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Holiday 2020: 18 Fun Gift Ideas for Literature Lovers

A woman reading a book on a window seat beside a Christmas tree.
Leika Production/Shutterstock

Literature lovers are notoriously hard to shop for. Unlike film aficionados and comic book fans, there’s rarely much merch to go with a favorite read. Before you default to that bookstore gift card, though, we have some suggestions!

Sure, the obvious gift for a bookworm is, y’know, a book! But it’s hard to choose one you know he’ll like. If you can’t afford to break the bank to gift your friend a rare first edition of her favorite title, get her one of the awesome items below, instead.

Classic Ideas

The trusty suggestions below will never fail to make a bookworm happy:

  • A book subscription: If you really want to gift a book but aren’t sure which one, get your loved one a book subscription. For fascinating titles from independent publishers, check out the Indiespensable subscription. The Unplugged Book Box includes both young adult and adult versions and bookish swag. My First Reading Club is perfect for getting young ones hooked on books.
  • A chic journal: For the lit fan who loves to take notes, a new journal will be much-loved. You can gift a classic notebook with blank lined pages, or a themed journal with prompts to capture specific thoughts about beloved reads. Upgrade and include an ultra-fancy pen!
  • A bookmark: If your favorite reader uses bookmarks, you’ve already got the perfect gift idea. From minimalist magnetics and fun metal feathers, to classic handmade leather, you can find something for anyone (unless they’re devoted to the dog-ear method!).

For the Home

Elevate your loved one’s home reading experience! From lighting to accessories, any of the following fun ideas will help them enjoy their reading nook even more:

  • A reading light: If you want to gift something practical that’s sure to get lots of use, you can’t go wrong with this. Bookish folks love curling up to read in any corner of the house, and with a portable light, they can. Clip-on lights attach to nearly any surface, including books. Talk about convenience!
An unlit Homesick Book Club candle next to a stack of books on table.
Homesick
  • A cozy candle: Reading as a candle flickers is an unparalleled cold-weather ritual. Take it up a notch with a book-themed candle. Homesick’s Book Club candle offers a warm, spicy scent and 60-80 hours of burn time. Byredo’s Bibliothèque candle is a more high-end option with a library-inspired scent.
  • A mug: A hot cup of tea or coffee pairs perfectly with a book. If you’re unsure what your favorite reader’s poison is, a mug is an excellent gift. Grab one with a bookish motif, like the titles of classic novels or beloved novels by women.
  • Coasters: Your friend’s gonna need a place to set that mug! Help the lit-lover in your life protect his furniture in style with these typewriter coasters. They’re the perfect practical gift that’s also a conversation starter.

5-Pc.Typewriter Coaster Set

Creative and perfect for any lit-lover's home.

  • Bookends: If you have a sense of your friend’s home decor style, bookends make a wonderful gift. They’re something readers almost never think to buy for themselves. You can get them in just about any color or design, including sculptural marble or the New York City skyline.
  • A bookshelf: For the reader whose bookshelves are always overflowing, a small shelf that’s easy to hang or tuck in a corner is the perfect gift. The floating style suits minimalists, while neutral bamboo will fit in with almost any decor.
  • A bath tray: The bath is the perfect environment for reading. This luxe, yet, practical tray is designed to hold a book, beverage, candle, and more.

Wearables

A woman reading a book on a couch under a blanket.
Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock

The right wearables foster comfort and focus while reading. The following items will help your favorite reader stay cozy all winter long:

  • Loungewear: If you’re comfortable gifting clothing, loungewear is ideal for anyone who reads. Just make sure it’s soft, loose, and comfortable, like this cozy, oversized sweatshirt or this matching set.
  • Warm slippers: Cold toes are a huge distraction when you’re reading. Help your friend keep them at bay with a pair of plush slippers. They come in every style and color imaginable, so you can find a pair to suit anyone’s taste.
  • Noise-canceling headphones: Help your friend block out distractions with a set of noise-canceling headphones or earbuds. These days, even the high-quality models are pretty affordable! For more recommendations, check out this list.
  • A cuddly throw blanket: When temperatures drop, staying cozy while reading is paramount. A super-soft throw will keep your fave reader warm and toasty. Try this plush fleece blanket in your recipient’s favorite color or a neutral.
  • A beach towel: Sure, it probably won’t come in handy until next year. But if your friend reads at the beach or by the pool, this makes a great gift. You can keep it minimal with a classic neutral, or go more on-theme with a New Yorker print.

Unique and Fun

A bottle of Replica's Maison Margiela sitting on a bookshelf.
Maison Margiela

If you’re looking for something a bit more unique, consider one of the following creative gifts:

  • A bookish fragrance: This might seem risky, but it’s great for a serious reader you know well. Replica’s Whispers In The Library is woody and spicy, suggesting old books, and even older buildings. Commodity’s Book is fresh, like reading a well-loved novel in the open air, while Demeter’s Paperback mixes that old paper scent with a touch of florals.
  • A literary advent calendar: These make lovely holiday gifts, and there are tons for book lovers. This tea shop pairs beautifully with fall and winter reads. This literary-quote calendar was designed for The New York Public Library and will make the perfect gift for any intellectual in your life. There’s a children’s book calendar for younger readers, too!

As it turns out, literature lovers aren’t so hard to shop for, after all! Choose one or more of these thoughtful gifts for the readers in your life.

Elyse Hauser Elyse Hauser
Elyse Hauser is a freelance and creative writer from the Pacific Northwest, and an MFA student at the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop. She specializes in lifestyle writing and creative nonfiction. Read Full Bio »

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