Holiday Gifts For Book Lovers

Hands extending a gift in winter wrapping

Did you know that 14% of books bought last year by Canadians were gifts? With gift-giving season upon us, that number is expected to jump soon, as nearly a third of holiday shoppers are predicted to include books on their holiday shopping lists.

The market is rife with options, which begs the question: what do you buy the book lover in your life? Market researchers forecast that 33% of Canadians will opt for book store gift cards, but if you’re looking for something more personal The IFOA 2017 Holiday Gift Guide has you covered.

We’ve brainstormed top titles, helpful lists, and out-of-the-box experiences to satisfy bibliophiles of all types. After all, the quicker you finish shopping, the sooner you can get back to that great read!

The IFOA 2017 Holiday Gift Guide:

1. For the Foodie

A cookbook for a foodie friend is an obvious choice, but which one to choose? The #FoodieFriday blog curated by our festival partner Simon & Schuster Canada can help you decide. There, you’ll find recipe samples from the latest cookbooks primed to equally satisfy a taste for reading and fine food. Choose wisely, and your gift may even lead to a dinner invitation!

2. For the Dog Lover

As Charles M. Schulz once said “Happiness is a warm puppy.” Though, as happy as you’d like to see your special someone, puppies don’t always make feasible presents. Luckily, our friends at Hachette Book Group have compiled an extensive list of books to fill that void. From the poignant to the comedic and everything in-between, this Top 10 List features a range of books for your friend about man’s best friend.

3. When Only the Best Will Do

Should you find yourself shopping for a literature fan with discerning taste, you can’t go wrong with an award winner. Check out the 2017 Governor General’s Literary Award winner for fiction We’ll All Be Burnt in Our Beds Some Night by Joel Thomas Hines (published by HarperCollins Canada), or the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize winner Bellevue Square by Michael Redhill (Penguin Random House). Having captured the praise of professional critics, these novels stand a good chance of winning over your friend too.

4. For the Knowledge Seeker

Help your book lover stay in-the-know by gifting them a subscription to a leading book industry publication, such as the Quill & Quire. It’s a gift that keeps on giving for months to come, offering continued access to breaking industry news, book reviews and more.  Your reading aficionado will feel fully immersed –and well-versed– in a community they adore.

Gray Notebook Beside Tealight Candle. Photographed by Daria Shevtsova. Pexels.

5. For the Mover and Shaker

Reading can be as much a social activity as a personal pleasure. Extroverted book lovers would likely jump at the chance to mix and mingle with like-minded readers. Toronto is rich with these opportunities, including book club memberships, book launch events and public readings.

One example is our very own IFOA Weekly series, which facilitates thought-provoking discourse between readers and authors through insightful interviews, book signings and Q & A sessions. Consider gifting an IFOA Supporter membership to provide free admission to these events for an entire year, plus even more perks described on our website.

6. For the Hard-to-Impress

Surprise and delight your gift recipients with the opportunity to pick out their own book, and print it themselves on-demand at the University of Toronto Bookstore. The store is home to Toronto’s only Espresso Book Machine. It features eco-friendly technology that reduces waste (since books are only printed once they’re sold), and offers a selection of over 4 million titles, including rare and out-of-print publications. Still not convinced it has what you need? If all else fails, the book pod machine also has a self-publish option!

7. For the One Who Has Everything

What do you give someone who has it all? Rather than risk gifting a duplicate item, consider gifting an experience instead. As it happens, winter is an opportune time for local getaways and cosy staycations. The city’s festive spirit is proudly on display, and many local deals are to be had during this low travel season.

For avid readers or writers, we suggest a simple staycation to reset and relax. For example, The Westin Harbour Castle currently has a 15% room special on offer. Pair that with panoramic rooftop views of the City’s twinkling lights, admired over dinner at Toula Restaurant and Bar, and you’ll have a gift package to inspire any storyteller.