Just in time for the official opening of the holiday shopping season. Whether you’re tying on your walking shoes for Black Friday store sales, browsing local independent stores on Small Business Saturday, or flexing your fingers for Cyber Monday, I hope the following tips offers some ideas for the book lovers in your circle. Some are my recommendations and some were curated from a survey I ran among bookish groups on Facebook.

MY top picks for Bookish gifts

Getting Organized for the New Year

How many of us vow to start a new year by getting organized? The beautiful calendar on the left features artwork by Claude Monet, Édouard Manet, Mary Cassatt, and others of women reading. I picked up the Reading Log (right) for myself as well as to use as a swap gift for a few book clubs / group exchanges. At $5.99, it’s the perfect choice to stay under a $10 maximum spend. I paired it with specialty dark chocolates to complete the gift.

E-Book Necessities

Under normal circumstances, I travel for work, a lot. My Kindle library has been a lifesaver, always having a book at my fingertips whether I was in a hotel room or in the middle of a cross-country flight. I use the App on my Microsoft tablet so I only have to pack one device for work and pleasure needs. For anyone who wants a Kindle only, the Paperwhite is a great choice. I’ve also found for reading on any device, reading glasses come in handy to combat blue light glare and provide magnification for tired eyes. The pack of (5) is only $14.99 making them another good choice for a swap gift. Break them apart and wrap up one pair with an Amazon gift certificate for $10. Then, share my Facebook Author page with the gift recipient. Ten dollars goes far when you take advantage of the Kindle specials I post ranging from $1.99 – $3.99.

Cozy Up with a Good Book

Confession time. I have blanket envy. My sister-in-law has the most awesome weighted Sherpa blanket. I don’t understand the physics or psychological forces at work with the weight sewn in, but it works wonders to create a calming effect. Of course, to further a serene setting, you need a mug of your favorite hot beverage in one hand and fun, novelty socks on your feet. Mugs can be found for well under $10 and the socks are $10 making both of them great conversation starters for swap gifts.

Start Them Young with Full Book Cases
Whimsical Book Case Ideas from Etsy

Bookcases with a gift cards taped to each shelf are a great idea for young families or young adults in their first apartments. Plenty of choices can be found under $50 at second-hand shops. You don’t need Martha Stewart in the house to turn a used book case into a personal statement with a bit of sandpaper, contact paper and spray paint. Plenty of inspiration can be found on Etsy.

One more, because I couldn’t resist. For those whose book club meetings devolve into more bottles finished than discussions started…the perfect morning-after mug.

Fess Up – Who Needs This Mug?

I hope these tips help you plan your attack for holiday shopping for special book lovers on your list. If you need a few more ideas, check out my earlier post about book and gift parings: Mother’s Day Bookish Gifts. I’d love to hear from you, too. Drop a comment – did you add any of these to your shopping lists? Indulge in one of them for yourself? Let me know!

BEST Books to give this holiday season

The first tip for selecting a book as a gift comes from my editor, Ellen Notbohm. “When you truly care about coming up with a meaningful gift, you have to let go of all your own preconceptions and personal preferences and focus exclusively on your intended gift recipient, a person who is one-of-a-kind.” Wise words from a wise woman. She offers excellent thoughts to assist with coming up with an appropriate choice. Although she wrote the post prompted by people asking her for a recommendation for an autistic child, they can be applied to any person.

If, however, you’re still at a loss and would like to wrap up a hardcover, here are a few recommendations broken out by age categories. Books are linked to Amazon to read more descriptions and reviews.


Characters to Cheer and Love


Anything by Erik Larson is perfect for history buffs, including his most recent, The Splendid and the Vile. My full review is available at Authors on (Virtual) Tour. Multiple memoirs appeared as suggestions from the survey, including:

Listen While You Work or Walk

I’ve also heard Becoming and Born a Crime are great on Audible, both read by the authors. Did you know you can give Audible gift subscriptions? I have become hooked on listening to books while I’m walking. Wanting to get to a chapter end keeps me going longer and farther.


Young Adult Discussion Starters

Two books which teach the importance of acceptance of “otherness”. I’ve read both and recommend them as a means to start a thoughtful discussion with the teens in your family. I worked with the publisher of Wonder by R. J. Palacio to bring it forward into schools and classrooms based on the power of its message among students. My book club read The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. My full review is available at Book Reviews to Start Your Holiday Lists.


My kids totally missed out on the Pete the Cat series by James Dean which first hit shelves in 2006 and haven’t looked back, expanding into picture, song and activity books. The other series I was surprised to see show up on the survey with a few mentions is The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner from ancient history – my childhood. Nice to see long-standing traditions can survive the test of time. Of course, anything by Dr. Seuss also fits this bill.

A Christmas Story to Read Aloud

Another new choice out for early readers or to read aloud and share in the wonder of the season: Stars of Wonder by Rebecca Dwight Bruff. A re-telling of the gifts of the Magi from a child’s POV with beautiful illustrations. A new Christmas classic.


My Favorites from Eric Carle

Too many to choose – I love picture books. The ones from my kids’ childhood are stashed away in the attic, hopeful for use by grandchildren some day. I always give a picture book for baby gifts along with a donation in the baby’s name to one of my favorite charities, Reach Out and Read. More information available here: Reach Out and Read. If I had to choose one, it would be an Eric Carle. When this horrible pandemic allows us to return to normalcy, I want to plan a road trip with my son’s fiance, a kindergarten teacher, to the Eric Carle Museum in Springfield MA. A day to look forward to…

Happy Shopping! Happy Gifting! Happy Reading!

I invite you to follow my blog for book reviews and updates on my debut novel which will publish in August 2022. More information on my About page. You can sign up to follow from this page with the pop-up, or send me a note through the CONTACT page and I’ll email you an invitation. I’m on social media, too. On my Facebook page, I also post deals I find on Kindle specials ($1.99, $2.99, etc.) for books I recommend. A great way to add to your e-library with minimal costs.

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

2 thoughts on “Book Lovers Holiday Gift Ideas 2020

  1. Wonderful suggestions for gifts and loved the bookcases for children. So creative and colorful. The one I had for my kids I just painted white. I also loved the Boxcar Children series. Happy Thanksgiving and thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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