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Books at Christmas Are Special Presents, but Which One Should You Buy?

Here are a few suggestions for even the most dedicated bookworm.

By Sam H ArnoldPublished 2 years ago 7 min read

Books are my favourite Christmas present to receive, but I have lost count of how many people have said they do not think they are real presents.

As any bookworm will know, a book is a perfect present, but which one to buy? I have put together two choices for each in the following categories. No section is exclusively for that reader; there are lots that cross over.

For example, the books I have chosen for teenagers I have read as an adult. These are the books I believe that any bookworm would be pleased to receive.

For the Younger Reader

The Magic Faraway Tree was always my favourite as a child. I read hundreds of books when I was younger, but few have stuck with me like this classic. I have also started reading them to my daughters to revisit the magic together.

In places, the language appears dated and Enid Blyton has suffered much criticism about some of this, but if you appreciate the time this was written, it is still a good read.

The book contains imaginative characters that all children will fall in love with, whether Silky the fairy, Spoonface or the deaf Saucepan Man; children will want to spend time with the colourful collection. There is also adventure on every page. Like the worlds at the top of the tree, there is a different world to explore on every page.

Inkheart has been a firm favourite of mine for many years. It is a book I read as an adult, but it is still perfect for children who are advanced readers or who you want to read to. I am shocked more people do not know about this classic.

It is the story of a young girl whose father has the gift of reading characters out of books. The story is packed with adventure from the first page to the last. This adventure is carried out with various colourful characters, some of which you may recognise from your favourite classics.

The book is a perfect read for bookworms; every chapter starts with a different quote from a classic. Be warned; as you read this, you will amass quite a list of other books you want to read from these quotes. The book is one of a trilogy, so if you enjoy this, there are another two to read.

For the Teenager

The Hunger Games is a hugely popular film starring Jennifer Lawrence; what is also overlooked is that it is a brilliant trilogy. As with most film versions, the books are better; they contain more information, characters and depth.

They are not a particularly difficult read for teenagers, but the subject matter might be a little mature for some. However, the books tell a powerful story of survival and the power to overcome anything.

Every teenager will get something different from these books, whether they have seen the films or not. You might even want to buy the entire trilogy for your teen if you feel generous. This is a collection I am buying as a Christmas gift, shh don't tell anyone.

To Kill a Mockingbird is my favourite book ever. I don't think that will surprise many who know that my eldest daughter is called Harper. I have read this book so often that I am on my third copy.

This is a story of growing up and realising that our world is not always what we thought it was. It is a coming-of-age story. Although some of the language may be harder to read for many teens, I still believe it is a book that most teenagers should read.

The only word of caution I will give is that this book is on the GCSE reading list, although it is not a popular choice. So maybe check to see if your teen will read this at school before purchasing it; if not, it is a must-buy.

For Adults Who Like a Unique Read

House of Leaves is the most unique book you will ever read; it is like nothing you have read before and nothing like you will ever read again.

It is an intimidating novel that defies genre and traditional structure. The book's uniqueness means that every reader will have a unique reading experience. Just look at some of the pages.

The book is three stories in one. The first narrative concerns Johnny, a man with failing mental health. He finds his landlord dead, surrounded by papers. We follow Johnny's journey as he uncovers the papers whilst losing himself.

The second narrative is from the dead landlord, Zampano, a documentary filmmaker about the Navidson family. In the books are notes from him and research he has carried out.

The third narrative is about the Navidson family, who move into a house and find a hidden passage. This hidden passage has its secret; you follow the family as you explore.

The clever part of this book is that all three narratives are told individually but on the same page. As a result, it is a book you may have to revisit time and time to get the whole story, an ideal Christmas present.

Brave New World is a classic dystopian that tells a story about the world as it may become. It is not as famous as 1984 by George Orwell, but it is just as powerful. It is set in a futuristic world where people are genetically manufactured to fit in with societal roles.

This book examines social hierarchy as well as relationships and the power of the human spirit; it is a book that has frequently been banned, which is always a good sign it should be read.

Brave New World is the first of all the Dystopians, in my opinion, and will leave the reader with enough to think about and debate throughout Christmas.

For a Lover of Classics

Lord of the Rings is still hugely popular and a brilliant classic. It is not for the faint of heart, as it is an epic read. It is, however, a book that can be read and read. With its popularity comes many reprints and some beautiful editions, so even if your bookworm has read it, you might be able to find a new illustrated edition for them.

Lord of the Rings is the original fantasy book and involves a masterclass in world-building. It is a book you can pick up and put down for years. My only word of caution is that I would advise anyone to read The Hobbit first; it has always amused me that it was never included as part of the trilogy.

Whether it is The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings, this is an epic read that should keep your bookworm busy for the year, not just Christmas.

Not many people will be surprised to hear that Sherlock Holmes is one of my favourite novels. This is because I love the crime genre and Arthur Conan Doyle gives us a masterclass on how to write it.

Whether you have read one story or all, there is something for your bookworm if they like crime. I will defy anyone to work out the end of the story if they have not read it before.

Despite being an older book, I don't think it has aged at all; the stories are just as inviting today as when they were written. This book has a high entertainment value and is hugely fun to read.

Like Lord of the Rings, there are many different editions, from plain novels to spectacularly illustrated versions. Something for every bookworm, whether they have read them before or not.

Those Difficult Readers

There are always those members of the family that are hard to buy for, especially if they are readers. You know, the type that have read everything or have such obscure likes you could never work it out.

Here are two books that are not difficult to read but would fit in the category of unique reads; the first is Ready Player One. Now, for those who have stumbled on the film, I have to tell you the book is nothing like that. Not even in the plot.

Ready Player One is hugely entertaining and a rapid read; it is a fast-paced story set in a virtual world known as the Oasis. If your bookworm were an 80s child, they will love this book because of its many references.

Whether you are into films, music or video games, there is a reference to all in Ready Player One. It is an easy read that takes you down memory lane.

My final selection is for the thinkers amongst you. Meditations, written by Marcus Aurelius, is one of the most famous philosophical texts. But, it is not just for the philosophers amongst you, as there is something for everyone.

Originally written as the private journal of Aurelius, it was never meant for publication. It is written as a collection of his observations and thoughts, but there is something for everyone. It is the thinking person book.

Although not for everyone, this book is for those who like to read books and devour their meaning. I have read it several times and it is a book I go back to every so often, so it will live with your bookworm long past Christmas.

Reading is Joy

No matter which of these suggestions you settle on or if you don't like any, a book can be a personal gift that many people would love. So why not buy your loved one a copy of your favourite book?

My Gran always bought me books throughout her life and between us, it was her gift that I always looked forward to most. She never bought me books she thought I would like but rather books she loved. Needless to say, they are all now my favourite reads.

What makes them even more remarkable is the little personal dedication she used to write on the inside cover with the date. Some of you will shiver at writing in a book, but this personal touch makes them twice as special for me. That is possibly the thing I am going to miss most this year.

Give a book for Christmas and open your bookworm up to another world. What book are you hoping to receive this year in your stocking?

book reviews

About the Creator

Sam H Arnold

A writer obsessed with true crime, history and books. Find all my dedicated newsletters whether you are a true crime fan, bookworm or aspiring writer on Substack - https://substack.com/@samharnold

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