The Best Gifts for Book Lovers (2023)


There’s nothing quite like losing yourself in a book. You might not be able to transport your loved ones into their favorite stories, but you can help them spruce up their cozy reading corner. If there’s anything we’ve learned from #BookTok, it’s that there are tons of accessories to upgrade those reading sessions. If someone on your gift list is rather bookish, you’re in luck. We’ve put together our favorite gifts for book lovers, and we’ve tested every one of these gadgets.

Table of Contents

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E-Readers

We love physical books, but even the most paperback-obsessed among us can appreciate the ease of a good e-reader. If your giftee flies through books or needs to have a read with them at all times, they may like one too. These devices are small and light, give you access to virtually any book you want to read at any time, and even let you check out free library books instantly. We also like that they’re isolated from your other apps and social media, creating a distraction-free environment.

Best Overall

The Kindle Paperwhite is our favorite e-reader. It is easy to set up and download books directly from Amazon or your local library via Overdrive. Both the standard Paperwhite and Signature editions (8/10, WIRED Recommends) are waterproof, with adjustable warm lighting. The latter gets 32 gigs of storage over 8 GB, its lighting can automatically adjust to your surroundings, and it can be charged wirelessly.

For kids, consider the Paperwhite Kids for $170 or the base model Kindle Kids for $120. Both come with a case, a year of Amazon Kids+, and a two-year worry-free warranty. The Paperwhite is waterproof, but the cheaper one isn’t. There are a few other Kindles available, so read our Best Kindles guide if you want to learn more. Sick of Amazon’s ecosystem? Consider the Kobo below.

Runner-Up

Kindles have the best interface, but there are good Kindle alternatives, including the Kobo Libra 2. It’s waterproof and has physical page-turn buttons—a feature I think should be included on every e-reader. There are 32 gigabytes of storage to fill, which shouldn’t be hard, since Kobo’s library is large and its prices are similar, if not an exact match, to Amazon’s. Its Overdrive integration makes it easy to check out library books too.


E-Reader Accessories

There are a few accessories you may want to add, whether you’re giving an e-reader or your giftee already has one they love.

A Sleeve

This beautiful sleeve is a great gift for anyone who already has an e-reader (and for the mystical among us). E-readers are pretty sturdy, but this keeps it safe while bouncing around in a bag. It fits the Kindle Paperwhite and Kobo Libra, and the product page lists other compatible devices. There are larger sleeves for physical books too. The Quirky Cup Collective is a small business in Australia, so you’ll have to account for shipping time before the holidays. We have some regular case recommendations too.

A Hand Strap

Hand cramps always hit when the story is just getting good. They can happen with books, but some e-readers have thin bezels that only leave a small space for your hands to rest. Strapsicles eliminate that issue. Each pack comes with two soft silicone straps, and you can attach one or both. One is angled for easily slipping your right hand through, and the other is angled for the left. Your hand just cradles the device—no more cramps—and the straps also reduce accidental drops.

It’s also worth considering PopSockets. Yes, they were originally built for smartphones, but they also work perfectly for e-readers. There are tons of cute ones, so there’s something for everyone you’re buying for, whether they like Baby Yoda, tarot, or Disney. I prefer the Strapsicle, as the PopSocket can hurt my fingers after long periods of use.


Noise-Canceling Headphones

There’s nothing worse than constant distractions when you’re trying to dive into a book. We highly recommend a pair of noise-canceling headphones or earbuds to keep noise at bay.

Best Overall

The AirPods Max are pricey (8/10, WIRED Recommends), but we’ve crowned them The Absolute Best in our Best Noise-Canceling Headphones guide. They pack excellent sound with great build quality, stellar noise reduction, and seamless connectivity. They’re a good choice for folks who are already locked into the Apple ecosystem, especially if they tend to read in noisy environments, like a coffee shop or the subway.

If your giftee prefers earbuds, you can opt for the AirPods Pro with USB-C ($238). They pack top-of-the-line noise-canceling and call quality, a new IP54 rating, and a case with a USB-C port.

Runner-Up

If you’re looking for over-the-ear headphones with a more discrete aesthetic, Sony’s WH-1000XM5 headphones (9/10, WIRED Recommends) are an excellent alternative. They offer some of the best noise cancellation for the money, good battery life, and better sound and mic quality than their predecessors.

Best on a Budget

These are our favorite noise-canceling headphones under $100. The 40-mm silk diaphragm drivers produce pretty good sound, considering the low price, and you still get active noise-canceling tech that decently quietens the outside world. There’s an impressive 40-hour playtime to boot. It’s important to be careful with these, though, as the plastic headband is a bit fragile.


For Tea and Coffee Lovers

Whether your bookworm’s preferred source of caffeine is coffee or tea, a great tea kettle or coffee machine can make all the difference.

An Electric Kettle

After a long workday, there’s nothing I look forward to more than reading a book on the couch with a warm cup of tea. I’ve been using the One-Touch Electric Kettle to help me get there. The insulated, double-walled body prevents accidental burns, the four preset programs take the guesswork out of boiling the perfect cup of tea or coffee (you can also use the plus and minus buttons to set a specific temperature), and the touch-activated display only appears when the kettle is in use—giving it a sleek look. It comes in fun colors and is quite reasonably priced. Read our Best Electric Kettles guide for other options.

A Coffee Maker

If you prefer coffee to tea, Keurig’s K-Mini is a great, affordable coffee maker. At under 5 inches wide, it’s also super slim and compact. With a one-cup reservoir, you’ll have to refill it whenever you want to make a fresh cup of coffee. But the space it saves up on your countertop can’t be beat. We’ve got more coffee maker recommendations right here.


Water Bottles and Mugs

You need to stay hydrated to get through long reading sessions. We have a full guide on our favorite water bottles, but if the reader in your life is on #booktok, there are a few viral bottles they’re probably eyeing. Pair one with a nice bag and another accessory for a DIY goodie bag.

I’ve always been dependent on an emotional support water bottle, but none ever held that title for long. Owala’s FreeSip (9/10, WIRED Recommends), on the other hand, is my perfect companion— discovered via TikTok—I already bought a second one so that I always have a clean bottle available. The insulated stainless steel keeps water cold all day, and I love that you can sip from the straw or chug without having to do anything to switch. It closes and locks tightly so it won’t spill in a bag.

The follow-up version of Stanley’s viral tumbler comes with an ergonomic handle, a splash-resistant lid, and an array of new color options. I keep mine by my side throughout the day, but especially when I’m on the couch reading (I know I’ll feel too cozy to get up and grab a glass of water). It keeps my drink cold for hours, and the straw makes it convenient to sip on.

A Great Mug

You can never have too many mugs. We especially love this one from East Fork. It’s made from sturdy ceramic, and the gently sloped grip is large enough for most hands. It feels balanced and smooth when you pick it up. It also comes in a variety of colors, like Panna Cotta, Amaro, and Morel.


A Cute Tote

Everyone needs a really good bag. Your book-toting friend, specifically, needs one that can transport everything necessary for a solid reading sesh. Baggu’s Duck Bag can fit it all, including a water bottle and some snacks. There are a few different prints and colors (we like the embroidered flowers) with or without a zipper closure, and it has an adjustable strap so it can be used as a crossbody bag or a standard tote. Plus it’s made from machine-washable recycled cotton canvas.


Blankets, Robes, and Slippers

Reading is best when you’re perfectly comfortable and undisturbed. Weighted blankets, robes, and slippers add warmth and relaxation to any reading spot.

Best Overall

Bearaby blankets have a pretty, open-knit design that looks classy but also lets air circulate so you won’t heat up underneath. There are a few options, including a smaller, lighter one for kids, but this Tree Napper is made with biodegradable Tencel fiber. It’s available in 15, 20, and 25 pounds.

A Budget Blanket

Bearaby blankets are beautiful, but they’re quite pricey. The 15-pound Basics by Gravity blanket is an affordable option that doesn’t sacrifice comfort or durability. There are covers available too. Gravity put weighted blankets on the map, and the rest of its lineup is as pricey as the competition, so I appreciate this cheaper offering.

A Comfy Robe

Book lovers may appreciate a cozy robe to lounge in while they read. This one from Brooklinen is a classic robe with a soft towel-like feel that’s nice after a shower or for simply relaxing. If you buy directly from Brooklinen’s site, you’ll see more color options, and there are often limited edition colors and patterns. If your giftee is more of a Barbie girl, the Barefoot Dreams Barbie robe ($168) is one of the softest things I’ve ever put on my body.

Cozy Socks

My feet are always cold. No matter the season, I always wear socks at home. They’re lighter than slippers and cover my feet entirely. But as someone who constantly falls behind on laundry, I run out of clean pairs often. These fleece pull-on slippers from Target have been a game changer. You wear them like socks, but they have grips on the bottom like slippers. I own multiple pairs that I keep in various locations, including my apartment, my partner’s apartment, and my parent’s house. That way, I always have a pair to slip my freezing feet into.


Book Subscription Services

Buying a book for someone can be hard if you’re not sure what they’re into or what they’ve already read. But covering a few months of a subscription is the gift that gives over and over again.

If They Read on a Phone

If you’re buying a Kindle or a Kobo (or your giftee already has one), go with the subscription service from each of those companies—Kindle Unlimited for $12 a month or Kobo Plus for $8 a month. But if your giftee reads on an Android or iOS device, Everand (formerly known as Scribd) is our favorite ebook subscription. For $12 a month, your giftee will get access to a large library with titles across genres, from current best sellers to classics and even magazines.

If They Wish They Had Time to Read

As a pop culture fanatic, I find it far more enjoyable to listen to the audiobook versions of celebrity memoirs because many are narrated by the celebrities themselves. I’ve been using Audible a lot lately just for that experience, but the app also offers options across all genres. It’s an excellent gift for those who simply don’t have time to sit down and read as much as they’d like. I typically listen to audiobooks when I’m doing the dishes, folding laundry, running errands, or driving. Since I do those things a lot throughout the week, I’ve been flying through books over the past few months.

If They Need a Physical Book

Book of the Month is a subscription for the reader who loves physical books. Every month, there are five to seven titles to choose from that ship right to their door (they can skip months if nothing catches their eye). It costs $17, but there is typically a promotion to get the first box for $5, plus there are specific gift options.

For Book Collectors

I tend to add books to my reading list after seeing recommendations via TikTok, magazines, or texts from friends. But why not gift your favorite book lover a book directly from their favorite author? WIRED editor Adrienne So has subscribed for years (on and off) to Parnassus Signed First Editions, from novelist Ann Patchett’s store in Nashville, Tennessee.

The books are mainly literary fiction, with occasional nonfiction. Every pick has been an absolute banger, with a special emphasis on books by women and people of color. She’s gotten everything from Walter Isaacson’s Leonardo da Vinci to Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s Woman of Light. If you don’t want to get charged per month for a gift, you can also prepay (they will probably pick it up later for themselves).


A Library Card

Not every gift needs to cost you money, and a library card opens up a world of opportunities for kids. I vividly remember trips to the library when I was younger that included checking out books my school librarian told me I couldn’t read. If you have a child who hasn’t explored your local public library yet, or they’re ready to jump from the kids section to young adult, consider signing them up for a card. You usually need a proof of address.


A Reading Journal

I am constantly buying new books, even though I already own stacks I haven’t read yet. It got to a point where I couldn’t keep track of which books I already owned and which ones I wanted to buy. This reading journal from Papier has helped me out with just that. Inside, you’ll find multiple sections, including a Wish List (to write down books you want to buy), a Book Tracker (for books you’ve borrowed and lent), journaling prompts to reflect on books you’ve read, and more.

The journal also comes in a variety of fun (and durable) hardcovers and even lets you personalize them. I went with the Minhwa cover and had my full name printed in a pink font that looks super cute. It’s compact enough that your giftee can throw it in their purse or tote so it’s always on hand to jot notes down.


More Great Accessories

  • Post-it Page Markers for $6: If your giftee loves to highlight passages or take notes while reading, these page markers make annotating easier. They’re great as a stocking stuffer or an add-on to a book-themed gift.
  • Conscious Step Socks That Give Books for $16: Conscious Step donates items for every sale of its socks. There are ones that help save cats and dogs or conserve rainforests, among a bunch of other great causes. In partnership with Room to Read, these get books into the hands of kids.
  • Gloucusent LED Neck Reading Light for $22: Since this reading light wraps around your neck, it looks a little silly. But it’s a great option for those looking for a hands-free alternative to clip-on reading lights. It’s adjustable and lightweight, making it super comfortable to wear. It also comes with three color temperature modes (yellow, warm white, and cool white) and six brightness settings.
  • Dabney Lee Bookmarks (Set of 3) for $8: I (Brenda) have a bad habit of misplacing my bookmarks. I stumbled upon these at Target when I was looking for a cheap set that looked nice but wasn’t made out of paper or plastic. These faux-leather tassel bookmarks are pretty, fairly durable, and not corny. You get a set of three for under $10, so your giftee won’t feel too bad if they accidentally lose one.

Boxed Sets

Here are a couple of boxed sets we like that make great gifts.

A Coming-of-Age Trilogy

Unlike most fans of The Summer I Turned Pretty, who grew up reading the books, I discovered the series after watching the first season of the TV adaptation last year. In a desperate need to know what happened after the season ended on a cliffhanger, I bought all three books and devoured them in a few months (quick for me). It’s an easy, feel-good read for anyone looking to escape the dreary real world for a sweet coming-of-age story. This tote from The Summer I Turned Pretty is a great add-on if your giftee is a fan of the books and TV show. Unfortunately, it’s out of stock as of publication, so you may need to check back.

Great for Kids

I still remember exactly where I was (Sam’s Club) when I discovered my first Judy Blume book (Double Fudge). From there, the obsession grew. Her books have held up, creating generations of readers. Despite how much the world has changed, the themes she touches on are ever-present. If you want to introduce your kid to her, there are several boxed sets available for elementary schoolers and teenagers. They make good gifts for adult fans too, so we can take a trip back to when times were simpler.



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