It’s that time of year and the clock is ticking — but through the wonders of the Internet and overnight mail, all things are still possible. If you are shopping for a bibliophile and cannot think of the perfect book for them, here are some bookish ideas:
1. The stunning 1949 edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland illustrated by the great Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali once sold for more than $10,000. Now you can get a hardcover edition for under $15 from the Princeton University Press.
2. You can get a beautiful artistic rendering of the entire text of a classic book printed on a poster (or scarf, or tote, or t-shirt) from lithographs.com. Our personal favorite is the gorgeous The Sun Also Rises, complete with toreador and blood-red cape. Be sure to get the 24x36 poster if you want the entire text (smaller posters are abridged).
3. Board games are experiencing a renaissance and Ares Games’ brilliant War of the Ring (Second Edition) is one of the best. This 2-4 player board game is based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, and Frodo, Gandalf, and the gang are all here — along the Sauron’s Army, Mount Doom, and, of course, the ring. This is no Clue or Shoots and Ladders — learning how to play it is something of a commitment, and it is recommended for ages 13 and above. But for fans of Tolkien’s fantastic world, it is leisure time well spent.
4. For the dapper reader in your life, Uncommon Goods makes a pair of yellow library card socks. At $10 they make a great stocking stuffer — a stocking stocking stuffer, if you will — and if you have a Sharpie, you can write in the recipient’s two favorite books, one on each sock.
5. For friends and family who like to curl up next to the fireplace with a good book but don’t have a fireplace, a scented candle could be the next best thing. Frostbeard on Etsy has an entire shop of literary-themed scented candles, including ones with names like “Bookstore” and “Oxford Library.” For those who are more luxuriously inclined, and deeper-pocketed, the oldest candle maker in the world, Cire Trudon, has the sublime scent Spiritus Santi, whose smell is said to invoke a church — though we think it is a lot like a library.
6. If you have a bibliophile on your list who is impossible to shop for, you can pay it forward by making a donation in their name to a literacy organization like ProLiteracy or the Children’s Literacy Initiative— and help build the next generation of book-lovers.
— Noah Benjamin-Pollak