It should be easy to buy gifts for people who like to read. Wrong!!!!! To buy her a book, I have to figure out if she’s already read it. Then I have to figure out how much she likes it. Then, I try to figure out if she already owns the book I want to buy her. This has become easier since we have pared down and organized our bookshelves. I also try to figure out if she would like the book. If you think about it, that last one should be easy! I have a lot of data that I can use to do my job well. I know what books she’s been reading and how much she likes them. I know all of her favorite things. So we talk about books a lot. Even so, because she’s read so many books, I try to branch out to authors she hasn’t read before, which can be a risk. When I buy her a book, I know it’s not my fault if she doesn’t like it. But I don’t want that to happen! During the holidays, I just love to put myself under a lot of stress.
All that aside, the holidays are a very stressful time for independent bookstores and booksellers, and they have a lot of work to do. This year, the supply chain problems make that stress even worse. If you’re going to buy books for your holiday shopping, you should have done it a long time ago. Still, you can visit your local independent book store in person, of course. If they don’t have the book you want, don’t get mad. There is a big problem with the book industry right now because there aren’t enough books for everyone. Take that into account when you buy books as gifts this year, especially now that it’s December. Also, think about this: You don’t need to buy a book for the reader in your life. You can show them how much you care about them in other ways, like with some of the products below! You can also help independent bookstores by giving them gift cards! It’s a great stocking stuffer, and it lets the person you’re giving it to choose their own books, which takes some of the stress off of you. Use command+F “book” to find the bookstores. Check out this list of Black-owned bookstores in each state, this list of Indigenous-owned stores, and this list of queer indie stores (command+F “book”) Check to see if your local bookstore sells things like mugs, tote bags, and shirts as well.
You don’t want to mess with someone else’s book organization system, but here are some ideas for gifts that aren’t too intrusive. A lot of the shelves on Etsy are pretty and unique, like this hanging one that also doubles as a bookmark for the books on show. A person who likes to read a lot of books at the same time would love this. They make any room look like a library with shelf dividers, and bookends can be used for many things, like this vase one or this pencil cup/book end set. So, if they like to read, they’ll have books to read all over the place. Some people leave stacks of books on their nightstand or coffee table, but they could put them in a wooden tabletop book display instead. This would add some style and panache to the chaos. A vintage version, like this one or this one, will make them feel like they are important.
If you’re a bookworm, you should decorate your house with some literary art. You could put up a poster of literary insults, or you could make a little planter with the names of your favorite books inside. For a gift exchange or stocking stuffer, think about giving a bookish ornament, like this one made from old books or these real ones. Multi-cover mug: For someone who likes to read some lesbian pulp. This Lesbian Hell print: It would also be nice to have plush cushions in every reading nook! Some of them are fancy, like these velvet ones, but I also like a simple reading pillow with arms.
Having Fun Isn’t Hard When You Have A Library Card
A trait I might have is that I like to date people who work in libraries. There is a chance. You can’t go wrong with a Buffy-themed Kiss the Librarian mug or pin.
Reading Power Tools
People on Etsy are selling all kinds of pressed flower things. There are even bookmarks made out of pressed flowers. Some people don’t know that clip-on book lights are a good thing. In middle school, my parents bought me a book light for Christmas. It was a great gift because it meant I could stay up past bedtime to read. To buy highlighters for someone who reads or writes academically is always a good idea. People love post-its and sticky tabs, and I don’t think I have ever met anyone who doesn’t. They are a good stocking stuffer, especially some of the “aesthetic” ones on Etsy that are sold there. I always thought the idea of having a “book journal” was a little weird. This year, I started keeping track of all the books I read on Instagram, and I thought it was great. It might be nice to have a record that is more tangible.
If you read our Ultimate Team Gift Guide, you saw that I already said what I want for Christmas. But I’m going to say it again! Christmas is coming, and all I want is fancy Scrabble or fancy Boggle or plain old Bananagrams! Because Ex Libris isn’t as well known as it should be. If there are any writers or bookworms in your life, you should get it for them.
So, you know: gifts for book lovers that can also be used on the bar cart! Exactly what you need for the book club that’s more interested in the wine than the books.