st. I’m here to make a plea that you save the planet from the extra plastic waste, and for under £15 buy them book that they will enjoy for at least three hours, if not a lot longer.

The best bit? These will all be available at your local bookshop for a last minute Christmas gift.

La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust

For readers of a certain age (my age) the release of La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman , the first in a new trilogy which is set to be a companion to his Northern Lights trilogy was probably the publishing event of the year. Hailed as a tidal wave of imagination, though darker and more savage than the original trilogy, it’s a safe bet for any lover of fantasy.

 

 

 

The Power

The most powerful work of speculative fiction that I’ve read in a long time, Naomi Alderman’s The Power is a must read for any fan of Margaret Atwood. I keep meaning to write a review of this, but my mind is still processing the emotions I felt reading it. It’s a safe present for any woman who hasn’t read it, and it’s always interesting to listen to people’s post-read dissections.

 

 

The Wildlife Gardener

I was delighted to see the new edition of Kate Bradbury’s best-selling The Wildlife Gardener publish this year and swiftly bought myself a copy. It’s the perfect present for any gardener or wildlife enthusiast, and gives fun, practical advice for creating a home for wildlife in what outside space you have available. Saving the planet starts here, folks.

 

 

The Lost Words

Remember when Oxford University Press decided that children no longer needed to be able to look up words like acorn and bramble in the dictionary? Well that outrageous act inspired Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris to create The Lost Words, this beautifully illustrated volume of poetry. A spell book which reminds adults and children alike about the power of words, reading the poems brings the words back to life and gives nature power and relevance for a new generation.

 

Lincoln in the Bardo

Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2017, and shortlisted for multiple awards and honours besides, Lincoln in the Bardo is a safe fiction bet for anyone who likes to read the current big novel. This first novel is an experimental work of fiction, a story of love after death which looks at a problem which faces all humans, how do you find the courage to love when it means you will face loss?

 

 

Hortense and the Shadow

A beautifully illustrated picture book, with a story in the tradition of the old fairy tales, Hortense and the Shadow is dark and exhilarating at the same time. This is set to become an instant children’s classic which adults will love as well. I’ll be adding it to my collection.

 

 

 

Last Stop on The Reindeer Express

I loved Last Stop on the Reindeer Express so much when it published that I bought it only a month later to read with my daughter on Christmas Eve. It would make an ideal Christmas present for any picture book lover or younger gift recipient. A little girl who is missing her Daddy discovers a world within a post box and goes on a beautifully illustrated lift the flap and peep through the pages adventure. I can’t wait to read it as a family before Santa visits.

 

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

In case you worried that you’d run out of presents to buy for Harry Potter fans, the launch of the Fantastic Beasts film franchise has also lead to the publication of this beautiful Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them book which reminds me of the Tolkein’s bestiary that I had as a child, with the names, descriptions and magical illustrations of all the fantasy creatures you encounter in the Potter novels.

This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor

Adam Kay is a comedian and former junior doctor, and This is Going to Hurt is his frank memoir of life on the front line of the NHS. Hilarious and heart-breaking, it gives you an insight into what life is really like for the junior doctors keeping us and the NHS ticking along.

 

 

Daemon Voices: Essays on Storytelling

I always find it fascinating when an author I admire writes an exposition on their craft. Philip Pullman is indisputably something of a master storyteller, and in Daemon Voices, a collection of thirty essays, he lets his readers peer behind the veil to learn about his views on storytelling, including such topics as the origins of his own stories, the art of writing, and the storytellers who have meant the most to him. A great gift for readers, and aspiring writers.

Literary Map of the USA and UK

literary map of the usa shopping

I love this literary map of the USA (£15, Notonthehighstreet). First person to buy one for Michael Gove gets a biscuit.

This map of Britain is cool too, but you don’t get a biscuit for buying him that. You’d only be encouraging him…

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Literary map of Britain shopping
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Gifts Ideas for Brontë Fans

If you’ve read this blog for a while you probably know I have a slightly sacrilegious attitude to many of the classics which form the literary canon, but despite this I love Wuthering HeightsJane Eyre and all things Brontë. The sister’s lives could have been a novel in their own right, I’m pretty there isn’t a massive motion picture being promoted at the moment, given the success of biopics about Keats, Austen and Potter in recent years. Either way, their books are amazing, a blend of the Gothic and Romantic traditions which are perfect for reading on cold winter nights.

Consequently, I have decided that Brontë inspired items would make great Christmas presents for the Romantic (with a capital R of course…) in your life. Here’s a list of my favourites.

Jane Eyre Birdcage Necklace

Jane Eyre Birdcage Necklace

I love this necklace for the free thinking woman in your life. As my boss reminded me, much to my amusement, when we were selecting book covers in work the other day; bird cages are very on trend. This trinket adds weight to the motif with a well-chosen quotation on the presentation card, “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”

 

 

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iconIf it was the Romance with a capital ‘R’ that brought you here, then I think that these earrings which quote Cathy’s outburst about Heathcliff being “More myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same” has to get a mention. Almost certainly one of the best declarations of love in literature, and one of the ones with the most heartbreaking outcomes for the couples involved.

 

 

 

Jane Eyre Manuscript Journal

Jane Eyre Manuscript Journal

If you’re looking for a present for an aspiring writer, they may take inspiration from this mini journal which is embossed with Charlotte Brontë’s writing from the manuscript of Jane Eyre. It’s a bargain at £6.99 and would make a lovely diary.

 

 

 

 

Wuthering Heights Poster

I mentioned some time ago that I didn’t want so much as need this amazing paper cut style poster which is being sold to raise money for a charity which aims to fight illiteracy. So for about £40 you effectively have a gift that gives twice, a beautiful picture for the recipient and a better life for someone who learns to read.

 

 

 

 

 

Whatever our souls are made of decalIt may be because I’m decorating my house at the moment, but I’m a big fan of this Wuthering Heights decal which contains part of one of my favourite passages in literature. I think it’s great inspiration for a gift for a book worms, you could order a custom decal with a favourite passage from any book, or even a song lyric. I would put this up in a shot if my boyfriend would let me. Compromise leads to a very bland aesthetic.

 

 

 

The Melting Library sells beautifully scented soy candles and has a great range based on a wide variety of books. I want so many of them. If you want to experience being out on the winding, windy moor more fully while reading in the comfort of your own home (or bath) then this Wuthering Heights inspired Wild Heather Emily Brontë candle is just the ticket. Just be careful you don’t stir up any ghosts by leaving it alight in your window…

 

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iconAnne Brontë always seems to me to be the overlooked sister, but I love this greeting card with a quotation from The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Obviously it would work well as a card in it’s own right, but pop it in a frame and it would make a lovely artwork for a gallery wall such as the one I’ve been creating in my dining room…

 

Fairytale Themed Presents

The Crimson Fairy Book

The Crimson Fairy Book

Recently, instead of catching up on the news while I wait for the bus, I’ve been reminding myself how much I love reading classic fairy tales by reading the stories of Hans Christian Andersen and The Brothers Grimm as eBooks on my phone. The stories are still great, but the lack the magic of settling down by the fire with a beautifully illustrated book. In honour of Christmas Magic, I thought I would share my top fairytale inspired Christmas presents. I hope you find them helpful when shopping for gifts for fairytale lovers.

 

 

 

The Yellow Fairy Book

No list of gifts for lovers of fairy stories would be complete without the Folio Society Fairy Books. Colourful, luxurious and beautifully illustrated with introductions from key names in folklore studies, I think they would make the perfect Christmas present. I’m tempted to start a collection as well, but where to start? They’re all so beautiful. The Folio Fairy Books are quite expensive but have real heirloom potential.

 

 

 

This Once Upon A Time storybook necklaceOnce Upon A Time Necklace, is made from solid silver, and can be customized with a personal message especially for your fairytale fan. It also comes in a really cute little gift box, which is a bonus if you’re no good at wrapping presents. I have this necklace and people always ask about it, especially children who want to open it and read the story inside (it doesn’t open sadly).

 

 

 

I used to have a copy of The Frog Price that was decorated with the most amazing papercut illustrations, I think it might actually still be at my father’s house so I’ll need to dig it out when I’m next back. These papercut illustrations of Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood remind me of that book, and I love the splash of red in Little Red Riding Hood’s coat along with the important life advice, it seems a more Brothers Grimm phrase than the slightly saccharine one that accompanies Cinderella…
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iconI love Heather Alstead’s Fairy Tale range at Not On The Highstreet, there are so many beautifully designed products, but these storytelling bookends, happily ever after bookmark and dragon slaying mug have to be my favourites.Happily Ever After Bookmarkicon
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Fairytale Bookends

100 Artists for Literacy

 

100 Artists for Literacy

100 Artists for Literacy.

I loved the above post on Anni Cardi’s blog, which links you to a charity Doedemee selling posters of redesigned book covers to help raise money to fight illiteracy.

Guess where I’m shopping this month! I think I’ll probably get the Wuthering Heights design for myself,  because it’s completely gorgeous AND one of my favourite books.

The posters for Alice’ Adventures in Wonderland, Anna Karenina, Wind in the Willows, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, To Kill a Mockingbird, Atonement and Northern Lights are also amazing. I might ask for some for my birthday/Christmas.

Murder and Mayhem in Hay-on-Wye

If you’ve seen my twitter thingamajig, you’ll know that I spent Sunday at the Hay-on-Wye festival and browsing around the town which is home to numerous second hand book shops, including one which touts itself as the biggest in the world.

I didn’t like the biggest second hand book shop, for me it was a bit too slick and pannelled, which removed the excitement of hunting through dusty shelves looking for treasure. There was one shop which I thought was a genius idea, a  book shop dedicated to crime novels. There were chalk outlines of bodies on the floor and quotes from famous crime fiction on the wall. If you’re ever in Hay-on-Wye I thoroughly recommend a visit to Murder and Mayhem.

 

Panic Buying in Waterstones

 

I spent about four hours looking for a nice, reasonably priced black cardigan in Oxford today. I was not very successful. Fortunately I had more success in spending my Waterstones Christmas gift card (which given the financial trouble I didn’t want to hold on to)  buying the books below, which I am looking forward to reading, and a booklight which will let me read in bed when I can’t sleep without the boyfriend whining at me. At least, that’s the theory. I’ll let you know how it goes.

 

Waterstones Book Haul

 

Scriptum, Oxford

 

Scriptum, Oxford

 

I was introduced to this little shop on the weekend, and I could have spent years in here. It’s an amazing treasure trove of wax seals, leather journals, quills and assorted oddities. If I could have bought the entire shop, I would have. They don’t really sell reading books, the only books on display were some very expensive folio editions (cheaper to become a devoted member of the Folio Society and purchase heavily for a time) but if I ever win the lottery I will be going back to stock up my desks. I can see me now writing in a leather-bound tome with gold engraving, writing in an elegant script with a peacock feather quill and rainbow coloured inks. The perfect place to act out your Romantic/Gothic/Medieval/Harry Potter fantasy.

I came away with some vintage look postcards showing animals on vintage maps. There were two of each so I will have one to frame and another to send to lucky recipients. I will have to go back soon though. I’m sure that come pay-day I can justify my new-found need for a magnifying glass, butterfly patterned sticky notes and a few pretty marbled notebooks. Definitely worth a visit if you’re in the Oxford area, their website is http://www.scriptum.co.uk/