Finding The Perfect (Bookish) Gift

If you have literature-loving friends and family on your list, I want to share a few of my favorite places for wonderfully original book-centric gifts. Many of the sites are still guaranteeing on time delivery, but even if it arrives a little late, I can guarantee your bibliophile will appreciate the extra effort. I’m going to let you in on a secret-her nose is probably buried in a book, rendering her oblivious to day and time.


C.S. Lewis said: ‘You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me‘ and most book lovers will agree. Books and tea are perfect partners and your booklover will appreciate you restocking her tea tins. This tea set marries the lovers with tea bags tagged with quotes from famous authors.  She can now spill the “Literary” tea!



When you don’t know what to choose, let the experts at do it for you. I consider this the best of the book subscription services with well-curated options for women, men, teen or children. The added bonus is each book features a personalized bookplate (how fancy). In addition, you can tailor the selection to the receiver’s preferred genre (mine are non-fiction or biography if you are curious). Whether you decide on a 3-month, 6 -month or 12-month gift, there is a generous substitution policy and a few slots are left open to allow for new releases. If you put your bills on autopay, why not do the same for your gift-giving?


If she likes to wear her heart (and love of books) on her sleeve, this is the place for great tees and sweatshirts dedicated to the love of reading. I really love the kid’s tees and onesies sporting the covers of “Madeline” and “Goodnight Moon“. Imagine the entire family wearing their fave books to the bookstore, a book convention or the library. It is the epitome of #geekchic where everyone can show off their fashion and book sense.

goodnight moon onesies


Surely, the home of Masterpiece Theatre must offer plenty of shopping for your erudite friend, and it does not disappoint. Amongst the deluge of Downton Abbey, there are great mugs for the sophisticated caffeine-imbibing scholar. There’s a mug for the Poe fan and the Austen fan, but my favorite is the Shakespeare insult mug. My love of the bard makes me an impartial judge, but what could be more fun than drinking your cup of coffee, noticing your co-workers’ questionable fashion choice and being reminded of one of my personal favorite barb: “Out of my sight! Thou dost infect my eyes!” (Richard III) I don’t suggest you verbalize the sentiment, but it makes for a humorous mental break.

shakespeare insult mug


Nothing is more classic than Edward Young’s 1935 design for Penguin Books. You can gift iconic design with this collection of bistro mugs and notebooks. The merchandise page is not easily navigated, but your perseverance is rewarded when you are the catalyst for a chic collection that deserves pride of place in the kitchen cabinets or gracing a nattily designed desk.

penguin mugs




If you agree with Assouline‘s mantra “Give Culture, Give Chic” then the luxury publisher is the definite destination for wonderfully posh options. If you don’t know what book she wants (and how could you?), send her to the library instead. This collection of candles is inspired by the smell of libraries and I’m not talking about a smelly college library during finals. Whether the smell of paper, leather-bound books or comfortable leather couches triggers her olfactory memories, the beautiful packaging will look great on a bookshelf.



Everyone knows that Etsy is the go-to destination when you need something unusual and eclectic. Book lovers have plenty of great items to choose from on those colorful pages. Some of my favorite sellers and items:

ContemporaryEdgeArt. I mentioned candles before, but these soy-based candles are “puntastic” riffs on classic books. Whether she will appreciate The Grapes of Wrath, Pride and Peppermint or 50 Shades of Sage is not up for debate. This is a cool and witty gift any book lover would welcome.


IceyDesigns. I don’t know many people who use pencils anymore functionally, but they make for great Instagrammable office décor. For the Sherlock Holmes lover, the Bronte devotee or just the book lover, these sets by IceyDesigns are beautifully packaged for gift giving. Great stocking stuffer!

icey designs photo

Ladd Accessories. I don’t know a book lover that isn’t territorial about their inventory and this seller has a beautiful array of personalized bookplates and embossers. Even if someone never returns the book, at least they will know who was gracious enough not to burgle their home in pursuit of the book they originally intended as a loaner.

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If your bookworm is also a perfume connoisseur (my hand is raised in case you are curious), this is the place that merges her twin obsessions. Nestled between the Diptyque candles and boutique scents is,  in my opinion, the most best collection of books dedicated to the world of scent. One of my favorite fragrance books is included (read my review here). Featuring the works of the biggest names (noses) in fragrance history and design, anything you pick would be wonderful bookshelf-bling for this niche category.


You knew this would show up on the list, but not for the obvious reason. I’m not recommending a book or an Ereader (although I love mine), but if you want a very exclusive gift and you are not susceptible to sticker shock, I have the choice for you. In 2012 famed nose Geza Schoen in collaboration with Wallpaper* and Gerhard Steidl created a unisex fragrance dedicated to what Karl Lagerfeld called “the silent smell of paper”. (see Lagerfeld’s insane library here) (and here!) This beautifully packaged (designed by Lagerfeld) scent was very exclusive to select retailers and Amazon is the only place I could find a reputable source (You’re welcome). If you want to blow her away and make her the envy of her book club, indulge in a little “Paper Passion Perfume”.

Click to purchase