Bookish

Experience Based Gifts for Book Lovers (Minimalist Edition)

‘Tis the Season.jpg

Wow, only two weeks till Christmas. How is it possible? I still remember very vividly last year’s festivities. 🙂 If you are a bit like me, a mildly disorganised, last minute ‘it can wait’ type of person, you may find some of those ideas below useful. 🙂

Some of you may know that I am a self-proclaimed minimalist. I like not to own too many things. I love giving experience based gifts and if asked, I usually suggest them from the receiving end as well.

My intention is not to make anyone feel bad about their own gifts. I am not against material possessions nor am I judging anyone. I just want to give you some other present ideas for your ‘bookish’ loved ones.

None of these links below are sponsored; I am stating my own opinions and am not affiliated with any of these companies below. I thought I should disclose that just in case! 🙂

  • Book talks given by favourite authors

I enjoy reading author’s parting words as well as their stories on how books of theirs came about.

Book talks give us opportunities to meet our favourite authors, find out more about their work and creative process in general. They can also connect us as we can discuss our favourite books with alike minded ‘new’ friends. 🙂

Here is a list of upcoming talks in the UK for some ideas. As I am a keen adventurer, I especially like the sound of Sir Ranulph Fiennes: Living Dangerously talk.

Book talks can also be found at authors’ pages. For example my favourite Tara Westover has an event page here.

As I am eagerly anticipating the release of King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo, the great news for my US based friends is that she will be touring US early next year – a lot of tickets are sold out already but you may still be of luck and grab some tickets for your loved ones that enjoy reading books from this author.

  • Bookish events – exhibitions, festivals, literature conventions

I would also label bookish events under ‘let’s connect’ category as they celebrate our favourite author’s work, we get to meet some kindred spirits and may leave inspired and giddy to read yet another book from that author. They can also be a great way of getting to know new authors.

For UK readers, here’s a rather comprehensive list of events happening next year.

I especially like the sound of Harry Potter’s History of Magic hosted by the British Library that is sadly sold out now but could be used as an inspiration for any future gifts when it’s brought back again.

By the way British Library hosts some brilliant exhibitions, some of them are even free and can be used as the ‘I’m inviting you to this exhibition as our time together gift’ if you are short on money.

For Young Adults: YALC is the UK’s Young Adult Literature Convention – a celebration of the very best young adult books and authors. YALC takes place each year as part of the London Film and Comic Con. Tickets can be bought here.

  • Escape rooms for mystery readers

Taken from Wikipedia: an escape room, also known as an “escape game”, is a physical adventure game in which players solve a series of puzzles and riddles using clues, hints, and strategy to complete the objectives at hand.

I think this experience based gift could appeal to those, who enjoy reading detective stories or any other stories that consist of suspense and mystery. The puzzle solving aspect as well as a group based activity, could make this a great family gift or a gift for a group of friends.

There are so many escape rooms available these days, I usually check their ratings on TripAdvisor first though.

  • Writing classes & meetups

If your loved one is a keen writer as well, why not to enrol them into some writing classes to practice their skills? I would probably check this one in advance though to prevent offending anyone! 😉

Masterclass has many, but rather pricey classes, such as the one given by Margaret Atwood.

Writing meetups could be another options. I love the idea of meeting with fellow writers in person to discuss our work. It’s again that social aspect of it that really appeals to me.

  • Gifts that keep on giving

There are many book charities out there that promote learning, reading, and education in general. I am not going to tell you, which one to support, should you decide to do so. It is a personal choice and whatever appeal to you is the best way forward.

I think donating on someone’s behalf is such a sweet gift and could make either a great stockings filler (if a donation is small) or a main gift, if you decide to go that way.

Here are a few charities but the list is definitely not a comprehensive one, so please do your own research if you wish to go down this path:

BookTrust transforms lives by getting children and families reading . It is the UK’s largest children’s reading charity. Each year they reach 3.4 million children across the UK with books, resources and support. I especially love their Spark programme.

Books2Africa is saving books from going to landfill in the UK, and is shipping them instead to students and teachers across Africa.

National Literacy Trust is working with schools and communities to give disadvantaged children the literacy skills to succeed in life.

I love Pencils of Promise for its transparency, 100% direct giving promise as well as for their belief that everyone deserves access to quality education.


There you have it my friends, my few ideas on experience based gifts.

Do you have any other ideas? Fancy sharing them with me?

Thanks for reading, I appreciate you being here. ♥♥♥

Chitter-chatter

Chitter-Chatter: Blogging Goals – Less in the World of More

CaféLatte

Welcome to the ‘Chitter-Chatter‘ series. I’m so glad you are here

In case you have missed previous posts in this series, we are still talking about:


In today’s Chitter-Chatter series, I would like to chat about setting goals. Before I do that, let’s start with the more vs. less concept.

Do you sometimes feel you need to or should do more?

When applied to the blogging community: do you feel you should read more books, write more posts, engage with more bloggers, have more social media platforms…?

If you have been following my blog for a while, you may know that I call myself a minimalist.

Minimalists like to talk about less being more. I know, it is an oxymoron. But when we think about what is behind ‘less‘ – it may start making sense.

As an example: if I want ‘less’ things, I may be able to work ‘less’ hours as I need to earn ‘less’ money and therefore have ‘more’ non-working time to spend.

Even though I fully believe in less being more, I still notice that need for more sometimes lurking in dark corners of my mind and when I don’t keep an eye of it, it starts making its way to the surface.

Recently, I have noticed a shift in my mentality about blogging. I started to feel I needed to do more.

I felt I needed to read more. And write more, visit more blogs, and generally make more of an effort. Do you notice how exhausting it sounds?

And do you know what’s interesting about it? That nobody told me so. It all came from me – those were my own expectations I ruthlessly put upon myself.

We may set goals for different reasons:

  • We may set them because frankly, we want to. We are in a state of ‘happy dissatisfaction’ with a mindset full of abundance, kindness and love and want to evolve.
  • Or we can also set them because we may feel we ‘lack something’. This mindset is about scarcity.

The first category makes us feel content with failing, the second category hates failing. The first category promotes self-love and self-compassion, the second one fear and shame. The first category wants us to do something, not because how we are hoping to feel afterwards, but because it is something we are interested in doing. The second category is all about how we will feel afterwards… and the answer is: we are hoping we will feel better than how we are feeling right now.

Brooke Castillo did an entire podcast on ‘goal setting’ in which she talks about how we could set goals we have already achieved alongside those that we are still hoping to achieve. It’s absolutely fantastic and you can listen to it here.

The first time I heard it, I thought: ‘Whaaat? Why would I set goals I have already completed? Isn’t that a bit counter-intuitive’?

Thinking about it for some time led me believe that setting those goals we have achieved, alongside those, we are yet to achieve, not only shifts our mentality into that first category, but also enables us to want less as our goal list is already partially complete.

Okay, it may be a bit abstract, let’s pick an example:

Let’s say I want to write three posts a week and make this my current blog goal.

I can also want to ‘have a blog’ (which I have) and find a group of people on blogosphere I enjoy interacting with (which I have found and am extremely grateful for).

Looking at it this way, I have already achieved two of my three goals. And it feels good. Side note: those two goals are something I very much wanted at some point. And I have achieved them. I included them because they once were something I truly desired.

Wishing for something using an example above makes me feel like I am not lacking anything, but rather have an abundance of opportunities in my life.

If I don’t achieve my three posts a week goal,  I won’t make it mean all about me because I have already achieved those other two goals… do you see what is happening here? I have three goals and my goal list doesn’t feel short, I have also achieved two of those so I am not feeling stressed about the incomplete goal.

You may argue that this way, you will achieve less. I politely disagree. I think wanting something, which we already have, ensures we are likely not to give up when things become challenging.

I also think it may reduce our overall anxiety and feelings of: ‘there’s so much to do, I don’t know what to do first, I’m so busy, I am so overwhelmed’…. As these can result into us not taking any actions at all. I usually start procrastinating whenever I am thinking those thoughts.

I believe that wanting something we already have can also help us start cultivating gratitude. And gratitude could invite inner peace.


Do you feel like there is just so much to do and you don’t know what to do first?

How about you chose the most important goal you currently have and add a few goals to your goal list, that you once really wanted to accomplish, and which you have achieved?

You don’t need to pick one incomplete goal nor use the 1:2 ratio. It’s completely up to you. We are all different.

Trying this experiment may be fun and if you do decide to give it a go, please let me know. I would love to cheer you along! 🙂

My parting comments are following: we can all feel sometimes that we need more. But I wholeheartedly believe that the answer is always less.


Let’s talk!

  • What do you think of the ‘wish for something you already have’ concept?
  • And do you also sometimes feel like you need to do ‘more’?
  • And what do you think about minimalism? 🙂

As always, I would love to know what you think. I do appreciate all your comments.