Know a book lover who has an upcoming birthday? If you’re stuck on what to get them, you need to check out this book lover gift guide featuring 5 Canadian small businesses!
Gracie._Co, Love To Be Books, Market Candle Company, VIBookCrate, and Thoughtfully Handmade have you covered. From hand-poured candles and handmade cards to excellent books, you’ll definitely find a great gift.
To read, keep on scrolling!
1. Hand-poured Candles
Let me set the scene for you. Imagine a beautiful, but slightly chilly fall day. You’re curled up on the couch with a soft blanket and a book that you’ve been waiting to read. A candle is lit on the coffee table with your favourite scent. Sounds like a perfect day for me, and I’m sure your book-loving friend would agree!
If you’re looking for a minimal candle that’s made from 100% soy wax, you need to check out Market Candle Company by Shabi. She creates scented candles that are inspired by all things market fresh and fantastic! Shabi started her candle-making journey two years ago when she made some for her bridal shower favours.
After she realized how many toxins are in store-brand candles, she decided to make her own with 100% soy wax. Soy wax doesn’t include any harsh chemicals and has a soot-free burn. Also, since it burns at a lower temperature, Shabi’s candles will last longer than a standard paraffin-based candle. All of the candles at Market Candle Company are hand-poured in small batches and made using high-quality fragrance oils, reusable containers and cotton wicks.
Speaking of scents, Shabi’s candles come in a variety of fresh and flavourful ones, so I’m sure you’ll find one that your friend will love! What I love most about Market Candle Company is they donate 50 cents from each candle sold to the Canadian Mental Health Association. So, if you want to get a candle for your friend, visit Market Candle Company’s website. Don’t forget to follow them on Instagram for scent updates!
2. Self-Love Books
Why not give s self-love- and mental health-focused book to your bookworm friend and help them grow their collection? Sarah, from Love To Be Books, writes children’s books focused on self-awareness, interconnection and kind-dialogue. Even though the target audience is for children, I think we adults can benefit from this discussion too!
Sarah started writing and publishing children’s books in 2012. Eventually, she created the Love To Be book series, where she draws upon her studies of holistic nutrition, education and mindfulness. Sari Richter, who is a registered art therapist in Toronto, illustrated the books for Sarah. So, all of the Love To Be books have gorgeous illustrations to accompany Sarah’s inspiring words.
Sarah created the first book in the series, “Love To Be Me!” while she was a substitute teacher. “Love To Be Me!” is an interactive, loving, kindness body scan. Sarah’s intention was to create a safe space for children (and adults) to explore, connect and be kind to ourselves. She also offers Author Readings to schools in the TDSB, YRDSB, the Conference of Independent Schools and virtually.
What I also love is that all of Sarah’s books are printed in Canada and are approved by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). To purchase a Love To Be book, head to Love To Be Books’ website! You should also follow them on Instagram for shop updates.
3. Teacup Candles
Remember the scene I described earlier? Now, imagine reusing the candle container afterwards for tea (or coffee, I don’t judge)! I love the premise behind Gracie ._Co’s teacup candles, handmade by the owner, Grace. She upcycles vintage and collectable teacups and turns them into candles. How cool!
After your bibliophile burns through it, they can enjoy their favourite tea in their new teacup. I love two-in-one gifts. Most of Gracie ._Co’s cups are from England, and some are from Japan and China. Each teacup comes with a saucer too, so your friend can enjoy cookies on the side!
My favourite part is how no two candles are the same because no two cups are the same. The scents for each candle differ as well.
Unfortunately, Gracie._Co doesn’t have a website yet, but you can shop their candles online or in-person at Simcoe Street Market. You can also directly message Gracie._Co on their Instagram account to order!
4. Book Subscription Service
If your friend is just beginning their reading journey, why not give them a VIBookCrate subscription box? The owner, Kristen, encourages reading at all ages through her fun and engaging book boxes. Kristen started VIBookCrate because she wanted a Canadian-based book box for her kids and couldn’t find one. So, she created her own!
At first, she focused on creating reading adventures for children aged 8-12 years old. Now, she also has a box for adults too! Each month, your friend will receive a themed box that’s filled with items to take them on a reading adventure. VIBookCrate’s middle-grade crates and early reader envelopes are explicitly curated for 4-12 year-olds.
Their seasonal YA/adult boxes are filled with items that are fun and functional. This box contains young adult (YA) books that don’t have high levels go violence, sex and coarse language. Unlike the children’s box, the adult experience box is shipped quarterly and themed to fit the four seasons. Give one to a book nerd in your life and encourage them for some reading self-care.
What I love most about VIBookCrate is that they source all of the box items from other Canadian businesses! So, to gift your friend a subscription box, sign up on VIBookCrate’s website. You can also follow them on Instagram for updates and sneak peeks!
5. Handmade Bookmarks and Cards
Know someone who loves reading, but you don’t know know what to get them? How about a handmade bookmark? I paint the backgrounds for all of my watercolour bookmarks, and I make the tassels too! You can also wish them a happy birthday by sending them a thoughtfully handmade card, especially since birthday parties can’t happen in person right now!
You can pair one of my cards with any gift from this gift guide as well. That way, you can write a thoughtful message inside to make the gift even more special! Handmade by me, intended for you to give, all of my cards and bookmarks are meant to spread joy to whoever receives it. I started Thoughtfully Handmade with a mission to help others spread positivity. Giving a handmade card is a small gesture that can bring a lot of happiness to people’s lives!
My products are unique, and I only produce 6-8 cards for each design. By purchasing something from me, you’re also donating ten cents to Toronto Environmental Alliance. They are a non-profit organization that strives to build a greener Toronto. For a book nerd, the birthday cards featured here are perfect!
To purchase a card or bookmark, you can click on a photo above with the design you like or visit the “Shop” page on my website. Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter, Yandy’s Chronicles, for fun behind the scenes content and to follow me on Instagram to connect!
Who cares if you have to celebrate birthdays differently this year? Quarantine is no excuse to slack on the birthday gifts! I’m sure gifts this year will be even more meaningful because you went out of your way to give them. If these ideas don’t work for you, I also have some other gift guides! Just check out the related blog post section.