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10 of the Best Bookish Gifts for Grads

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Ashlie Swicker

Contributor

Ashlie (she/her) is an educator, librarian, and writer. She is committed to diversifying the reading lives of her students and supporting fat acceptance as it intersects with other women’s issues. She's also perpetually striving to learn more about how she can use her many privileges to support marginalized groups. Interests include learning how to roller skate with her local roller derby team, buying more books than she'll ever read, hiking with her husband and sons, and making lists to avoid real work. You can find her on Instagram (@ashlieelizabeth), Twitter (@mygirlsimple) or at her website, www.ashlieswicker.com.

Looking for bookish gifts for grads? We’re entering the season! Graduations can happen year-round, but it’s coming to that time when public school gets out for the summer and colleges are holding their commencement — Graduation Season with capital letters. It is hard to tell whether the dominant emotion is nostalgia (loved ones of the grads might be startled by the passing of time), excitement (the word finally is thrown around with abandon), or flat-out fear. Now what? Certainly, in 2024, not all graduates are young. Kids of every age work hard to achieve the next step of academic or career progress. Regardless of youth or effort, a universal flurry of feeling comes with the mortarboard and tassel.

It is Book Riot, so bonus points if the grad in your life is entering a bookish profession! These bookish gifts for grads will work even if your graduate is simply a book lover, though. When combing through the offerings, I was initially overwhelmed by the amount of “on to the next chapter” merch, but after a while, I got it. There is nothing like a graduation to toe the thin line between the earnest and the cliche. Is it overused, or is it an identifiable universal feeling? You would have to ask the graduates. Whether they want something to wear, sip from, or hang on their wall, the list below will give you options.

gold necklace with an engraved date, name, and graduation cap

The ACOTAR hype is very real, and this sweet quote is perfect for a graduate who loves Sarah J. Maas. Personalization is available! ACOTAR Graduation Necklace, $45

a black diamond-shaped graduation cap topper decorated with flowers growing out of an open book

The tradition of decorating your graduation cap is simply delightful. Whether your grad’s future career is bookish or they simply love to read, this premade topper is a home run. Graduation Cap Topper- Books and Flowers, $38

card in the style of a vintage library card with a mary oliver quote in red

This Mary Oliver quote can come across as mildly overwhelming or passionately inspiring, but either way, the vintage library card style is charming. Mary Oliver Graduation Card, $5

simple white print with a stack of books and the words "professional bookworm" in black ink

Did the graduate you love just embark on a life where they can get paid to read? Celebrate your professional bookworm with this darling print! Professional Bookworm Print, $31

a card in the style of a vintage library card with a green slip that says "your story is just getting started."

Another vintage library card among the bookish gifts for grads? The style is just irresistible! A pop of color and a great quote are the cherry on top. Your Story is Just Getting Started Card, $5+

a white mug with illustrations of black women dressed in warm colors holding books

Let’s raise a glass to the bookish grads! The gorgeous readers on this mug could be librarians, teachers, or publishing extraordinaires. Brown Girls Read Mug, $21+

a copper bookmark with the words "enjoy the next chapter" with a dangling charm that has a year engraved

I restrained myself to a single piece of enjoy the next chapter merch, but there is plenty more where that came from! This pretty bookmark has space for a special date as well. Enjoy the Next Chapter Bookmark, $25+

a dark sweatshirt with white letters that read "bookish" in the traditional college font

Is your graduate not quite ready to leave that college vibe behind? Swap in this sweatshirt, keeping the traditional font but with a new message! Bookish College Font Sweatshirt, $47

a black sweatshirt with white letters reading "the oxford comma society"

Perfect for English majors and masters of Library Science, this shirt allows your grad to pledge their allegiance to the Oxford comma. They worked hard to earn entrance to that society! Oxford Comma Society Sweatshirt, $35+

a white candle with a black label that reads "smells like future librarian"

You could gift them a cardigan, or you could just wrap up this candle and call it a day. Wake up and smell the future, you book jockeys! Smells Like Future Librarian Candle, $20

Hopefully, you’ve found a bookish gift for grads that will fit your specific bill. Looking for more gifting ideas? Check out this list of books for graduates. Happy shopping and happy reading!