22 Affordable Gifts for Readers
In his famous memoir, On Writing, Stephen King said: “Books are a uniquely portable magic,” and he was right. A powerful novel has the ability to transport and transform—but every reader has his or her own preferred genre or author. So, instead of taking a guess on your friend's next read (though, you could consult our favorite books from 2018) or going the gift card route, opt for something a little more personal. We selected a variety of unique, thoughtful items that complete any reading experience, and we’re sure that these novel gifts fod book lovers will delight all of the avid readers in your life.
Juniper Books Harry Potter Set
Harry Potter fans are a proud bunch, so gift the Potter fanatic in your life a set of J. K. Rowling's books a reader can be equally as proud of. These gorgeous hardcover sets from Juniper Books include all seven novels, each wrapped in a unique book jacket designed in the colors of each Hogwarts house. Choose from Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin so you can match the best set to the witch or wizard in your life.
To buy: $275; juniperbooks.com.
Bibliophile, by Jane Mount
Gift a book lover this gorgeous illustrated celebration of literature from Jane Mount, founder of Ideal Bookshelf. Each page is packed with lots of fun, including quizzes, literary facts, and book recommendations. This colorful cover will look great displayed on a coffee table or will elevate any #shelfie when tucked away on a bookshelf.
To buy: $19; amazon.com.
Know a fan of Mark Twain or John Steinbeck? The brand curated ten collections of fragrances inspired by these literary greats’ works.
To buy: From $8; paddywax.com.
Fingerprint Bookmark Band
She’ll never lose her spot again. This flexible bookmark has a pointer to mark the exact word she last landed on.
To buy: $7; momastore.org.
The Storymatic Game
If he’s running into roadblocks while writing his novel or just looking for a creative outlet, these story-starter cards are just what he needs. Gold cards provide the characters while the copper ones give the impetus for the tale’s events. Select your cards and get creative.
To buy: $30; uncommongoods.com.
Where the Wild Things Are Pin
Max for her bag, Carol for her coat. Or use them as friendship pins for the book lovers on your list. Whatever you choose, these classic storybook characters will instantly transport them back to their mischievous childhood antics.
To buy: $20; urbanoutfitters.com.
I Cannot Live Without Books: Literary Tattoos for Book Lovers
If you had to talk a friend out of nearly getting inked with a Harry Potter quote, this book is for them. Filled with six pages of literary-themed temporary tattoos, your friend will be able to show off that they’re a bibliophile, without any of the long-term regret.
To buy: $9; amazon.com.
My Life With Bob, by Pamela Paul
Pamela Paul has kept a record of every book she’s ever read over the past twenty-eight years, a collection she calls Bob: her Book Of Books. In this collection of stories, Paul reflects not only on the books that have shaped her life, but on the special relationship between book and reader.
To buy: $18; amazon.com.
1,000 Books to Read Before You Die, by James Mustich
If someone in your life is always challenging him or herself with reading goals or it seems like a person has read everything, give the ultimate challenge of reading all 1,000 titles in this compendium. The book lover you know is sure to find a mix of beloved familiars and exciting new titles on each page.
To buy: $22; amazon.com.
The Book Lover’s Journal
Readers know the stress of seeing another list of the best books to read this month, this season, or this year. It’s hard to keep track of a reading wish list when there are so many genres and authors to tackle! This journal helps organize any reader’s inventory—the notebook includes spaces to record books you want to read, books you’ve loaned to or borrowed from friends, and the contact information for your book club. The main attraction: Pages and pages to record details from the books you’ve read, making it easy to reference and recommend your favorite novels in the future.
To buy: $12, amazon.com.
NUACAshop Felt and Leather Kindle Case
Even if she prefers actual books, chances are she still carries some kind of e-reader to make enjoying a book while commuting a little more convenient (an 800-page novel is not easy to store in your purse). Or maybe she’s a traveler, and the Kindle is the easiest way to load up her suitcase with her favorite books before she boards the plane. This handmade felt sleeve is a chic, minimalist way to protect her tablet. If she doesn’t have a Paperwhite Kindle, shop the Etsy seller’s other sizes and fabrics for the ideal dimensions and material for her device. The case comes in gray and black felt, as well as red and white leathers for a more polished vibe.
To buy: $29, NUACAshop.etsy.com.
Out of Print Banned Books Matchbox Set
These clever collectible matchboxes are miniature replicas of some of the most famous banned novels in history—the matches, of course, being a nod to book burnings that used to occur around the world as a form of censorship. From Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 to Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, each box features the original cover illustration for the novel and on the back, a line about why the book was banned from shelves. Fun fact: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was banned from the Brooklyn Public Library in 1876 because the protagonist was of “questionable character.” Each box contains 20 matches.
To buy: $20, amazon.com.
NeenaCreates Book-Lover Pullover
You know her favorite activity is snuggling up with a book and a cup of tea on a chilly Saturday afternoon. Keep her cozy while reading with this slouchy raglan pullover. Adorned with fanciful script lettering that reads: “I have always imagined paradise to be a kind of library,” a quote from Argentine writer and poet Jorge Luis Borges, the sweater comes in eight colors, and the quote can be printed in either white or black ink. Since the seller makes each sweatshirt by hand, using a homemade silkscreen, please allow one to two weeks for creation and shipping.
To buy: $38, neenacreates.com.
Jane Austen Classic Novels
Designed by graphic artist Leanne Shapton, these beautiful book covers give Jane Austen’s timeless novels an artsy update. Offer your bookworm friend these colorful editions—she’ll love re-reading the classics over and over again, plus they’ll look so nice on her bookshelf. Choose from Pride & Prejudice, which comes in a red and black chevron pattern, Sense and Sensibility, which comes in a green and gold polka dot, or Emma, which comes in a peach-colored watercolor print. The books are sold individually, but the whole set would make for a generous (though not too pricey) gift.
To buy: $19 each, anthropologie.com.
Ideal Bookshelf Print
The book collections of artist Jane Mount never get dog-eared. Each archival-image print features the definitive group of titles on one subject, like Southern literature (which features titles like The Color Purple, All the King’s Men, and, of course, Gone With the Wind), Tweens (which features popular YA reads like Harriet the Spy, Matilda, and Harry Potter), or Girl Stars, shown here (which features admirable leading ladies from novels like The Secret Garden, Anne of Green Gables, and Sense and Sensibility). Choose from three different sizes. The eight-by-10-inch print is also available in a white box frame with white mat and Plexiglass.
To buy: From $34, janemount.etsy.com.
Cozy Reader Bundle Gift Box
Help set the mood for a perfect evening of reading with this limited edition book box from Page One Books. Each box includes a book specifically chosen for the recipient, cozy socks, a literary mug for his or her favorite hot drink, a candle, a bath bomb, and even some chocolate to enjoy while reading. What could be better than that?
To buy: $85; page1books.com.
Knock Knock Personal Library Kit
Share the latest and greatest must-read titles with friends, while knowing they’ll be returned (and on time!). This old-school kit is filled with all of the tools you’ll need, including 20 self-adhesive pockets and checkout cards, a date stamp and ink pad, and a pencil, to keep tabs on your precious paperbacks and hardcovers. The whole set comes packaged neatly in a box that can be used to house and keep all the supplies organized in perpetuity. When you’re all out of cards, a refill kit that comes with 15 self-adhesive pockets will keep your lending library open for business.
To buy: $11, amazon.com.
The Puffin In Bloom Book Collection
Penguin enlisted Anna Bond, founder of the chic stationery brand Rifle Paper Co., to redesign the covers for beloved children’s classics, including Anne of Green Gables, Heidi, Little Women, and A Little Princess. The result? “Puffin in Bloom,” a collection of pretty, floral-themed must-reads, perfect for classics fans and new readers, alike. The set even includes four matching bookmarks. Together, the four novels will bring life to any bookshelf. You can buy the whole set together, but if you know your friend already owns one or two of the novels, you can find them individually on Amazon.
To buy: $49 for the set, barnesandnoble.com.
Literature Rocks Glasses
This gift is great for people who like their spirits the same way they like their literature: classic. Have him pour his nightly Old Fashioned into a rocks glass that’s etched with the first edition inside cover and opening lines of Pride and Prejudice (“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”) Not an Austen fan? Etsy seller theUncommonGreen also sells the 11-ounce glass decorated with opening pages from more than 15 other great works, like H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre and James Joyce’s Ulysses.
To buy: $13, theuncommongreen.etsy.com.
The Great Gatsby Socks
Help a book lover add a literary touch to any outfit with these Great Gatsby-themed socks from book-inspired clothing company Out of Print. In addition to being a soft cotton blend, each purchase from Out of Print helps fund literacy programs and pays for book donations to communities in need.
To buy: $10; outofprintclothing.com.
A Sloth's Guide to Mindfulness, by Ton Mak
This adorable book, complete with sweet illustrations on each page, provides an easy introduction to mindfulness. Sit back and unwind while you read through a series of breathing exercises guided by a lovable sloth.
To buy: $14; amazon.com.
Amazon Echo Dot
Amazon's latest voice-controlled gadget is great for readers because it syncs up with Audible, so you can start, stop, and rewind your favorite audiobook just by giving a command. We love that this third generation Echo Dot also comes in pretty new fabric designs and colors, including charcoal, heather gray, and sandstone, so it can blend in with any room (reading while washing dishes, anyone?).
To buy: $50; amazon.com.