When you’re shopping for a reader during Christmas, you’ll know that buying them a book comes with a few stressors. It’s possible they might already own a copy of the one you choose, so hopefully, you kept the receipt. You could always ask them, but that would spoil the fun of the surprise. Or there’s a chance they might not like the book at all, so it’ll sit forever unread on their shelf since they’re too polite to give it away. In this scenario, what are some gifts you can give to a book lover that aren’t actual books?
To help you out, we’ve put together a little Christmas gift guide that will be sure to delight even the fussiest of readers.
The best gifts for bookworms
A Book Light
One thing no one ever tells you about a clip-on book light is the fact that it actually makes reading insufferable. Regardless of how big your book light clip is, it’ll likely make turning the page a nuisance.
That’s why we think it’s better to switch to a neck reading light instead. Rather than re-clip your book light every time you flip the page, this reading light will move with you. It won’t fall off, it’s adjustable so you can shine as much or as little light as you need and it comes with three colour settings as well as six brightness levels to match your reading preference.
The BookTok community is obsessed with these DIY book nooks that are designed to be inserted between the books on your shelves. You can grab a replica of anything from Knockturn Alley in Harry Potter ($99) to a mini scene of an wizard’s alchemy lab.
Here’s a bunch of our favourite book nooks that might resonate with your giftee:
Where to buy:
- Amazon: Astronomer’s room ($59.99) | Borgin & Berke’s ($59.99) | Mini library ($70.99) | Notre Dame ($97.52) | Vincent Van Gogh ($120.66)
- eBay: Hobbiton ($29.95) | Sakura train ($87)
- Etsy: Fairy House ($287.71) | Narnia (from $51.98) | Japan alleyway ($108.15) | The Little Mermaid ($113.95)
These hand-folded origami corner bookmarks
Traditional bookmarks are a thing of the past. Instead, try these hand-folded, origami-inspired corner bookmarks for a subtle touch that everyone can see. Whether you use it to group multiple pages or just one, it’s a beautiful way of parking where you’re up to in the story you’re reading, so you can return to it later.
Where to buy: Etsy ($6.80 for a set of five)
Fleur & Fable personalised rubber stamp
When you own so many books, the hardest part is keeping track of the ones that are yours, especially if you share a communal bookshelf with your housemates or regularly lend out your copies. In any case, a personalised rubber stamp is just what you need.
Fleur & Fable are an Australian company that specialises in selling bookplate rubber stamps and stickers. Simply, push down your personalised rubber stamp in the centre of your page to get an even amount of pressure and voila, instant vintage imprint.
The war between books and eReaders is over. The winner? Still both. Even the most devoted bibliophile will find a use for eReader like the Kindle in the right situation – whether they’re reading while travelling or on their lunch break. Give your book-loving friend the gift of convenience with one of these new eReaders.
- Kindle 2022 – now $179
Amazon’s all-new entry-level Kindle has upped the ante with its 6-inch glare-free screen, thinner bezels and 16GB of internal storage. It improves on the previous model with an upgraded resolution and a newly integrated Dark Mode.
- Kobo Clara 2E – $225
Dubbed “Kobo’s first-ever eco-conscious eReader”, the Kobo Clara takes reading (and your environmental concerns) seriously. While most eReaders limit you to digital downloads only, you can use the Kobo Clara 2E to listen to audiobooks. Not only that, but it’s now fully waterproof, comes with temperature and brightness control plus it features an exterior made from 85 per cent recycled plastics.
Book Lovers Mug
This cute mug featuring 30 unforgettable classic novels is a quick stocking filler when collecting gifts for book lovers. Pair this present with a teapot, a sachet of hot chocolate or their favourite tea and you’ve got a simple little Christmas gift that they’ll use every day.
A personalised book embosser
Akin to the book stamp mentioned earlier, an embosser is the next step up if you want to gift your book-loving friend with something that’s personalised, but subtler than a big black stamp.
If you’ve never heard of an embosser before, it’s a tool that allows the user to create a three-dimensional imprint on the page of a book through a combination of heat and pressure. It’s ideal for those who want to mark their possessions as theirs, but don’t want to damage the book. It’s the perfect gift for that friend that acts as your own personal library service.
Where to buy: Etsy (from $45)
Vintage Bird Bookends
It should come as no surprise that book lovers love book-shaped gifts. Why not spice up your reader’s study desk or bookshelf with these gorgeous decorative bookends?
Designed to appear like a stack of vintage hardcovers with a bird perched on top, these nifty bookends are crafted from resin and can also act as a paperweight or bookshelf ornament.
Vintage Bookshelf Board Game
If your friend somehow doesn’t own any classic board games like Monopoly, Scrabble or Clue, it’s about high time they got their own so spoil them with a book-like spin on these must-have, iconic board games. Inspired by the original 1970s board game boxes, these complete sets will camouflage perfectly among your friend’s endless row of books.
Bamboo Reading Rest
This bamboo reading rest is perfect for multi-tasking in the kitchen or when copying notes from a textbook. You can even use it to display the last page you were reading instead of bookmarking it.
Made from high quality bamboo, this sturdy reading rest can be adjusted to six different angle settings for your ease and comfort. This gift doesn’t need to be limited to a book lover, your chef friend will certainly appreciate one in the kitchen too.
An Echo Dot
Hear us out. If your bookish friend has jumped on the audiobook bandwagon, then we’re sure they’d get a lot of use out of an Echo Dot if you explain how they can listen aloud to their current read while at home.
Just like watching TV, encourage your friend to buy a dramatic audiobook before kicking back on their bed as they emerge themselves into the fantasy world narrated through their handy new speaker.
A Book Seat
Available in a wide range of colours and patterns, a book seat is a comfortable way to sit your book on your lap and keep yourself warm at the same time.
It offers hands-free reading support and is ideal for reading during a long period of time. Like the bamboo reading rest, you can also use it to prop up your cookbook or even use it as a stand to watch movies from your tablet.
Paddywax Library collection candles
Reading books requires proper serenity and nothing says serenity like popping on your freshest candle. The Paddywax Library collection of candles fits in with the ~vibe~ of most book lovers and comes adorned with quotes from classic authors like Edgar Allan Poe, Jane Austen and Oscar Wilde.
Getting a candle does seem a little comme ci, comme ça as a gift idea for a book lover but this one shows you know their interests and you’re doing your bloody best to be thoughtful about it.
You can also grab the Byredo Bibliothéque candle from Mecca for $61 – it smells like an ancient wood-panelled library – or this Maison Margiela Whispers in the Library candle ($97), which is reminiscent of paper and waxed wood.
Asakuki Essential Oil Diffuser
People don’t just like reading because they love books. It’s everything that goes along with it. They love going somewhere quiet, kicking their shoes off, snuggling into a couch, armchair or bed and cracking open a book (or e-reader) in the peace and quiet.
One of the perfect gifts to step up the reading ambience for book lovers is an essential oil diffuser. The device will help with dry air, less-than-ideal smells and help block out any bad vibes.
Book Bucket List Poster
Every book lover will know how hard it is to swim against the rising tide of new books but if they haven’t yet read the classics either, it’s almost an impossible task if you don’t receive them as gifts. Get them this neat little scratch-off poster of 100 books everyone should read and they can slowly scratch one book off at a time. It’s got a good mix of old-school and recent literary classics, ranging from Ulysses and Lolita to The Road and Fear and Loathing In Vegas.
It will serve as a visual reminder of some of the books they’ve yet to tick off, which could be inspiring or devastating, really.
When in doubt, always get your favourite bookworm a gift voucher to their favourite store so they can buy as many books, eBooks and audiobooks as they can carry/download.
Here are some popular bookstore picks below:
- Amazon (from $20)
- Audible (from $16.45/month)
- Booktopia (from $20)
- Kobo (from $10)
- QBD (from $5)
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