The Best Gifts for Readers

Don't let the bookworm in your life leave empty-handed.

gifts for readers

The holiday season is upon us again (where has this year gone?!) and it’s time to buy your loved ones gifts. Us bookish folks are pretty hard to buy for, though; either we don’t have any room for more books, already have an intimidating TBR list, or you don’t know what book we’ll like and what book we’ll exchange without telling you. So instead of buying us actual books, you can buy us a plethora of other things!

Gift Card

Gift cardOkay, so this might be cheating, but if you know that someone does want books but you just don’t know what to get them, a gift card is a nice way of saying “Happy holidays! I love you, I know you’re bookish, but I also don’t know who else has gotten you books and I want you to be able to choose whichever book you actually want.” You can also choose how much money to spend, and your giftee won’t know until they check the balance online (maybe they’ve been naughty rather than nice?).  (Books-A-Million)

Bookish and Proud sticker


stickerWith a wide range of shapes and sizes, as well as amounts, this sticker is ideal for the small book club gift exchange or to stick on party bags if you’re throwing a big holiday shindig. It’s also great for teachers or English professors to give out to students, just to remind them that being bookish is cool. (CafePress)

Holmes & Watson Rings

Sherlock Holmes ringsGot a best bud? Or someone you like to solve crimes with? (Hey, we don’t know what you get up to in your spare time…) These rings, one for the Holmes of the relationship and one for the Watson are perfect for any friendship. As long as you don’t start squabbling over who’s who. (Etsy)

Bookish Blanket Wrap

book reading robeDidn’t know what a blanket wrap was? We didn’t either until we saw this! And now we’re in love. Because a) it’s true, there’s nothing like a real book, and b) this looks like the comfiest wizard robe ever invented. (CafePress)

Great Catsby T-Shirt

Great catsbyYes. We know. We groaned too. But we laughed first. Who doesn’t want an amazing literary pun on their holiday t-shirt? We see all hands are raised, very good (we’re ignoring those of you who aren’t raising your hands. You’re just wrong in this case, sorry). (Books-A-Million)

Librarian Charm Bracelet

librarian necklaceIt’s not just that librarians have a ton of charm (though they do). This necklace actually has charms hanging off it that every librarian (or, let’s face it, a librarian wannabe or library fan) might want: the book, the building, and most important, that little “Shh!” (Etsy)

BOOK WORM Travel Mug

bookish travel mugThe toughest of fist-bumps, this is both a great idea for a tattoo (though what would you put on your thumbs? Nothing? That feels wrong…) and an awesome travel mug to gift your toughest bookworm beloved. (CafePress)

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Beware the Bookish Woman Tote

reading tote bag

Featuring some famous authoresses, let’s remember that the bookish woman is the best kind there is and that you need only beware her if you’re likely to fall for her charms. After all, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman in possession of a good book must be in want of a cup of tea. So go get it for her. Why are you still standing there? Go! (CafePress)

& Marquee

ampersand decorSo… one of us here at Read It Forward sort of kind of definitely has this amazing ampersand (in red, no less) hanging in her living room. It really pulls the room together. (Books-A-Million)

Book Piracy Sucks T-Shirt

book piracy tee shirtWe couldn’t agree more. If you’re going to read books digitally, pay for them, okay? Especially if it’s a book about pirates. Especially if it’s a book about book pirates sucking and losing out to ninjas (or is it pirates vs. cowboys? We can never remember…). (CafePress)

To Read A Book for the First Time Coasters

reading coastersEveryone who likes re-reading books understands this quote without a doubt. It’s so true and so heartfelt. And coasters are for coffee, tea, or any other beverage you have while sitting around and (what else?) reading. (Etsy)

Be Creative Journal

creativity journalKnow someone who’s dying to start journaling again? This is just the thing. The creativity sparking quotes on the cover will be sure to jump start any writer’s morning. (Books-A-Million)

I’m the Sensitive Bookish Type T-Shirt

bookish tee shirtYou might be the sensitive bookish type, but this isn’t for you, this is a gift, remember? You’re getting this for someone else. Of course, if that someone happens to be your same size, you can always borrow it… (Etsy)

Bibliophile Bracelet

bibliophile bracelet Try saying that ten times fast: bibliophile bracelet, bibliophile bracelet, bibliophile bracelet… Anyway, it’s the perfect gift for the bibliophiles in your family, friend group or workplace. (Etsy)

Book Ornament

ornamentGot a friend with a Christmas tree that needs decorating? Here’s just the thing. Lines from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice ripped into strips and sacrificed for the sake of an artistic bauble. Secret Santa gift: done. (Book Lover Gifts)


storymatic gameThis game is perfect for your writer and storyteller friends, as you tell stories together. You can even gift this to your writing group and use it as a source of ideas! (Uncommon Goods)

Banned Books Socks

banned book socksSocks are a traditional holiday gift, aren’t they? Well, anyway, whether you use these as the stockings you stuff things in or the stockings you give your friend to wear, these mismatching socks will be the most fun to watch and wear. (Uncommon Goods)

Oscar Wilde Quote Mirror

oscar wilde mirrorOne of Wilde’s best and most beloved (and most hilarious) quotes, this one goes absolutely perfectly with a hand mirror. If you know any Wilde fanatics out there (and we do), you’ll want to give them this one. (Book Lover Gifts)

Yes I’m Actually Reading This Bookmarks

So while there should be a comma between the “Yes” and the “I’m” in this cool pad of sticky bookmarks, we’re willing to overlook the punctuation issue because, well, how amazing are these?! (Book Lover Gifts)

Check out even more great gifts for readers here

Featured image: Evgeny Karandaev/

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About Ilana Masad

ILANA MASAD is a queer writer of fiction, nonfiction, and criticism. She is the founder and host of The Other Stories, an interview podcast featuring fiction writers, and is currently a doctoral student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her debut novel, All My Mother’s Lovers, comes out May 2020.

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