Looking for some last-minute book gift ideas? Whether it’s the holidays or an upcoming birthday, we all want the same thing: to give our loved ones a thoughtful, personal gift that they will actually enjoy! For some people, this is easy; some of us are naturals at gift-giving, and some people are easy to shop for. For other people, this is a challenge; some people are harder to shop for, and some of us either don’t enjoy shopping or put it off for other reasons, ranging from perfectionism to lack of funds.
Whatever the reason — whether you ran out of time or simply couldn’t decide on a gift — I’ve got five ideas you can use for any gift-giving occasion, up to the eleventh hour, and which will almost certainly fit the bill! Some of these require no more than a few clicks on your computer or smartphone, and others are slightly more hands-on, so you can choose something that’s right for the recipient and for you.
1. TBR Subscription
Of course, TBR makes a great gift! With four purchase options, there is something for nearly every reader. Depending on your budget and your recipient’s preferences (and location), you can choose recommendations only or hardcover books, and for each option you can choose a one-time gift or a year’s subscription with four groups of book recs, about every three months.
For either option, once the recipient fills out their survey, a bibliologist will be assigned to peruse their preferences and choose three books just for them! They’ll write a personalized letter explaining a little bit about the books and why they chose them. For recs only, that letter will be emailed within two weeks; for hardcovers, the letter will arrive in the mail with the books in about three to four weeks. And of course, recipients have the opportunity to provide feedback on the recs so the next group of books can be even more tailored to their liking!
2. A Gift Card to Their Local Bookstore
Readers love “free” books! That’s just a fact. So what could be better than a gift card to buy a book (or more than one)? If your recipient lives near you, a nice touch might be going to the bookstore yourself to buy a physical gift card; many stores, especially independent bookstores, will make your gift look extra special, and you can always buy a little trinket to go with the gift card. But that isn’t necessary! Most stores will happily sell you an ecard, or mail a gift card to your recipient if you call them. If your giftee lives far away from you, try to find out what their favorite local bookstore is and send them the gift of a chance to visit.
3. A Themed Book Subscription Box
Does your recipient love a particular genre, adore special edition books, and/or love bookish swag? A subscription box might be just the thing for them if you’re looking for last minute book gift ideas. Check out the best fantasy book subscriptions, the best romance book subscriptions, and the best online book subscriptions. There truly is a box for everything!
4. Make Them A Bookmark
Honestly, you don’t even have to be very crafty for this one! There are so many great tutorials out there. I found a few on Book Riot: how to make a pressed flower bookmark; how to make an origami bookmark; and how to make bookmarks in Canva — especially useful if you aren’t particularly artistic or if you want to make bookmarks in bulk for all your giftees!
5. Give Them An Experience
Sometimes the best last minute book gift ideas are the ones that don’t cost anything more than effort. Consider giving your gift recipient the gift of yourself: read to them! Choose a book, whether it’s new to you both or a favorite of one or both of you, and read it to them. If you live together, easy peasy! If you don’t, consider making a date to get together, either in person or over the phone, perhaps once a week. Or use your phone to record yourself reading! You can opt for a whole book, part of a book, a short story, or whatever works for you!
Happy gift giving!