Gift buying for book lovers is super easy, right? Just buy them some books! If only it was that simple. Since you’re here at I Love Libraries, you obviously know that readers’ wants and needs are incredibly diverse. A book that appeals to a sci-fi/fantasy enthusiast may not be a historical non-fiction lover’s cup of tea. And so on.
Thankfully, there are a plethora of nonbook gift options out there for the reader in your life. We’ve compiled some of our favorites from the American Library Association (ALA) and beyond for you this holiday season.
Free People Read Freely
What better way to show the world that you support the freedom to read, especially in a time when book bans and challenges are at an all-time high in the United States, than with Free People Read Freely merch from ALA. Wear it on a shirt, hoodie, hat, backpack, tote, and more! There are a variety of styles, sizes, colors, and fits from which to choose.
Bibliophile Banned Books 500-Piece Puzzle
This 500-piece bookstack puzzle is the perfect challenge for booklovers and puzzlers alike featuring more than 65 of the most banned and challenged books in the United States, including Toni Morrison's Beloved, Angie Thomas's The Hate U Give, Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, and more! And there's an added bonus: A percentage of the proceeds from this puzzle will be donated to PEN America, a nonprofit organization devoted to defending and celebrating free expression in the United States and beyond.
Nnewvante Bamboo Laptop Table
There's nothing quite like reading in bed, especially if you have a snazzy place to rest your book and other reading essentials (coffee mug, snacks, bookmarks, etc.). We particularly like this model from Nnewvante. It's made from bamboo and adjustable, has a drawer for storage and a phone slot to keep a charging phone, and looks refined, yet simple.
Read These Banned Books: A Journal and 52-Week Reading Challenge from the American Library Association
This interactive recommended reading list from ALA presents readers with a different banned or challenged book to explore each week. The perfect gift for all bibliophiles and social justice activists, this journal is far more than a simple list of reads. Each recommended title features a synopsis, review, and prompt for reflection, drawing on the expertise of editors from the Association and its book review magazine Booklist, delving into why the book was censored. The titles span categories and genres, from fantasy and graphic novel to nonfiction and romance, but all have been challenged or banned at some point.
Recommended Reads: A 17-Month Planner for Book Lovers
From ALA comes a 17-month reading challenge planner to grow your reading habits and inspire a love of reading! Filled with weekly book recommendations drawn from Booklist’s top selections and ALA awards (Carnegie, Printz, Stonewall, Alex Awards), plus journaling prompts, this 2024 engagement calendar will challenge and delight readers of all levels. Filled with reading logs, planner stickers, habit trackers, and more, this 2024 planner is perfect for book lovers or anyone looking to build their reading habits.cPerfect as a book lover's reading journal, organizer, gift for teachers, or as a book club journal.
We love Funko and all of its entertainment and pop-culture ephemera, especially the Funko Pop vinyl toys. The Funko Pop line features figures from film, comics, literature, history, the contemporary era, and more, all portrayed in the iconic Funko style. Some of our favorites are authors, and we bet your favorite book lover will dig them, too.
Few things go better with a good book than a nice hot cup of coffee. This holiday season, book lovers everywhere will definitely be drinking this new brew from Jittery Joe’s. The coffee company has partnered with Athens, Georgia-based artist James Dean’s cartoon character Pete the Cat for Pete's Groovy Brew. The coffee is an easy drinking, well-balanced medium roast, combining beans from Guatemala and Peru, and it comes in a special collectible can. And better yet: A portion of the proceeds go to ALA to help support libraries everywhere!
ALA Celebrity READ Posters
The Celebrity READ poster line from ALA has become iconic over the years. Luminaries ranging from Taylor Swift to David Bowie to Oprah Winfrey to Yoda have appeared on the posters holding their favorite books. In the past year, several incredible authors, athletes, actors, and more have joined the READ poster ranks, and they'd each be a perfect addition to your book lovers' wall! A few of our recent favorites are below, but you can find the available posters here.
Postcards from Penguin: One Hundred Book Covers in One Box
This collection of 100 postcards, each featuring a different Penguin book jacket, is lovely. From classics to crime, this set contains more than 70 years of quintessentially British design in one box. Not only aesthetically pleasing, it's also a fountain of ideas for books to read or revisit. From the official product description:
"In 1935, Allen Lane stood on a platform at Exeter railway station, looking for a good book for the journey to London. His disappointment at the poor range of paperbacks on offer led him to found Penguin Books. The quality paperback had arrived. Declaring that 'good design is no more expensive than bad', Lane was adamant that his Penguin paperbacks should cost no more than a packet of cigarettes, but that they should always look distinctive. Ever since then, from their original - now world-famous - look featuring three bold horizontal stripes, through many different stylish, inventive and iconic cover designs, Penguin's paperback jackets have been a constantly evolving part of Britain's culture. And whether they're for classics, crime, reference or prize-winning novels, they still follow Allen Lane's original design mantra. Sometimes, you definitely should judge a book by its cover."
Make Orwell Fiction Again
Show everyone that you stand against efforts to restrict access to information and the freedom to read with this powerful shirt from the ALA Graphics Store. It needs no explanation, but we think George Orwell would wear one with pride. Available in a variety of colors and fits. (You can find the design on totes, hoodies, mugs, and more, too!)
Looking for even more gift ideas for book lovers? We highly recommend this thoughtfully curated selection from New York Magazine. It has everything! We're also big fans of the gift guides that our friends at American Libraries Magazine publish each year. The 2022 list was particularly helpful. Happy shopping!
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