Giving bookish people gifts can be an adventure.
Do you have a bibliophile in your life? If so, you already know the benefits of loving a bookish person. As holidays (and birthdays!) approach, you’re also thinking about the frustrating things about loving a book nerd: You’d love to give them something other than the same old gift card to the book store and coffee shop of their choice.
What if I told you that you can get the satisfaction of giving them a present they’ll love, keep it bookish, but do more than hand over a gift card? Here are 17 ideas for the reader in your life.
1. Swag from their favorite author.
There is a reason this is the first thing on my list, and that is to tell you that most likely, your avid reader loves something other than books almost as much as books.
What was that? You’re doubtful? Allow me a moment of show-and-tell, then.
Your bookish friend loves all things related to their favorite books and authors. I know that because I love all things related to my favorite books and authors.
I was so excited about a Tweet from one of my favorite authors that I took a screenshot and saved it to my cloud. It was two years ago, and I still knew where to find it so I could share it with you.
Now imagine my level of excitement if I had swag—particularly signed swag—from one of my favorite authors. Words do not fully explain how totally cool that would be.
Many indie authors do a good job of having a variety of book swag items ready and waiting. Angela J. Ford, for example, frequently offers book swag that is only available in limited quantities which makes it all that much more exciting to have. Her swag often coincides with the release of a new novel, but she keeps a few items available all year long. I especially love her autographed boxed collection of the Four Worlds series. Because what’s way cooler than swag is a signed, first edition copy of books I love and love to reread.
2. A Kindle Unlimited subscription.
This one isn’t a guaranteed good idea. For me, it’s one of the best presents my husband has ever gotten me, and let me tell you why.
- I have a Kindle.
- I love ebooks because of their convenience and my ability to read them in the dark without disturbing a sleeping baby, child, or my husband.
- I also love that I can pick up where I left off with the Kindle app from any of my devices.
- I look for relatively unknown authors, especially indie authors, often. With Kindle Unlimited, I can take a chance on more new authors without blowing my book budget.
This won’t eliminate your bookish loved one’s desire to buy the physical copy of a book or two or twenty-thousand, though. When I read a book on Kindle Unlimited that I fall in love with, I purchase a physical copy anyway to add to my collection. But this is a great option for lowering your book nerd’s overall book budget without limiting their reading appetite.
3. A reading light.
Is your bookish loved one sticking to paperbacks and hardcover copies of the novels they choose? If so, then make reading more convenient for any time of the day with a reading light. There are so many options available, including those that clip on the book or your head.
I found one that has different light settings that allows you to turn on a blue-light filter. Unfortunately, it didn’t stand up to the test of time. So I won’t share that link. But if you find a good one with a blue-light filter, let me know, would ya?
4. Bookmarks, of course.
Bookmarks are important. You can never have too many because there is never a bookmark nearby when you need one most.
You can choose a bookmark that has personal meaning for you both (just google sentimental bookmarks for examples), or you can find one from your bookish loved one’s favorite book or author (more swag!).
Or take a look at some of the funny bookmarks out there. Only you know what suits your reader best.
I recently purchased magnetic bookmarks that I use for books and for papers and notes. There’s a llama holding my random plot notes together right now.
5. Bookish decor.
What book enthusiast wouldn’t love bookish decor? For example, this framed beauty is a page from an illustrated version of one of my favorite books, Little Women. It’s Josephine March as she writes frantically in her attic, perfecting one of her works. My awesome friend Annie framed this as a present (for my youngest’s nursery, who is named Josephine).
There are paper roses made from book pages, wall art, and so many beautiful and creative options out there for the book nerd in your life. A search on Pinterest will show you the endless possibilities.
6. A bookcase.
You can never go wrong with buying your bookish friend a new home for more books, either. Check out yard sales, estate sales, thriftshops, and any place you can find second-hand furniture for reasonable prices to find a unique bookshelf or bookcase. I love a bookcase with a story of its own.
I have a bookcase that my Aunt Jane gave me when I was about twelve-years-old. It wasn’t new to her, either. I’d bet it was made in the 1960s, and I love it. I painted it and it’s followed me from place to place ever since.
7. Noise-cancelling headphones.
I can’t speak for all booklovers, but this booklover has a hard time blocking out the sounds around me. That’s a nice thing when you’re in the middle of the woods, enjoying the sunshine filtering through the trees, the sound of birds chirping and squirrels barking. But when you’re in the middle of your house and the kids are playing in the other room with their father who is just as loud if not louder than all three kids put together…that’s a different story.
8. A reading stand.
Have you ever tried to read a book and do the dishes? The result is almost always soggy pages. While doing the dishes while reading sounds like it’s never a good idea, sometimes really good books call for extreme measures. A book stand made to hold a book open to the correct page is just what’s needed with an unputdownable read.
You can even purchase a reading stand made for reading in the bathtub. There is nothing quite as relaxing and enjoyable as a bubble bath and a good book. Help keep those pages dry with a book stand.
9. Comfy things.
“A plush pillow or blankie! I love curling up & getting settled with my books. God help the person who interrupts me when I’m snuggled up & reading!” — Abbey Anderson, founder of Wonderlust Platforms
I asked my Facebook followers and friends what they’d like to receive as a bookish person. That was Abbey’s response. A soft blanket, a good book…perfect combinations, especially on a dreary day.
10. Beverages and snacks.
“Wine!” — Gina Loveless, author
Do I need to say anything else about wine? I didn’t think so.
When wine isn’t available or, you know, I have to do that parenting thing, I enjoy a nice cup of tea with my book. My awesome friend and virtual assistant Kim sends me tea as a present, and I love it. And of course, with beverages comes snacking.
“I personally go for popcorn, oatmeal creme pies, cashews, beef jerky, cookies, or cookie butter.” — Shayla Raquel, author, editor, marketer
That’s right, cookie butter. Cookie. Butter. Delicious snacks to go with a fantastic book? Yes, please.
11. Give them a reading experience.
“Create a ‘reading experience’ box. Buy a book but then buy a few smaller items that help bring the book to life. So for example, I helped an author with a book that featured a cupcake shop and a scene where the [main character] lit a candle that smelled like cologne. So the box had a cupcake kit (mix, papers, and sprinkles) and a ‘man’ scented candle. The possibilities are endless and it’s fun to create an experience to along with the book.” — Veronica Roxby Jorden, founder of Storyteller Alley
An entire experience centered around one of their favorite books is definitely a fun and thoughtful gift. If you aren’t sure what book is their favorite, you can never go wrong with a classic. You can also check their Goodreads profile if they have one to see if they’ve read the book and what rating they gave it.
12. Encouragement for their pursuits.
Does your bookish loved one also dream of writing? If so, there are so many ways in which you can encourage their endeavors. A writer can never have enough journals, notebooks, pens, or books on writing.
For the serious writer, a MasterClass pass will allow them to hear from big name writers on the art of writing. It’s inspiring, motivating, and helpful for those looking to hone their craft or figure out where to start.
13. Old books.
Remember the mention of a signed first edition? I’m going to say it again because it’s worth repeating.
A first edition of their favorite book is priceless in more ways than one. Even if that book is something that’s been published in the last 10 years, having that first edition is a special keepsake. Someday it might be worth something too.
Again, if you don’t know their favorite book or books, a beautiful, old edition of a classic will thrill any bookworm’s heart.
I also really enjoy when my friends find odd books here and there they think I’ll enjoy, like this little dictionary my friend Annie found at a yard sale for a quarter.
14. Old book smell.
Say what? I’m talking about a candle that smells like old books. The smell will remind your bookworm of some of their most favorite times spent reading, browsing in libraries, visiting secondhand bookstores, and more.
15. A phone case.
Imagine carrying around a phone that’s designed as a leatherbound book. Your friend can live that reality with a BookBook. Excuse me while I go add that one to my wishlist.
16. Bookish mugs.
Bookish mugs for the delicious coffee and tea needed whilst reading? Yes, please. There are so many great bookish mugs on Etsy. Check out this one for the single bookworm in your life.
Don’t forget that gift card to go along with all of these wonderful bookish gifts. Also, if you want to skip the gift card and instead make a plan to take your friend out to pick out a book or two at their favorite bookshop, they’ll enjoy the time. As long as you wait patiently while they look at every book in the entire store.