Book Gifts: the wonderful Heywood Hill

Leigh Turner
Leigh Turner

Want to give someone something special? UK firm Heywood Hill offers a brilliant book gift I’ve enjoyed this year.

Hands up if you love Amazon! The US mail-order giant dominates our lives. In some countries, such as Austria, consumers go to great lengths to avoid using Amazon. Elsewhere, people shrug and say the convenience outweighs their dislike of a near-monopoly supplier.

Book gifts: Books from Heywood Hill
My first four books from Heywood Hill

Great book gifts

So I was intrigued when a brilliant woman gave me a book gift that appears to have nothing to do with Amazon, but has delivered a series of books I loved.

The bookseller Heywood Hill, based in Mayfair, London, offers a service they call “A Year in Books“. It’s at the link. Basically, you

(i) buy a subscription – mine, a gift, is for six paperbacks at two-monthly intervals;

(ii) Heywood Hill then sends you a letter offering you a consultation on what kinds of books you like to read, and which authors you enjoy. I highlighted thrillers by writers such as Lee Child and Michael Connelly – I actually can’t remember quite what I said. If you don’t fancy filling in a form, you can do it on the phone;

(iii) they then, cleverly, choose, wrap and send you a book every two months. A selection of the ones I’ve had is in the picture above. I have enjoyed all of them.

Book gifts from Heywood Hill
The book gifts come beautifully wrapped

You can watch a great video of the people in the shop explaining the book subscription service – just click on the link and scroll down.

So far the service has delivered here to Austria no problem – including, impressively, three changes of address. I’d be interested to hear if others have successfully used the service from outside the UK – I hope so!

A dark side?

Perhaps Heywood Heath has a dark side. Maybe a giant multinational owns them or they have some other sinister agenda. But although that would make a good thriller plot, it seems unlikely. So far, the service has sent me a series of intriguing book gifts. I recommend it wholeheartedly – for example, for Christmas presents for bookworms – and look forward to the next book!

Other things to read

If you would like to look at my own books, my latest are:

  • the blackly comic Seven Hotel Stories, my best-seller this week;
  • hard-hitting Berlin thriller Blood Summit; and 
  • Corona Crime – a sci-fi thriller for a world obsessed by living longer.
  • Immortal Works will publish my Istanbul thriller Palladium in May 2022.

Reading tips

For more ideas on what to read, see over 100 recommendations under my “Reading Tips” tag!


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