I love receiving candles as gifts. But, as a candle-loving, book-consuming backpacker, books and candles are sadly not the most practical of gifts for readers who explore both real and fictional worlds. So, to represent the page travellers out there, here are the best literary gifts for book lovers who travel, which are practical, cute and – most importantly – kind to your baggage allowance.
(So, basically, this is all one big hint to friends, family and boyfriend about what they can get me for Christmas. Hint. Hint hint! HINT HINT HINT!)
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Literary Gifts for Book Lovers Who Travel
The gift ideas for bookworms/travellers listed in this post have been split into the following categories:
- — Techy Book Gifts for Your Travel Buddy (1 to 4)
- — Unique Jewellery and Wearable Gifts for Literature Lovers (5 to 7)
- — Practical Gift Ideas for Book Lovers Who Travel (8 to 17)
- — Not-So-Practical Creative Gifts for Book Lovers (18 to 21)
Note: most of the following book-themed gifts were found in the Amazon UK store and Etsy UK store. Therefore, if you are based in another country, you may be redirected to your local region or shown a related product rather than the exact product listed here.
Techy Book Gifts for Your Travel Buddy
It almost goes without saying that the No. 1 perfect gift for book lovers who travel is an Amazon Kindle. Think of all the backpack space they could save and at the same the unlimited access to all the books they could possibly want to read!
A great option for sunny destinations is the classic Amazon Kindle Paperwhite E-reader. This Kindle is a good choice because unlike a tablet, it has no glare, so you can even use it at the beach. It also has a built-in light feature for nighttime reads.
I personally own an Amazon Kindle Fire, which is more like a tablet. The downside is that I can’t read outside, but the BIG plus is that I can browse the web, watch Netflix, play games and all kinds of other things with it too. Also, I just like being able to say KINDLE FYAAA!
2. Things for the Kindle
Kindle Cases – I love my world map cover on my Kindle, which does a great job of representing my two passions – exploring both real and fictional worlds – as well as being a practical protective case for my device.
Amazon Gift Vouchers – Of course, what is a Kindle without books? Gift vouchers are a great present for your bookpacking friend, so that they can start downloading their next must-read novel or travel guide.
Subscriptions: If your book nerdy loved one has a Kindle Fire or similar, then you can always bestow upon them a Netflix or Amazon Prime subscription, so that they can keep up to date with film and TV on the road, or some great literary adaptation to watch on long journeys.
(Note: You can only gift someone a subscription of Amazon Prime in the US).
3. Noise Cancelling Headphones
All hail the holy grail of travel-related gifts! I get travel sick when I try to read books on long bus journeys, so audio books and podcasts are a go-to for me. And yes, I know that any old headphones will do for that, but after a personal experience this year, I’ve been converted…
I’ve talked a little bit about my fear of flying before (not the best thing for an expat/backpacker), so I was a little freaked out recently when I realised I’d accidentally booked a flight on a propeller plane! Luckily, the kind passenger next to me saw I was freaking out and offered his noise cancelling headphones for takeoff. They worked like a dream! Two birds, one stone.
4. Phone Case
Who can resist a Marauders Map phone case (especially when you solemnly swear you’re up to no good)? Or a Winter is Coming phone cover for those of you who are as obsessed with Game of Thrones as I am? Or this thing that looks like an old book, BUT HAHA IT TRICKED YOU, IT’S REALLY A PHONE CASE.
Unique Jewellery and Wearable Gifts for Literature Lovers
Necklaces – I love this once upon a time necklace (pictured), this adorable one with Sherlock and Watson, this simple Harry Potter deathly hallows pendant and this clock on a chain with the quote So many books, so little time – so true!
Earrings – In the same style of the Sherlock/Watson necklace above, I love this pair of bronze Heathcliff/Cathy Wuthering Heights quote earrings (pictured), this Harry Potter earring set and these vintage book shelf studs.
And where else to keep your bookish earring collection than in a book-shaped earring storage box?
Other – But, wait, there’s more wearable bookish goodness to come! Like this sweet book charm for a charm bracelet (pictured), or these cufflinks with famous authors’ names on, or this scrabble tile ring for your bibliophile friend who always manages to wangle a Q on a triple-word score.
6. Clothes and Accessories
T-shirts – You know you loves quotes and wears t-shirts? Book lovers! Some of my fave cheeky tees on Amazon are this one that says The Book Was Better (because it always is and I think I say this to my boyfriend every time we watch an episode of Game of Thrones) and this one that says I Read Past My Bedtime (because shhhh! I actually do).
Socks – Would you rather be reading? I know I would. If that sounds like your friend, then these socks are perfect. Also, these cute Cheshire Cat socks for the Alice in Wonderland wanderer in your life, and for comic book addicts, then this Harley Quinn pair is pretty kick-ass too.
Scarfs – Scarfs are like my secret travel weapon. Cold? Snuggle up in your Harry Potter scarf (10 POINTS TO GRYFFINDOR!). At the beach? This cute silk scarf with a fox reading books on can also be a… sarong. Hostel pillows too thin? This scarf with butterflies and an open book can be fashioned into a cloud for your head.
The general rule is that you can never have too many tote bags. Super-light, easy to pack and the perfect size for carrying a few essentials on a sightseeing trip or down to the beach. I love this one (pictured) about literary adventures (basically, the whole premise of this blog and my life) and also this one with the typewriter because Words Matter.
Practical Gift Ideas for Book Lovers Who Travel
8. Book Blanket
Sometimes I just like to cover myself in words. This library bookshelf fleece and this blanket with Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven on it are great for long flights and y’know, good old-fashioned curling up in bed with a good book.
What could be a more perfect gift for book lovers than gifting them with the power to write the story of their own travels? This way, they can look back on their own memories in years to come. This My Travels journal is really sweet, yet also small and compact, while this interactive journal with scratch-off maps is pretty cool too.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, this might sound like a super-boring option and I hate to admit this, but I’m that heartless bitch that folds down the corners of books to keep her place (SUE ME). However, in researching this post I have found that bookmarks have come a long way since the days of cheap plastic and tassels.
11. Glasses Case
Whether your page traveller needs reading glasses or not, chances are they own a pair of sunglasses and they’re taking them on their next big trip. Glasses cases are not only great for protecting glasses and sunglasses, but they make for great hiding spots for storing valuables.
I love this personalised engraved glasses case (ignore the bit about Grandad and imagine adding your favourite literary quote on there), this glasses case that looks like a classic and this one with some good old reading quotes on it because If a book is well written, I always find it too short.
12. Reading Light
This is so genius! If it’s after lights out on a long bus journey or in the hostel dorm, and you want to keep reading without wasting the battery on your phone by switching on the torch function (and then balancing said phone on your shoulder), then this is a great little saver.
Who even owns a watch anymore? Book lovers, that’s who. Just like nothing can replace that new book smell, nothing can replace the reassuring ticking of a second hand. And why would you replace that when watches can look as cute as this one with an apt travel quote?
Can never find your keys? That’s ok, this super-cute literary-themed keychain has got your back. And it’s even custom made, so you can have the cover of your favourite book on it.
This looks a bit silly, but when you think about it, this is a pretty neat invention. How many times have you been laid out at the beach, propped up on your elbows, limbs going numb, trying to find a comfy spot to read? Problem solved!
Note: this product is available on Amazon for a whopping £25 quid, but the Etsy version (linked above) is £18.48. Still a bit steep in my opinion, but this was the cheapest version I could find.
Excuse me, does this shower gel also come in musty old bookstores and libraries? YOU BET IT DOES! Book-themed toiletries might be one of my favourite things I’ve ever found on Etsy. I literally (literary-ly) can’t choose between all the delicious bookish options.
I want soaps in flavours such as old books, mythology, butter beer and rainy day reading. Oh, and a Pride and Prejudice lavender bath bomb set too. Proof that you can find anything on the internets these days.
I’m not a tea drinker (the literal kind that is, I’m often partial to the figurative kind), but those who are tell me that they miss a good cuppa on the road. So, why not sip on a warm cup of literary tea? Choose from flavours ranging from Beatrix Potter to Arthur Conan Doyle to William Shakespeare!
Not-So-Practical Creative Gifts for Book Lovers
So, at some point your travelling book nerd friend is going to come home, right? Right?! OK, if not forever, then at least for a short visit. Well, here’s exactly what they would love to have in their house (read: what I would love to have in my dream house in my Beauty and the Beast -style library):
18. Literary Maps
19. Art Prints
If I don’t include something with the classic J. R. R. Tolkien quote “Not all those who wander are lost“, have I even made a gift guide for bookworms who travel?
Similar to the journal gift idea, a scrapbook is a great gift for book lovers who travel because they can create their own story to look back over in years to come. A great addition to any bibliophile’s bookshelf.
Also, I love this one on Etsy where you can personalise the front cover!
21. Literary Quote Calendar
Help your bookworm friend get their daily dose of bookspiration with this literary quote calendar, where they can mark off the days until their next big travel adventure!
Bonus Bookworm Gift: Candle
OK, you caught me! There is a candle on this list! But, after all that travelling, there’s nothing I like more than a long, relaxing bubble bath with fragrant candles. You know, after smelling like sweat, deet and that guy in the bottom bunk’s disgusting hiking boots for six months, I like to get myself clean and smell all nice.
Then, I curl up in bed with my literary-themed throws and pillows, and dive into all my beloved bookshelf favourites that I missed while I was on the road.
On Etsy, I’ve found candles that smell like olde books, fandom candles from PretAGreek (everything from Little Mermaid to Lady MacBeth) and my personal favourite, these soy candles inspired by books, by Quacker Candle (anyone want to buy me Dracarys, or Christmas Carol, or Always?)
I hope this guide of unique gift ideas for book lovers who travel helped you find something for the page traveller in your life, or for yourself, or maybe – just maybe – for me…