Psst… Shopping for a Bookworm? Book Lover Gifts They’ll Actually Love
By Franki Hanke
All too often, ideas for book lover gifts are yet another bookmark or a cheesy mug. Not this time!
We all know a bookworm whose biggest pastime is curling up with a good book, but whether they’re your sister or someone in your book club, it’s equally challenging to find fitting book gifts when the holidays roll around.
When every gift guide has the same suggestions for Jane Austen tote bags or cheesy book socks, it’s even harder! If you’ve ever purchased themed novel teas or Harry Potter merch as a gift before, this article is for you. A book nerd can still have taste, ya know? Instead, we’re sharing great gifts that an avid reader will actually enjoy.
A New Book
If someone loves to read, then the best gift is something to read. The challenge is finding something they’ll enjoy and haven’t read before.
Stalk Their Goodreads
For folks active online, Goodreads is an app and website for tracking, reviewing, and finding books you’ve read. If your friend happens to have a Goodreads account, you can check what they’ve previously read. It does the work for you!
Wondering how you’ll find them?
Many users create their Goodreads account through a linked Facebook account. If you do the same, you can view other Facebook friends with accounts here.
Otherwise, you can always just ask them through the guise of wanting to find a new read for yourself. It’s your call whether that’s too suspicious.
Stick to New Releases
If you can’t find a Goodreads account, you’re not out of luck yet. To avoid gifting a true well-read bibliophile a book they’ve read before, opt for new releases for December. While it’s a notoriously light month in publishing, there’s a little something for all readers.
If they like poetry…
Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman
The upcoming poetry collection of the youngest presidential inaugural poet in US History, Amanda Gorman, is a young, fresh voice within poetry. She writes on topics including history, identity, and language.
If they like suspense and crime…
Hello, Transcriber by Hannah Morrissey
The story of a police transcriber sucked into a complex case in Wisconsin’s most crime-ridden city.
“Hazel believes that writing a book could be her only ticket out of this frozen hellscape, but her life isn’t exactly brimming with inspiration. Until her neighbor confesses to hiding the corpse of an overdose victim.”
The Spanish Daughter by Lorena Hughes
Against the backdrop of 20th century Ecuador, Puri suddenly inherits her father’s cocoa plantation. However, on the way there a mercenary sent to murder her kills her husband instead. Now, she dons his clothing and his identity to unravel the story ahead of her.
This one doesn’t release until December 28th, late in the gifting season. Make sure a late delivery works if you pick this one.
If they like fiction and drama…
Bright Burning Things by Lisa Harding
Focused on the main character Sonya, Bright Burning Things is the story of a failed career and a struggle with alcoholism. Sonya’s only saving grace was a dedication to her son, Tommy. But, the anxiety of failing him only drove her to drink.
The book is already lauded as an “emotional tour-de-tour” sure to suck you in, and while I know judging a book cover is ill-advised this one is gorgeous and enticing. Just saying…
If they like history…
Beasts of a Little Land by Juhea Kim
Set in 1917 occupied Korea, a local hunter saves a young Japanese officer. The story that unfolds exposes the interconnected nature of everyone within an emotionally raw character arc. Kim’s debut novel has already hit the lists of USA Today, Buzzfeed, Book Riot, and others.
If they like comedy…
Smile and Look Pretty by Amanda Pellegrino
While it’s not a laugh-out-loud style of comedy, Pellegrino’s upcoming release is a dark comedy of four underpaid assistants to entertainment industry powerhouses. Tired of the toxicity, they turn to the internet to anonymously share their experiences.
When their blog takes off, they’re stuck deciding how to proceed.
This one doesn’t release until December 28th, late in the gifting season.
Gift One of Your Favorites
For a thoughtful gift (that hopefully they still like) consider a book that’s meaningful to you. Don’t overlook their own preferences entirely, but if you’re gifting it as a sort of shared experience (and personal insight to you) rather than just a book recommendation, you have some leeway to explore a broader genre selection.
This is especially impactful if you’re gifting to a close loved one. If this article was randomly forwarded to you… this is the paragraph to pay attention to. Asking yourself which of your favorite books someone would love requires effort and thought. That’s where the real gift lies!
→ What’s the first book to make you cry?
→ What book do you remember clearly even though you read it years ago?
→ Which book made you laugh out loud (and look like a freak doing it)?
→ What book seems to say something about you (just because you like it so much)?
A Book Subscription Service – It’s like a modern book club!
Rather than figuring out what book they need, gift them a subscription to the Book of the Month club. Every month, Book of the Month hand-selects five vetted reads from the newest best books. Then, your recipient picks which book they’d like to read. That book shows up at their door in a signature blue box. They don’t even have to visit the bookshop!
You can choose between three subscription lengths based on your budget.
An Old Book
No, I’m not suggesting you just recycle a book from your own shelf. If there’s a book you know your recipient adores, consider finding a signed and/or first edition copy.
Depending on the book, this may be expensive or impossible, but a signed copy from their favorite author shows you went a little further than the first page on Etsy looking for gift ideas.
For out-of-print or vintage books and newer favorites alike, turn to Abe Books for special editions and signed copies.
An E-Reader – It’s like a portable bookshelf!
Some readers are aggressively traditional, but for anyone who’d like to travel with their library kit at hand, then a Kindle Paperwhite gives them access to all their books at once. It’s waterproof (perfect for bathtub readers) and has a battery charge that lasts weeks (not hours). The soft, adjustable backlight means a reading light is unnecessary!
If they own an outdated e-reader, the Paperwhite is a great opportunity to upgrade their experience.
An Accessory for their Personal Library
If not something to read, gift them something for the home of their books: their personal library. Whether they have just a single bookshelf for their rotating library books or a spacious home library, there’s a perfect gift for the bookish.
If they loan books often…
Anyone who loans books plays a dangerous game with their favorite book: will it make it home safely? A bookplate stamp acts as a reminder as to who really owns that book. Stamp By Me offers five customizable designs that are all simple and equally elegant.
If they don’t have a bookshelf…
Some of the most avid readers rely on their library card, but where do their books live when they’ve got them? Stacked up and floating around the living room?
Rather than bulky bookends, gift them an expandable bookend stand to hold their current TBR. This book holder’s sleek style is so minimal it will match any decor, so you don’t have to stress about matching a set of bookends to the vision of their ideal bookshelf.
If they love classic literature…
Instead of giving in to kitschy scratch-off posters of 100 Must-Reads, opt for a literary quote print from Lone Star Art. Featuring weathered book pages, they offer dozens of iconic paragraphs printed perfect for hanging in a reading nook.
Browse for your giftee’s favorite book and go the extra mile by pre-framing the art print. I like this distressed gold look to mirror the natural tones of the page itself but consider their decor style too.
Now, you might end up finding the perfect literary t-shirt, coffee mug, or stickers that your literary friend will love, but I hope this list helped you consider unique gifts that aren’t too unique and just plain cheesy instead.
Need More Than Book Lover Gifts?
Still stressing about the right holiday gift for someone else on your list? All our best-selling recommendations are always browseable if you want ideas.
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