A List of Non-Book Gift Suggestions for the Gentle Reader

The good people over at Long and Short Reviews have set forth a list of topics for their Wednesday Blogging Challenge in 2021. I encourage you to take a look at the list and join in, whether you actually post on your blog or write about the topic in your journal or simply mull it over in your head. If you do post, though, leave a note and the link to your on-topic post in the comments here so we can all enjoy it.

Readers require little from life, and those needs with which they are burdened may be easily met with a small amount of thought and consideration. When next you find cause to provide some token of affection to a Reader, you may wish to consider one or more of the following suggested items.

~Selfless servants. These will silently and expertly maintain the household, always happy to serve and being ever mindful of their betters’ need for uninterrupted reading time. 

~A comfortable chair. Such shall be neither too soft nor too hard, neither too large nor too small, but rather shall be just right.

~Reading food. Tea sandwiches, cookies, and other items that may be managed with one hand, leaving the other hand free to hold a book, are preferred. Ideally all reading food will be mouth-wateringly delicious and will contain no calories.

~Personal book shopper. There is great stress involved in choosing books, as any serious Reader knows. In a perfect world, the Reader would have constant and immediate access to every title produced. Alas, ours is not a perfect world. In order to reduce anxiety, we suggest providing your friend or loved one with a proxy book shopper. This must be someone who understands the recipient’s taste in literature so that books appearing as if by magic at the recipient’s fingertips are exactly what is needed at any given moment.

~A clock that never ticks. Every serious Reader has a To Be Read list that extends far beyond any reasonable life expectancy. The gift of infinite time will be appreciated and cherished by the recipient. If such a thing cannot be obtained, the ideal non-book gift for the gentle reader is…

~A guiltectomy. This will allow the recipient to ignore all responsibilities, bodily needs, and moral imperatives that distract from the complete immersion Gentle Readers desire and require.

As a bonus, you may wish to include a book to complete the reading experience. Some suggestions are provided here:

The Lodger by Marie Belloc Lowndes: Mr and Mrs Bunting take in a lodger at the height of The Avenger’s murder spree in London’s East End.

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins: Art tutor Walter Hartright encounters a mystery woman dressed all in white.

The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart: A spinster aunt, a summer house, and a series of peculiar crimes come together in this classic.

The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey: Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant, while hospitalized, solves the mystery of the princes in the tower.

The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie: Miss Marple investigates when the body of a young woman is found in the library at Gossington Hall.

There are, of course, a great many books that will please a Reader, so choose the title that is most likely to resonate with your recipient. When it comes to books, there are no wrong choices.

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