When it comes to gift-giving, the most thoughtful presents speak to the unique interest of the person receiving the gift. So this holiday season, we’ve selected just the things that bibliophiles would love — from building the ideal reading nook to the essentials for reading (or listening) on the go to the social aspects of reading (aka book club life).
Members of your book club, your novel-loving spouse, your YA-obsessed teenager, and your ’never-leaves-home-without-a-book’ sister-in-law all deserve unique, responsible book-themed gifts. That’s why we sourced a dozen gifts from small businesses, with a focus on sustainable, organic, fair trade options so you can feel good about your gifting this season. And rest-assured, no one is going to judge you if you buy two of everything.
For their reading nook
These clever candles are not only conversation starters but they also make a statement way before you even light the wick. From Bonfire Blaze, which smells like “flickering flames and drunken disclosures” (otherwise described as “whiskey and chestnut”) to Coffee Break, which smells like "procrastination and inspiration” in the form of French roast and coconut, you can pick out a candle that perfectly defines your book-loving pal. Plus, they smell fantastic and are hand-poured in the U.S. using coconut-soy wax.
Spending time in front of screens is just a regular part of life nowadays, which is what makes having at least one pair of blue-light blocking glasses a must. For the remote worker who spends all day staring at screens, then all night reading ferociously on their tablet, a pair of Sunskis glasses, with frames made of recycled plastic, not only helps their eyes but also removes plastics from landfills. They’re designed in San Francisco and ethically manufactured at a vetted factory in China. And they come with a lifetime warranty, in case your friend tends to sit on their frames from time to time.
A Pilea Peperomiodes plant in a versatile, go-with-anything modern white ceramic planter is the accoutrement that truly completes a reading nook — nature, after all, is stress-relieving. This low-maintenance plant, also known as a money plant, adds some natural ambiance to a reading area without requiring a ton of care. Not to mention a money plant is also the ideal gift for the friend who’s never not reading a self-help or personal finance book. Of course, the Léon & George site has a ‘plant quiz’ to find the perfect plant match for your person if this particular one doesn’t seem just right.
For the person who loves the elegance of reading by candlelight and the convenience of reading books on a tablet, this Lumens Wick LED Table Lamp is the happy medium. It looks like a beautiful tapered candle in an antique holder, and offers the same type of lighting as a standard candle would, but there’s no melting wax hazard or fire risk. It’s great for someone who reads in bed long after their spouse has gone to sleep, since it gives off a soft light but won’t keep your partner awake. Bonus: It’s battery operated, so you can set it anywhere.
Weighted blankets are meant to ease stress and anxiety by calming the nervous system — just like reading, actually. And, the Napper from Bearaby is the best one we’ve found because its chunky knit looks good, is breathable, and is made from organic cotton. It comes in 10, 15, 20 and 25 pound options for keeping you calm and cozy, but we really love it because it’s the perfect throw for snuggling under with a good book on a chilly afternoon. Choose from various deep, rich colors, like deep brown or stunning navy blue or cloud-fluff white — hues that make for a welcoming reading nook.
For on-the-go listening
Avoid adding more plastic to landfills by opting for a fully compostable phone case from Pela — and a phone grip like this one. This is the perfect present for your book-loving teen who is constantly reading on her phone while waiting in line, on the school bus, or between classes. (OK, she’s probably texting or TikToking, too, but let’s assume she’s reading a book on Scribd most of the time.) No matter what, these eco-friendly phone grips make holding onto your phone a cinch whether reading or selfie-taking.
One characteristic of audiobook fans is that they love to multitask. Whether it’s listening while commuting, walking the dog, cooking dinner, working out, you name it, a good pair of earphones is key. Splurge a little and give them the gift of excellent audio quality so they don’t miss a word from their favorite audiobook narrator. Beats Fit Pro Earbuds are comfortable to wear all day and, importantly, they won’t fall out of your ears, even when dancing while listening to a particularly moving passage of prose. We also love them because they’re noise-canceling, which means hearing an audiobook is possible even on a windy day or during a loud train ride to work.
To fuel focus and concentration
We’re obsessed with The Mug. Handcrafted in North Carolina, each of these mugs is crafted to cradle the perfect cup of coffee or tea (or midday cocktail). Available in a range of colorful glazes, including seasonal offerings like Fiddlehead Green, gift your friend the joy of curling up each day with a good book and one of these beauties.
Speaking of matcha, does your bookworm always sneak out to the cafe to grab a matcha latte and some quiet reading time? Bring home that cozy cafe vibe with this easy-to-use and oh-so-darn-cute matcha kit. Whip the ceremonial grade matcha powder into frothy perfection with the set’s tiny, rechargeable whisk and be sure to serve with a good book. Bonus: Golde is owned and founded by two badass BIPOC women.
This woman-founded wellness company taps into the super healing powers of mushrooms and turns them into tasty treats. Pamper your favorite reader’s palate with matcha lattes, gummies, and dark chocolate bars, all with the added benefits of healing (non-psychedelic) fungi. The brain-boosting benefits means these sweet treats will help them read longer and comprehend more.
To connect and have fun
Instead of painstakingly selecting just the right book, why not give them the gift of stories with access to the world’s leading digital library so they can enjoy their fill of millions of ebooks, audiobooks, podcasts, magazines, and sheet music. Open up their world with titles including bestselling fiction, top-tier nonfiction books, and newly released audiobooks. Scribd also has quick reads on all kinds of self-help topics from leadership to productivity and goal-setting, so self-help lovers will be in seventh heaven. There’s definitely something for everyone.
What’s better than a book club? A book and wine club. If your friend’s love language is books, booze, and quality time, sign up both of you for the Black Girl Magic Wine & Book Club. McBride Sisters Wines partnered with Simon & Schuster to send you perfectly paired wine and books. Plus, you get virtual wine tastings and conversations with the authors! Their current offering pairs riesling, rosé, and a bubbly red with Eat Plants, B*tch by Pinky Cole.