I can recall being in the same situation multiple times, where people always gift me one of two things for any special occasion: a gift card to some retail store or a book about the human heart/head or US History.
And they do so knowing I am an avid reader. So I cannot tell you how many times I’ve affectionately hugged a relative after they give me a fantastic encyclopedia on how the lungs work or space’s deepest secrets. And I know, I know, both of those books are excellent and all and I’m sure to read them when I have no other option, but that’s not what bothers me. What bothers me is my relatives think that I’m immediately going to start reading the book because I just love it that much.
But here’s the truth: I would much rather just reread my Harry Potter set of books even though I’ve read them near a hundred thousand times (I exaggerate possibly four or five) than read the kind of books that my relatives think I love*. I don’t mean to offend them, but I think any bookworm would rather not receive a book than have someone pretend they know exactly what you like and get you a book when really, they’re deceiving themselves.
So here I have compiled a list of things bookworms, writers, or book bloggers–basically your average book lover–would love to receive as a gift. Mind you, I do use ‘bookworm’ more than writer or book blogger, because often a writer and a book blogger are bookworms where as a bookworm might not be a writer or a book blogger.
1. Any Book By Their Favorite Author
The thing with this, is maybe DON’T BUY SOME RANDOM BOOK AND EXPECT SAID BOOKWORM TO LOVE IT. The smart path here would be to gently ask the reader who their favorite author is and maybe do this after work so you can put aside an hour or two for said bookworm to explain how wonderful the author is and how perfect their books are and all the feels aforesaid bookworm experienced after reading their books. Basically, politely listen to them narrate their life story.
A very good bit of advice here is to NEVER just peep in and ask a bookworm, “Oh, what book are you reading? Is it good? Do you like that author?” WHILE they are reading the book. Chances are, they will probably pounce on you and gore you for interrupting their reading. Never do that unless you have a death wish, you can take my word for it. Instead maybe ask about which book they’ve been waiting to read and be very subtle about it, otherwise you might give off a “I’m gifting” vibe and the bookworm will talk to you for the next 72 hours about perchance every single author you know plus some.
AND ALSO NEVER BUY A BOOK THEY HAVE IF YOU CAN BUY ONE THEY DON’T HAVE BY THE SAME AUTHOR. You might think, as you look upon their bookshelves, that they have no problem with getting the same book again. That’s not a problem, but let me tell you, I have my own copy of the Raven King, and if you have to choose between gifting The Dream Thieves and The Raven King, the smart choice would be the Dream Thieves. And if you aren’t too smart, don’t tell the person receiving the book that you could’ve bought something else.
2. Book Fandom Accessories
Now, this doesn’t always have to be jewelry (unless the boy/man you want to gift it to adores charm bracelets or earrings, in that case, I would like to meet this relative of yours and personally sit and discuss every book ever with him), it can be a pin (THE HUNGER GAMES) or a ring or an anklet or some kind of super cool pendant/necklace thing.
In this case, you always want to get the fandom right. This means, don’t buy a hunger games mockingjay pin and then walk up to this bookworm all, “I got you this lovely Divergent clip you can put on your shirt because I know you love Divergent! Happy Birthday!” NO. DANGER. If you plan on doing that, please wrap yourself in caution tape before you gift the jewelry and also wear a helmet maybe.
When you are gifting a fandom accessory, you always want to make sure you know what you’re buying and you should definitely pretend you know what you are talking about. Also make sure it is clear that you adore this gift, and you adore the fandom, otherwise more caution tape might be needed. If you don’t know what accessory to pick, maybe invent yourself a nephew by the name of Tim Smith and talk to the bookworm about how much Tim Smith loves books and Harry Potter and ask what they think is a stellar gift. This is a very clever way to stage it, because then it looks like you honestly care about your nephew and also you remember that this bookworm is a very rabid bookworm so you call them.
3. Bookstore/Harry Potter Theme Park Gift Cards
It has occurred too many times for me to count, when I receive a book I do not care one bit for from a beloved relative. And half of them always say: “I thought of getting you a Target gift card, or maybe a Half Price Books gift card, but I thought you will like getting this book more.”
Please no. AS MUCH AS I ADORE SATURN (mind you, if you give me a space book, I will probably read it because I love space…but if you could get me a Harry Potter Wizarding World Universal Studios theme park gift card with hogwarts castle on it and everything, then I will be kind of disappointed and a bit feral after you leave of course), I’m a witch through and through, and that’s really what’s more significant.
Alright, the Harry Potter Theme Park gift card thing might not be for everyone, but it’s always, always always a better idea to gift a bookstore gift card rather than buy a random book that YOU think the bookworm will like. It is almost offensive when the bookworm takes away this: You decided to get a last minute gift book for them instead of asking what they would like, or trying to figure it out.
4. Pretty Device Cases/Mugs/Bookish Decor
This is basically what I advise you to gift whenever you want to gift something to a bookworm. It’s safe, but it’s also meaningful whenever you give something like this. Also, I was really thinking of Cait’s Society 6 Store when I said this, so maybe visit that if you want a better visual?
These kind of customized bookish gifts are always appreciated by any bookworm. If you buy them a mug that has tiny pictures of books, or a bookworm insignia on it or something along those lines, I promise you, it will appear in 97% of their bookstagram. And if your gift makes it to their bookstagram, then that means that they appreciated your gift very much. In this case, you might want to ask them a little about what kind of design they like, and be subtle. It might be a little ridiculous if you gift them a floral, loopy-handwritten customized pencil case when they really like geometric, linear design.
REMEMBER: Never ASSUME what a bookworm likes. Always ask. It’s the safer path.
Also perhaps look at their bedroom/wherever they survive the most (LOOK AT THE BOOKSHELF SON) if you need inspiration. If they have tons of bookish decor pillows on their bed, then don’t get them that. Get them a pretty tablet case if you wish, or something like that, because 1) it’s useful and those are the best kinds of gifts and 2) it’s pretty and bookish, and I guarantee 90% of bookworms secretly DO judge books by their cover. That’s probably why they picked up and read the books they read.
5. Fandom Clothing/Other Customized Gifts
In the end, more than receiving a mug (which will break one day or another in the house in the habitat I live in), a pillow (which will get lost someday in the leagues of my closet), or a wall quote plaque/decal (which will either be knocked off the wall or used as a frisbee at one point), I will always enjoy receiving bookish clothing. The thing with this is, if you accurately gift an avid bookworm an article of bookish clothing and they like it–well, then, they’ll 1) expect more great bookish gifts from you and 2) contact you every time they’ve thrown half of their bookshelf across the room because the book killed them and the feels omg.
BTW, this means that you have successfully gotten in their inner circle. They’ll probably share with you their plan for conquering Westeros and the US. AND THIS MEANS THAT THEY CARE ABOUT YOU NOW. Because honestly, when my sister gifts me a t-shirt with a Harry Potter pair of lens and lightning scar with “I am the Chosen One” on it, I will love her 200% more.
And besides, be prepared for seeing this clothing often. Buy something that’s visually appealing, and maybe has some quote on it or the mockingjay insignia. Chances are, the bookworm will wear this 6 out of 7 days a week (I exaggerate, most of us are cleanly because we cherish and lovingly clean our bookshelf) and also every time the two of you meet up. And that’s how you know that you are an excellent gifter–because bookworms read books, my friend, and are constantly satisfied and disappointed and uber happy all at the same time. So if you can make a bookworm happy and escape their clutches alive, consider yourself a master gifter and a knowledgeable professor who could teach about the bookworm species.
AND THAT’S IT!
In the end, if you care enough to gift a bookworm a bookish–or even non-bookish–thing, then that means a lot in itself. I also might have exaggerated 300% (I JEST EVERYTHING HERE IS TRUE), because bookworms are not all as scary as you might think. They simply love books, and love receiving and gifting them, and will always be happy if you do gift them something. So in the end, just give them a gift that MEANS something (possibly a Harry Potter set with the new covers) because that’s all that matters.
-Have you ever received/gifted a bookish gift? If so, what did you gift/receive? What kind of bookish gifts do you enjoy receiving?
-Would you agree with the five gift choices I’ve presented? Do you have anything to add? What are some non-bookish things you enjoy receiving, even though you are a bookworm? And which one of these five would you say is your favorite to receive?