READING LIST: a birthday book club

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

I think books make the most thoughtful gifts. Choosing a book for a friend has so many different messages - it could be an author you know they love, your favourite novel, words that got you through a difficult time or the book that is so sidesplittingly funny you just want everyone you know to read it.

My brother has a lot of stuff, so for his birthday last year I wanted to get him a subscription gift that would arrive every month without taking up too much space in his flat. I found a few gift subscription websites online offering monthly deliveries of things like coffee, chocolate and books, but they seemed expensive for something that I had the time to research and put together myself. Plus, by hand-picking my own books, I could be sure my brother would like them. On the day of his birthday I gave him Where Chefs Eat with a note tucked inside that he would get a new book at the beginning of every month for the next 6 months. Then I went onto Amazon and searched for books and authors I knew he liked and trawled the 'customers who bought this also bought this' section to find some ideas. He loved it (I think!) and it was fun to discuss each month what he thought of the book I'd chosen.

The best thing is that you can completely tailor the books to the recipient or the occasion and it's great if you're a bit strapped for cash as you can spread the cost across a few months. Here's a few suggestions to create your own book club gift.

  • Choose a theme, like 'books for foodies' or 'The Classics'
  • Get the same books for yourself and have a monthly coffee date to discuss
  • Your bestie's getting married? This one is perfect
  • Why not include a candle and nibbles for a night in with a good read
  • It works for all ages - don't you think it would be exciting for little ones?
  • If in doubt, here are the 100 greatest novels of all time (apparently)

p.s. Make sure you choose books that will fit through a letterbox - it's not a treat if the recipient has to go and pick it up from the depot!


  1. This is such an amazing gift! Tim and I often give each other books for presents. Love books!

  2. Oh my goodness this SUCH a good idea! And I would absolutely LOVE to receive this as a gift too! It does appear that I am missing out on not having read a whole lot of the 100 greatest novels??
    x x x

  3. Aw, I love the idea of making your brother a book 'subscription' - so personalised and lovely! A gift that keeps on giving :) And I agree, it'd be so great for little ones. My birthday's in December so I tend to get all my presents for the year in one fell swoop, so would have loved a six-month spread of books as a child - will definitely consider this when I have my own family!

    Tamsin xx | A Certain Adventure

  4. Also - your blog name is incredible! Love it! x

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  6. These are some great birthday present ideas. I love getting people gifts and I try to be creative when picking out stuff. The holiday season is soon approaching .'

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