Books are a good choice of Christmas gift, to help support writers, and provide a gift that’s tailored to the recipient’s interests. You can buy them second hand if you’re skint: people give away barely used books, though you have to be flexible in your reading gift list: you can never guarantee what will be available.
These books are all safe choices for people you don’t know that well but feel obliged to buy a gift for. Of course, you could go for the eco choice of no gift at all – or book tokens – but sometimes, a wrapped gift is required.
The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady
For nature lovers and social history fans: a beautiful book. Packed with drawings, watercolours and lovely observations.
Norse Gods by Neil Gaiman
Whether to read with kids or enjoy yourself, these deft retellings of classic stories are written with love and humour.
The Collected Short Stories of Roald Dahl
Not for children, this chilling collection is filled with tales that will linger long after reading.
The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
For sci-fi and gardening fans alike, a brilliantly scary book about a world in crisis.
The Bluebird by Maurice Maeterlinck
A wonderful play for children and adults alike. Escape into another world and see magic all around you.
This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kaye
A dark and funny insight into the NHS. It’s a safe bet this will be popular with the recipient: it’s topped the charts for ages and has been translated into loads of languages. There’s also a follow-up, The Night Shift Before Christmas.