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Are you looking for gifts for book lovers that aren’t books? These are some of The Uncorked Librarian’s favorite literary gifts paired with iconic authors and titles from childhood to adulthood.
This post has been updated from the fall of 2018 to reflect upcoming 2019 gifts for bibliophiles.
Warning! Warning! This is not just another BLAH literary gift list.
Yes; yes; of course, you will discover butterbeer tea, Shakespearean enamel pins, and funny bookish Fifty Shades spoofs. There are coffee mugs, book-themed watercolor prints, home decor, tote bags, and scented candles. I know that you will find the perfect book-related gift for you…r best friend.
But, you will also learn about some of my writing heroes and daily sources for inspiration. Maybe you will even find a new book to add to your personal library.
Read on for infamous authors and books that leave imprints on your soul like wine stains on your lips. Plus, you don’t want to shop without this book lovers’ gift guide, either.
The Best Gifts For Book Lovers That Aren’t Books
Dear Momma Claus, Daddy Tooth Fairy, Grandma Easter Bunny, Uncle Birthday Wish Fulfiller, Best Friend Any Time Of The Year You Wish To Shower Me With Gifts Giver:
This year, The Uncorked Librarian and her book nerd friends would like the following gifts for book lovers that aren’t books.
HOWEVER, these literary gifts paired with the actual book and a glass of wine are also perfectly acceptable. Oh, and a horse. I would love a horse. Or a huge Bernese Mountain Dog since I live in North Carolina now.
Roald Dahl Book-Themed Literary Gifts
Who doesn’t love the zany and somewhat inappropriate but sarcastically funny Dahl?
Looking back at my innocent childhood and days of Roald Dahl, my naïve and virgin eyes had no idea that Willy Wonka had casually murdered off greedy little children in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
The cute and always dumbfounded Big Friendly Giant wasn’t a stereotype of no schooling but instead a misguided and large whimsical friend. The racial stereotypes in The BFG are not quite so…friendly.
While I will always struggle with the subtle, not always PC messaging throughout Roald Dahl’s writing, his sometimes crude and classic stories offer a magical escape for those in less fortunate worlds. The message of perseverance and kindness always breaks through. Those with large hearts come out on top.
I, for one, would love Dahl literary gifts like book earrings and a tote for my library stash.
2. Anthony Bourdain Travel-Themed Gifts For His Book And TV Fans
Not only did I watch EVERY show, but I also read all of Bourdain’s books.
Speaking of heart, mine was cracked into a thousand pieces with the untimely death of this well-traveled and heartfelt soul.
Anthony Bourdain shaped the course of my life and many others. He traveled with a unique eye that went right into the soul and core of what makes us human. This is a heavy weight for anyone’s heart. As he traveled the world, Bourdain shared with viewers the good, the bad, and the ugly. Not to mention the yummy.
Before moving to Indonesia as a United States Fulbright, I watched all of his shows and devoured his books. Bourdain and Bryson inspired me to think critically, write sarcastically, and never forget the history of a place. People, relationships, and community are boss.
From learning that one should not order fish on a Monday in Kitchen Confidential to seeing how food transcends language in A Cook’s Tour, I understood then as I do now that no one will ever compare to the greatness of Bourdain.
If you are in need of more unique gift ideas for book lovers and travelers that don’t land on every literary gift guide list, Bourdain is for you. I love mixing books and travel.
3. The Little Prince Book Lover Gifts
Let’s not forget to speak to the child in us all.
Looking for gifts for book nerds? The classic geek is usually pretty The Little Prince obsessed. Who doesn’t love or at least know about this timeless picturebook?
Connection to people and the world is everything to this uncorked traveler. When I travel around the world, I want to leave my mark and be remembered in a familial and community-oriented way.
Just like the Little Prince asks the fox if they can tame each other, I crave this relationship building:
For me you are only a little boy just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you have no need of me, either. For you I’m only a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me we’ll need each other. You’ll be the only boy in the world for me and I’ll be the only fox in the world for you…You see the wheat fields over there? I don’t eat bread. For me wheat is of no use whatever. Wheat fields say nothing to me. Which is sad. But you have hair the color of gold. So it will be wonderful, once you’ve tamed me! The wheat, which is golden, will remind me of you. And I’ll love the sound of the wind in the wheat. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The Little Prince exemplifies the lessons learned from Bourdain about how to travel and love.
Like the messages I missed in Dahl’s work growing up, the Little Prince also has an implied tragic end much like Bourdain. Although slightly concerning for the wanderlust and possibly stricken soul, these restless and intuitive minds possess timeless messages of how to live and love in the world.
As someone with a The Little Prince tattoo, I’d personally love any of these non-bookish gifts from one of my favorite books of all time–that I read every single year.
Have you read The Little Prince?
4. Shakespeare-Themed Literary Gifts For Bookworms
To buy or not to buy…
What is your favorite Shakespearean play?
I will always love the witches in Macbeth and the spritely humor of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. King Lear and his greed will never cease to amaze me, and I probably will forgo reading Romeo and Juliet for the 50th time since college and high school.
Yet, Shakespeare is a writer who captures the essence of the human soul. While writers like Bourdain and Bryson chose an entertainingly sardonic tone, this infamous writer adds an element of poetry and beauty with equally biting observations.
Do you think we should make Shakespeare cookies this year? Personally, I love these classic literature gifts for book lovers that aren’t books that can sit on my desk to inspire me: pencils, paperweights…chocolate.
5. The KING Of Literary Gifts: HARRY POTTER
You cannot go wrong with HP, can you?
Ready for TUL to unleash a wild secret in the midst of this bookish inspiration? When I first picked up the Harry Potter series way back when, I couldn’t get past the third title. Yup. I stopped reading Harry Potter. GASP.
Years later, after all of the insane hype, I started over during a snowy winter. I read all of the books and admittedly loved the story. Would I say that I am obsessed, though? No. But, I appreciate each novel, the world-building, and what J.K. Rowling has given the world. If there has ever been a reading Renaissance, J.K Rowling caused it.
Plus, I love Harry Potter gifts and novel teas. Even more, I love the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal. And butterbeer is…well…
Looking for more gift ideas? Check out these Fun and Inspiring Gifts for Writers
6. Rainbow Rowell-Themed Gifts For Readers
Nothing says ‘I love you’ like teenage angst
If fandoms are your thing, you’ll love these literary gifts that focus on Rainbow Rowell novels.
P.S. As I am writing up this list, TUL has realized that her soul is now under scrutiny too. I guess I love a little angst and truth. Hey, ‘in vino veritas,’ is the first phrase I learned in my Latin undergrad class.
Eleanor and Park is straightforward raw honesty. Remember Daria from MTV? I am getting pretty nostalgic.
Rowell writes with a slower pace that encapsulates the morals of Bourdain, Dahl, and even Shakespeare into realistic fiction novels. Fangirl will always be one of my Rowell favorites, and I still need to read Carry On. Rowell also introduced me to the awesomely geeky world of fandoms.
7. A Discovery of Witches Book Gift Ideas
If witches are your jam, you’ll love these more occult-like gifts for book lovers
I cannot wait to watch the TV series for A Discovery of Witches. I am behind here. Full disclosure but I only read the first novel so far. Time, man. Time.
Deborah Harkness is indeed my grownup Harry Potter. I love the mix of history, Charlaine Harris supernatural inter-species romance, and bookish witches. P.S. You can read my most popular post EVER on TUL about wickedly witchy books here.
Along with this book recommendation, I have to admit: reading an almost 600-page novel has become hard on this boozy book lover. Shameful, I know.
Am I a product of my time with a technology-induced, shorter attention span? Maybe? Or am I too tapped out? That too. Anyone else find themselves getting book anxiety over any title longer than 350 pages?
Read More About A Discovery of Witches.
8. The Handmaid’s Tale Book Related Gifts
Kickass Bookish Gifts For The Feminist In Your Life
The world is a scary place right now, at least in America. Politics, prejudices, elections, leaders, and the treatment of all non-white males have heads reeling. I honestly think all of this heartbreak and fear is why Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale has become so popular, especially with the TV series.
Disturbing and emotional, most of us cannot peel our eyes away. In fact, American society is dressing up like handmaids during protests. For me, this story is a stark reminder not to become complacent, to speak up, fight back, and to never give up hope.
You would think that The Handmaid’s Tale wouldn’t make the most uplifting literary gifts, but we all want to smash the patriarchy, right?!
9. Fifty Shades of Grey Gifts
How about those gifts for book lovers that want sexy? Or silly…
Going from serious to fun, I cracked up at Book Club. Grandma might love these presents for book lovers and 50 Shades fans. Can’t unsee that, can you?!
Whether or not you choose to hate the Fifty Shades of Grey series, the story is iconic with the movies taking over Valentine’s Day for women across the world. I choose to love these books in a funny, light-hearted way. I appreciate the controversy and passion they stir up, good and bad. Sexual meets successful.
You might be questioning my choices right about now with what I said about good ole HP. Do you really even know me?!
10. Where’s Waldo? Book Themed Gifts
Where did my money go?! Old books make my heart sing.
Where in the world is The Uncorked Librarian? Ugh, she moved this year so she is HOME. HOME HOME HOME. How can I travel with my cats are so traumatized? Send me all the bookish gifts for this homebody, please…
Personally, I love that Waldo got a dog, girlfriend, and entire community to find along with him. I grew up with these books and still guard them on my shelves. I could sit for hours looking at Waldo book pages for those classic red and white stripes.
As adults, we once made a drinking game out of finding Waldo, his socks, and the toaster oven.
What I love is that Where’s Waldo still exists and his worlds show creative points in time. Our former home in Central Florida hides Waldo in the boutique shops for kids to find while their family members are shopping. I hope Waldo will always be a part of our lives like Big Bird.
He’s never really lost, is he?
11. Jane Austen Book Gifts
Literature [on the] rocks, please
While The Handmaid’s Tale is the perfect modern feminist drama, we have to remember our classics, too.
I’m not going to lie, Jane Austen is one of those authors that I pretend to love but am on the fence about. However, as a literature major, she deserves an homage of gifts for her epic universal truths about women, social standing, and the economy.
What is your favorite Jane Austen book? I am still a sucker for Pride and Prejudice.
If you are in need of a literary gift for a book lover who is a tad boozy, why not go down the Jane Austen route? Who knew?
12. Alice In Wonderland Trippy Presents For Book Lovers
Through the drinking glass…
As a child, I actually found Alice In Wonderland a tad frightening. It’s like those dreams where you wake up feeling like you just fell down the rabbit hole. The Queen screaming “off with their heads” left me equally disturbed.
Then, I became a history major….
Alice In Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass grew in popularity with Johnny Depp. Who doesn’t love the Cheshire Cat and anyone else who is high as a kite in the story? Plus, I do love a mad tea party…
Any fan is sure to love these Alice book-related gifts.
Practical Gift Ideas For Book Lovers
Must book accessories
A Book Light
We all know the stereotype that book lovers stay up late at night reading. I, for one, am usually up far past my pilot husband, and sometimes, I just want to read from my cozy corner of the bed. Lights can be pretty obtrusive.
One of the best gifts for a book lover is, of course, a book reading light. Preferably, I enjoy a clip:
I bet you didn’t think of this one, but what happens when you read a sad and sappy novel? Sniffle, sniffle, sniffle.
I reach over and grab…my husband’s shirt!
But maybe if I had a cute tissue box cover, I’d actually use my Kleenex:
Whether your book-loving ‘friend’ is a book reviewer, blogger, student, or just note-taking fiend, I usually love to have sticky notes close by. WRITING IN BOOKS IS BAD!! [Says grownup to Christine to college Christine.]
Of course, I have to live up to the stereotype here:
Your Own Little Library Kit
How many times do you ‘borrow’ your friends’ books and never return them or vice versa?
In college, one of my friends was a DVD fanatic. She had a huge library of the best movies and created her own little checkout system to track who borrowed which title. A brilliant method, especially since the movies circulated on a drunk weekend and no one remembered what they just ate or who they kissed. Or was that just me?
The perfect gift for readers and book sharers not wanting to lose their books is definitely this adorable little library kit:
I love and miss the gratification of stamping a little card. Can we go back to those days, please?
A Book Page Holder
First world problems include your book page flipping over on you while you are reading. I swear, they make something for everyone, but it’s kind of needed, right?!
Every bookworm needs a few bookends to keep their stash pretty and upright. How else could you organize those rainbow shelves? These have a Poe-esque element that I love:
So Are You Ready To Go Shopping For Literary Gifts?
I hope that you found some great reads and gifts for book lovers that AREN’T books. I mean, yes, I slyly slipped in books too…rogue librarians are sneaky like that.
Giving a book is truly sharing a gift that never stops giving, inspiring, and teaching. A book-related gift is even more fun!
Also: Don’t forget during any holiday season to support your local blogger by scrolling blog pages and using affiliate links for companies that you purchase from.