I am not much for malls, so I avoid shopping on Black Friday. But I am an ace at making gift guides. This distinctive talent is based on a remarkable discovery: if you put “Reading” on the label of any item at all, the gift will be a hit with readers.
It started with “Reading Socks.” You can get these at Barnes and Noble or Indigo in Canada. They are actually extra-thick lined socks with treads on the bottom. These cozy so-called “reading socks” can be worn in bed, or as slippers, and will keep you warm . But you can also buy an ordinary pair of socks with treads on the soles and label them “Reading Socks” and have the same effect!
If you live in a drafty house, you also need “Reading Pajamas.” I set out to buy an old-fashioned Lanz flannel nightgown, but it was absurdly expensive. Instead, I found inexpensive cozy flannel pajamas and even warmer “plush” or “fleece” pajamas. They are great for comfortable lounging with a book, as well as for sleeping. Wrap these pajamas up with a bow and tuck in a card that says “Reading Pajamas.”
The “Reading Totebag” is ever popular. You can buy a literary totebag at any bookstore, though most of them feature Jane Austen or her sayings. There is a greater variety online, especially at Amazon and Etsy, and I like the look of this Dostoevsky bag, available at Redbubble.
And now that you’ve got the “Reading”-wear and accessories, you need a book or two. Yes!
6 thoughts on “A Reader’s Guide to Socks, Pajamas & Other “Book”-wear”
J.L. Carr’s Quince Tree Press published little poetry books which he advertised by writing “these books fit small envelopes, go for a minimum stamp and are perfect for cold bedrooms – only one hand and a wrist need suffer exposure” – reading books, you might say.
J. L. Carr of “A Month in the Country” J. L. Carr? They do sound like perfect “Reading Books”! How many of us are swathed in blankets for three months, sighing because our giant Victorian books are a weight on our blankets when we want to read them? I hope Quince Tree Press flourished.
That’s the J.L. Carr.
In my childhood, with the frost on the inside of the window-panes in my bedroom I’d have welcomed Carr’s books for winter reading. The Quince Tree Press -run by his son now – publishes all Carr’s books as well as the press’s own original books.
Carr also inspired one of the great modern biographies – The Last Englishman, by Byron Roger.
The small book is a brilliant idea, especially since it does get very chilly here, and I have been known to wear a hooded sweatshirt as well as fingerless gloves indoors. I loved A Month in the Country, reissued by NYRB, but have never seen any of Carr’s other books. Will check out The Quince Tree Press.
No reading involved, but this is the Rev. Francis Kilvert’s experiences on Christmas Day 1870:
As I lay awake praying in the early morning, I thought I heard a sound of distant bells.
It was an intense frost. I sat down in my bath upon a sheet of thick ice which broke in the middle into large pieces whilst sharp points and jagged edges stuck all around the sides of the tub like chevaux de frise, not particularly comforting to the naked thighs and loins, for the keen ice cut like broken glass.
The ice water stung and scorched like fire. I had to collect the floating pieces of ice and pile them on a chair before I could use the sponge and then I had to thaw the sponge in my hands for it was a mass of ice.
The morning is most brilliant. Walked to the Sunday School with Gibbins and the road sparkled with millions of rainbows, the seven colours gleaming in every glittering point of hoar frost. The Church was very cold in spite of two roaring stove fires.
Now that’s what you call winter experiences!
So beautifully-written, but SO COLD. As a tourist, I once visited St. Paul’s on a winter day and was VERY cross because, even with my coat zipped and hood on, it was too cold for me to appreciate it. I do love Rev. Francis Kilvert’s description of his day, though–finding bells in frost is charming.