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8 Free Gift Ideas for Booklovers from Booklovers

Sarah S. Davis

Staff Writer

Sarah S. Davis holds a BA in English from the University of Pennsylvania, a Master's of Library Science from Clarion University, and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Sarah has also written for Electric Literature, Kirkus Reviews, Audible, Psych Central, and more. Sarah is the founder of Broke By Books blog and runs a tarot reading business, Divination Vibration. Twitter: @missbookgoddess Instagram: @Sarahbookgoddess

Gift giving season is right around the corner, and it’s never been a better time to be a bookworm. One great thing about giving gifts to booklovers is there are so many affordable options you can choose to give the super reader in your life. For less than the cost of a book, these free gift ideas for booklovers offer a range of products to gift, from recording an audiobook on your own to organizing the home library shelves of your bookish friend or loved one to becoming a library ambassador. You don’t need to spend a ton of money in order to gift one of these options to a bookish person. In fact, they are entirely free and make use of stuff you likely already have lying around the house. Some of these gifts are gifts of service, meaning you do something for someone else to help them out, like cataloging their books, while others are tangible gifts, like designing and creating bookmarks or custom bookplates. No matter what gift(s) you choose, the bookish person on your list will appreciate these gifts that reflect their passion for reading. And without further ado, here are eight free gifts for booklovers from booklovers.

Free Gifts for Booklovers

Organize Their Shelves

If you’re like me, your shelves are constantly in a state of flux between organized and pandemonium. I’d love to have someone take an objective look at my bookshelves and bring some sense of order to them. Similarly, you can offer to organize your giftee’s bookcases, bringing an impartial eye to the chaos. Offer to organize by author last name, title, genre, release date, or whatever fits what your giftees want to better be able to navigate their shelves. Check out our advice on how to organize your bookshelves for more information.

Catalog Their Books

Wouldn’t it be awesome to know exactly what books you have in your personal library at any given time? One gift you can give a booklover is the gift of cataloging their home library. Through Goodreads and other options, you can quickly scan books using their barcode. Then you can organize them. You can do this with all your giftee’s books, or you can just do their TBR. If someone isn’t too knowledgeable about technology, this is a great gift for them. Find out how to do it here.

Become a Library Ambassador

Often people don’t realize all the offerings your local library has for its patrons. Library lovers can gift their deep knowledge of all the resources that your library system has for the community. Maybe your giftee doesn’t know how to place holds, or they need to discover how Libby or OverDrive apps work, or they don’t know how to get connected with programming that fits their needs. Whatever bookish (as well as non-bookish!) things they are looking for, the library delivers, and gifters can help connect a future super patron with their local library, a match made in bookish heaven. One thing I always give my parents is a year of Millennial tech support, otherwise known as free technology help. This one is similar. 

Make Bookplates

This one is super simple. If you have blank mailing labels around the house, you can easily create bookplates for readers. Just design an attractive label that your giftee can stick on their books to be a part of their personal collection. Consider including their name and a line about how the book is in their home library. For example: “From the library of, ___.” Include a cool bookish quote, like the ones found in this list

Create Bookmarks

If you have some cardstock lying around, you can quickly whip up some bookmarks. Just cut a variety of lengths and widths from different cardstock or heavy paper with an appealing design. Group the bookmarks together with string and stick them in a small gift bag. Readers can never have enough bookmarks, so this is a welcome gift that keeps on giving throughout the year as the bookmarks are reusable. You don’t necessarily need yardstick, either — find some DIY bookmark inspiration here!

Turn Your Home Library into an Actual Library

Have you ever thought how cool it would be to run your personal book collection as a private library? If so, this gift is for you. A great free bookish gift for the book nerd in your life is to turn your home library into an actual library. Each month, hand select books from your shelves to give to your giftee to borrow. Give them a one-month turnaround time to read them by (or whatever time frame works for you), and then bring them back to your collection. Create an unofficial library card from an index card. 

Offer Book Recommendations

You’ve already read a ton of books, so now help connect others with great reads. Offer to create custom book recommendations each month or quarter. Include a way for your giftee to give you feedback, so you can fine-tune your recommendations. (If you want to call in the professionals, check out Book Riot’s Tailored Book Recommendations service.)

Record an Audiobook

This one takes some time, but it is well worth it. For a free gift idea for booklovers, record an audiobook of an awesome book you want to share with your giftee. As a narrator, you can create an amazing bookish experience for the bookworm in your life through this special gift. Pick a book that you want them to read, get a voice recording app, and narrate away (for personal use only, of course).

Which of these free bookish gift ideas appeals to you?

For more on bookish gifts, try these resources: