Buying new books for a bibliophile is always a challenge. Instead of running the risk of purchasing a title they've already read, give your favorite reader one of these creative, literary-themed gifts as a holiday present.
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1. LEATHER BOOK BAGS; $105 AND UP
Etsy user Krukrustudio’s totes give new meaning to the phrase “book bag.” Each rectangular satchel is designed to look like a classic tome—right down to the author’s byline and the illustrated cover art. The outside is crafted from either faux or real leather, and the inside is fully lined, with an inner pocket and a magnetic snap closure. And since each bag is produced by hand, you can custom-order them in a variety of sizes, colors, and styles.
Find It: Etsy
Too busy to visit the library or join a book club? The Book of the Month Club has you covered. The subscription-based e-commerce book club is presided over by a team of judges, who choose five new books for members to read each month. Your favorite book enthusiast can select which work they want shipped, or let the club choose a title. Once they’ve received the book in the mail, they can read it and discuss it with other members on the Book of the Month Club’s website. All plans include one hardcover book and free shipping, but particularly voracious readers can add extra books for $10 each.
Find It: Book of the Month Club
3. FIRE ESCAPE SHELF; $99
A mounted bookshelf helps literary urbanites make the most of a small apartment. This fire escape-inspired storage rack saves precious floor space, and looks stylish to boot. It’s fashioned from sturdy, epoxy-covered iron, and can hold up to 15 pounds.
Find It: Uncommon Goods
4. "LIBRARY STAMP" V-NECK T-SHIRT; $30
So many public libraries have adopted computerized checkout systems that the once-ubiquitous date due ink stamp has all but vanished. Pay homage to the bygone practice by donning Out of Print’s graphic T-shirt. Each one features a library stamp-inspired design on its front, and for every shirt purchased, Out of Print will donate one book to a community in need.
Find It: Amazon
Help a loved one show off how well read they are. The data visualization pros over at PopChartLab designed a scratch-off poster that lets your giftee keep track of which classic novels they’ve completed. It features 100 novels, published from 1605 to present. After they’ve finished a book, they only need to scrape the gold foil off its miniature cover to reveal a hidden illustration underneath.
Find It: PopChartLab
Food and drink often play an important role in murder mysteries. Sometimes it’s poisoned; other times, it serves as a metaphor or a plot device. To celebrate this delicious (and deadly) relationship, The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook (2015) compiles more than 100 beverage and meal recipes provided by famous mystery authors including Mary Higgins Clark, Gillian Flynn, and James Patterson. Kate White, former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine and author of the Bailey Weggins mystery series, serves as the cookbook’s editor.
Find It: Amazon
7. TEXTURE; $30 FOR THREE MONTHS
Texture is an app that provides readers with unlimited digital access to all the magazines they love. It lets them peruse current and back issues of titles produced by Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corp., Rogers Communications, and Time Inc. Texture is available for download on iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, and on Android devices and Amazon Fire tablets.
Find It: Texture
8. HOLMES AND WATSON SET; $125
This set of six, pocket-sized Sherlock Holmes works is designed to be read and admired on a shelf. Each hardcover, cloth-bound book comes in a custom jacket; when grouped together, they form an illustrated picture of Holmes and his trusty sidekick, Watson. The collection includes titles like The Hound of the Baskervilles (1893),The Valley of Fear (1914), A Study in Scarlet (1887), and more. You can also order the works with book jackets designed to look like a silhouette of Holmes.
Find It: Juniper Books
9. KINDLE OASIS; $290
The latest—and most high-tech—iteration of Amazon’s Kindle E-reader is the Kindle Oasis. It’s thinner and lighter than its predecessors, and a new, improved handgrip design makes it easier to hold. It also comes with a leather charging cover to boost battery life.
Find It: Amazon
10. NOVEL TEAS; $13
Few things are cozier than curling up on a couch with a good book and a warm drink. These boxes of caffeinated English breakfast teas include 25 tea bags, and each one features a different quote from a famous author on its tag. (Example: “Where is human nature so weak as in a bookstore?” –Henry Ward Beecher)
Find It: Uncommon Goods
11. BOOK LAMP; $200
The Lumio Book Lamp is proof that you should never judge a book by its cover. From the outside, it looks like a hardcover tome, bound in laser-cut wood. But when you open it, an accordion-shaped LED light springs out. The Lumio’s pleated folds are made from a synthetic, water-resistant material, and they expand up to 180 degrees for maximum brightness. And just like a real book, the Lumio is portable: A rechargeable battery provides it with wireless power for up to eight hours, and it can be mounted with magnetic pegs or hung lantern-style from a leather strap.
Find It: MoMA Design Store