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  • Writer's pictureColin Harrang

5 Gift Ideas for a Book Lover

As the holidays approach, we are on the hunt for the perfect gifts for our loved ones. The perfect gift, however, is tough to land. It needs to align with personal interests, spark joy, and respect the pocketbook.

This year, I'm also adding a special element to my gifting. Now more than ever, it's important to support the community of small businesses and local makers. This 2021 holiday guide for the book lover includes 5 creative gifts, all made from small businesses and supports local communities. Cheers!


1. Gift Card to a Local Bookstore

Do a quick google search to find the closest neighborhood bookstore to your friend. Then, call the bookstore and ask if they can provide gift cards. This is a great way to support the city your loved one lives in while adding an extra thoughtful layer to the gifting season.

If you're shopping in San Francisco, check out these favorite neighborhood gems Russian Hill Bookstore and City Lights.

2. Book Theme Scented Candle

The best gifts can be used or consumed, rather than sitting on a shelf collecting dust. That's why go-to gifts are items like food, beauty products, and, of course, candles. For your book-loving friend, buy a candle that represents their vibe and favorite activity.

Candlemakers are getting creative and it's awesome! Etsy seller ChiCandle makes a candle that smells of "New Book Pages" and WillowoodCandleCo makes an "Antique Bookstore" scent. If you aren't sure if the person you are shopping for is more of a new book or old book vibe, check out the classic "Book Club" candle from Homesick.

One of the best places to look for gifts is Etsy. I love the creative community of makers and the unique products they create. During the holidays, Etsy also provides gift guides made for all categories of people.

3. Set of Book Club Cards

Take library cards to the next level with Book Club Cards. Like typical library cards, Book Club Cards travel with your book to log a reader's name and date. They also include a spot to write in your city and state for an added level of adventure. Once the card is full, the last reader adds a stamp and mails it back to the original card owner. This allows you to see all the names and states your book has traveled.

This is a great gift idea because it brings joy to not one, but nine people as the book and card travel the world. Book Club Cards are also made locally in San Francisco by a woman-owned small business.

4. Sustainable Books Ends

If your book lover would rather collect their books instead of sharing them, gift a set of trendy bookends. However, do it sustainably!

Holistic Habitat is operated by two friends that want the world to be a better place and provide goods that reflect this value. They source products from companies that have a positive impact. In scenarios where vendors don't advocate change, they give back 15% of the product profits to a charity that does. Kristin's and Rachael's stories are incredible and worth the full read.

5. Hands-on Workshop

Give the gift of experience. Classes and workshops are a great gift because they are interactive and memorable. Do a little research to find a hands-on workshop. In large cities, we're eyeing Letterpress workshops (SF) and Intro to Bookbinding course (NYC). Another great resource to find artisan classes is Class Bento which currently offers 900+ workshops in San Francisco and New York, as well as virtual workshops.

Tip: No one likes showing up alone. Make sure you gift 2+ tickets so they bring a friend to enjoy the experience together.

Happy gifting!

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