I am starting a new series of rather sporadic posts here at The Literary Sisters. Each will be a ‘Bookish Gift Guide’ of sorts, and will encompass a different event (Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, etc.), or will themed by a certain group of people (babies, children, and those who are difficult to buy for, for example). Each will feature ten books or book-inspired presents, and they will all be collected together on the ‘Bookish Gift Guide’ page. I hope that this will give you some great ideas for bookish purchases to delight those around you.
Mother’s Day is only just over a couple of weeks away in the United Kingdom, so I have decided that it shall be the starting point for my first Bookish Gift Guide.
1. What could be better than a beautiful Virago book? I highly recommend Elizabeth von Arnim‘s darling novel The Enchanted April, which you can purchase here. A great idea would be to purchase the book’s accompanying film alongside it.
2. Following on from the Virago theme, how about purchasing one or two of the gorgeous VMC Designer editions? Particular standouts are Elizabeth Taylor‘s A Game of Hide and Seek, Elaine Dundy‘s The Dud Avocado, Elizabeth Jenkins‘ The Tortoise and The Hare and Barbara Pym‘s Excellent Women.
3. For the greenfingered mother, the Virago Book of Women Gardeners would make a perfect gift. Throughout, extracts have been collected together from many works by authors who garden, and the contributors range from Dorothy Wordsworth to Vita Sackville-West.
4. For mothers who prefer cookery and sampling food to gardening, look no further than the Virago Book of the Joy of Eating. Like the aforementioned gardening book, quotes have been collected from many works of fiction and non-fiction written by women, which deal with both delicious and disgusting dishes. I have a copy of this myself, and it is marvellous to dip in and out of.
5. For the crafty mother, I heartily recommend Nikol Lohr’s Literary Knits. The book features a host of thirty patterns for men, women and children, all of which have been inspired by great works of literature. You can make everything from the Great Gatsby Daisy cloche (featured on the front cover), to a Scout Finch-esque cardigan, completed with darling birds.
6. How about a beautiful bookmark to complement your mother’s reading? Etsy has many of them in many different styles, ranging from the blue rose beaded design to Eiffel Tower-inspired ribbon bookmarks, and from the artisan beaded turquoise metal design to beautiful, almost Persephone-esque floral patterns.
7. Tea drinking mothers will adore bookish mugs, and this Pride and Prejudice design with its matching coaster is a personal favourite of mine.
8. Bookish scented candles are all the rage at present, and Etsy has many of them. What about a musky Mr Darcy scent, or the smell of a Hobbit garden? Alternatively, fill your mother’s home with the smell of Sherlock’s study, or that of old books.
10. If you really want to spoil your mother, I suggest taking her on a trip to Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights in Bath, where a bookish consultation can be had. It is high on my own wishlist of places to go, and I am sure that a trip will delight any bookworm.