All the Recs, Bonus Content

Holiday Gifts Ideas for the Reader in Your Life

Hello, bookish friends! The holiday season is quickly approaching, and sometimes, we all need a little help figuring out what to give to the most important people in our lives. One of my favorite things about the holidays is being able to spoil the people I love with things (both purchased and handmade!) I know they will enjoy for years to come. As an avid reader, I can only imagine how difficult it can be for a non-reader to come up with meaningful gift ideas for the book lovers in their lives – I sometimes even struggle with this and I’m supposed to be the biggest book nerd on earth! To lend a helping hand to book lovers and non-readers alike, I have created this gift guide to assist you with all your bookish holiday shopping needs. Who knows? You may even find a little something you’d like to add to your own letter to Santa. Let’s jump right in, shall we?

1) A Bookish Bouquet

If you are looking for a thoughtful keepsake that your reader will love and cherish forever, a bouquet of flowers made from the pages of one of their favorite reads might just be the perfect gift. The arrangment shown above was made by Blooming Books and I am completely obsessed with them. I love Gloria, the small business owner, because she is always willing to work with clients to create the most perfect, custom bookish centerpieces/wreaths/ornaments/so much more and the quality of her work really will last a lifetime!

2) Personalized Book Embosser/Stamp

Okay, so here’s the deal: I don’t actually have one of these myself. I know, right? How could I possibly be an avid reader, reviewer, blogger AND bookstagrammer and not have one of these bad boys to claim my books with? The reason is that I am completely head over heels in love with so many of the options out there that I haven’t figured out which one I want to purchase yet, so trust me when I say it’s a WHEN, not an IF kind of situation! I love these because you have the ability to make them completely your own. You can choose different fonts, what the stamp actually says on it, and whether you prefer an ink stamp or an embosser that creates your design by pressing into a page. The images above are just a few of the many styles you can choose from, but really the options are limitless!

3) Reader’s Journals

Bibliophile Reader's Journal: (Gift for Book Lovers, Journal for Readers and Writers)
You can purchase this journal on Amazon or at your local Barnes and Noble. Each page includes: start and end of reading dates, star rating, book title, author, plot notes, character notes, favorite quotes, and other books to read by the author.

If you’re looking for a gift that was literally made to aid reviewers, bloggers, bookstagrammers, and more compile their thoughts on the books they read, look no further than reader’s journals! The one pictured above is actually the first one I’d ever come across and I immediately fell in love. The beauty of this little notebook and those like it is that as you read, you can jot down any important notes that you’d like to include in a review and/or those you will need to remember for the next book in a series. I would venture to say that this might just be a reader’s most trusty companion!

4) Framed Book Page Prints

The Great Gatsby Book Page Art  Dictionary Page Art  image 1
BarkersBookArt is one of many places that can create these beautiful customized prints

The perfect addition to any in-home library or office space occupied by a book lover would be a framed book page print. The beauty of these is that they are completely customizable, so if you know one of your bookish friend’s favorite book quote (and bonus: the page number the quote is on in their respective book!) you can give them a really classy/sophisticated wall hanging that shows them that you have indeed been paying attention to their bookish ramblings, haha! This gift is even more sweet in the sense that if you’re a crafter like me, you could even put one of these together yourself fairly economically. Handmade gifts do hit differently!

5) Bookish Pins + Display

I know this gift may seem a bit obvious since basically every reader I know has at least one bookish pin, but what’s funny is these beautiful pieces are acquired, book lovers rarely know what to do with them. Well… at least I don’t anyway, and I am boldly assuming there are more people like me out there! Some pins have such elaborate detailing while others may feature the reader in your life’s favorite quote, so why not purchase them a simple display like the one pictured for them to hang on a wall in their homes to enjoy? This practical gift solves the problem of readers not getting to enjoy the tiniest pieces bookish merchandise they have collected over the years, and they will likely be shocked you even thought of such a nifty gifty!

6) Ideal Bookshelf Print

Custom PRINT
Just one example of the many customizable prints available from Ideal Bookself

Do you have a reader in your life who just moved into a dorm room or new apartment that is too small to store all of their beloved books from their family home in? Gifting them an ideal shelf print is an excellent gift for folks like these, as they can hang a customized collage of their favorite books on their wall and think of them fondly until they can be reunited once they return home again for a visit (or until they can finally move somewhere with enough space to store their books!). Though this item is on the pricey side, the enjoyment and comfort it will bring your reader will be priceless!

7) My Life In Chapters Journal

Guided Journal : My Life in Chapters | The Playful - Keeptake
My Life in Chapters journals come in many different colors, which can be found on the Keeptake website

If your book lover is like me, they have probably told you a million times that while they love to read what other people write, they can’t imagine ever trying to write something themselves because they don’t feel as though they have a story to tell. Purchaisng them a My Life in Chapters journal might just be the push they need to start thinking about all the amazing things that happen to them in their life. Once a year for ten years, the reader will take the time to reflect on various experiences they had that year through a set of relatively short prompts. At the end of the ten years, I’m fairly confident that if your reader wanted to end up writing their own book, they will have plenty of real life material to inspire their own work of fiction or nonfiction! And don’t tell them, but finishing the journal is basically finishing a little book in and of itself!

8) Bookish Scratch-Off Poster

Some readers really enjoy setting various goals for themselves, such as setting a number of books they want to read in a year’s time on Goodreads. If you want to help them take their goal setting to a brand new level, consider gifting them a scratch-off poster! As they read various titles on the poster, they are provided with instant gratification as they scratch off the coating to reveal the book’s cover. They make these posters with books from all kinds of genres and for different age groups, too, so you are sure to find one that your book lover will love!

9) Literary-Inspired Cookbooks

If you find that your reader is in the kitchen whipping up something delicious when their nose isn’t shoved in a book, this next gift is perfect for them! Over the years, there have been many literary-inspired cookbooks written and published, so there is bound to be one out there for them to enjoy. With this gift, your book lover can read a recipe that references their favorite novel(s) while they simultaneously fix themselves something yummy to eat – it’s the best of both worlds!

10) A Bookish Care Package

This is an example of a box put together by The Librarian Box

I don’t know about you guys, but I absolutely ADORED putting together care packages for people, especially when they’re bookish! In addition to packing a box up with a book and bookish merchandise (bookmarks, mugs, etc.) you think your book lover will enjoy, you can also include body care items, snack/drink items, a gift card, and so much more! The beauty of this gift is 100 percent customizable and you can adjust the types and number of items you include to fit any budget.

I hope that you enjoyed taking a gander at this book lover’s dream gift guide! I had such a blast writing this post, as even though I love the warmer weather, the holiday season is my favorite time of the year. If you’re a reader, what do you hope to recieve (or gift to a fellow reader!) this year? Let me know in the comments and we’ll chat about all the bookish goodies!

Until next time, bookish babes!

Sarah ❤

Bonus Content, Let's Talk Books!

Let’s Talk Books: Book-to-Film (and TV!) Adaptations

Hello, bookish friends, and welcome back to the blog! As you can tell from the title of this post, I am going to be sharing my thoughts on books that are turned into movies and/or TV shows. I have found that many readers have very strong feelings about these, and while I’d like to say I’m not one of those people, I do have some pretty fierce opinions myself. Let’s jump right into those, shall we?

First and foremost, I am definitely that person who has to read the book before seeing the adaptation, not the other way around. While this does make me more biased when watching the film (especially if I fell in love with the book first), I’m a firm believer in appreciating the original work at its source before exploring the various branch-offs of said work. I have plenty of friends who prefer to read the book only after they’ve seen the adaptation, and that’s cool, too, but since I HATE spoilers, this approach has just never worked for me!

On to the question you’re probably all thinking: What, in my opinion, constitutes a good book-to-film/TV adaptation? The avid reader in me says that the film should stay completely true to the book, and while I totally wish this were possible, it’s extremely difficult to include all 400+ pages of a book into a 2 hour movie or even a season or two of a TV show. Because of this, I would say that a solid adaptation should include some of the most important lines and plot points of a novel, and that the acting of the cast stay true to the personalities, attitudes, behaviors, etc. of the characters as written in the book to the best of their ability. Part of me doesn’t necessarily even care (well… okay. Sometimes I do in very limited cases!) if the characters look the way I pictured them in my mind while reading, as long as the way the characters are represented in the book are very similar to the way the actor portrays them on-screen.

There are very few things that I can think of that make me just straight-up not like an adaptation. The first is that the plot of the movie is changed drastically and is essentially completely different from the book. In my brain, I can’t even consider that kind of film an adaptation because the movie turns into a completely separate entity without much overlap with the book. While sometimes I can overlook this, I also don’t love it when there are characters in a book that never show up in a movie. Like with the plot, this is just a big inconsistency that makes the movie feel completely separate from the book itself.

Overall, I think my expectations for film/TV adaptations of novels are relatively reasonable, as many of those I have seen, I’ve really liked! Speaking of those I’ve seen… let’s end this thing with just a few of my own favorites and not-so-favorites!

My Favorites

My Not-So-Favorites

….

Well, folks, I think that’s a wrap on my ramblings about book-to-film/TV adaptations! I know it can be hard to think objectively about these, especially when it’s one of your favorite books. However, I do think it’s pretty awesome that so many producers are willing to take on such a daunting task these days, so mega props to them for all their efforts!

May the rest of your week be filled with lots of fabulous reads, and thanks for tuning into this week’s bonus content post! 😊

All the Recs, Bonus Content

8 Books Sure to Put You in the Summer Spirit

There’s nothing I find more relaxing than sitting in the sunshine with my nose in a good book. With summer quickly approaching, I couldn’t think of a better time than now to throw some summery book recommendations your way! Regardless of if you’re about to head out on an island getaway or just enjoying the warmer days from your own backyard, here are some books that are sure to make the perfect companion for your summer adventures!

1) Moonglass by Jessi Kirby

Amazon.com: Moonglass (9781442416956): Kirby, Jessi: Books

I chose Moonglass for this list because it’s an emotional, raw, hit-you-in-the-feels contemporary with a stunning beach setting– a setting that provides so much comfort to our main character, Anna. While moving to the area was hard on her, I love that Anna starts to embrace her new home as she learns more about how important the area was to her mother, who she lost unexpectedly ten years earlier. While a super sweet romance was also blossoming in the background, I appreciated that the majority of the book focused on the importance of remaining connected to loved ones who have passed and rekindling relationships with those you’ve drifted away from. Overall, I really enjoyed all this book had to offer, and it just seems fitting that it be read in the summer months!

2) This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

This Is What Happy Looks Like (This is What Happy Looks Like, #1)

Can we all just take a moment and appreciate how simple and sweet this cover it? In addition to the setting being a quaint little town in the summertime and the characters taking advantage of all the fun that comes along with the season, I specifically chose This Is What Happy Looks Like for this list because Smith’s writing is so captivating, poetic, and reads so beautifully. There’s just something about the fluidity of her words that blend in so well with the aspects of summer that are at the forefront of this book. In all honestly, I really can’t think of another book that better fits the description of “summer pick-me-up” than this gem!

3) The Beholder by Anna Bright

Amazon.com: The Beholder (9780062845429): Bright, Anna: Books

There’s something about loose fairytale retellings that draw me in during the summer months. The Beholder just might be my favorite to date, though, because it’s got a little bit of everything I look for to keep me enthralled in a fantasy: a strong female lead who, while understandably kind of a hot mess, always manages to find the strength to keep going, undertones of the Odyssey, and even a little romance thrown in. If you’re missing your weekly episodes of “The Bachelorette” while they’re in the off-season, this book may just be the perfect alternative to help you pass the time, as Selah is the star of her own version of the show, just in literary form and, well, ya know, there being a dash of magic thrown into the mix!

4) What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Amazon.com: What I Thought Was True (9780803739093): Fitzpatrick ...

I chose What I Thought Was True for this list because the overall theme of mending bridges is at the forefront. What better time than summer to take the opportunity to learn to forgive and rekindle a relationship with someone you were once close to? This is exactly what Gwen spends her summer doing on her homeland of Seashell Island, in addition to trying to figure out what she wants out of life after graduating from high school. A lot of big decisions are made in the summer, and this book would be the perfect read for high school and college seniors who are fixing to start new journeys of their own. Maybe they’ll even realize that they have some relationships mending to do themselves before they venture off to begin their new chapters of life!

5) An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Amazon.com: An Ember in the Ashes (9781432850340): Tahir, Sabaa: Books

I’m not really sure why this book screams “summer” to me, but somehow I just can’t imagine reading this fantasy novel in any other season! Maybe it’s because in a lot of ways, this book is the total opposite of what I would use to describe summertime– pretty dark, cold, gloomy, and slightly depressing, at times. But, the adventures these characters set out on are super action-packed and suspenseful, so even if you can’t go on one of your own this summer, you’ll be able to escape from the real world for awhile when reading An Ember in the Ashes!

6) The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

The Truth About Forever

I find that some of the most grand summertime adventures don’t have to take you someplace new. For some people, like Macy the Perfectionist, your not-so-fun but oh-so-important trials may take place right at home. I loved that this book was all about how taking advantage of new opportunities that are outside your comfort zone help you discover so many new things about yourself you never knew existed. It’s also a testament to how surrounding yourself with good people can help heal old wounds. The sweet romance that blossomed in this book was just the icing on the cake to make this one of my favorite summer reads to date!

7) Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Since You've Been Gone

While I could have picked literally any of Morgan Matson’s books for this list because she’s the QUEEN of summery contemporaries, I chose Since You’ve Been Gone because its premise is very different from those of her other books. This book has less emphasis on romance, and more on the importance of personal growth and independence from those we tend to use as a crutch to avoid challenging ourselves. I absolutely adored all of the summertime activities on the list Sloan left Emily to help push her out of her comfort zone and how Emily seemed to embrace the whole experience, even though I would have found quite a few of the activities listed terrifying myself! I was so engrossed in this compelling story that at times, I felt like I was accompanying Emily on her escapades, which was so much fun to experience! Overall, I just felt like all the working pieces of this book fit the mold of summer to a T, and I think a lot of readers will be able to relate to Emily’s journey of breaking out of her shell at a really critical time in her life.

8) Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welsh

Amazon.com: Love & Gelato (9781481432559): Welch, Jenna Evans: Books

Love and Gelato is the perfect summertime read, with is gorgeous Italian setting, whimsical descriptions of all the country has to offer, and the adorable bond that forms between Ren and Lina as they scramble to uncover a hidden secret about Lina’s family. This books stands out from other contemporaries in that it’s such a quick, fun, and enjoyable read and while it does have some emotional moments in it, the focus remains on all the good life has to offer! Not only will this book lift your spirits when you’re feeling down, but it will totally convince you to bite the bullet and take your own summer trip abroad!

I hope you all find this list helpful as we head into the summer months! What are some of your go-to summer reads? Let me know below!