When I look out the window and across the valley, the grey-green of the eucalypts is suddenly punctuated by golden silky oaks and purple jacarandas. Despite the undeniable beauty of these flowers, for many people, their strongest association is with annual exams rather than the magnificence of nature. When I was a student, we all knew that if you weren’t on top of it by the time suburbia flecked gold and purple, you were never going to get it together. Of course, now that I have been in the book industry for many years, I associate the flowering of these two spectacular trees with a different kind of panic. I have replaced exam panic with Christmas panic. If you don’t have your shop/site looking spesh by flowering time, you know that the foot traffic simply isn’t coming your way.
So people, despite it being the coldest, wettest spring on the east coast for three decades, can I tell you that the jacarandas are in full bloom, the silky oaks are looking stunning, and yes, our Christmas catalogue is live on site.
I have expanded our catalogue this year to be a lot more specific, so it should be easy for you to find exactly what you are looking for. With the exception of perennial bestselling fiction, and some of the titles in Books about Christmas, the catalogue is full of titles that have been published in the three months to December, so you can be pretty confident that your gift won’t be greeted with “I’ve already read it”.
Another feature that will make it easier for you is that similiar books have been grouped together. In nonfiction for example, you can narrow your search by looking specifically for the best of sports and hobbies, travel, history, biography and memoir, home and garden, food and drink and for even for little gift books under $25.
Fiction is a lot easier to navigate as well. I have broken it down into all time best sellers, Australian themes and authors, boxed sets and special editions, guaranteed good reads, literary fiction and crime and thrillers.
When it comes to buying for kids and teenagers, it can be a nightmare, especially if you don’t really know the child all that well. I’ve sorted everything by age ranges – basically I have broken it down into pre-school, primary school and 12 to 15 year olds as well as novelty books and collections.
There is also a section (for children, and adults) where I have put books about Christmas – gorgeous picture books, the nativity, Santa, a bit of Christmas satire etc.
This year, the very gorgeous “Everything Lavish” section is fully searchable by price. All of the books there started out over $70 (before our great Booktopia discounts) but whether you want to spend $41.80 on Japanesque or $1,000 on a collector’s edition of Ducati, if it is exceptional value and top class production qualities, you will find it in Everything Lavish.
And finally, just in case you don’t have the time or the inclination to do the choosing yourself, you can go to my hand selected gift guide. It is a short list, the best of the best, and I have personally picked every one of them.