Christmas is right around the corner, and if you’re way ahead of the game, then you already know what everyone you have to buy for is getting and you have everything wrapped and under the tree. But, if you’re a little more like me, you tend to wait until sort of the last minute to get your gifts together. I’ve been listening to appalled gasps every time I mention that I haven’t finished my Christmas shopping for weeks now (don’t even get me started on how the holidays start earlier and earlier every year—that’s an old folks commercialism rant for another time). If you, too, have been hearing these appalled gasps and you’re wondering what gifts to buy for a bookworm, this guide is for you.
As a bookworm, we often find ourselves buying for fellow bookworms. Or maybe you happened upon this because you’re not a bookworm, and you’re trying to figure out what you should get for your bookworm friend, family member, or significant other. The good news is, aside from the obvious, you have a quite few options for bookworm-appropriate gifts. Read on!
Okay, let’s get the obvious one out of the way right off the bat. I probably don’t have to tell you this, especially if you’re reading this blog, but…bookworms love books.
Now that you’ve recovered from that massive knowledge drop, let me just reiterate that books are always a good option. You seriously can’t go wrong with getting a book for a bookworm. And I know a lot of people say things like, “Well, I don’t know what they like to read, specifically.” And that’s fair. But there are a few approaches you could take to this. For one, if you know some of the books the person you’re buying for already loves, you might look for books in that genre or with similar plot lines, or other similarities, provided you know what they love about it. For example, if your friend reads a lot of Stephen King and loves horror, maybe they’d like to try out a Grady Hendrix book or something by Paul Tremblay. Or if they loved The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, maybe they’d like to try out one of her standalones like Heartless or Renegades. It’s easy to make some good picks if you know a little about their existing reading patterns.
Alternatively, you could just pick something you think they would like based on their interests or your conversations. If you ever read something and thought to yourself, “hmm, so-and-so might like to read this,” get it for them! Or if you ever saw a book and it made you think of a certain friend—you guessed it—get it for them! Because here’s the thing: if you put in any amount of thought to buying a book for a person, even if they read it and they don’t like it or they just feel eh about it, they will still appreciate it! Because you put thought into it! You thought of them, and you tried to pick out something they would like, and perhaps most importantly, you gave them something to read. And what’s better than that? It comes back to what I said at the very beginning of this passage: bookworms love books. Even a book we read and didn’t like very much was still a book, and still something we got to read.
Bookstore Gift Cards
Okay, okay. So you don’t want to risk buying someone a book they won’t love or worse—buying someone a book they already have. *GASP* The horror!
I know! But it’s okay. Because most bookstores sell gift cards. Whether you choose a card from Barnes & Noble, Half Price Books, Amazon, Book Depository, or a favorite indie bookstore, you really can’t go wrong, because then the gift recipient can choose anyyyy book they could possibly want.
I know some people worry about gift cards being “impersonal”, but I think they’re a fantastic option because they give the recipient the freedom to choose whatever they want, which means they’re guaranteed to like it. I can tell you for sure there has literally never been a time when I received a gift card from someone and thought, “Ugh, now I get to choose whatever I want, how impersonal and insensitive of them!” Plus, if you want to personalize it or add a little something extra, you could always pair a gift card with some festive chocolates or candy or a little bag of your favorite coffee brew.
There is a world—a whole world—of bookish merch out there. I could make this gift guide 50 pages long and still barely scratch the surface of the whole big world of bookish merchandise.
Bookish candles are just one of the many bookish things you can buy for a bookworm that are not books. There are tons of companies that make candles inspired by your favorite books and series, or just inspired by reading in general. There are tons of great companies like Frostbeard Studio, Novelly Yours, or, my personal favorite, Novel Heartbeat Creations. All are companies that create hand poured candles with unique scents like Novel Heartbeat Creations’s “#readathon” or “#bibliophile”.
If you’re looking for something inspired by a specific series or book, you could try “Stars Above” by The Lunar Chronicles or “Letter from Hogwarts” inspired by Harry Potter. Or you could try something like the “Old Books” scent from Frostbeard Studio which attempts to replicate that aged paper and glue scent of libraries or used bookstores. It’s a pretty well-known fact* that bookworms love candles, so a bookish candle or two is always a good bet. Plus, it’s a little bit more of a unique and exciting gift.
*I’m using the word “fact” very loosely here. By fact, what I mean is most people on bookstagram hoard candles like dragons sitting on a pile of gold, so really—you can’t go wrong.
Cute bookmarks are a necessity for any bookworm. In a pinch, we will use almost anything as a bookmark—old receipts, gum wrappers, scraps of paper with ideas for the next Great American Novel jotted on them, our dog’s paw while they’re asleep. You name it, we’ll use it. Save us from doing that. Gift us adorable bookmarks.
If you’re not super familiar with bookstores (it’s fine, not everyone is a bookworm. I mean I don’t know why, but I’ve come to live with it), I’ll let you in on a fun fact: most bookstores have several racks of cute, useful bookmarks toward the front of the store near the registers. Barnes & Noble and Half Price Books, for example, have everything from traditional tasseled bookmarks to beaded bookmarks to magnetic bookmarks.
But if you’re looking for something a little more personal, you can always check out cute Etsy shops like Inspired Ink, who make unique, hand-lettered bookmarks that are specific to fandoms and reading.
Book Themed Mugs (or really any mugs)
If there’s one thing I know about bookworms, it’s that we all love books. Obvi. But if there’s a second thing I know about bookworms, is that the majority of us also love coffee or tea. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you will be hard pressed to find a bookworm without a caffeine addiction. If you were an alien coming to this planet and your first introduction to humankind was bookstagram, you would assume all of us have a mug of something hot permanently cemented to our hands. (But to be honest, it doesn’t seem like the worst place to start getting to know mankind…)
What I’m getting at here is, if you’re looking for something to get for a bookworm that’s not a book, you can’t go wrong with a cute, bookish mug—or even a mug that’s not bookish, but is adept at holding coffee and tea. Really, you can never have enough mugs.
There are tons of cute options for fandom themed mugs or book themed mugs on sites like Etsy and Society6 (this link goes to Paper Fury’s shop, which has a lot of cute options), but you can also check out places like Half Price Books, which sells book-themed mugs as well as other bibliophile merchandise, or Target, where you can often find adorable options for fandom specific drinkware near the books & movies department. Target is an especially great choice if you’re shopping for fans of Harry Potter, Stranger Things, or Star Wars.
And finally, there’s the option for the gift that keeps on giving: bookish subscription boxes.
I’ve raved about bookish subscription boxes before on here, so it’s likely this isn’t new news to you. Subscription boxes are a great value, and they’re so. Much. Fun. They’re like Christmas every single month. You know you’re getting a box with a book and bookish goodies, you just don’t know what precisely is going to be in the box. It’s the best kind of surprise there is—a bookish surprise. Plus, most companies offer multiple options for length of subscriptions—one month, three months, six months, or a full year. You can decide how long you want the Christmas joy to go on for!
There are tons of options for book subscription boxes. One of the most popular is OwlCrate, which features a YA novel and four to six bookish goodies every month. For the fantasy lover, you might try FairyLoot, which exclusively features fantasy YA books and related goodies. Or for a darker tone or horror lover, you might try The Nocturnal Reader’s Box, which focuses on horror and speculative fiction. There are more book subscription boxes out there than you could possibly imagine, so there’s definitely something for everyone! With just a little knowledge of what your loved one enjoys reading and a little bit of research, you can definitely find one that’s a perfect fit.
Alternatively, if you’d like to give the gift recipient a bit more of a choice in the matter, you could sign them up for Book of the Month, which is basically exactly what it sounds like—a new book each month. You pay up front, and then each month the recipient will receive an email with five choices for the month. They make their pick. BOTM packs it up and ships it out, and they can even add extra books if they choose to for $9.99 apiece. I’ve had a BOTM subscription for several months now and it’s an amazing way to find new titles you might not have otherwise checked out!
Alright, now all you need is some wrapping paper, bows, and gift tags, and you’re all set! Unless of course you’re gifting these recommendations to yourself, in which case, listen—I’m not here to judge you.
So what about everyone else? What do you love to buy for your fellow bookworms at the holidays? What gifts do you love to receive? Let me know in the comments! You know I’d love to talk.
*Disclaimer: Though I enjoy purchasing from some of the companies listed here, I am not affiliated with any of them (though I will begin my rep period with Inspired Ink in the month of January!). I do not get anything from you clicking on the links or purchasing things from these companies! I’m just trying to help out and share some of my favorite shops and items. 🙂