Welcome to my Book Lovers Christmas Gifts Guide! Many people with chronic illness and disability enjoy reading. Whether it’s in bed or a cosy book nook, this guide will help make reading better. I’ve got a range of bookish gifts and items to make your reading experience more enjoyable. Items which were gifted by brands are marked as “(Gifted)” others I bought myself. All items have an honest description and review. So without further ado, here are my top gifts for book lovers with chronic illness and/or disability…
A book box is a great gift for any book lover and there are so many to choose from! I really rate the My Chronicle Book Box for 3 main reasons: quality of contents, packaging and value for money. I’ll discuss each of these below, but first I’ll introduce the box. My Chronicle Book Box comes in two genre types: 1) Crime and Mystery, 2) Sci-fi and fantasy. I’m a huge fan of crime and mystery and enjoy fantasy too, so these are a great way to receive the best books from these genres.
You can buy a My Chronicle Book Box as a one off or on a subscription basis (monthly or quarterly). There’s no tie-in so you can opt to pause or cancel your subscription at any time. Currently a monthly subscription is £27.50 and a quarterly one is £48. The website also stocks signed 1st editions (many discounted) and bookish gifts.
Each My Chronicle Book Box contains a newly released, 1st edition hard back book. These are written by big names; so you’ll see award winning authors. The 2nd item in the box is author exclusives; these could be an author interview, an author letter written personally for subscribers or signed books or book plates. Thirdly, there is a bookish treat, this is specially selected or commissioned to match the theme of the book.
Featured here is the July 2021 Crime and Mystery monthly box. This includes a signed, gift wrapped hardback 1st edition of The Dying Day by Vaseem Khan. Also, there is a letter written by the author exclusively for My Chronicle Book Box subscribers. Finally, the bookish gift (in the yellow envelope) is a gorgeous silver toned bookmark featuring a dangly elephant charm and turquoise beads. It perfectly compliments the book! There are a few bonus items included too: a card bookmark and two gorgeous reading trackers.
The packaging for My Chronicle Book Box is great; it’s practical, pretty and recyclable. It’s also made from recycled materials. The box it arrives in, is sturdy and reusable. Inside the contents are packed with care, ensuring they arrive in perfect condition. I really love that the book comes gift wrapped because it feels like a real gift and also makes the pleasure of unboxing last that little bit longer.
Value for Money
My Chronicle Book Box offers great value, especially considering a newly released hardback typically costs £20. Here, you get the hardback (often signed or with a signed bookplate), a letter or interview, plus a high quality book related gift, all for £27.50! This cost is for the monthly subscription and includes UK postage.
As I’m housebound, I miss going to bookshops and libraries. I’m sure a lot of book-loving spoonies feel the same way. I think to re-create the vintage bookshop feel is a fantastic Book Lovers Christmas Gifts idea. I tried the Ralph’s Orchard vintage bookshop candle in my book nook. You can opt for a glass candle or a tin one. I chose tin as I can put the lid on when not in use, to stop it getting dusty. I really like that the candle is soy wax which burns cleaner than paraffin wax. Also, the wicks are made from organic cotton and are lead free, non toxic, paraffin free, and contain no zinc or other metals. This means fewer soot particles in the air, so it doesn’t trigger my asthma.
The scent is really lovely, it’s slightly masculine (vaguely reminiscent of woody aftershaves). I particularly like that I can detect the leather notes, because that really transports me to a vintage bookshop! The scent is described as having: “tones of cashmere, leather, sandalwood, amber, vanilla and warm ginger.” It’s such an original and pleasant scent, totally different from any other candles I’ve tried. The Vintage Bookshop tin candle lasts for 40 hours so I’ll easily get a couple of months use out of it. It’s vegan and eco friendly, and made with cruelty free ingredients only. Both the tin version and the glass version cost £14.
Printster offer a wide range of gifts and many can be personalised. They have something for everyone. I love the range of coasters. There is a huge selection of designs to choose from covering all sorts of occasions and interests. You can also have them personalised with names, photos or text of your choosing. They’re only £3.50 each.
I chose to have two printed with quotes from the Harry Potter books (Sirius Black on the left and Dumbledore on the right). The coasters are made to order and are really good quality. I was pleasantly surprised by the high production values on these. They look like they’ll last a long time and are easy to clean with just a damp cloth.
Printster do a fantastic range of mugs and personalised magnets, see mine on the Chronic Illness gift guide. Also there’s a great selection of masks, wrapping paper, socks, cards and keyrings.
Mulled Wine Tea: HOTTEA MAMA (Gifted)
No wintertime reading session is complete without a warm, festive beverage!
Many people with chronic illness either can’t tolerate caffeine or alcohol, or need to watch their consumption levels carefully. With HOTTEA MAMA there’s no need to miss out on the joys of mulled wine! Baby It’s Cold Outside is the perfect Christmas tea. Who am I kidding?! I’ll be drinking it long into the new year as it’s warming spices are the perfect antidote to winter’s chill.
It has a base of grapes which have a natural sweetness for a caffeine-free lift. There is a deep warmth created by the whole spices, citrus peel, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and all spice. Finally, rosehip and hibiscus add a hint of tartness and give the flavours balance. It both smells and tastes absolutely delicious and is the closest thing I’ve ever tried to real mulled wine. Each box contains 15 whole leaf, plastic free, biodegradable tea pyramids. The tea is vegan and gluten free, a box is £6 available through HOTTEA MAMA’s website or via Amazon.
HOTTEA MAMA have a wonderful range of herbal teas for every stage of a woman’s reproductive life. Whether you want to ease PMS and support fertility, are a new mum and need breastfeeding support, or would like a brew for pre, during and post menopause; HOTTEA MAMA have you covered! Launched by 2 Mamas in 2017, the blends are carefully chosen based on both historical use and modern research. The multi award winning teas choose whole leaf, aromatic and flavourful herbs, that make delicious blends with added benefits for women’s health.
Book Lovers Christmas Gifts: Mugs
What else can your drink your reading time tea from, if not a bookish mug or cup? These has to make it onto my Book Lovers Christmas Gifts Guide. I’m a massive fan of Alice in Wonderland, so have this gorgeous cup and saucer. It’s created for the V&A’s Alice in Wonderland exhibition and you can buy it (along with other Wonderland treats) in the V&A shop or from Amazon. It’s fine bone china so not too heavy to lift, even when full.
There are mugs with classic book covers from publishers such as Penguin and Virago. Also, lots to choose from for fans of Agatha Christie, Jane Austen and Sherlock Holmes.
Book Lovers Christmas Gifts: Beautiful Books!
Of course no book lovers gifts are complete without books! A special copy of a favourite book is a gift the recipient can treasure forever. There is a huge selection of different editions covering classic books. I’m presenting a small taster here.
One the left are two Jane Austen works, these are from Chiltern Classics. I love how high quality these books are, they come in foil embossed hard back, with really thick cream coloured pages. The pages have a silver or gold gilt edging (which ever best matches the cover). The Chiltern Classics also have a series of notebooks to match the novel covers. These are available to purchase separately in lined or blank, or as a gift pack. So, for an extra-special gift you can get the novel and matching notebook. These editions are absolutely stunning and one of my all time favourites.
Harper Collins Special Edition Agatha Christie for Who-Done-It Book Lovers Christmas Gifts
Last year marked the centenary of the publication of the first Agatha Christie book. To mark the occasion, Harper Collins are releasing special editions of her novels. Several classic stories are already out and there are also a few short story collections too. The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding comes out on the 11th November and you can pre-order using the link below. The editions are hardback with metallic foil detailing on the covers and lovely illustrated end papers.
The next set of books (from left to right); the red Alice in Wonderland and the blue Joseph Conrad books, are from the Folio Society. The Folio Society publish truly beautiful books. They are fantastic investment pieces with very high production values. Only the most popular works of fiction and non fiction receive the Folio treatment which often includes specially commissioned illustrations.
The final tome (far right) is the Canterbury Classics edition of Edgar Allen Poe’s collected works. These are leather bound hardbacks with coloured covers and foil detailing. The pages are thick, gilt edged and there is a ribbon page marker. They come with themed illustrated end papers. Canterbury Classics include some of the most popular books in world literature and some anthologies themed by genre or author type. A small selection is presented below.
Do any of these gifts tempt you? What do you think makes an ideal book nook or reading corner? Is there something you think I should have included in this Book Lovers Christmas Gift Guide? Do let me know in the comments below. If this post has whetted your appetite, keep an eye out for my Chronic Illness Christmas Gift guide publishing in the next few days.