As someone that practice in reading, writing and all that is in between, many people approach me and try to consult about gifts to addicts to the written word such as myself. The obvious answer – a good book – is not what they expect, and quite rightfully. It is tough to find a book that will fit the taste of the intended readers, and if you succeed in finding one, there is a good chance that they have already read it. Some solve the problem with a gift card, but between you and me, any gift card, no matter how much invested, lacks the personal touch of a gift.
Because I am such a nice guy and because I wanted to do a public service (and so I could have somewhere to point people to whenever they ask me in the future what should they buy to their personal bookworm), I have decided to collect some recommended gifts that almost any reader would be thrilled to get.
As I’ve already mentioned, the obvious gift for the typical reader is a gift card. If someone enjoys books, let’s give them the opportunity to buy the books that they love. It might be less personal than other kinds of gifts, but you will rarely hear a bookworm saying “Oh no, I don’t want the option to enter a bookstore and leave it with a stack of books and a clear conscience.”
Naturally enough, most bookstore chains offer vast varieties of gift cards, so if you happen to be next to a Barnes & Noble, you can always hop in and buy one to your favorite reader. Some bookstore chains even give discounts on gift cards, so it is recommended to check with your local bookstores if they do.
For those who read digital books, it is even easier. Most of the readers use Kindle as a default (quite rightfully, I must say), and if you’ve said Kindle, then you’ve surely said Amazon. The internet giant offers gift cards in a variety of designs and sending options (You can print them at home, send by email or by mail) and in a range of one dollar to $2,000 (in this link), meaning many, many books.
Surprise Book Box
If you really want to surprise your royal reader, a surprise book box is the right thing for you. There are many websites out there that offer the delivery of such boxes, while most of them specialize in one genre or the other. The concept is quite simple. Once in a while (monthly or a quarterly, depends on the website or the purchased subscription) they send you a surprise package that includes one book or more, usually with some additional surprises that relate to the theme of the book or the genre. After going through dozens of websites, I can say that these two seems to send the best packages and offers a periodical gift subscription.
The first one, Cratejoy, is actually a website that specializes in gift boxes of any kind, not just books, but its book category has many options and genres that might fit your interests. My personal favorite is the “My Coffee and Book Club.” Another website is My chronicle Book Box that offers two categories – Crime and Mystery or Science Fiction and Fantasy. Here you’ll get a quarterly box that includes 3-5 books with added surprises.
The Gift of Reading
For many years I looked at eBook with distaste. I really had something against the whole concept of e-readers and everything that they stand for, and couldn’t even imagine myself reading a book that wasn’t compiled of binded papers and cover. That is, until I got my first Kindle. The feel of the words on the antiglare screen and the ease of reading was nothing like I have imagined, and today I cannot imagine leaving the house without my Kindle. If you really want to treat your bookworm, then this is an amazing gift. There are a few models, but based on my experience, I highly recommend the Kindle Paperwhite (in this link). It is not the most expensive model (less than half the price of the Kindle Oasis), but it is more than enough for the typical reader. The new Paperwhite models are even waterproof and can play audiobooks, making them the most advanced model yet.
Literary Scented Candles
One of my favorite things in the world is the smell of a new book. I know that it is a bit odd, but I also know that I am not alone in this craze, because otherwise, no one would ever bother creating these candles. Better poets than me would maybe try to describe the mixture that generates from the combination of a newly made paper with ink that just left the factory and was kept close until it reached the bookstore, and in one moment of browsing is released to the air.
In short, especially for people like me, here are some candles in a variety of literary scents, starting with the smell of old or new books, or of a library, to smells that will try to add another dimension to your favorite literary worlds, such as the smell of the famous study room in which Sherlock Holmes solves crimes without leaving his couch, the smell of Winterfell (though I must admit that I have never imagined Winterfell as a pleasant scented place) and more.
Bathtub Reading Tray
Reading a book in a bubble bath always seemed to me as the highest peak of luxury. I never managed to adopt this habit, because you can forget about me getting near running water with the book that I am currently reading (not to mention my Kindle), but I’ve always envied all sorts of TV fictional characters that allowed themselves a good dip in the tub with a glass of red wine and a good book, and sometimes even a bowl of fresh fruits. This bathtub tray (in this link), which includes among all other things a book holder, a special wine glass holder and a place for scented candle (with your favorite book scented candle, of course), will drive away any fear you might have about the connection between books and water, and would turn any bookworm to a water-loving creature.
Home Library Kit
This home library kit is a perfect gift for any book lover that long ago lost control on his ever-growing library. It has everything you need so you could lend books to your friends without the – very justified – fear that you will never see this book again in your lifetime. But if like me, you have lost any trust in all sorts of book loaners (read here why), this library kit looks great on your study’s table or in any other place (in this link).
Ex Libris Stamps
Let’s say that you’ve made a huge mistake and lent somebody one of your books, an Ex Libris stamp will make sure they will never forget who this book belongs to. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the book will ever return to your possession, but at least the constant accusation will eat the borrower from within as he passes on the book in the never-ending circle of lending.
Ex Libris (in Latin – from the books of), for any of you who isn’t familiar, is the name of the prints or stamps that were attached to the first pages of books since the middle of the 16th century, and included the name of the book’s owners and their coat of arms and such. And although you are a little late for the party and don’t hold a real nobility title, it doesn’t mean that you cannot present your own Ex Libris in your books. Here are some that might interest you.
Portable Reading Lamp
For those moments that you just have to read some more sentences before you go to sleep, but the darkness threatens to swallow you and you your reading abilities. Or maybe you are trapped in a night bus, and the authorities decided this would be the perfect time of the day to close three lanes so they could paint some bumpers or whatever, or any other thing that they could have done in a less busy hour, so at least you could catch up with your reading. This reading lamp (in this link) will not burden your bag when not in use, but whenever you need it, will clip to your book and let you pick the intensity of light that fits your eyes at this moment right before you dive deeply into your reading marathon.
Nothing beats cuddling in bed with a good book. But the real reading professionals keep a special reading pillow in a hand’s reach, to make reading much more comfortable and less challenging for their neck. Here is one pillow (in this link) that takes the concept a step further, with a comfortable back angle and handles that will make the bed your preferred reading spot.
This might be less related per se to reading, but show me one bookworm that wouldn’t be happy to protect his laptop with a case that looks like a classic vintage book. And I beg the pardon of the Apple fans in the crowd, but yes, even if you have a new MacBook Pro that just got out of its highly designed box, nothing looks better than an old dusty book (in this link).
Kindle Protective Case
I’ve already mentioned how much I love my Kindle, and I know all Kindle owners feel the same as I do about their devices. So if we are already talking about protective cases for computers, why wouldn’t we pamper the e-reader of whoever we want to treat with a new protective case with its own literary touch? (In this link)
Library Cards Wherever You Look
If you stop ten random designers in the middle of the street and ask them what design will be perfect for book lovers, seven out of ten times you will probably hear the words “Library cards.” There is no other way to explain the number of products that you find in this particular design if you only try searching for a gift with a literary approach.
Literary T Shirt
When we were kids, “bookworm” or “nerd” were considered derogatory names. But there comes an age when you learn to accept and to love who and what you are, especially when it comes to an awesome thing such as reading. These T-shirts will proudly declare your love for books (in this link and in this one).
Nothing says “I am a cultural, literature-loving person” more than adopting the habit of a proper English tea time, especially if done with these teabags (in this link), which includes classic literary quotes to pleasant the time of the civilized reading enthusiasts as they enjoy a cup of tea and eating a cucumber sandwich.
Challenging Reading Journal
This journal by Book Riot (in this link) is precisely what you’d expect it is – a reading journal that combines reading challenges from the kind that are so loved by many readers, such as – read a book about books, or a book written by an immigrant, and other challenges.
No matter what anyone tells you, there is no such thing as too many bookmarks. And if they have their own literary twist, the better. I am not going to give a lot of examples, because otherwise, this post would never end, but this Harry Potter in Quidditch uniforms bookmark (link) and this reading lamp bookmark (another link) are things that I just cannot ignore.
This gift (in this link) is more for the drinkers than to the readers among your friends, but because so many authors throughout the history combined these two hobbies pretty well, this book found its place in this list.
Digital Reading Subscriptions
A perfect gift, as long as you know your target audience well enough
Last, but not least, in this list, are two literary digital subscriptions that could turn any reader to the happiest bookworm in the world, but they don’t fit everyone, so it is recommended to research a little before purchasing them.
The first (in this link) is Amazon’s digital library service that offers over a million eBooks. This service is obviously recommended for Kindle owners that read more than a couple of books each month.
The second subscription (that I’ve learned to love in the last couple of years) is for Audible, which offers a catalog of more than 100,000 audiobooks (and counting). As part of their monthly subscription, the long-term listener will get one credit each month, with which he will be able to purchase any audiobook from the catalog with no regards to its price. Unlike the previous service, he will keep the books long after his subscription is over. Naturally, this subscription (in this link) will only fit people who enjoy audio books.
If you have any more interesting ideas for literary gifts for book lovers, I would be happy to hear from you. You are more than welcome to comment here or on our Facebook page.
*Full Disclosure: some of the links in this page will lead you to products that I am affiliated with. This doesn’t mean a thing about the reason they are in this list, and they would have appeared on it regardless.