Finding the right reading-related gift can be challenging. If you don’t know the exact genre someone likes, buying a book is often a shot in the dark. And prolific readers make it tough to keep up with what they’ve read and what they haven’t. Plus, you want to ensure you stick to a gift-giving budget while still finding something meaningful.
Fortunately, there are numerous gifts at different price points that are sure to make any bookworm smile.
Best Gift Ideas for Book Lovers
Some reading-themed gifts involve actual books, whereas other gift ideas help make reading more enjoyable. Whatever the case, begin your gift hunt by deciding how much you want to spend to stay within your monthly budget, and shop accordingly.
Reading Gifts Under $20
If you’re on a tight budget, gift shopping can cause serious financial anxiety. If you can’t afford something flashy, you at least want to give a gift someone can really use. Thankfully, there are numerous under-$20 gifts for book nerds that are still bound to be a hit.
1. The Perfect Mug
If there’s one thing most bookworms love, it’s curling up on a weekend morning with a cup of coffee or tea and diving into a good book.
A mug is an inexpensive yet useful gift, and there are so many mug designs that incorporate a love of reading.
The classic book mug from Amazon features 30 of the best books ever written. You can also buy the banned-book coffee mug, which displays famous old books banned during different periods. An artist-specific mug, like an Oscar Wilde mug or Mark Twain mug, is also a thoughtful gift if you know the recipient’s favorite author.
Or if you want creative control, opt for DIY permanent marker mugs, and make your own book-themed design. Alternatively, you can buy blank mugs and art supplies for a DIY mug kit so you and the recipient can have fun making mugs together.
2. A Thriller or Sci-Fi Book Box
Book subscription boxes are a dime a dozen these days. Many are on the pricier side, but you can still find boxes in this price range for a more exciting gift.
Two popular boxes are the My Thrill Club and My Sci-Fi Club. Each box starts at $16 per month and includes two new hardcover books plus one e-book in every box. My Thrill Club lets you choose between horror, thrillers, and mystery for the genre. My Sci-Fi Club has the same offering, but it lets you choose between science fiction and fantasy.
You can buy a single month for either box to stay under $20. You can also prepay for three, six, and 12 months if you have a larger budget and want a gift that keeps on giving.
3. A Personal Reading Lamp
If you’re looking for a book lovers gift idea that offers more utility, a reading lamp is the perfect choice for anyone who reads before bedtime.
The bendable Glocusent LED neck reading light rests around the recipient’s neck to help illuminate their book. It also has six adjustable brightness levels and three temperature options, including yellow, warm white, and cool white. This lamp is the perfect solution for bed readers who don’t want to wake a sleeping partner.
Or opt for simple clip-on reading lamps. You can find a variety of clip-on lamps for under $20. The Topelek rechargeable book lamp is fully portable and has three color temperatures and three brightness settings, for a total of nine lighting modes. Its gooseneck ensures the light shines exactly where you want it. The battery lasts up to 60 hours, and the padded clamp protects furniture.
The Bohon clamp lamp has 10 different brightness levels and a flexible neck. It plugs into the wall via an adapter or directly into a computer or power bank with a USB cable.
4. A Custom Bookmark
If you’re ever struggling to find a sentimental gift, going custom is a useful trick to remember. Plus, you can still keep things affordable.
For example, Etsy has a range of custom leather bookmarks for under $20. Choose from various colors and styles, from elegant to rustic and weathered. You can also find custom resin bookmarks, which are often more colorful and contain hand-pressed flowers and greenery or glitter inside the bookmark.
Some Etsy sellers can add initials or names to these handcrafted bookmarks. Alternatively, they can etch a favorite saying or literary quote.
Sellers typically charge per character, so sticking with names or initials can help you stay under budget. But remember to order well in advance since custom gifts usually take longer to deliver than buying something with Amazon Prime.
5. Book-Themed Throw Pillows
Amazon has an entire category of book-themed throw pillows, many of which are under $20. In fact, many pillows are $9.99, meaning you can mix and match designs and buy two pillows while still staying within your budget. There’s immense design variety, so you’re sure to find something to suit any reader’s style. For example, you can find cute reading-themed pillows with cartoon animals, like the Asminifor cartoon owl and book pillow. Alternatively, search for pillows that represent a specific book or series, like a “Harry Potter” throw pillow.
6. Scented Candles
If you’re looking for an affordable stocking stuffer, it’s hard to beat scented candles. After all, nothing goes hand in hand with reading quite like candlelight.
If you want a budget-friendly option, Target offers a range of candles in a variety of intriguing scents and colors, including spiced orange, driftwood and sea salt, lemongrass and verbena, and sugared birch. Be sure to use Target shopping hacks to keep prices down.
Etsy also has affordable scented candles with bookish flair, such as:
- Jane Austen’s Writing Desk Candle: Scented with lilac, berries, tea, mahogany, and leather
- Bibliophile Scented Soy Wax Candle: Smells like full-bodied Colombian Arabica-brewed coffee
- Old Bookstore Soy Candle: Combines the aromas of leather, coffee, and musk to smell like a vintage bookstore
- Cabin in the Woods Candle: Smells like cedar, pine, and wood
You can also shop locally and visit nearby bookstores or boutiques to look for candles.
Just be careful buying candles that have robust scents. They might be overpowering to some people. When in doubt, stick with mild scents like fresh linen or lavender.
7. A Library Card Phone Case
If you’re looking for a book-themed gift the recipient will use every day, a library card phone case is a quirky yet pragmatic idea.
These phone cases mimic old library cards, listing various book titles, checkout dates, and due dates in old-fashioned handwriting. You can find a range of cases on Etsy for Android and Apple smartphones for under $20.
If your gift recipient loves their local library or retro gifts in general, this one is sure to go over well. Just make sure you shop for the right phone model or your gift won’t fit their phone.
Reading Gifts From $21 – $50
With a slightly higher budget, there are even more gift ideas to encourage someone to take time for themselves and indulge in a book.
8. A Reading Pillow Backrest
Nothing invites getting cozy with a book quite like a reading pillow backrest. The Lorna backrest pillow creates a comfortable nook to rest against while you read. With a plush back and armrests, this pillow lets the bookworm in your life transform their next reading stint. Plus, the Lorna backrest pillow has a removable cover and is machine washable, so cleaning is a breeze. There are 14 color options, including black, burnt orange, aqua, and fiesta red.
There are also reading pillows with neck pillows. These are a better buy if you want something ergonomic, but you’ll pay slightly more for the extra features.
9. Blue Light Glasses
Electronic devices emit blue light. While blue light is harmless during the day, according to Harvard Health Publishing, blue light exposure at night can suppress melatonin secretion and lead to difficulty sleeping.
For people who read with their tablet or laptop, a pair of blue light glasses is a gift that might actually protect them. The verdict is still out on how effective blue light glasses are. Many optometrists argue that overusing electronics is the primary cause of eyestrain and difficulty sleeping, although there are still users who report blue light glasses help them sleep better. So they’re worth trying if the person you’re shopping for has problems with headaches or falling asleep.
You can find blue light blocking glasses on Amazon for around $25 if you’re looking to stay on the cheaper side. But websites like GlassesShop and Zenni Optical also have affordable blue light glasses for under $50. Both companies occasionally run general sales or have bonuses like free shipping or discounts for new customers, so compare GlassesShop and Zenni Optical to see what’s most affordable.
You can find both nonprescription glasses and affordable prescription lenses, provided you have your recipient’s prescription. However, certain prescriptions bring the price slightly over $50.
10. A Bathtub Bookholder
If the reader you’re buying for is a self-care enthusiast, they need a bathtub bookholder in their life.
Or you can buy the Urban Outfitters inflatable book jacket. It’s exactly what it sounds like: an inflatable jacket that lets books float on water without getting soaked. Since this one’s cheaper than a traditional bathtub tray, you’ll have room in your budget for a little something extra, such as a set of stemless wine glasses or one of the gifts from the under-$20 section..
11. A Speciality Hot Beverage Kit
There’s only one way to make sipping on a warm cuppa while diving into the latest thriller any better: a specialty tea, coffee, or cocoa kit that reminds the bookworm in your life you care.
The Tazo tea gift set from Amazon comes with a double-insulated tea mug, honey straws, and 12 blended teas: mint herbal, peachy green, English breakfast, ginger green, chamomile, Zen green, wild sweet orange, baked cinnamon apple, chai, Earl Grey, decaffeinated lotus blossom green, and cucumber.
For the coffee drinkers, the Coffee Beanery indulgent coffee selection gift box contains 12 roasted Arabica coffee blended one-pot samplers any coffee fan is sure to love. The box includes hazelnut, chocolate-raspberry, Colombian, Italian dark roast, Beanery Blend, breakfast blend, Sumatra mandheling, vanilla nut cream, s’mores, English toffee and cream, Guatemalan Huehuetenango, and Michigan cherry.
Or opt for a fancy hot chocolate kit for a fun winter gift idea. For example, one Christmas gift box on Etsy comes with a ceramic mug, hot chocolate powder, mini marshmallows, and cookie mix to help inspire a baking night. Alternatively, DIY hot chocolate bombs let your gift recipient DIY by melting premium chocolate into balls that are then dropped into hot milk to create the perfect cup of hot chocolate.
12. A Book-of-the-Month-Club Subscription
If you’re looking for a gift that provides excitement for months to come, a three-month subscription to the Book of the Month club is your best option.
Every month, the book club curates five books for members to choose from. Members receive the book they pick, and there’s a healthy rotation of genres. Plus, Book of the Month mixes in contemporaries and classics, so there’s enough variety to make this gift a safe bet, even if you’re unsure what the person you’re shopping for enjoys reading.
A three-month gift subscription costs $49.99. You can send your gift via email code or electronic gift card or print a card at home. If you can afford just a few extra dollars in your budget, you can ensure they have something to open by tucking the printed card inside an inexpensive reading-themed mug or small journal along with a homemade bookmark.
13. A Fuzzy Sweater
If you want to buy a gift they’re sure to use, a comfortable sweater is a very safe bet. After all, during the winter months, who wouldn’t love getting cozy with a warm sweater and a captivating bestseller?
Old Navy has an extensive selection of warm men’s and women’s sweaters for under $50, like their cozy cable-knit blouson-sleeve sweater or argyle crew-neck sweater. American Eagle is also an affordable place to begin your search. It carries sweaters at similar prices for men and women, like the super-soft crew-neck sweater with a Fair Isle pattern or a cropped sweater that comes in cream, mint, dark blue, pink, or gray.
Just remember to ask for a gift receipt in case you get the sizing wrong.
14. A Beautifully Bound Journal
If the book lover you’re shopping for likes creative writing, poetry, or taking notes for their book club, a leather journal is another fitting gift idea. After all, a quality journal isn’t something most people splurge on, but there’s something strangely satisfying about writing in something that’s leather-bound.
Barnes & Noble carries a variety of leather journals. Their Italian leather compass journal is a popular seller, and the front has an adventurous embroidered compass insignia. You can also shop on Amazon. The CooLeathor daily notebook features soft-touch distressed leather, a strap closure, and ruled pages made of kraft paper for a vintage feel.
If the reader on your list isn’t a fan of leather, Amazon also has a range of affordable Moleskine journals in a variety of colors and sizes.
15. A Miniature Bookstore Kit
While this gift is only for the most devoted bookworms, it’s a creative gift they’ll never expect.
The Hands Craft DIY miniature bookstore kit is a three-dimensional miniature bookstore you create and design however you like. It’s like building a model car or train, but for book lovers. The bookstore comes with miniature furniture, shelving, books, and even small LED bulbs to illuminate the store.
16. A Literary Throw Blanket
If you need a cozy gift idea that’s perfect for reading, check out the literary throw blankets on Redbubble.
There are dozens of blankets to choose from, with many referencing famous books and series like “The Great Gatsby,” “Pride and Prejudice,” and “Sherlock Holmes.” Some blankets also have literary quotes that express the magic of reading or use book-inspired designs. And it’s not all highbrow literary snobbery. For example, you can add humor to the mix with blankets like the Edgar Allan Po-Boy sandwich throw blanket.
Most blankets are between $38 and $45 for a medium blanket, which is 60 inches by 50 inches. Some larger blankets are still under $50, but you have a more limited selection to choose from.
Reading Gifts From $51 – $100
If a more substantial budget range, you can find different reading-themed subscriptions and custom gift ideas.
17. A Scribd Subscription
A book subscription is one of those things many people don’t know they need until they try it. If the person you’re shopping for frequently complains about not having anything to read, this is the perfect gift. Scribd, an e-book and audiobook subscription service, is a popular choice.
Scribd costs $8.99 per month and provides unlimited access to over half a million books and audiobooks. New titles release regularly, and from a cost perspective, Scribd is undoubtedly worth it if you read a few books per month.
You can give six months of Scribd for $50 or a yearly plan for $100. You can send your gift as an email or print-at-home letter, and you get to leave a personalized note with either option. Scribd works for Android and iOS devices. Readers can also access their account through Scribd’s website, so it’s easy to read as long as you have an Internet connection.
18. A Scribbler Subscription Box
As “Brokeback Mountain” author Annie Proulx once said, “Writing comes from reading, and reading is the finest teacher of how to write.” If you’re shopping for a bookworm writer or blogger, the Scribbler subscription box can help them hone their craft.
Every month, Scribbler focuses on a writing topic, like character building or storytelling, and picks a novel that exemplifies that theme. Scribbler also includes other resources and gifts to help inspire better writing, including:
- A teaching booklet with publishing advice and writing tips from bestselling authors
- Writing-themed gifts like notebooks and pens
- Resources that help you understand what it takes to get a book professionally published
Some boxes also contain live-chat invitations to talk to publishing agents and authors, letting subscribers pick industry experts’ brains.
Three months of Scribbler is $84.99, and it’s one of the best gifts for aspiring writers with a love of reading.
19. A Bookbinding Kit
In the old days, books were bound by hand using materials like leather and linen for binding. Nowadays, you can let the crafty bookworm in your life recreate this bookish experience with their own DIY bookbinding kit from Etsy store Journal Shop.
The kit is around $56 and comes with everything you need to bind your own books, including an instruction booklet and book covers. Ultimately, this gift is best for readers who write, as they have to supply the manuscript.
20. A Custom Book Stamp
What book lover wouldn’t like to stamp their collection of favorite books with their very own design? If you’re still searching for a gift, you can always buy a custom rubber stamp on Etsy.
At just over $50, Ex Libris Gallery’s custom handmade wooden and rubber stamp is a unique midrange gift that will last a lifetime. You can add your own image, such as a family crest or favorite animal, alongside personalized text.
If you don’t have an image in mind, Ex Libris Gallery also sells stamps that come with preexisting designs, but you can still customize the text. And since those are under budget, you can pair it with a journal or new book to add to their library.
Reading Gifts Over $100
If you’re looking to splurge, this is the right category to shop from. Spending $100 or more opens up a lot of gift opportunities, particularly for electronic devices that make reading more enjoyable.
21. A Temperature-Controlling Mug
If you’ve ever sat down with a new book and a piping hot cup of tea or coffee only to have your drink go cold 20 minutes later, you’ll understand why the Ember temperature-controlled mug is so popular.
The Ember Mug2 lets you maintain a specific beverage temperature for 90 minutes when using battery power or all day when placed on a charging coaster. You use Ember’s smartphone app to set a specific temperature, and you can save frequently used temperature controls for different types of beverages. The app even alerts you when your drink reaches the set temperature.
A 10-ounce Ember Mug2 is $99.95, and the 14-ounce version is $129.95. The mugs come in black or white. You can also buy an Ember Travel Mug2 for $179.95 to give the gift of a warm beverage on the go.
22. An E-Reader
But first, they’ll need an e-reader. The Kindle Paperwhite, with e-ink technology that reads like real paper, starts at $149.99 for an 8-gigabyte device. The device’s adjustable light lets you read inside or outside at any time of day, and the battery lasts for weeks on one charge. If you want to go the extra mile, the Kindle Oasis, with the same e-ink technology, starts at $269.99 and has a higher-resolution display and more adjustable light settings to suit any reading environment.
If they’re Amazon Prime members, Prime Reading gives them access to over 1,000 books, magazines, and audiobooks. Readers can also join Kindle Unlimited for $4.99 per month and choose from over 1 million titles for even more reading material. And you don’t need a Prime membership to sign up for Kindle Unlimited.
You don’t need a Kindle device for Prime Reading or Kindle Unlimited. However, there’s no denying that reading with a Kindle is more enjoyable than reading from a small phone screen or cumbersome laptop.
Alternatively, an iPad is a portable way to enjoy reading that also offers more functionality, enabling the recipient to do anything any other smart device can do, such as surf the Web, check email, and play games. The lightweight design and high-resolution screen are difficult to match — hardly surprising since this is an Apple product.
There are several models of iPads on the market, each at different price points. The iPad Mini starts at $399 and is a useful gift for frequent travelers who pack light. The standard iPad is slightly more affordable at $329. If the bookworm you’re shopping for has trouble seeing and needs larger screens to accommodate larger text, the iPad Pro, which starts at $799, is the best choice.
23. An Oil Diffuser
If you want a gift that lends itself to relaxing with a book, a Saje oil diffuser is a luxurious gift idea that’s a step above other scented products, such as candles or cheap diffusers.
Saje’s line of oil diffusers use 100% natural essential oil blends with no artificial fragrances, parabens, or silicone. The Aroma Om deluxe diffuser can continuously mist for over 20 hours and has three timer settings and an automatic shut-off feature. This particular diffuser is $130, although Saje has slightly cheaper models.
You can find cheaper diffusers on Amazon that also use natural oils and have a timer. However, cheap diffusers are often smaller and can’t run as long as Saje diffusers. Plus, Saje diffusers are made from stone and have a nicer aesthetic than many of their lower-end cousins, which are often made of plastic or fake wood.
24. A Lumio Book Lamp
For many people, lamps are largely an afterthought. However, if you want a reading lamp that’s both a piece of art and portable light source, Lumio has you covered.
Lumio lamps are multifunctional lamps that fold to look like an ordinary book. You can unfurl a Lumio lamp to provide as much light as you need, and the lamp looks like an open book as it reveals itself. The battery lasts for eight hours and charges with a micro-USB charger, meaning you can bring Lumio on the go and charge it with a laptop.
25. A Reading Chair
The right chair or lounger can truly make or break the enjoyment you get from settling down with a good book. If you’re willing to splurge a bit, a comfortable reading chair is an incredibly useful gift for someone you care about.
Amazon has many reading chairs and loungers at reasonable prices. A modern Dazone ottoman accent chair is $139.99 and comes in gray or yellow. Alternatively, a GDFStudio fabric recliner is $234 and has over 10 colors to choose from.
If you truly want to transform a room and someone’s reading routine, you can also shop for loungers. Rosevera’s light beige chaise lounge is $480. It comes with a pillow and is constructed with a thick foam padding for enhanced comfort.
Whatever you choose, put some thought into the person’s design preferences and existing furniture. You don’t want to overcrowd their home or make them get rid of furniture they like.
26. Noise-Canceling Headphones
The right pair of noise-canceling headphones is perfect for listening to audiobooks or a music playlist designed to set the mood for your book. Plus, they allow readers to hone in on a book by blocking out distractions like your partner’s blaring TV or the kids getting rambunctious in the playroom.
The Bose QuietComfort 35 II is a newer model with three noise cancellation levels and Alexa-enabled voice control. These headphones set a standard for what to look for in a pair of noise-canceling headphones.
If you’re trying to stay under $200, the Sennheiser HD 4.50 noise-canceling headphones are a more affordable option that still beat a cheap pair of earbuds by a long shot.
Finding the right gift can be difficult, especially if you’re trying to stick to a budget.
Luckily, finding a gift for someone who loves reading is slightly easier if you can get creative. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to encourage a love of reading in your kids or shopping for a lifelong reader. These gifts are sure to make a reader’s day.