The Best Christmas Gifts For Book Lovers

Woman with headphones reading in living room
Image: Getty Images

While it’s certainly easier to flick on your favourite streaming service and forget about the woes of the world, there’s something uniquely special about reading a book. It’s something that takes a bit more patience but pays off offering the ultimate form of escapism like few movie adaptions can.

If one of your friends or family members is someone who actively dedicates the time to this fine art, buying a gift will probably be a little tough because they probably own all the good books. To help you on your way, we’ve crafted up this little list of Christmas gift ideas to help get those creative juices going during the season of giving.

Kindle Paperwhite

Most bibliophiles would shudder at the thought of Marie Kondo-ing their personal book library but the reality is, books are heavy and they take up a lot of space. While e-readers have been widely adopted by book lovers, there are still quite a few struggling to jump on the bandwagon. Give your friend a gentle nudge toward the future by gifting them the power of digital book reading. They’ll either love or hate you for it.


Booktopia Gift Certificates

Image: Booktopia

If your recipient is a complete book lover, there’s a good chance they probably have a lot of the latest releases. So, yes, while gift vouchers are a bit lazy, they’re also completely practical in these situations where you want to be thoughtful without the stress of figuring out what the hell they don’t have.

We’ve popped Booktopia in here because they’re #Australian and their range is available online but there are plenty of other options to choose from. Booktopia offers gift certificates between $20 and $300 so you can decide how generous you’re feeling and drop that precious cash.

$20 – $300

Fancy bookmarks

Image: Amazon

Yes, getting someone a bookmark sounds a bit basic but if you make a fancy bookmark then all’s swell. Every avid book reader needs a bookmark and if they’re anything like me, they’ll need multiple because they’re always leaving books halfway for the next one.

These wooden bookmarks are beautifully stylish and there’s four which should cover them for at least a month.


PagePal Page Holder

Image: Amazon

The little PagePal Page Holder comes in a bunch of different types of wood and looks insignificant but make book readers’ lives that little bit easier. They’re making time to read dammit, make it a bit easier on them.


Paddywax Library collection candles

Image: Amazon

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 but this one shows you know their interests and you’re doing your bloody best to be thoughtful about it.


Corduroy Library Bag

Image: Amazon

A bag to carry books to and from the library is necessary and that’s why the tote bag was probably created. They’ve now entered the world of farshun so if your gift recipient is yet to attain their very own, why not give them the gift of convenience.

This corduroy tote bag will help your gift pal cart heavy books around in style and it even has little pockets if they’d like to use it for more general use.


Book Bucket List Poster

Image: Amazon

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. 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.


Best books of 2019

Image: Amazon

It wouldn’t be a good book freak list without some actual books included but rather than offer you a specific title, it’s best to explain how to look for the right book. If you know what your friend or family member tends to read then that’s a great start. Look for titles similar to that in genre and age. If they’re a true crime buff, for example, check Book Depository and Booktopia menus, check ratings and reviews on sites like Goodreads and see if they’re are any relevant titles on the numerous Best Books of 20-whatever lists out there.

Good contenders are likely included on longlists and shortlists for major book awards like the Pulitzer and Man Booker or the Australian-specific awards like the Miles Franklin or Stella Prize.

For example, some of the biggest fiction book releases this year included Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments, Sally Rooney’s Normal People, Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s Fleishman is in Trouble and Kevin Barry’s Night Boat to Tangier. In terms of non-fiction, Jia Tolentino’s Trick Mirror essay collection, Lisa Taddeo’s Three Women, the #MeToo reporters’ She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow have been very popular. Most book lovers will likely have already read those titles but it’s a good start.


As Gizmodo editors we write about stuff we like and think you'll like too. Gizmodo often has affiliate partnerships, so we may get a share of the revenue from your purchase.