I know that November just started, and I am one to always respect the turkey. I’m fully aware that the narrative about the first Thanksgiving is false. Still, I like the idea of being grateful for what we have. After all, there may be someone not as fortunate as yourself. That said, a good portion of the world already has holiday shopping on their mind. And with 2020 being, well, 2020, most consumers will likely be buying online and shipping to their loved ones, which means book care packages will be top of mind for gift-giving for readers after this difficult year.
Why Book Care Packages?
I would prefer to gather in person for the holidays with my family, but I’m pragmatic enough to know that it likely will not happen. I’m a person who loves to see the expression on someone’s face when they open their gift from me, so this will be a bittersweet pill to take. I take comfort in knowing that any gift is still appreciated even if it’s not handed off in person.
Below you’ll find a variety of options for gift giving of the bookish variety, updated from our earlier list of literary care boxes. These range from a one-time well-stocked gift box to a subscription designed to bring joy for the duration of 2021. I hope that you find something to help give or bring joy as we wind down from this inarguably difficult year.
Bookish Swag Boxed Sets
The book care packages listed below are already boxed up, ready to send. No need to add anything extra; it’s all there and all ready for you!
If you want to help make someone’s time indoors even more comfortable, try the Bookworm Bundle from BookPeople. This bundle comes from one of Austin’s oldest independent bookstores. It has a lot of bookish related swag that will make any reader feel appreciated. There are magnetic bookmarks, book plates, and a book light. There’s also socks. Who wouldn’t want a good pair of fuzzy socks while they curl up for a reading session?
If you’re wanting to help lift up the feminist in your life, then the Ultimate Feminist Box is perfect. This box set has more than a handful of literary-related and empowering items for the creative people in your life. From a Louisa May Alcott inspirational quote wooden bookmark to a wine glass to a set of pencils asking what your favorite female author would do, this will certainly bring a smile to anyone’s face.
If you want go get your bookish loved one something but aren’t sure what, try a Surprise Pack from the East City Bookshop. These packs are custom-made, selected specifically for the person you’re sending it too. All they need is for you to fill out a Google form, pay (of course), and leave the rest up to them! And everyone loves a good surprise.
Book Box Sets
It may go without saying, but the items listed below all include a book. While they may also have bookish swag in them as a perk, if they include a book, their place is here.
This subscription is designed to highlight Black authors and literature. This is especially important this year as there have been more than a few situations and instances showing that publishing is not as diverse and balanced as it should be. There are still miles to go in that regard. It’s easy to join since you just sign up, choose your genre, and then wait for your package. What is unique about this is that you also have the option to purchase past book boxes in case there was one you missed out on before signing up.
This subscription box combines reading and pampering, which is a win/win for me. When you sign up you select the box size you want, your genre, and the type of plan you want. Then you wait for your book and bath items to arrive. You do have the options for add-ons, like a bath caddy or pillow, to your first box. After that it’s just a matter of waiting for it to arrive and carving out the time to indulge in some sudsy goodness.
While I know we all have hopped aboard the book hype train at some point, it is an awesome feeling to find an amazing albeit lesser known book. That is what this subscription endeavors to do with curated picks based on your reading preferences. Not only will you be given an under the radar book, you will be helping to support an independent bookstore. Which, while always important, is especially so this year.
There’s a good overlap of voracious readers who are or want to be writers. Luckily, there is a subscription box for that! Each box comes with teaching tools to help master the art of writing, live chats for literary agents and editors, curated writing gifts, and an autographed book! It’s hard to get to writing conferences, especially in 2020, so if you can go to it, let it come to your doorstep once a month!
The Ripped Bodice recently announced that they will soon launch a romance book subscription box. Each box will include two romance books from carefully selected by expert booksellers. These will be a mix of genres as well as paperback formats, but they will be new-ish books. Each box will also include a fun item, such as a candle or keychain. You can sign up for a six-month or year subscription. If you don’t want that kind of commitment you can also go month to month. Here is yet another reason to look forward to January 2021.
Mix & Match Book Care Packages
The items listed below are bookish but they are also standalone purchases. They still make great gifts on their own but can also be used to make a custom-made gift basket if that is more your speed.
First up we have the Bookworm Candle Sampler Pack. This is a set of four two-ounce candles that will burn for 10–12 hours. With scents like Reading Nook, Bookshop Dweller, Ancient Library, and Late Night reading, lighting up one of these will set the mood for a marathon of reading for those weekends when you want a few hours to unplug and immerse yourself in your latest tome.
If you’re one who likes to read while in the tub, then you may be interested in the Mr. Darcy Bath Bomb. I adore all the adaptations of Pride & Prejudice even though I’ve yet to read it all the way through. (Bad English Major!) So, I still have an affinity for the character of Mr. Darcy. This bath bomb combines scents of lemon, anise, pepper, orange and leather. This will make very relaxing reading session in the tub. Please note that this is a mini bath bomb so it may not be as large as you’re use to.
Most book dragons love a type of beverage with their book. Whenever I’m wanting a warm one, I reach for coffee. If the book dragon in your life is the same, then you may want to consider this option for them. Bean Box is a subscription based coffee club but they also have gift box options for one time purchases. There are are few of those but for the purpose of the holidays I will recommend the Holiday Sampler pack. It will also give you the option to add a personalized note for that extra flair.
Storiarts is another option for bookish swap. While they don’t have a box option here, there are so many lovely items available. You could make your own gift basket entirely from their stock. You could also supplement a gift idea you already have with items from their stock. Their inventory includes scarves, writing gloves, and headbands. They are all patterned with passages from some of the greatest pieces of literature. They also have display books for the collectors in your life, to help liven up their shelves. There are a lot of options here so you may end up with something for yourself as well.
The Page Turning Candle Company is another candle option for readers who like to have a pleasant aroma surrounding them while they read. While not everything here is specifically book related, some are book adjacent, such as Library, Sci-Fi, and Romance. There are also Black Girl or Boy Magic, which could be argued to be literary tropes as well. There are some sampler options here but you also have the option to purchase the candles individually as well.
Don’t forget about Book Riot’s own TBR, a curated book subscription service designed to pick out books specifically for you. After signing up, you’ll be paired with your own personal book nerd. After some questions and maybe access to your Goodreads shelf, they will work tirelessly finding the best ones to recommend to you!