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  • Writer's pictureConstance M, A Well-Read Wanderer

21 Stocking Stuffers a book lover will actually use

Updated: Jan 19

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One of my favorite Christmas traditions is stuffing stockings. I LOVE stockings. Sure, gifts under the tree are fun, but there’s something about digging through a personalized, giant sock full of miniature gifts that represent your favorite things in life that just feels really special to me. I really look forward to filling the stockings of my family members and also look forward to the joy of discovering my own.

Putting together the perfect Christmas stocking for someone requires 1. Knowing them and their likes well, and 2. Planning.

Lucky for you, you’re in the right place if you‘re putting together a stocking for a loved one who is a book lover/avid reader. I've put together an absolute dream list of stocking stuffers to make a reader full of all those warm fuzzies on Christmas morning.

I think it's also worth saying, the older I get the more wary I grow of our consumer culture. I just don't buy into the idea that more is really more. The toll that excessive consumerism takes on our planet is also something really concerning to me. So my goal for this list is to generate a holiday gift guide with items that your loved one will ACTUALLY USE and not just store or throw away at some point.

Keep in mind, of course, that every person is different, and so not 100% of the ideas on this list will work for 100% of people. But check it out, because I'd be willing to bet you'll find at least a spare few ideas here that will be the perfect match.

1. Gift card to a your local indie bookstore or (available in US and UK).

You can buy the reader in your life all the bookish accessories in the world, but when it comes down to it, what does a book lover really want? Books, of course! And the opportunity to browse for books and then buy them. So I have to say, the number one stocking stuffer any book lover will love to find on Christmas morning is a gift card to their favorite indie bookstore or to, which supports indie bookstores (available in US and UK).

I also recommend getting a gift card that's specifically for a bookstore so they don't end up using it on extra paper towels or toilet paper or something on Amazon. Force them to treat themselves to a new book, guilt free!

2. Literary face masks

Christmas in the time of 2020! Right now, you can't have too many masks, and we're at the point in this pandemic when I think we are all sick of wearing boring, run-of-the-mill ones. It's time to make them a fashion statement!

Get your reader a mask that shows their love of books for all to see, right there on their face. There are lots of cute bookish face masks on the market now, and I especially love the ones over at Litograph.

Here are a few cute options at Amazon:

I love that this one has the adjustable ear pieces. It helps the mask fit snugly to any face so you're not constantly moving the mask around.

The vintage look of this one is gorgeous! Plus it comes with filter inserts and again, adjustable ear pieces.

Also check out this stylish banned books one from Out of Print available to purchase through Amazon:

I also can't get over how cute this one and this one are from Etsy. If you want one that also supports a good cause (specifically, LitWorld, fighting illiteracy globally), go for this one on Storiarts.

3. Bookish pop socket

Phones have gotten so big that it's getting harder and harder to get that PERFECT selfie without one's phone dropping into a body of water or crashing to the ground.

Cell phone cases are a highly personal preference, in my opinion, and a bit of a risky buy for someone else. But pop sockets are cute, fun, and pretty universal.

4. Kindle

If you haven't seen it yet, check out my review of the latest Kindle Paperwhite to see why this is a gift I absolutely recommend, whether you add it to a stocking or wrap it for under the tree.

5. Bookish Kindle cover

If you're buying your book lover a Kindle, or if they've already got one, the must-have cover is the BookBook from Twelve South. It is a gorgeous Kindle case that looks remarkably like an antique, leather-bound book.

I've had a larger version of this for my MacBook for years. The quality is top notch, and I never fail to get compliments from TSA agents when I take my laptop on flights (if pleasing TSA agents isn't enough to convince you, I don't know what is).

It gives you the FEEL of having a beautiful book with the convenience of an eReader, so it's perfect even for the eReader skeptics.

The Kindle cover is not only beautiful but practical as well. It zips closed, unlike too many other cases that leave the Kindle still exposed when it's in a purse or backpack. And there is a slimmer, inner case that hugs your kindle, so you don't always have to read while managing the bulkier outer case. Plus, there's an easy stand incorporated, so you can prop the Kindle up without any effort. Really, it's a slam dunk.

6. Socks for the book lover

Any book lover will appreciate these socks for future reading sessions:

For someone who prefers a lower profile sock, I love these library card ankle socks:

7. Literary candle

I love a good book/candle mash-up, and there are lots to choose from. This one claims to smell like a library, which is my idea of heaven. I love that it's a soy candle, because you get so much more burn time compared to a traditional wax candle.

The company Paddywax sells candles designed to smell like the libraries of specific authors (not sure how, but sounds fun). Check out their Ralph Waldo Emerson, Jane Austen, and Edgar Allan Poe candles, among others.

On etsy, I think this one looks fun. It's designed to smell like Lallybroch, for all those Outlander fans out there. Stuff their stocking with the gift of smelling Jamie Fraser! What could be better?

8. Literary tea sampler

Last week I gave lots of ideas for the book and tea lover. Plenty of those would work as stocking stuffers. I particularly love the idea of getting a sampler of literary teas in one's stocking.

Check out this adorable one on etsy. Or go for the NovelTeas brand available on Amazon:

9. Bookish coasters

Who needs boring, plain coasters when there are so many cute book-inspired coasters? Show your beloved reader how much you know them with this stocking stuffer that says, "Hey, I know you love to read, and I also want your furniture to be protected from annoying water rings. Don't you feel special!"

I personally have these beauties at home:

But I absolutely love these coasters with the covers of Jane Austen novels:

For the Harry Potter lover, there are these understated House Crest coasters for a steal:

10. Literary band-aids

Everyone needs a band-aid stash, so why not a bookish one? I find these Shakespearan insult band-aids delightfully hilarious:

You think Edgar Allan Poe ever dreamed his likeness would be found on Band-Aids someday? "Quoth the raven, no more sores"


No book reader can possibly have enough bookmarks. It doesn't matter how many I have; it seems I'm always reaching for a receipt, a tissue, or whatever is flat and in reach to mark my page. Some cute bookmarks for a reader to add to their collection would be a welcome and affordable stocking stuffer.

They sky's the limit in terms of design. You can definitely try to get some that are personalized to the person's other interests. Personally, I'd recommend steering clear of the fancy leather, wood, or metal bookmarks. They can leave indents in the book, and they're likely to get lost anyway. Here are some pretty paper ones I've found on Amazon:

12. Book Embosser or Stamp

Any book owner who's loaned out a book knows how annoying it is to never have it returned. Enter, the book embosser or stamp. Not every book owner will like to leave their own mark on a book, mind. Speaking as a lover of antiquarian and used books, I quite enjoy seeing the little personalization from a previous owner inside a book, so it doesn’t bother me to leave my own.

This would also make a great gift for a teacher who loans books to his/her students. And it's the perfect size to fit inside a stocking.

Here are some ones I like from Amazon:

13. Bookish jewelry

I don't wear much jewelry, but when I do, it's often an ode to one of my favorite hobbies, reading. Here are a few fun ideas

You could also go for a lapel or jacket pin, like these

For those who love eclectic earrings, I think these miniature book earrings are adorable

If you know them well, get them something specific to their particular book fandom, like these:

14. Page holder

Ah, the dreaded thumb fatigue that comes from holding open a book for too long. Why not stuff your reader's stocking with one of these beautiful and affordable book page holders?

15. Book-inspired office supplies

Mundane tasks become infinitely more fun when done with fun, book-themed office supplies! Look at this cool Shakespearean post-it note booklet:

Why not get your dystopian novel reader a ballpoint pen with a George Orwell quote engraved on it?

Might seem silly, but it's a practical gift that's also fun and shows you know them and their interests well. That's a win in my book.

16. Literary keychain

Since everyone has keys, just about everyone can use a keychain.

Here are some cute bookish ones I found on Amazon:

17. Audible subscription gift card

Gift them 3 months of audiobooks for $45, or just choose your own gift card amount. Recently, Amazon has added a good number of audiobooks that are included for subscribers but don't take any of the user's credits, so it's become more than just one audiobook a month. Your book lover will thank you for the chance to try out some audiobooks.

18. Ear buds for listening to audiobooks

I have the Apple Air Pods Pro, which I recommend for any Apple users. They integrate seamlessly with an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or Mac. Right now is the time to snag these, too, because Amazon already has them discounted $50 for Black Friday (normally $250).

I really like these compared to the regular Air Pods. In addition to the changeable earpiece sizes, they also maintain a long charge, and I love that the case charges them when the ear buds are in it. The noise pass-through and noise cancellation features have also come in handy. I like to listen to audiobooks on my runs, and this allows me to do so while still remaining aware of my surroundings for safety.

However, if you're not ready for the hefty price tag of air pods or if your reading loved one isn't an Apple user, there are still some really nice, affordable options. I've owned these by SoundPEATs, and they worked really well for me for only about $30.

19. Book-themed yummies

Like I said earlier, I'm all about getting gifts that will actually get used and not just acquiring "stuff." So giving yummy treats ensures that your gift is going to get used (eaten) and not just thrown away.

Here are some fun Harry Potter snack ideas you can order online

Shopping for an Outlander fan? Throw in a bottle of Sassenach Whiskey, created by Sam Heughan, the actor who portrays the dreamy Jamie Fraser in the Showtime adaptation of Diana Gabaldon's novels.

20. Stocking stuffer-sized book

Try getting a fun themed book that will fit right inside your reader's stocking.

I think these literary cocktail recipes are clever and fun. After all, what book lover doesn't appreciate a good literary pun? These are especially fun for book clubs that like to pair books with a themed drink.

Here are some other fun ideas

21. Tickets to a bookish event

Even in the time of COVID, there are so many literary events going on, either in person with safety protocols or online. Stay tuned for a blog post next week featuring a lengthy list of literary events and festivals happening in December for some ideas.

Bonus! 22. Sponsor a tile of Jane Austen’s Chawton home

I just found out about this one and couldn’t help adding it last minute to my list.

Jane Austen’s home and museum in Chawton, UK is in desperate need of repair and refurbishment. It hasn’t had any repairs since the museum opened in 1949 and needs it now more than ever. Especially since the museum has been close for much of this year due to Covid, they are very much in need of funds to keep the house in good repair. For only a £15 donation, you can sponsor a tile and help save Jane Austen’s roof on behalf of your book-loving loved one.


That wraps up my list of 21 stocking stuffers for readers and book lovers that will be loved and actually used.

What jumps out at you as the most promising?

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Hi, thanks for dropping by!

I'm an avid reader and traveler, writing all about literary travel, books, tea, and chocolate.