Maybe you’ve got a friend or family member who adores books—they’re easy to shop for, right? Just pick up a copy of an interesting read, wrap it up, add a card, and voila.
But wait a minute—if you think about it, the process might not be so simple.
How do you know which books they’ve already read, already own, and what they will actually like?
When there's an endless range of genres from romance novels to sci-fi thrillers, book gifts can be difficult to nail. On the other hand, there are plenty of gift ideas for book lovers that aren’t books. There’s a whole world of literary-themed gifts like book jewelry and reading socks (yes, that’s a thing) that make for unexpected—and useful—bookworm gifts.
For ideas, read on for a few of our favorites below.
BEST GIFTS FOR BOOK LOVERS THAT AREN’T BOOKS
This one’s for the book lover with an old soul and a curious mind. The design of our Book Locket was inspired by vintage storybooks and opens up to reveal a message on a small piece of paper. Add a quote from your recipient’s favorite author, or a saying of your own. This is also a fitting gift for writers since the message can be replaced with their words.
Besides aesthetics, this book necklace can carry emotional value as it was created to honor the moments and milestones of each wearer’s personal narratives. Ideal for casual or fancy occasions, it can serve as an anytime reminder to your loved one of the thought you put behind selecting it.
Welcome to the book club, where candles are encouraged to be lit and conversations are to be had. Homesick makes a candle literally named “Book Club” which gives off a warm, welcoming scent. The top notes are filled with orange and nutmeg and the mid notes include cinnamon and sandalwood. As for the base notes? Keep it burning and you’ll smell vanilla, balsam, and amber—this lingers even after the candle is extinguished, so you can enjoy the scent to its full capacity.
When it comes to activities like reading, setting a calming atmosphere can do wonders for concentration. That’s where the beauty of candles comes in.
The typical burn time for this one is 60-80 hours, so whoever you’re gifting it to can take their sweet time turning each page knowing the candle will be around for a while. It’s also non-toxic and made from a soy wax blend with premium cotton wicks and custom fragrance oils.
Most bookworms would probably agree that getting cozy is essential when it comes to reading. Besides having a comfy place to sit (and preferably a blanket, too), a pair of socks is key. But not just any old pair of socks—plush ones made for indoor use are great to wear while getting lost between the pages of a good book.
Barnes & Noble makes these “Reading Socks” that look and feel super comfy and soft. With a cream cable-knit design and fur cuff, this pair is ideal for lounging around at home. Sure, it may sound unnecessary to have a pair of socks just for reading, but after you try it, you likely won’t want to go back. It’s one of those items that you didn’t know you needed. Or in this case, a must-have item for the book lover in your life.
Maybe your partner loves to stay up late reading novels but you prefer to sleep early with the lights off. Or you have a best friend who loves to travel and read on-the-go. The commonality between the scenarios is the need for a light that’s bright enough for reading.
The Lumio Book Lamp solves that problem.
At first glance, it looks just like a hardcover book when closed. Upon closer look and opening it up, you’ll find that it’s actually a portable lamp powered by a high-performing LED that can fan out to 180 degrees or 360 degrees at full brightness. The paper lantern-like lamp features an ambient light that is soft on the eyes yet bright enough for reading.
This creation is the brainchild of San Francisco-based designer Max Gunawan and inspired by origami. You can store it on a bookshelf, mount it to a metal surface, or take it with you on adventures. It uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and provides wireless power for up to eight hours.
Need more great gifts for readers? Try a framed cover of their favorite book.
Okay, so we said this roundup will not include actual books. But if you’re sure there’s a book your recipient loves, why not frame it? Uncommon Goods offers high-quality scans of original book covers like The Great Gatsby, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Huckleberry Finn, and plenty of others. And it’s made by Mister Arthurious, a designer/photographer/avid explorer based in New York City.
The frame itself is composed of birch wood, acrylic glass, and the print is on matte heavy archival paper. Upon going through the list of books this item is available in, I realized many of these books were classics I read in high school. Perhaps it makes for a fitting gift for your teenage bestie, a nod to nostalgia and the memory of sitting in a classroom together way back when.
Do you have a loved one who still takes books out from the library? If so, this mug is the gift you’re looking for.
Another thing that sets the mood for reading is having a warm drink like tea or coffee. It just adds to that cozy feel. The design of this mug from Out of Print is inspired by a library card (remember those?) and is in a bright shade of yellow.
It’s made with coated ceramic and is dishwasher and microwave safe, so heating a beverage is a cinch with this one. Another noteworthy point: each purchase helps to fund literacy programs and book donations to communities in need.
Chances are the book lover you’re gifting has heard of Strand bookstore. Located on 828 Broadway, at the corner of East 12th Street in the East Village neighborhood of New York City, it’s a beloved institution filled with “18 miles of books”. There’s also another store on the Upper West Side on Columbus Avenue between 81st and 82nd Streets. Kiosks around Central Park and Times Square are also stocked with books from Strand.
There are also plenty of tote bags like this one from Strand. It makes good gifts for book lovers since they can carry their favorite reads wherever. The size can fit most laptops, too, if they are also the type who likes to bring their work to coffee shops and write the day away.
What’s an essential that every reader needs? A bookmark. While many people use whatever they can find like a receipt, Post-It, or a piece of scrap paper, a bookmark is a dedicated tool to track pages.
This one from Etsy by UndercoverUK is made with recycled leather and can be monogrammed with up to three initials for a more personal feel. There’s plenty of colors to choose from like powder blue, seafoam green, and lemon yellow.
Who's ready for a game of Scrabble?
When it comes to gifts for readers and writers, you can’t go wrong with the classic board game that is Scrabble. Sure, they may already have a set, but do they have this wooden luxury edition? Most likely, this personality type is into details and will appreciate Pottery Barn’s version as it’s filled with letter press style tiles, custom wood tile racks, deluxe scoreboard, and more.
Board games can bring family and friends together, strengthen bonds, and challenge minds to think outside the box. Plus, it just looks nice as a decor piece on any living room coffee table.
We’ve mentioned our locket above, but there’s also a Book Bracelet version of this design. If your recipient has a thing for bookish jewelry, they’ll love this piece that can also store a personal message inside.
And writers can wear it while practicing their craft, all while thinking of you every time they look at their wrist. The Mother of Pearl enamel detailing is a nod to a next chapter full of wisdom, purity, and new beginnings. Whether you’re looking for birthday gifts for book lovers or any occasion, a book bracelet or a book necklace will forever be a classic.
For more gifts and inspirational messages for book lovers, check out: