“Books make great gifts because they have whole worlds inside them. And it's much cheaper to buy somebody a book than it is to buy them the whole world.” – Neil Gaiman
“A book is a gift you can open again and again.” – Garrison Keillor
Halloween is well and truly over, the embers of Bonfire Night have dwindled away and now that November is in full swing it’s time to start thinking about what you might like to buy your loved ones for Christmas. Unless you simply ask someone what they’d like, it can be very difficult to decide on the perfect gift. Of course, at Gladstone’s Library we suggest you can rarely go wrong with a good book!
Books are unique as presents in that they create and evoke memories. There is something special about the pages of a physical book that remind the reader of where they were when they first read a particular passage or chapter, perhaps even what they were feeling or who they were with. To make it a truly personal – and priceless! - present, you can write a message in the front of a book, which the recipient can forever look back on and remember you giving it to them, and remind them about that particular Christmas.
Do you have a favourite book that you can’t resist returning to again and again, eager to reacquaint yourself with the characters and follow the story one more time (and another, and another)? Share the book you love with someone you care about and introduce them to your world. It will tell them more about you than many other things could convey, and give you both something to chat about once they’ve read it. Think carefully about which person you give this kind of book to though – just in case they don’t feel the same way!
If you don’t have a particular book in mind, let us help. Our little bookstall, proudly standing outside Reception, features a wide array of thought-provoking and entertaining books by writers who, in the past, present, or future, have been or will be guests at the Library. If you’re struggling for Christmas present ideas, pick up a copy of The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley, a fast-paced and compelling work of historical fiction mixed with magical realism and the gothic. The book itself is beautifully designed, with gold accents and a cut-out front cover, which makes it an even more impressive gift. Natasha will be staying at the Library as our Writer in Residence in February next year, so if your gift is a success, it can be followed up with tickets to Natasha’s writing masterclass where she will happily sign your copy! If you’d rather share your love of poetry, Rebecca Farmer’s pamphlet, Not Really, is a haunting and delicate collection which was a winner in the 2013/14 Poetry Business Book and Pamphlet Competition, judged by Carol Ann Duffy. For the discerning historian or for those interested in politics or influential women, consider our current Writer in Residence Rachel Holmes’ vivid biopic on a pioneering feminist, Eleanor Marx: A Life.
If you’re still stuck for gifts, the Library’s Christmas offering extends far beyond the bookstall. Pop along on 6th December to our Craft Fair, which will boast a wide range of handmade crafts by local craftspeople and designers, or book in as soon as you can for a scrumptious Christmas Lunch or festive Afternoon Tea in our bistro, Food for Thought. You can also give the gift of choice with Library Gift Vouchers (available in Reception), which can be spent on Library events, in Food for Thought, or on a stay sleeping with books!
Have you ever bought a copy of your favourite book, or any book at all, for a loved one for Christmas? Did it go down well? Let us know via social media!
Kirsten-Rose Brooks, Intern