Book Fetish

Book Gift Basket Ideas for the Holiday Season and Beyond

Looking for a creative gift idea for the fellow book lovers in your life? How about a book gift basket? Book gift baskets are a wonderful way to make the gift of books more personal. Rather than just offering up a stack of books with little to no fanfare, a book gift basket is the perfect way to highlight special things about the books your gifting and/or about the person to whom you’re giving this most excellent present.

But what is supposed to go in a book gift basket, you might be wondering? Here are some ideas for your book gift baskets to get you started. Beyond this, use your creativity to personalize your gift basket and make it all your own.

person holding brown box
Photo by Joshua Lam on Unsplash

Part One: The Book

If you’re assembling a gift for the bookworm in your life, then the most important part of the whole gift basket is going to be (you guessed it) the book! Now you might already be thinking you know exactly what book you’re going to gift to that special someone. But stop right there! There are a couple of things you should think about before biting the bullet and picking that book (or those books) that are going to be the centerpiece of your whole basket.

First of all (and this is really important), ask yourself this important question: why is this the book I’m choosing for this person? Are you doing it for selfish reasons? Is this a book you really love and you’re forcing it down this person’s throat because you’re really just DYING to chat about this book with someone…ANYONE? If so, stop. Put the book down. I get it. I want everyone to read my favorite books too. But now is not the time.

The whole point of a book gift basket is you’re trying to create a gift that is extremely personal, reflecting your own personality and interests, yes, but also understanding and celebrating your loved one’s interests. Maybe think of a book that melds the two things together. What common interests do you share? Do you both love cats and cozy mysteries? Maybe put together a couple of cat-themed mystery books. Do you marathon television shows together? Try to find a book (or some books) that remind you of the shows you both love. Your gift recipient will feel understood and seen. And feeling that is truly better than any material gift anyone could ever give you.

Lastly, remember that you’re about to theme an entire gift basket around the book(s) you choose. So don’t pick a book if you’re going to have trouble thinking of themed items to include in the gift basket with said book. More on that in Part Two.

Part Two: Book-Related Treats

Your next step: adding in items to your basket that complement the book. One way you can do this is by including items that are somehow related to the book. Did you go for that cat-themed cozy mystery idea? Throw in some cat-themed items here.

Maybe the characters in your book have certain items that they use all the time. For instance, if you’re including a book where characters use magic wands, find a cute little toy wand. Or if you want to get really fancy, maybe there’s an item of jewelry that you could include that reminds you of something one of the characters in your books wears.

Food items are always fun here as well. So many books include food. There are also plenty of food items that may remind you of something that happens in the book. And who doesn’t love getting snacks?

The book-related treats section of your gift basket is a true opportunity to get creative and also create a more immersive experience with the book you’re gifting. Don’t skimp out on this section. This part is really fun, and it’s the most customizable, depending on what book(s) you’ve chosen.

Part Three: Bookish Lifestyle Items

If the person you’re shopping for is a true book lover, then their adoration for books goes way beyond the words on the page. As you probably already know, being a bookworm isn’t just a hobby—it’s a lifestyle. So be sure to include a few gifts that support that lifestyle.

What sorts of items are important for a bookish lifestyle? Well, you as a book reader yourself probably know the answer to this question. But in case you’re drawing a blank, here are some ideas. First of all, consider: bookmarks, reading lights, pens/pencils, notebooks, reading logs, other means of taking notes while reading. You get the idea.

Oh, and there’s one thing you don’t want to leave out. It’s probably most important thing to give a bookworm to complete their bookish lifestyle. Coffee.

Okay, so not everyone is a coffee drinker. But a lot of book lovers love a nice cup of coffee while they’re curled up with their book. If you know coffee isn’t your reader’s personal favorite, then throw in some other kind of reader-friendly beverage. Tea maybe. Or hot chocolate. Heck, maybe a bottle of wine. Just don’t forget to add some sort of drink item to help your bookworm friend get through their long reading sessions. This is very important.

Another idea? Snacks. Yes, again, snacks. If you weren’t able to think of a book-related snack to include in part two, then try to think of a fun snack to throw in just for the love of snacking now that we’re in part three. Trust me, your loved ones will thank you for the snacks. No one in the history of the universe has ever said, “I hate snacks.”

Part Four: The Basket

So now you’ve got all this fun stuff. But what are you going to put it in? Well, this is a gift basket, so traditionally, you’d want to put it in a basket of some sort. But if you’re shipping your gift or want to be able to wrap it, a box could work just as well.

Plenty of stores offer cute empty baskets and boxes that you can then fill with all of the treats you’ve accumulated. If you have local hobby stores, try there first. Now more than ever, it’s so important to try to shop locally. But if there’s no local stores near you that sell that kind of thing, stores like Target, The Dollar Tree, and Michael’s will likely have what you’re looking for.

And I know this seems obvious, but I’m just going to say it anyway, because this is the type of mistake I would be likely to make. If you’re buying your basket or box online, be sure to double check and triple check the measurements. What if your container comes in the mail and isn’t nearly big enough to fit all of the goodies you got for your bookish loved one? Or what if it’s way too big? Yeah. Embarrassing. So be sure to measure all the stuff you’re planning on stuffing in your basket, and check the measurements of the basket before you order online! You’ve been warned!

Part Five: The Trimmings

This final step is easy to overlook, because at this point your book gift basket might seem done. But a little bit of decoration can go a long way in pulling your whole book gift basket together.

Some ideas for how to pull the whole thing together? If you’ve gone the basket route and aren’t wrapping your present in a box, consider still using gift wrap paper to line the basket. It’ll give it that gift-y feel. And if you’re giving this gift for a birthday or particular holiday, you can choose festive gift wrap that will drive the point home.

Obviously some type of bow or ribbon would be a nice touch as well. Maybe try to find gift wrap and ribbon colors that match the colors of your book or some of the items in your basket. Finding a color theme can really pull everything together and make it look more cohesive.

The last think you’ll likely want to do is use tissue paper to fill out the sections of the basket/box between the gifts. I strongly suggest using tissue paper and not those little shredded paper wormy things. As cute as those look, they get everywhere and can make a huge mess. Sure, they make your basket look great, but they also make rummaging through the basket to get to all the presents annoying as heck. Just say no to shredded paper wormy things.

Photo by May Gauthier on Unsplash

Yes, this is what your friend’s living room floor will look like after they look through their basket. Is that what you want for them? Is it?

Book Gift Baskets to Buy

More interested in just gifting a book gift basket without the hassle of putting it together yourself? There are plenty of places who will happily do this for you. Or maybe you just want to see what other places are doing to get inspiration for your own gifts. Here are just a few places you can turn to for all your gift basket needs:

  • Scattered Books creates custom book gift baskets for every kind of book lover on your list.
  • Book Bouquet similarly creates book gift baskets for all sorts of occasions, from sympathy gifts to birthday gifts.
  • Enchanted Bookery focuses on excellent book gift baskets for babies.
  • The Sunshine Lab on Etsy offers a Book & Tea self care gift basket that would be a lovely gift for any book lover on your list.

Need even more help with your bookish gift-giving? Check out Book Riot’s guide to how to wrap a book. Or if you’re interested in giving a different kind of bookish gift, consider this list of 50 of the best book subscription boxes. Happy gift-giving!