Looking for creative, literary gift ideas for the bookworms on your holiday list? American Libraries has curated a list of potential presents for those special librarians and literature lovers in your life. Each costs less than $50 and many are less than $20, making them affordable gifts in a time of high inflation and economic uncertainty.
Gifts under $20
This Is My Bookstore 2024 Wall Calendar ($14.99)
With Chronicle Books’ This Is My Bookstore 2024 Wall Calendar, avid readers can begin each month discovering a new bookstore from around the world. This 12-by-12-inch calendar will sate their wanderlust and make them feel part of a global literary community.
Eat, Read, and Be Merry Socks ($14)
These festive, cozy socks from Out of Print are the perfect reading companion for cold winter nights. The unisex socks are available for shoe sizes 5½–12.
Literary Lovers Plant Pun Bookmarks ($15)
This clever gardening gift from Uncommon Goods is great for pun enthusiasts, plant parents, and bibliophiles. Use these four 4.7-inch tall plant labels—Of Mice and Mint, Rosemary and Juliet, Chives and Prejudice, and Thyme and Punishment—to identify the herbs in your garden. The kit includes an herb planting guide.
Books & Ladders Classic Board Game (Currently on sale for $15.39)
Book lovers will enjoy this bookish twist on the classic board game Snakes & Ladders (also known as Chutes & Ladders). In Books & Ladders, illustrated by artist Hyesu Lee and published by Galison, players climb bookshelves and slide down bookmark ribbons (instead of snakes).
Socks That Give Books ($15.95)
These stylish socks also promote literacy. Conscious Step, in partnership with nonprofit Room to Read, donates one book to children in low-income communities for every pair of socks purchased, totaling almost 90,000 books so far. Choose from several patterns, including bicycles, stars, glasses, dinosaurs, skeletons, and hieroglyphics. Socks are available for shoe sizes 5–14.
Literary Dog Mug ($19.95)
Pet parents and readers will appreciate this mug from the Unemployed Philosopher’s Guild, featuring quotes from dog-loving authors Erma Bombeck, Langston Hughes, Aldous Huxley, Will Rogers, John Steinbeck, Mark Twain, and Kurt Vonnegut. A version for cat lovers is also available.
Fell Asleep Here Magnetic Bookmark ($20)
Remember exactly where you left off in you book before falling asleep with this funny magnetic bookmark from Uncommon Goods. Its faux leather shell will keep your pages pristine.
Fiction Prescriptions: Bibliotherapy for Modern Life ($19.99)
Published by Laurence King Publishing, this boxed set of cards offers readers can discover the perfect book recommendation for any problem in their lives, from boredom to worries about aging to wanderlust. Bibliotherapist Ella Berthoud offers more than 200 classic and current book recommendations that offer inspiration, insight, and solace for any situation.
Gifts under $30
Themed Bookends ($15–$25)
The Literary Gift Company offers more than 20 fanciful steel bookend designs. The fishing cat bookend—measuring 17-by-13-by-10 centimeters—will have cat and book lovers smiling every time they reach for a title on their shelf. Find other designs inspired by Shakespeare, Frida Kahlo, outer space, and more.
Through the Looking Glass Large Book Vase ($28.95)
Add a literary touch to any room with a ceramic book-shaped vase inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass. This decorative container by Steel Mill & Co. can serve as a flower vase, utensil holder, or bookend. Book vases featuring the titles The Secret Garden, Pride and Prejudice, and The Great Gatsby are also available. Through the Looking-Glass and Pride and Prejudice measure 8-by-5.5-by-2.5 inches, while The Secret Garden and The Great Gatsby are smaller, about 5.5 inches tall.
NYPL Library Card Power Bank ($30)
Combine old and new technology with this portable rechargeable power bank from the New York Public Library (NYPL) Shop. It features a design inspired by NYPL’s classic circulating library card from the 1940s. This charger powers up devices with a tethered Micro USB in three to five hours and has a life cycle of 500 uses. A Lightning adapter is included.
Desktop Pen Garden ($30)
The Museum of Modern Art’s Desktop Pen Garden will brighten up any workspace—no watering required. It comes with five magnetic ballpoint pens that resemble blades of grass and flowers, housed in a handmade oak tray with a sixth hole for an item of your choice.
Gifts under $50
A Christmas Carol Scented Book Candle ($38)
Noble Objects creates scented candles inspired by dozens of books in a variety of genres. The 12.5-ounce A Christmas Carol candle combines fragrances of orange and cinnamon from the kitchen, fir and pine from the Christmas tree, and an earthy smokiness from the fireplace.
DIY Book Nook: Sakura Tram ($49.99)
This 340-piece miniature book nook kit showcasing Japanese cherry blossoms, transportation, and architecture will transport readers and create a sense of wonder. The book nook lights up with included LED bulbs and can be nestled on a shelf or stand on its own as a decorative piece. The assembled kit measures 7.48-by-4.53-by-8.66 inches. Hands Craft also sells kits featuring other scenes, including a detective agency and a time travel train.
Book Nook Reading Valet ($50)
Create a sacred reading spot with the Book Nook Reading Valet from Uncommon Goods. The stand provides a space where readers can easily save their spot in their book, store their phone and glasses, and place their coffee or tea.