Constance M, A Well-Read Wanderer
8 Unique Valentine's Gifts for Book Lovers
Are you looking for the perfect Valentine's Day gift for a book lover in your life? I've got you covered with this list of unique gift ideas for readers.
Valentine's Day is right around the corner, a holiday more polarizing than a pair of Ray-Bans. Love it or hate it, do or don't celebrate it. Is it a scam for Hallmark or an ancient holiday and worthwhile tradition?
For me, Valentine's Day has always been a time to express love, with romantic love only one of the many beautiful forms of love we might have for a person.
Chances are, if you've found your way to this blog post, it's because there's someone in your life whom you love, for whom you need a present, and one of this person's identifying characteristics is their love of books. Most likely you googled something like "valentine's day gift ideas for book lovers."
Well, friend, you've come to the right place. I'm here to help you out as you search for a special Valentine's gift for a book lover in your life.
Throughout this post I might refer to your valentine, but whether it's your valentine, galentine, or just a friend or family member who loves to read, any of these should be adaptable enough to gift.
Note that some of these links are affiliate. I'll never plug something for the sake of earning a few cents, but you should know that a few of the links on this post might earn me quite literally a few cents.
Read ahead for 8 unique Valentine's Day gift ideas for book lovers.... and note that I've saved the best for last!
Skip ahead to:
The best for last (nope, I'm not revealing this one up here!)
Pin this post to reference as you shop for your book lover valentine
1. Book-inspired Valentine's cards
When it comes to buying a Valentine's Day gift, you've got to have a card, right? Whether you're the type to write a heartfelt message inside or let the card do the talking, the card you choose says a lot. So if you are buying a gift for a reader, why not choose a card inspired by their favorite novel?
Here's just a few ideas to get you started.
A card for the hopeless romantic:
The Netflix phenomenon, Bridgerton, is based on a series of romance novels by Julia Quinn, the first one titled The Duke and I. If you are shopping for a gift for someone who loves romance novels, odds are, your valentine has seen and/or read it. More than once. They likely swooned when the Duke confessed to Daphne that he "burns" for her. Take a page out of the Duke's book and let your valentine know you feel the same:
A card for the bookish valentine with a twisted sense of humor:
If your valentine loves books and has a dark sense of humor and an appreciation of the macabre, I've found the perfect valentine's card for you. Look Poe further than...
A card for the erudite valentine:
If your valentine loves classic novels and poetry, find a card quoting Shakespeare (like the one below), John Keats, Lord Byron, or Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
A card for the valentine who loves fantasy:
If your valentine loves Outlander like the millions of other readers who have fallen in love with Diana Gabaldon's series, they will love this romantic card inspired by the love story of Jamie and Claire.
2. A bouquet of book flowers
I love this idea for a unique Valentine's gift for a book lover. Instead of getting a traditional flower bouquet that will only last the week, why not get creative and give a book bouquet? It's a thoughtful and beautiful alternative to Valentine's flowers.
On etsy you can find several sellers who make flowers out of recycled book pages. Here are a few I found to give you some inspiration:
I love these book flowers you can find on etsy, because the flowers are made from the pages of Pride and Prejudice, one of the most romantic classic novels of all time.
These roses are made from the plays and sonnets of William Shakespeare, which adds a nice touch, and you can purchase them through Amazon for convenience.
If you're short on funds but feeling ambitious, a nice budget Valentine's gift option for a book lover would be to DIY your own book page flowers. There are plenty of online tutorials, but a word of caution: make sure you're not cutting up a beloved favorite book of your valentine's! It's probably safest to choose a book from Goodwill or a book that's been damaged and unreadable.
Related: For more inspiration, you can check out my ideas for stocking stuffers for book lovers. Many of those ideas will also work for Valentine's Day!
3. Book-inspired chocolates
While researching gift ideas for this post, I stumbled upon the small business, Open Book Chocolates. They are a craft chocolate company that creates high-quality chocolate bars inspired by classic books and poems, like Pride & Prejudice, "The Raven," Les Miserables, and more. Plus, all the chocolate is fair trade, so it's ethically made. What a cool idea!
If your valentine loves books and chocolate, this is a perfect, unique Valentine's gift.
This seller on etsy will custom wrap Hershey minis in tiny little book covers. My goodness, the creativity. Can you imagine the look on your beloved reader's face when they open a box of mini books and also find out they're full of chocolate?
For the best chance of success, this gift for a book lover is best paired with an actual book (or book gift card... try Bookshop.org which supports indie bookstores). Seeing their favorite book covers will definitely have them pining for a real copy to read as they eat.
Related: Check out my ultimate gift idea list for tea and book lovers if your valentine also loves tea
4. A romantic literary candle
It might be something of a cliché to gift your special someone a candle for Valentine's Day, but rather than heading to the nearest box store to pick up yet another generic vanilla bean scented candle, get one that shows how well you know them!
Gifting a thoughtful, book-inspired candle is a great way to show your book lover how well you know them.
Here are a few ideas I love:
A paddywax library candle scented like a classic author's library, including Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, John Steinbeck, William Shakespeare and more. These are soy wax candles, so they burn much longer than traditional wax candles.
A set of three book-scented candles makes a great Valentine's gift for a book lover. They can choose their mood, whether it be new book smell, antique book smell, or the scent of ancient scrolls.
Here's another book inspired candle for your valentine who loves the Outlander books: a candle designed to smell like Jamie Fraser.
5. A book subscription box
A book subscription box is a gift that keeps giving, so your bookish valentine will feel your love not just on Valentine's Day but for months to come. This is a unique Valentine's gift that's sure to impress your book lover.
There are so many companies making book subscription boxes these days, but here are a few of the best book boxes to consider for a variety of interests and at a range of price points, from deluxe valentine's gifts to budget gifts:
The Literary Book Club (my personal favorite) is a deluxe book club box for those who love classic novels and pretty packaging. Gifts are well curated and are wrapped and labelled to be opened at certain pages in the book. I've been a subscriber for the last year and don't intend to give up my spot any time soon!
Sent quarterly; $74.99 per box + shipping; wait list may apply
Once Upon a Book Club is a monthly box that includes a new release book and 3-5 gifts labeled with page numbers. There's also the option to participate in an online book club discussion each month. If your valentine loves new fiction, this might be a perfect Valentine's gift for them.
Sent monthly; $64.99 per box
Bookishly Classic of the Month Club is a monthly book box for a Valentine who loves classic novels and is perhaps more of a minimalist. The Classic of the Month box comes with a classic novel in an exclusively designed dust jacket, and you can choose whether it comes with tea or coffee.
Sent monthly; £39.00 GBP per box plus shipping (~$48 USD); minimum 3 months
The NovelTea Book Club is an Australian owned small company that sends monthly boxes including a book, a tea sample, and other small goodies. You can choose if they will be sent a Penguin classic, a second-hand book, or a new release by an Aussie author. You can also opt for coffee over tea.
Sent monthly; options from A $42-$84 a month (~$29-$58 USD)
Call Number is a quarterly book box that aims to build up your library of books written by contemporary black authors. Books are selected by a librarian, and you can choose the Fiction, Nonfiction, Indie, or Young Adult box. You can choose the book only option or the option that includes 3-4 library- or book-related gifts.
Sent quarterly; book only options from $25/box; complete box options from $45/box
Book of the Month is a monthly book box that allows subscribers to choose from a selection of the latest fiction. This is a book only box, no extras.
Sent monthly; gift subscriptions start at 3 months for $49.99
Used Books Monthly is a no-frills monthly book box that includes 2 or 4 previously loved books and is great as a budget Valentine's gift option. You can set the subscription for 1, 3, 6, or 12 months.
Sent monthly; $8.49 - $16.99 per box
Related: Read my recommendations for 8 great books by contemporary black authors you should read
6. Bookish jewelry
Book-themed jewelry is another great Valentine's gift for a book lover. To give this gift, you have to know a little something about your Valentine's taste in jewelry, so it can be a little riskier than some of the other Valentine's gift ideas on this list. Still, if you think you've got an idea of what they like, here are a few examples of jewelry for book lovers to inspire your shopping.
Jewelry for the quirky, bookish valentine:
If your bookish valentine likes wearing quirky earrings, check out these fun ones. They are earrings made to look like antiquarian books! Just make sure your valentine likes dangly earrings (and that they have pierced ears!). If you only see your valentine wearing stud earrings, I wouldn't take the risk on these.
A necklace for the valentine who's a proud book nerd:
If your valentine prefers understated, simple jewelry, get them something like this book necklace for Valentine's Day. Tip: make sure you know if your loved one has a strong preference on gold vs. silver colored jewelry.
Jewelry for the valentine with a never-ending TBR list:
I love this tiny stacked book charm necklace. It would be such a sweet, bookish valentine's gift and is a relatively "safe" option if you're nervous about buying jewelry for someone.
Rings for the book loving couple:
If you want to get in on the bookish jewelry action, here's an option: this etsy seller makes a matching set of promise rings shaped like books. Isn't that just the cutest.
7. A beautiful book
If you don't think any of the above gift ideas for readers will really satisfy your valentine this year, you really can't go wrong with getting your book lover a beautiful book. It would also make a great addition to any of the aforementioned present ideas!
But which book to buy for Valentine's Day?
If there's a book you know they've been pining for, that's an obvious choice. If you're not sure, try getting them either a gorgeous collector's edition or a beautiful antiquarian book, if they collect those.
You can also consult my lists of the best books I read in 2020 and 2022 for some ideas.
Here are a few collectors edition books that I think are absolutely gorgeous:
You can also check out my list of beautiful classics at Bookshop.org. Get some bonus points by letting your valentine know that your purchase supported indie bookstores all over the country.
8. The best Valentine's gift for a book lover: A Bookstore Date
All right, I've saved the best for last and made you come this far to tell you the secret to making a book lover swoon for you on Valentine's Day.
If you really want to romance a reader, take him or her to a bookstore for your Valentine's Date. No, I am not joking. This is perhaps the most romantic thing you can do for a book lover.
Tell your valentine you are going somewhere special for Valentine's Day, but keep it a surprise. Research a great indie bookstore near you (a chain will work, too, if you don't have a good indie bookstore nearby), and make sure you know their opening and closing hours.
Take your valentine book lover there, and set them loose! You can even give them a set price or book limit (or tell them no limit, but be ready to shell out!).
Make sure you allow ample time here (definitely no less than an hour, but two is probably a safer bet). There's nothing worse than being rushed through a bookshop! Then follow it up with a visit to a restaurant or café and let them tell you about all the books they chose while you listen rapturously. Trust me. Your date will be riding high on all of their book finds and looking at you with all the heart eyes.
To help you out, I've got a number of posts listing the best bookstores to visit in many places around the world (and I'm always adding more!), so be sure to check those out if you live nearby any of these locations:
I really think any of these valentine's gift ideas for your book lover will be a hit, but this last one is almost a guaranteed slam dunk.
Those are my 8 unique Valentine's gift ideas to give your book lover this year. Do any of these look promising for your special someone? If you take me up on idea number 8, please come back and let us know how it went in the comments!
Don't forget to pin this list for later