Bookish Gift Ideas for Your Valentine

So you love someone who reads. Congratulations! Sounds like you’ve bagged a good one. 😉 Valentine’s Day is coming up fast: Saturday, February 14th. With less than two weeks to go, now is the time to order gifts online and/or make plans for shopping. Being a book lover myself, I decided to gather up a list of gifts I’d love and share them with you for inspiration. I’ve tried to pick a good variety of price points, from free to extravagant, so hopefully there’s something in here for everyone! And if you’re a reader too? There’s absolutely no shame in emailing this post to your valentine. Hint, hint.

Annie's Valentine Bookshelf

It’s the Thought That Counts

gifts for free or nearly so

♥ A poem you wrote. Honestly, there’s nothing sweeter! If you’re ambitious, you can try writing a sonnet, the classic form for love poems. If that’s too much of a challenge, free verse is just as thoughtful and much easier for first-timers.

♥ Read a poem or story aloud. If you’re not much of a poet, you can always borrow from one of the greats! Hunt down a love poem or a romantic story that you like and give your significant other a private reading.

♥ A homemade valentine with a literary love quote. Not one for reading aloud? You can always hand-make a card (it really is better this way) and feature a sweet quote from an author or poet your S.O. loves.

♥ A reading day. Sometimes what we really want is time. If your lover loves to read, what better than the gift of time? Find a day where you can eliminate all barriers/distractions – take the kids out of the house with you, do the laundry ahead of time, etc. – and leave your sweetie the whole day to lounge about and read.

Small to Medium Gifts

your typical price range for thoughtful presents

♥ A set of magnetic poetry. What reader doesn’t like to dabble at writing? There’s no less intimidating way to get in on the fun than magnetic poetry! Not to mention they’re great for leaving each other love notes on the fridge. Buy sets anywhere and (almost) everywhere, prices ranging from about $2-$30.

♥ Novel teas. Is your sweetie a tea drinker? There’s nothing like curling up with a good buck and a warm mug. How cute are these novel-themed tea pouches? $25 and up.

 Book-themed chocolates. If tea is just a little too wholesome, there’s always this super cute chocolate book set. Yum. $19.99.

♥ Bookish Etsy gifts. If you’re not already familiar with Etsy, you should check it out. It’s an online marketplace where individual artists sell their hand-crafted items. I’ve linked to the “book lovers gifts” category, which has everything from jewelry to framed prints for your wall. Prices vary by item.

♥ A book-scented candle. If your sugar is anything like me, he or she is obsessed with the smell of old books. In step: book-scented candles. $16.

♥ An author-themed candle. Take book-scented one step further, and you get these clever “author-themed” scents. $8-$21.

♥ Shirts, totes, and posters from Litographs. I *love* this store! I have a Litograph t-shirt of Wuthering Heights, and it’s so cool. It’s printed with tiny rows of text from the actual book, shaped to form an image from a distance. Definitely check this one out. $24-$34.

♥ Literary scarves. Too many t-shirts already? How about these cute scarves? $42.

For the Practical Lover

great un-mushy gifts that won’t make your S.O. roll their eyes

Some significant others just don’t like that romantic stuff. No problem. Show them you care without going over the top by giving them bookish gifts they’ll actually use!

♥ Bookshelves. We never have enough. Bonus points if you assemble or install them!

♥ Bookends. Again – never enough. Bonus points if you get a design your S.O. will love.

♥ Bookmarks. I’m sensing a theme here. Cute bookmarks are so easy to find, and so handy to have around.

♥ A book stand. I love my book stand! It’s great for cookbooks, textbooks, or large hardbacks that I want to prop up so I can read while eating or writing, etc. Styles vary, this one is only $6.

♥ A book weight. I’m absolutely obsessed with mine. I use it to hold open paperbacks while I’m eating so I can read during lunch. Indispensable. $8.95.

♥ A thumb book holder. How nifty is this little guy? Any avid reader knows how your hand eventually cramps during marathon sessions. Problem solved! $5.23.

A headlamp with a red filter option. Book lights are okay, but once you’ve owned a head lamp you’ll likely never buy a regular flashlight (or book light) again. They’re way more convenient because they’re hands-free, they don’t get in the way of turning pages, and the red filter is plenty bright enough to read by, but diffuse enough to not keep you awake on those late nights when your bedmate wants to keep reading. $29.95.

Books Themselves

don’t forget the books!

Books are the endless gift resource. You can get your S.O. any book you know he/she has their eye on, but here are some suggestions a bit above the ordinary.

♥ Boxed sets. Boxed sets are cool because they look nice and they insure you get matching versions of a series.

♥ Signed and/or limited editions of their favorite book(s).

♥ Coffee table books. Not only are these fun to read, but they’re beautiful to leave out on display!

♥ Bookstore gift cards. Never fails!

♥ Periodical subscriptions. If your S.O. likes short stories and poems more than novels, they would probably love a subscription to a literary magazine. Some popular ones are The New Yorker, Ploughshares, Granta, and Tin House.

♥ A book of poems. Just a touch more romantic than a ‘typical’ book. Bonus points if it’s romantic or erotic.

♥ A personalized romance novel. Wowza! Will you guys believe me when I tell you I had this idea a year and a half ago? (It’s true!) Apparently I wasn’t the only one. Fill in your partner’s name, physical appearance, etc., and have a personalized romance novel made just for them! $19.95-$39.95.

Big Gifts

for the ambitious lover

♥ A reading nook. This is a gift of labor (and money (and space)). Maybe your loved one wants a designated place to go read. Could you spare a certain area of the house? If so, choose a little nook — whether by a bright window or in a cozy corner — and deck it out with an ultra-comfy chair, recliner, or chaise lounge, a reading lamp, a side table, and a bookshelf nearby. Finish it off with a warm, soft throw and this will be a gift your S.O. never forgets!

♥ An e-reader. Expensive, yes, but oh so useful! It’s an entire library in one device. Prices vary depending on the brand and version you buy, but generally go for around $50-$500.

♥ A romantic getaway in New York. Want to really go all out? How about a romantic book-themed vacation to Manhattan? The Library Hotel offers rooms themed like the Dewey Decimal system. Rates vary by stay dates and lengths, but rooms seem to run from about $250-$450 a night.

♥ Other bookish trips could involve visiting the museums and/or family homes of authors your S.O. loves. Obviously, this could become as extravagant as you want! Paris, anyone?

There we have it; my favorite gift ideas for your book-loving valentine. Whether you decide to shower your S.O. with extravagance or simply give from the heart, I’m sure they’ll love your thoughtful bookish gift. I hope you all have a happy, romantic, and word-filled Valentine’s Day!

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  • I would love any of these gifts! All great ideas, Annie.

  • Regina Richards

    Awesome ideas. And all classy, unlike the readable underwear I sometimes get my guy.

  • What a huge list! I can’t believe I totally forgot about Valentine’s Day before this. I’m terrible. I rarely get hubby anything, but he always gets me something. 🙂

    • Haha, well good thing I posted this then! Maybe this year you can surprise him. 🙂

  • Julia Munroe Martin

    These are such great ideas!! I’ve forwarded it onto my husband in fact 🙂

  • Russell Linton

    Awesome list, but guys, don’t give your woman a romance novel. Make her life a romance. If you use the novel idea, go for an abstract cover ’cause those abs are always air-brushed. On the plus side, I now have a gift idea for Ben.

    • Please, please get that for Ben. I bet we could start a pool for funds. I’d thrown in a couple bucks.

  • Melissa Crytzer Fry

    And don’t forget the bathtub book tray that conveniently holds a wine glass! 😉 My hubby just framed two built-in bookshelves for me, and we’re planning on a reading nook next to one of the windows in the future! Guess I don’t need a single thing for Valentine’s day after all that effort! (Love all the ideas. Never thought of using one of my hiking headlamps for a reading light! The wire stand may be a must-buy for me in the near future for the wonderful research/coffee table book I just got from the Smithsonian!)

    Happy heart day, Annie!

    • Aw, happy heart day to you too! 🙂 Yes, I can’t believe I forgot the bathtub tray! I actually have one of those, and I love it. So sweet that your hubby is essentially already giving you one of these. I hope you share a picture of your reading nook when it’s all finished!

  • Jorge De La Cerda

    The list inspired me to greater efforts next Valentine’s Day; however, I will probably manage to procrastinate. it is always a pleasure to read you showing off on grammatical functions, but could you explain to me why is “And if you’re a reader too?” marked as a question?

    • Haha, do I show off? I don’t mean to! There’s no grammatical reason for that to be a question; it’s just a colloquial thing. I’m following the tone in my head writing it out. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Jorge. Have fun this Valentine’s!