Christmas is coming up pretty soon, so it's a good time to talk about shopping for gifts! And since I'm a book person myself, of course this post is all about the book lovers, especially YA fans. If you've got a book lover on your gift list, there are a lot of options for what to buy. Below are some recommendations, including a long list of stores and shops you can turn to.
Obviously, the most important thing you can get for a book lover is a book! If you ask, they can probably give you a list of which ones they want. If you're familiar with their tastes and with what they already own, you can also look at recommendation lists online, such as the one I'll be sharing next week. (You can find more of my recommendations on my "on my blog," "best YA of the year," and "recommended" Goodreads shelves.)
Your Local Bookstore
Once you know what to buy, you should turn first to your local bookstore. Local bookstores are struggling nowadays, and, as community centers that offer writers a lot of support, they deserve your support!
Book Depository or Barnes & Noble
If, like me, you don't have a local bookstore, or if your bookstore doesn't have the book you're looking for, Book Depository is the ideal next choice. It's an online bookstore that has a wide selection of books as well as free shipping! If you can't find the book you want to buy there, I'd turn next to Barnes & Noble online. Is Amazon also a choice? Yes. Is it the most ethical and economically friendly choice? Nooooo. 😬
If you're not interested in buying a book, there are many other bookish items on the market. First off, magnetic bookmarks! Generally speaking, I'm more likely to lose a bookmark than use it, but some Etsy shops sell awesome magnetic ones featuring the characters of popular fandoms. These, I'm interested in. I love fanart, after all, and the designs are adorable!
byEpikPage is a Poland-based Etsy shop that sells magnetic bookmarks inspired by popular fandoms, YA lit, animals, and more. Just check out the Dumbledore bookmark or Sherlock or Grumpy Cat or--! Well, you get the point. 😉
Book lovers tend to be big candle fans, either for the aesthetic or the scent (or both), which means book-themed candles can be a great hit! Book lovers who aren't so into the candle thing, such as myself, might be interested instead in bookish perfumes. I personally think it's super interesting how people combine scents to evoke the appropriate mood.
ForageCandle is an Etsy shop specializing in bookish candles (including lotion candles, which is an interesting concept) and perfumes. Without smelling the scents, I can't be 100% sure what would appeal to me, but I'm especially interested in the Heathcliff perfume and the Old Books perfume.
BookPourri is an Etsy shop that sells book- and fandom-related perfumes and lotion. Based on my favorite perfumes, many of their scents are a good match for me, including the Romeo and Juliet perfume, the Over the Rainbow perfume, the Sugar Plum Fairy perfume, and the Mermaid perfume. And of course, one can't ignore their Butterbeer scent!
BookAndNook is a UK-based Etsy shop that sells candles, lip balms, and teas inspired by YA books, Disney, and anime. I'd love to give their butterbeer lip balm and their Ravenclaw lip balm a try!
One of my favorite things in the world is notebooks. I used to collect tons of them for my extensive journaling. Unfortunately, my fibromyalgia has worsened to the point where I can no longer handwrite my regular diaries, but I do handwrite a dream journal (which has shorter entries)! Many book lovers, like myself, also write in some capacity, so book-related notebooks are a fantastic choice.
Unfortunately, this Etsy shop is on vacation for this holiday season, but TheInkedPage sells beautiful notebooks, the majority of which are related to books and fandoms. Keep it on your list for when the shop returns!
Another item that many book lovers enjoy is mugs, and I'm starting to understand that now that I sometimes drink coriander tea for my interstitial cystitis. I'm still more likely to use mugs as pencil holders than anything else, but I can appreciate mugs with bookish designs.
CreativeLeighCrafts is an Etsy shop with handpainted bookish mugs, most of them YA-inspired. The mugs she uses are a little smaller than the usual, but her designs are lovely. I like her Strange the Dreamer mug and this Illuminae mug the best.
Bookish Funko Pop!s
Funko Pop!s can be pricey, but these oddly adorable fandom figurines are a nerd's dream. I myself have a small collection from various fandoms. With that said, the official Funko Pop! creators focus on popular movies and TV, not books. To make up for the gaps in their collection, they do sell blank figurines, which many Etsy shops use to create custom Funko Pop!s!
FandomlySelected is an Etsy shop with a small collection of YA-themed Funko Pop!s, along with bath bombs. This Sarai figure (from the Strange the Dreamer duology) is my current favorite.
Pages of the Night is another Etsy shop that sells YA-themed Funko Pop!s, plus books with custom painted edges, if you want to give your reader a particularly special book. Look at this adorable Cress figure (from The Lunar Chronicles)!
Various Bookish Items
The Literary Gift Company
The Literary Gift Company is a UK-based online store that sells all sorts of bookish things. Seriously, there's a huge variety of stuff here. My favorites include, but are not limited to, their magnetic poetry kits, this bookend, this Jane Austen-themed journal, and this personal library kit. Unfortunately, because it's a UK-based store, shipping to US residents can be pricey. But a lot of these products can be found elsewhere, once you know they exist!
Another place you might turn to for bookish items is the online store Redbubble. On Redbubble, designers from all over submit their original creations, which are then emblazoned on a variety of items. That means there's all kinds of fandom- and book-related gems to be found here! Redbubble has become my t-shirt go-to place, though the shipping can be pricey. Still, for these clever and diverse designs, I think it's worth the price. For a sample design, check out this Beyonce-inspired "Okay Ladies Now Let's Get Information" shirt.
Book Riot Store
Book Riot is not only my favorite place for book news, but it also has an online store with the same kinds of merchandise as Redbubble. (However, the design selection is more limited.) Book Riot Store is focused entirely on bookish content, particularly classic literature, and it has all the items from popular bookish store Out of Print as well as many items from The Literary Gift Company. There's also a small selection of books. From this store, I like the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix shirt, this Harry Potter library quote tote bag, and this composition notebook water bottle the most.
Returning to the artist's haven that is Etsy, LiteraryEmporium is a UK-based Etsy shop featuring a variety of bookish items, including clothing, jewelry, and cards. The shop is focused on classic literature, with a particular emphasis on fierce women! There are also some items related to popular fantasy novels. My favorites from this shop are this Jane Eyre birdcage bracelet, this Ophelia shirt, and this Harry Potter owl post necklace.
fableandblack is a UK-based Etsy shop full of bookish and magical things like badges, pins, and prints, about half of which are YA-related. I don't wear pins myself, but I particularly like the designs on this moth pin (inspired by the Strange the Dreamer duology, perhaps?), this Lord of the Rings quote pin, and this library pin.
WonderDame is an Etsy shop that sells fandom-inspired magnetic bookmarks along with candles and a few other things. Like the last shop, about half the items here are YA-related. My favorites are the Harry Potter designs, including this keychain of the Golden Trio, this Hogwarts ghosts bookmark collection, and this Hogwarts houses bookmark collection!
dreamyandco is another Etsy shop featuring beautiful YA-inspired magnetic bookmarks, along with other bookish items. I like the Kady Grant bookmark (from The Illuminae Files), the Juliette bookmark (from the Shatter Me series), and the Nina Zenik bookmark (from the Six of Crows duology) best. But there are many more items to choose from! While I personally don't have an interest in regular bookmarks, enamel pins, or book sleeves, many book lovers do, and this shop has them.
BookishStuff is an Etsy shop with a large variety of YA-related merchandise, though most of it is focused on the works of Sarah J. Maas. This Throne of Glass backpack, this Six of Crows phone case, and this Thorne blanket (from The Lunar Chronicles) are my favorites!
If you've read through this post thinking, Why not get it all?, what you're looking for is a book box! Book boxes are gift boxes that include a book and a variety of items that are often related to the book in question. You can create your own, or you can buy book boxes many places online.
Most book boxes come through a subscription service. Oftentimes, you can buy a one-time box for the upcoming month or leftover past boxes, but the main attraction is the monthly subscription. In essence, you pick a service that features the kind of books your book lover loves most, and they'll receive a surprise book box every month. The books are usually new releases, although some book boxes are focused on classics. The included items also tend to be, at least in part, special editions or even exclusives. It's super fun, no? (Fair warning: the subscriptions can be expensive, though you can get something of a discount when you purchase three- or six-month subscriptions.)
Coffee and a Classic
Coffee and a Classic is a subscription box featuring classic literature, with three options: fiction, children's lit, or nonfiction. This service is a good choice for your average book reader or for someone who particularly likes the classics! It has two subscription options: Starter for $28.99 a month and Standard for $39.99 a month. Leftover boxes from past months, and individual items from those boxes, are available on the coffeeandaclassic Etsy shop.
Illumicrate is a UK-based subscription box mostly featuring YA lit, but with occasional ventures into popular adult fiction. It's a quarterly subscription rather than the standard monthly, with each quarter costing $38.41. All of the items in the boxes are exclusive to Illumicrate. Illumicrate also has a monthly enamel pin subscription, for $9.61 a month, and some very expensive special edition boxes featuring especially popular releases. Leftover items from past boxes can be purchased here.
OwlCrate is the YA-themed subscription book box I hear about the most online. It's clearly a fan favorite! The subscription is $29.99 a month. There's also a MG-themed version, OwlCrate Jr., which costs $27.99 a month. At their online store, there are a few leftover boxes from past months and many individual leftover items, including special edition books.
Enchanted Book Box
Enchanted Book Box is another YA-themed subscription box, usually featuring beautiful fanart among the items. There are two subscription options: book only for $18.99 a month or regular for $29.99 a month. They've sold out the December box, unfortunately, so you won't be able to buy a subscription until they announce the January box. At their shop you can buy leftover boxes and items, as well as a few special edition boxes, but the prices are a bit high.
Beacon Book Box
Beacon Book Box is a YA-themed subscription box run by a 14-year-old girl, which is awesome. Teen girl power! It costs the standard $29.99 a month. Leftovers from past boxes can be purchased here, along with a few special edition boxes.
Now in Books
Do you want something a little simpler? Is your book lover also a music fan? Now in Books is a YA-themed subscription box that includes a YA book and access to an exclusive online playlist every month. Other bookish items are sometimes included. This box costs $19.99 a month, and leftover boxes can be purchased here.
My favorite subscription box out of all of the ones on this list, Shelflove Crate is a YA sci-fi/fantasy-themed subscription box. There are two subscription options: book only for $17.99 a month or regular for $29.99 a month. Past boxes and items can be purchased on their online store. Special edition boxes with highly anticipated upcoming releases can also be preordered here. If you're looking for YA lit other than sci-fi/fantasy, they also run a general YA-themed subscription box called Shelflove Reads. It costs $37.99 a month.
FairyLoot is a popular UK-based YA fantasy-themed subscription box that costs $33.31 a month. As with the other subscriptions, you can purchase some of the past book boxes or books, but FairyLoot is careful about their exclusive items, so selection is more limited.
There you have it. Let me know how your shopping goes, and comment with your favorite bookish stores below! There are so many options out there that this list probably just scratches the surface. I'll be back Wednesday with a list of 2018 movies and TV that I recommend!
Images via goodreads.com, byEpicPage, BookPourri, and TheInkedPage on Etsy, Risa Rodil on Redbubble, LiteraryEmporium and dreamyandco on Etsy, coffee-and-a-classic.myshopify.com, thereviewwire.com, and dreamingofcats.wordpress.com.
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