Weekly Christmas Shop: Six Good-Looking Emergency Books

last minute christmas books

If you’re still Christmas shopping and starting to panic (I have three presents left to get, I’m with you!) then prepare to be saved: not only do many of the things in my previous gift guides come from online stores with one day delivery (get it on Friday if you order today, or Saturday if you really cut it fine and order tomorrow) I also have a snazzy last-minute book idea for you.

Books that are ridiculously good looking.

Never mind the fact that most of them are classics, therefore brilliant presents anyway (who doesn’t like to re-read the classics now and then?), the arty/pretty/luxurious covers make them truly special and a joy to open on Christmas Day.

Order them now (all of these are from Amazon, for last-minute ease, but if you’re in town then you can perhaps pick up from Waterstones or Foyles if you’re lucky!), get them tomorrow, wrap them up with a bar of nice chocolate and you’ve created the ultimate night in. At least it’s the ultimate night in for me…

Here’s my pick of some of the most beautiful books for panic-stricken Christmas shoppers:

good looking books

MacMillan Children’s Classics: beautifully bound hardback books with the most gorgeous prints on the covers – choose from titles such as The Water Babies (£10.68 here) and  Gobbolino the Witch’s Cat (£13.24 here).

Browse the Christmas Gift Guides…

books for christmas

Slightly heftier, in terms of a Christmas present, but oh so very lovely: the complete works of Jane Austen from the Penguin Clothbound Classics collection. Each hardback book has a different pattern – these are true Instagram fodder. Just add steaming coffee cup/on-trend reading glasses/Diptyque candle. The set costs £65 here.

little women leatherbound

The Puffin in Bloom edition of Little Women is just sublime – leatherbound and with a special cover design, it’s the sort of book you’d expect to cost five times the price. It’s an amazing £6.99 here – I’m sure I paid loads more than that for mine, this seems like a complete bargain!

Barnes & Noble have a huge selection of titles (modern and classic) in their leatherbound collection – I love Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (£18.75 here) and classic tales from H.G. Wells, here.

The new run of hardback Roald Dahl books is too good to miss – treat yourself to a hardy, beautiful update to those battered paperbacks of your childhood and prepare to feel incredibly nostalgic. These make excellent presents for people of all ages – just magical. The BFG is £9.17 here.

© 2018 A Model Recommends®: all opinions are my own and any sponsored or paid posts will always be clearly marked as an AD in the title. I accept press samples and receive product and services to review as part of my job. *Outbound links are affiliate links, which means that I receive a very small percentage of any sale made. This does not affect my content in any way and does not cost you anything, but you are most welcome to Google the products on a new page if you prefer. Please see here for full "about" section and disclaimer. A Model Recommends and Ruth Crilly are registered trademarks.



  1. December 22, 2016 / 10:24 am

    The Jane Austen books are SO dreamy – I have two so far and intend to complete my collection. Only thing I’d say is that the patterns are painted on and so my copy of Northanger Abbey had a lot of it rubbed of from just carrying it around in my bag. I think the other copies, but instead just admire them from my bookshelf as they are so stunning. Ooh and that Little Women edition is one I’m adding to my wishlist.

  2. Anna
    December 22, 2016 / 1:30 pm

    These are all so petty – I want them for myself, especially the Jane Austen collection.

    In a similar vein but more modern I recommend the hardcover version of This Must Be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell – there is a beautifully detailed map of Ireland running through the cover, and it’s a really good book too (in fact I should thank you for introducing me to O’Farrell in the first place)!

  3. December 22, 2016 / 2:47 pm

    Last summer I got a Kindle because my apartment is tiny and I didn’t have any more room for books, but I miss print books SO much. I want all of these!

  4. Nicola
    December 22, 2016 / 4:41 pm

    I love this post Ruth!! I have the Bronte clothbound classics on my own Christmas list and was actually in Waterstones a few days ago and spotted the Water Babies book – it brought back lovely childhood memories! I plan to stock up on a lot of these versions for my children over the next number of years and hopefully they’ll cherish them as much as I do.
    Happy Christmas to you and your family Ruth xx

  5. ann
    December 24, 2016 / 5:34 am

    You haven’t had the baby yet!!!??? Maybe it will be a New Year’s Eve baby at 12:01. First baby of the year wins a car! or some such. Hope you meet your new love soon! Happy holidays to you and your family.

    • December 26, 2016 / 8:50 pm

      No, it’s not due for a while yet! : )

  6. December 26, 2016 / 1:58 pm

    I studied Jane Austin’s “Emma” at school. This post took me back daydreaming down memory lane

    • December 26, 2016 / 8:51 pm

      Just had a revelation that I may not have read Emma! OMG!

  7. December 26, 2016 / 9:00 pm

    I remember seeing these at Waterstones. Like a fool I just stood there staring at these beauties. Absolutely stunning!
    Merry Christmas!! Xx

  8. January 23, 2017 / 11:20 pm

    Such pretty covers!

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