Gifting print books is easy. All what you have to do is to learn what a certain person likes to read. Then, she will be certainly delighted to get, unpack, touch and smell the new, beautiful book.
Ebooks can be also gifted, but they lack one major factor – the gift opening celebration.
Obviously, you can send an email with a download link to the gifted ebook, but for some people it may look awkward to say: “And the gift, oh yes, check out your email inbox.”
First thing you can do to fix it is to buy a wonderfully looking greeting card, where you can write down your wishes and tease to open the email.
No matter how you personally rate giving digital gifts, you’ll be surprised to learn what ebook lovers think. For most people who started reading ebooks, the status bar of the ebook that’s just being downloaded to their e-reader or tablet is as exciting as unpacking the real book.
The whole idea of gifting is the expectation of what’s hidden. Most exciting are these few moments when both the one who gets and gives the gift wait until the secret is being revealed.
If you, however, would still want to gift something tangible, the list below includes a few good directions. At the end of each idea description, you’ll find a link to an article with recommended products from a category.
Gifts for ebook lovers – recommended sites
Before the list, here are the sites where you’ll find the most awesome gifts for the ebook lover in your life.
Etsy – this is the biggest online store with handmade goods. The selection of bookish gifts is impressive, so Etsy is a must-see destination, especially if you want to gift something unique in style. As all items are made to order, there are several ways to add a personal message – also for the bookish items listed below.
Zazzle – the site offers a huge variety of merchandise, from clothing, to home decor, to personal accessories. Users can upload their own image, or pick up one of the thousands of available designs.
RedBubble – A marketplace for custom designed items, including prints, stationery, cases & covers, or t-shirts. Opposite to other sites, such as CafePress, the quality of the artwork is much higher.
Not on the High Street – unlike other stores, the site offers beautiful things – showcased beautifully. The team is hunting for the best items on the net to include them in the growing catalog of curated products.
Amazon Handmade – if you are an Amazon customer, you should check out this newly opened store section. It includes over 200,000 hand-crafted items already, and is quickly growing. You’ll find here jewelry, home decor, kitchen & dining, furniture, stationery, among other categories.
Any ideas to improve the list are more than welcome. As usual, we are asking you to share your thoughts in the comments. Thanks, and enjoy the list!
9 gift ideas for the ebook geek
1. Personalized e-reader or tablet case
For anyone who got and e-reader or tablet, the protective case soon becomes the first aid product.
Even if the person you are going to gift already has the protective case, these things wear out quicker than devices they cover, so exchanging the accessory once a year doesn’t seem like a waste of money.
Obviously, you can buy the next universal-style faux leather cover, maybe in a different color that black, this time. Why not trying something much more personal?
There are several sites that specialize in custom covers for mobile devices. You’ll find there hundreds of wonderful designs to choose from. Selected art works are being printed on order. So, at this first level, you’ll be surely able to find the design the giftee would be astonished to get.
But that’s not all. Usually, picking up the design is just the beginning. The second level of personalization is up to you. For instance, on Caseable you can:
- pick up a ready-to-use art work, select the colors of the spine, interior, and even add your own text,
- upload your own image and design the cover from scratch.
The possibilities Caseable gives open an endless box of ideas. You can, for instance, take a picture of the recipient’s favorite book, or use a photo from her childhood.
At a basic level, the personalization you can make is to add recipient’s initials to the existing art work.
2. Waterproof sleeve
Here is another idea. A waterproof sleeve. Not a waterproof case, but a sleeve. Why does it make a difference?
A case is something you usually try to avoid putting on and off too many times. It’s there to protect the device all the time, when you use it or when you’re just carrying it in the purse.
A sleeve is different. You have to take it out in order to use the device.
A waterproof case is good for someone who runs an active life, and all-around protection is more than welcome.
A waterproof sleeve is an extra protection for anyone who likes to read in the bathroom, or wants to make sure the Kindle won’t get wet when carried in a backpack.
Actually, here is the idea. If you buy the waterproof case larger than the device it’s meant to be used with, there is a possibility to use it even with the existing cover.
Let’s say, the recipient of the gift owns a Kindle, and already has it covered. If you buy the waterproof case for 10-inch tablets, the Kindle, with the cover, will fit inside the waterproof sleeve.
3. Book-scented perfumes and candles
If you don’t know what to buy somebody, ask a question what this person might be missing.
Many people who don’t want to try ebooks, miss the magic of the paper – its rustle and smell. Ebook lovers don’t miss the paper smell that much, but they definitely won’t be disappointed when they receive a book-scented perfume or candle.
The aroma of paper is not easy to define, as it’s a derivative of several factors (the paper itself, the ink, adhesives used to bind the book).
The old book smell is a result of the degradation of the ingredients described above. Three major notes can be observed in vintage books (and in paper-scented perfumes and candles): grass, almonds, and vanilla.
The time when ebooks become more and more popular is also a time of increasing popularity of paper-scented fragrances. We can’t talk about the major trend now, but it’s coming.
4. Literary clothing
Let’s move on with what ebook lovers might be missing. The way to express they love books, right?
When you read a print book, everyone else can see its cover. What you immediately make clear is what kind of books you’re interested in, and that you like reading in general.
It’s different with e-readers and especially with tablets. People don’t know that the Amazon Fire owner reads a Kindle book at all. There are so many apps on the single tablet, it’s hard to assume you’re focused on reading.
The example of the t-shirt shown above (by the way, wonderfully designed by Risa Rodil) says it all. If you can’t express the love of books by using the book, you can express it on your apparel, be it a t-shirt, or a long sleeve, or a sweatshirt.
On sites like Etsy, Zazzle, CafePress, Society6 or Redbubble there are hundreds of literary t-shirts, ranging from book quotes, to clever texts, to book cover designs. We have them all listed in an overview linked below.
5. Book-related posters
One of the effects of adding ebooks as a format of consuming books is that you maybe won’t need the bookshelf that covers the entire wall.
A disc of an average e-reading device can hold one or two thousand titles. People who switch to ebooks, don’t usually switch completely, and they read both the electronic and print book. But in the longer run they will realize there is an empty place on a wall it would be nice to fill with something.
What could it be if not shelves with books. It could be still something related to books.
Posters and art prints are always an exciting gift idea. They are usually available in many sizes and finish options (for instance, printed on matte or glossy paper). Plus you can order them framed, or even signed by the artist.
There is a great variety of book-related posters. From simple read posters, to quotes from famous novels or by famous writers, to sophisticated wordless designs with books and libraries in focus.
6. Literary maps
If getting a book poster seems too literal for you to give to a book lover, why not trying literary maps.
They are a clever way to show the love of books, and actually let discover something new. A single map includes a lot of “addresses” to explore, as it tries to match the facts from literature with locations.
Shown above is a gorgeous street map of London, designed by Dorothy studio, and made up from the titles of 600 books from the history of English literature.
Literary maps are not new. William Lyon Phelps made one in the end of the 19th century and it was even not the first book map.
When you’re looking for a unique gift no one else is going to give, the literary map is definitely the right choice.
7. Literary periodic tables
Here is another idea for a literary design the gift recipient could put on the wall. It’s the most creative of all ideas listed here.
You are surely familiar with the periodic table of elements, but do you know there is now a lot of alternate versions?
These alternatives in a creative way describe other areas than chemistry, like literature, technology, celebrities, etc.
Some literary periodic tables of elements relate to storytelling, some to famous writers, and some to specific books and characters. You can see the elements from the world of Harry Potter, A Game of Thrones (shown above), or The Hunger Games.
8. Book-themed cases
When you take the Kindle, it lacks one thing. No matter how bright its screen is, no matter how light it is, no matter how advanced it is, it’s not a real book.
Well, this can be fixed by the cover that looks like the real book. Some users give advice on the web on how to DIY a cool Kindle case out of the unused hardcover, but that is not necessary.
There is a large group of e-reader and tablet covers that open like a book. That’s not all. You can find the designs that try to imitate print books in many more ways.
You can get a Kindle or iPad cover that resembles a specific novel. Entire collection from Out of Print is based on this idea. Or you can get a cover that looks like a 19th century vintage book.
Some covers, naming only the ones from KleverCase or Big Strawberry, are not only resembling old books. They are hand-made like old books, using traditional bookbinding techniques.
9. Literary phone skins and cases
Someone who owns a Kindle or iPad must is probably holding a smartphone in the pocket. Who said only tablets or e-readers can be personalized with book-related designs.
The smartphone is a heavy-use and quick access device, and some users just don’t want to add extra bulk by using a cover.
However, a skin is something worth considering. You attach it to the front and back of the device, and can remove very easily at any time.
What’s more there are tons of fantastic literary designs for smartphones, not only the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy, but other less popular models as well.
The skins and cases vary from pictures of vintage books, to book quotes, to designs inspired by specific titles, like The Fault in Our Stars, The Hunger Games or Harry Potter.
• • •
Other lists to explore: