Five years ago I would have bought them a book, easy peasy, but now they also all have e-readers so they've probably got it already (unless you get them a personalised one of course) So I have been scouring the internet for best in literary themed gifts instead, Sian did a rather spectacular round up of the best book subscriptions earlier this year (I'm hoping someone gets me one) and I adore this adorable little bow tie necklace from the Literary Emporium for £12 that comes beautifully packaged with a rather apt Great Gatsby quote for this festive season. I'm also very fond of their Frankenstein and Jane Eyre versions.
How about a little sprinkling of something practical? Like this utterly gorgeous book clutch bag. There was quite the fad for turning classic hardcovers in to purses this year and the result is hundreds of book genres to choose from. You can find the lion's share of these on Etsy such as this stellar Alice's Adventures In Wonderland clutch from Bookarelli - it's £55.15 including delivery.
However if they're the type of friend who would sooner eat snozzcumbers then see a book sliced up then perhaps this rather amusing tote will be more their bag? It's £10.99 from the Literary Gift Company.
As far as I can tell everyone knows at least one Terry Pratchett fan, and if you can't think of one then it's probably you. For those lucky people Firebox have this incredible quartet of Discworld ales! Each ale is different and come with their own beautifully drawn labels, only £19.99 for all four.
I adore all the bookshelf paintings from Jane Mount's Etsy shop, you can pick prints of shelves based on genres like Kids or Sci-Fi or my favourite pictured, the Coming of Age shelf which is £29.54 (including delivery) for a 8 x 10 inch print. Or if you're after something truly special (and pricey) she does custom paintings of the lucky recipient's favourite books as well.
For those that fancy themselves the lead of every story, this 'protagonist' necklace from Glasgow-based Kitschbitch is the perfect statement piece. However if you secretly know they're actually the villain there's also an 'antagonist' version. Both are £10.05 on Etsy, including delivery.
Frankly I have always thought the Red Queen was the best character in Alice in Wonderland: she's in charge of the greatest place ever made up, she has an army of card men and she plays croquet with flamingos! Not like that whiny silly Alice who doesn't know not to put strange food in her mouth. And I can now show my allegiance to the Queen with this frightfully spectacular brooch for £8.50 from Bookish.
And lastly if you're looking for something for that stalwart kindle-covert why don't you to bring the smell of real books back to them with this library inspired perfume? From the CB I Hate Perfume range at Cult Beauty, for £75 In The Library claims to smell just like a classic library all leather spines and fresh parchment, I can actually hear the fireplace crackling, the rustle of papers and the whir of those cool little ladders on wheels ... god I want my own library. This'll probably be the closest I'll get for a long while.