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Beyond Books: 12 Gifts Under $25 for the Book Lovers on Your Holiday List

December 17, 2015
by Dana Sitar
Contributor

You probably have at least one voracious reader on your shopping list this holiday season.

She’s the one who always has a book tucked under her arm or a Kindle in her purse. She’ll skip plans or show up late because she’s busy finishing a riveting story.

She also seems to own every book ever published. So what do you get her for Christmas?

A book worthy of gifting can actually be more of an expense during the holidays than you were counting on. But a gift worthy of a book lover can come in well under budget, if you’re smart about it.

I’ll admit: I am that bookworm. Here are some fantastic gifts for readers, ones I would have loved (OK, still would probably love) to receive:

1. Gift Cards for Ebooks

Sure, a Barnes and Noble gift card seems like a given for anyone who loves reading.

But when you want to stretch your budget, ebooks are the way to go. While a $25 gift card could cover one or two hardcover or paperback books, it could go much further buying ebooks that cost as little as 99 cents.

Make sure you know the recipient’s preferred e-reader — if they have a NOOK, buy a gift card for NOOK books.

Most devices can also support a Kindle reading app, so an Amazon gift card is usually a good bet for any voracious reader.

For iPad and iPhone users, an iTunes gift card can buy ebooks in the iBooks Store. For Android users, a Google Play gift card will purchase ebooks.

More popular with international users, the Kobo bookstore also offers gift cards at various retailers around the world.

2. Audiobooks

Does the reader in your life prefer listening to audiobooks? Skip books-on-tape (er, CD), and go to Audible.com.

You can gift an Audible monthly membership, which gives the recipient one free audiobook per month, plus 30% off any additional books. But the minimum you can gift is three months, which comes with a $45 price tag.

If you have a specific book in mind, Audible will let you gift those, as well. These tend to cost a little more than their hardcover counterparts. Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman, for example, is narrated by Reese Witherspoon and available on Audible for $24.49.

3. Bookmarks

Any reader will tell you she’s constantly digging for a bookmark. Mine usually ends up being some corner torn out of a nearby notebook I had to scramble to find.

Bookmarks aren’t the kind of thing we like spending money on. But we love to get them as gifts.

Grab a few with clever sayings that speak to your resident reader’s personality — like this one that reads, “Keep Calm and Read On.”

I also love this fingerprint bookmark from Fred & Friends that helps you keep your place within the page!

4. Book Light

Paper books don’t come with the built-in light you get in an e-reader. That leaves us trying to balance courtesy on a flight, in bed or on a bus at night with the insatiable need to read just a little more…

With the resurgence in popularity of “real” books over ebooks recently, it stands to reason your bookish friends may be in need of a book light for the first time in years.

The most popular book lights on Amazon sell for less than $20. Look for something lightweight, with an LED bulb for longevity and a flexible gooseneck.

5. Typography Art

You know those memes your friend is always sharing on social media? Now she can hang them on her wall!

Nab one of these Jane Austen quotes from SpoonLily Design Company on Etsy for $14.99 plus shipping. They’ll make a nice fit for decorating a home office, library or classroom.

For an even better price, download printable art and print it on matte photo paper to create a DIY poster.

6. Bookends

Another adorable addition to a home library or office, bookends are a fun way to personalize a basic storage solution.

As a gift, they’re a cool way for you to show the recipient how well you know him — whether you tap into his affinity for owls, cats or something more classic.

7. Floating Bookshelf

Wall-mounted bookshelves can be as decorative as they are functional. And you can find beautiful ones at pretty low prices.

I’m personally fascinated by invisible bookshelves that make a stack of books look like it’s floating against the wall. For the minimalist on your list, “invisible” is about as minimalist as design can get!

For a little more style, you could pick up this set of three plain white shelves for $16, or three walnut-finish U-shaped shelves for $19.95.

8. Hands-Free Book Stand

Make someone’s life easier with this simple utility. Get a pretty wooden, adjustable, foldable reading stand for $14.99.

Or, pick up this universal book stand a reader can use for books, cookbooks, e-readers or tablets for only $24.95.

9. Coffee Mugs

Books and coffee go hand in hand. What’s cozier, especially as winter grows colder, than curling up with a good book and a warm cup of coffee (or tea)?

And truly, a coffee drinker can never have too many mugs!

Pick up affordable bookish mugs as stocking stuffers, teacher gifts or for the office Secret Santa. I love this one that simply states, “Reading is Sexy” — made from 100% biodegradable corn plastic.
Or, go with another classic pair: readers and cats. Get a “Cats, Books and Coffee” mug on Etsy for $12.95.

10. Throw Pillows and Blanket

A good book, a warm cup of coffee and… What’s missing?

Cozy up a book lover’s living room or study with a comfy throw pillow and blanket.

Pick up a pillowcase with your favorite literary quotes plus the pillow inside, about $10 for the pair.

Add a personalized fleece throw blanket for $12.99 — complete the picturesque scene, all for under $25!

11. Sticky Notes and Tabs

Another option for stocking stuffers or basket fillers, sticky pads and tabs are nice for a reader to have around.

In those print books we can’t highlight with a swipe of a finger, these ancient relics help us remember passages we want to return to again and again. They’re also great, of course, for students and teachers to take notes as they read.

So, why not make them as pretty as they are useful?

Get this Van Gogh set for $5.99 or this cool set for teachers for $10.95.

12. Forgotten English Daily Calendar

This geeky desk calendar will excite any lit lover in your family or circle of friends.

More than a typical word-a-day calendar, for under $10, this one supplies the definitions and origins of long-forgotten words of the English language.

Is that reader on your list not so into classic literature? Try the Urban Dictionary Day to Day Calendar instead — $10.16 at Amazon.

Your Turn: Are there book lovers on your Christmas shopping list? What are you buying for them this year?

Disclosure: We have a serious Taco Bell addiction around here. The affiliate links in this post help us order off the dollar menu. Thanks for your support!

Dana Sitar (@danasitar) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s written for Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, Writer’s Digest and more.

by Dana Sitar
Contributor for The Penny Hoarder

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