• Jenny King

What to buy the reader in your life, if not a book?

It's a dangerous game buying an avid reader a book. Will you get it right? Do they already own it? What if they hate it!?

So what do you buy for your favourite book worm? With Christmas just a few weeks away, we thought we would pull together a gift list for the reader in your life. We've trawled the subscription boxes, the experiences and our brains for the perfect bookish gifts.

Alice and Jenny had so much fun pulling this list of gifts for readers together, mainly it's a wishlist of bookish presents they would like. Friends and family take note! This list is for life not just for Christmas, so bookmark it for those special occasions, when a book voucher simply won't do.

A photo of a Rare Birds Book Club book, laid on a desk next to a pair of glasses and a mug of black coffee.
Photo courtesy of Rare Birds Book Club

Book Subscriptions

It's the gift that keeps on giving and reminds someone on a monthly basis that you're the best gift giver EVER! We've tried to steer clear from boxes full of toot and think these boxes offer something a little different. If you want to hear the Sarahs' review a subscription box (not kindly) then sign up to our Patreon and have a listen to our bonus episodes. Promise that box isn't featured here!

Photo courtesy of Rare Birds Book Club

Rare Birds Book Club

Rare Birds Books champion female authors, so the beautifully wrapped books in this subscription box are all penned by women. We love that this subscription service allows you to choose between two titles. The books stay a surprise but you make your choice based on two summaries. They then run an online book club so you can share your thoughts with other readers. They have lots of different payment options, but their standard rolling monthly package is £14 a month. They also have a physical shop in Edinburgh.


Cureadosity is a picture book subscription service for 2-6 year olds. For £20 a month (or you can choose bimonthly or quarterly) your subscription box will include 3 books, all new releases (released within the last three months) to limit the chance of your little ones already owning them.

Photo courtesy of Bookishly


Bookishly offer a variety of subscription packages. They specialise in vintage and classic books. Their boxes come with tea or coffee and some come with chocolate, beautiful stationary and bookmarks. They even do a vintage James Bond box. Prices start at £35 for a 3 month subscription and although they are a UK based company, they ship worldwide.

Persephone Books' Book a Month

It's hard to imagine these beautiful books haven't made it onto your bookshelves, but if you're not familiar with Persephone Books, they reprint neglected work by mid century (mostly women) writers. The books are beautiful and always have stunning end papers and matching book marks. Their physical store has recently moved to Bath but we're assured it's just as beautiful as their vacated premises in London. Their subscription works perfectly as a gift for Persephone Book fans, as you choose the titles you want sending each month. Prices start at £66 for 6 months worth of books.

Photo courtesy of Words with Wine

Words with Wine

Words with Wine is the UK's first book and wine subscription service. For £25 a month (bi-monthly and one off purchase available) they send you their book of the month and a full size bottle of wine. You can then head to their online book club and discuss the book of the month with other members.

Teatime Bookshop

Tea and books? Some might say it's the perfect combination. The great thing about the Teatime Bookshop's subscription boxes is that you have the option to choose between new books and pre-loved ones. The boxes are £8.99 a month or £9.99 for a one-off box and each comes with your choice of tea, coffee, hot chocolate and a selection of biscuits. They also plant a tree for every new subscription.

Photo courtesy of The Hand Me Down Book Club

The Hand Me Down Book Club

If you're in the market for a more eco-conscious subscription box The Hand Me Down Book Club is a great option. Many books aren't recycled because of the glue that binds them together, so The Hand Me Down Book Club was established to prevent books being sent to landfill. They source and redistribute thousands of pre-loved books each month. Much like the other subscription services you can select the genre you want and starting at just £9.99 a month you'll get 2 books sent to you. There are cost saving options available and the option of receiving 4 or 6 books a month too.

You can support The Bookcast Club on Patreon, find out more on our support page. If you're a fan of the show and want a free way of showing your support then do rate and review us on iTunes or give us a little shoutout on social media - we really appreciate the love and will take it however it comes! We're @bookcastclub on Twitter and Instagram.

Book Experiences

Mr B's Reading Spas

Mr B's Reading Spas have been on our wishlist for quite some time. For £95 you get to sit down with a bibliotherapist (and tea and cake) who will discuss your reading preferences and go away and pick a whole stack of books to suit. The spa includes £60 of book vouchers, so as well as your personal one to one you get to walk away with a whole bunch of personally chosen books.

Poetry Pharmacy

A consultation with Deborah Alma at her Poetry Pharmacy sounds so soothing and idyllic. Laying back on her chaise longue having carefully handpicked poems read to you based on a thorough consultation sounds like the perfect prescription. If you can't get to her beautiful Victorian pharmacy cum coffee shop in Bishop's Castle you can have an email, telephone or virtual consultation. An in person consultation costs £30 and her remote consultations start at £25. She also stocks 'pills' in her shoppe, each capsule contains a short poem for your chosen ailment.

Book Therapy

Book Therapy specialises in 'book prescriptions', so in addition to tailoring your books to your preferences, they also consider your needs at the time. For £24.99 they will pull together a report of the books they have prescribed. The books aren't included, but we like the fact this give you the opportunity to get the books from the library or buy them second hand. If you want to see some examples of the books they subscribe they have some great recommended reading lists for a wide variety of ailments.

Author Events

One good thing to come out of the pandemic has been the accessibility of author events as it seems, even now things have started to open up, a lot of authors are still streaming events online. Why not make an evening of it and buy your favourite bookworm tickets to see an author they love? Fane are increasingly doing more author events online and have a great selection on their website.

We hope we've given you some inspiration for the upcoming gift giving season. We mention lots more ideas in our gift giving episode including beautiful books and stocking fillers. Find The Bookcast Club podcast on all good podcast apps or you can listen here on our website.

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