Rows of small boxes wrapped in shiny red paper and gold bows, on a pink background, set on top of a green background.

Image: Alicia Fernandes/Penguin

100 Books Scratch Off Bucket List Poster

This is the perfect present for someone who’s working their way through the classics, and wants a fun way to keep track of their reading. This poster features 100 titles, from John le Carré's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy to Homer’s The Odyssey and Jung Chang’s Wild Swans. To mark a book as ‘read’, simply scratch off the corresponding square to reveal a picture underneath (advent calendar-style). And if you’re looking for a version for young readers, there’s also a children’s books version.

£12.99, The Literary Gift Company 

Imagine 3D DIY Bookshop Model

Remember being a child, ripping open Christmas presents and then spending days playing with them? Help an adult recreate that feeling by gifting them this DIY model of a mini bookshop. The kit including a frame, furniture, plants, lights and, of course, books. And they all need to be assembled. With a build time of around 10 hours and full instructions, whoever gets this will have hours of fun assembling pieces of paper into books, wiring mini lights, and “building” bookshelves.

£24.99, Homefair

Isokon Penguin Donkey

A book lover is always, always in need of one thing: bookshelves. And the Isokon Penguin Donkey is the perfect gift for your favourite book fan. Designed by Egon Riss in 1939, the compartments of the bookcase were created to be the perfect size to store Penguin paperbacks, and fit up to 80 books. 

Allen Lane, founder of Penguin Books, was inspired by the Donkey’s design, and inserted 100,000 leaflets for the renamed Penguin Donkey inside Penguin paperbacks. The Isokon Penguin Donkey is available in a range of colours, including Penguin orange.

From £595, Penguin Shop

Book lovers’ soy candles

Reading is a sensory experience, so gift someone a book candle to help them create the perfect reading environment. Frostbeard’s candles are inspired by characters, stories and a love of reading. General scents include Reading at the Cafe, which smells of coffee and chocolate pastry; Bookstore, which smells of mahogany, leather and coffee; and Old Books, which smells of aged paper and dusty shelves. Candles inspired by books include Sassenach and Sherlock’s Study. All candles are made from 100% soy wax, lead-free cotton wicks, are vegan and come in reusable/recyclable containers.

From £5.50 for a wax melt, from Frostbeard on Etsy 

Personalised book stamp

Surely every reader dreamt of having their own library where they could stamp their books so everyone knew who they belonged? Make someone’s dream a reality by getting them a personalised book stamp. You can opt for a classic stamp with an ink pad, or a more modern self-inking stamp (we prefer the old school classic).

From £18, SweetBackflip on Etsy 

Penguin postcards

For a fun stocking filler, why not gift this collection of Penguin postcards? Each of the 100 cards in the set features a different and iconic Penguin book jacket, collecting together 70 years of design. 

£14.99, Penguin Shop

At Home with Books jigsaw puzzle

If you’re after a gift that will provide hours of entertainment (and maybe some frustration) with a satisfying payoff, then a jigsaw puzzle is the way to go. This image of a well-loved library consists of 1,000 pieces, and given so many are book spines, it’ll prove a challenge to even the most accomplished puzzle-solvers.


Ikea RÅSKOG library trolley

If you know a reader who likes to keep their books close by at all times, get them Ikea’s famous RÅSKOG trolley. Sure, it’s technically for the kitchen, but every reader knows that this is THE trolley to get to store books. And combined with the personalised stamp, it would make the perfect gift for readers with dreams of working in a library.

£39, Ikea

Vouchers from National Book Tokens

Ok, we know this is technically like getting someone books, but it’s also not! National Book Tokens allows you to buy gift cards in a range of amounts, and you can also personalise cards if you want. Sure, the person you’re buying for will just buy books with them, so you’re directly responsible for increasing their to-read pile, but doesn’t every reader really want someone who allows them to buy books without feeling guilty?

From £10, National Book Tokens

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