Teens are notoriously tough to shop for, but if you’re looking for the perfect last minute gift for an avid teen reader, you’ve got an in: books. It’s all about books.
Maybe you aren’t sure where to start shopping for bookish gifts, or maybe you’re just not sure what you can find that will arrive on time. Either way, we’re here to help! We’ve gathered all of the best gift options for teen bookworms, including:
If GiftYa were a book, it would get swept up by a big studio and turned into its own cinematic universe. Traditional gift cards? More like a direct-to-tv release.
So what’s all the fuss about GiftYa? Like any digital gift card, it’s plastic free so it’s better for the environment and can never get lost or stolen. For gift givers, GiftYa is easy to send: just choose from thousands of local and national brands in the catalog, customize with a message and photo or video, and boom – it’s off to your recipient’s text messages or inbox. Last-minute shoppers can send a gift in minutes, and planners can also take advantage of the schedule feature to get their gifts squared away well in advance.
But what about on the receiving end? GiftYa can be redeemed digitally like an eGift code, or it can be activated to a Visa, Mastercard, or Amex that the recipient has on them anyway. Bottom line? It’s always on and applies automatically to qualifying purchases, so they’ll never forget about using their balance again.
TLDR; GiftYa is easy to send and easy to use!
Now that we’re on the same page, let’s get to the real story: our top last minute gift recommendations for an avid teen reader.
Any bookworm will tell you: lending out books is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the only thing better than finding an amazing book is finding someone who will obsess over it with you. But on the other, sending your books out into the world with a friend exposes them to all sorts of threats – sticky fingers, rainstorms, curious younger siblings, and the worst fate of all, never getting your book back.
That’s where a personal library kit comes in handy. Nowadays most libraries have a digital catalog system, but we’re taking it old school for this gift.
The DIY approach: It shouldn’t be too hard to track down the materials for a personal library kit at your local office supply store. You’ll need:
For the pocket designs, get creative! For the borrowing cards, you should be able to find a variety of printable templates online.
If you have a little more shopping time, you can always order a pre assembled kit like the one above, or even a more sophisticated option like this customized book embosser on Etsy.
Dating is always tough, but it’s particularly nerve-racking when it’s your first foray into romance. Luckily, going on a blind date with a book is much less stressful than going on a blind date with a human.
The concept is simple. Grab a book (or a few), wrap them so that their covers are hidden, and write a few hints about what’s inside on the paper. If you’re stuck coming up with hints, try searching for the book on The Story Graph – their tagging and review system should offer up plenty of inspiration.
To round out the gift, match it with some fun bonus gifts – tea that matches the vibe of the book, a candle that evokes the setting, sticky notes shaped like the characters – whatever you can find.
If you have more shopping time, there are also tons of places to shop for pre assembled book blind dates. Try your local bookstore if you need to pick something up ASAP, but you can also order them online.
Coloring books for adults have become extremely popular over the last several years due to the surprising mental health benefits of coloring. It’s a healthy way for teens to relieve the stress of homework, friends, extracurriculars, and college apps, and it may help them learn to accept imperfection. Plus, coloring promotes mindfulness and allows teens to enter a sort of flow state – much like reading a good book.
There are plenty of coloring book options out there for teen readers – here are a few of our favorites to get you started:
But this is far from a comprehensive list. Stop into a book store near you to see what’s in stock!
For avid readers of any age, the perfect day probably involves a good book, a mug of their favorite hot beverage, and a cozy blanket. Lucky for gift givers everywhere, there are plenty of book-themed blankets out there to choose from. Whether it has a map of your teen’s favorite fictional realm or a passage from a book they couldn’t put down, they’re sure to appreciate this gift.
Ah yes, the bookmark. So often overlooked, but so very necessary. Unfortunately for teens who would rather lose themself in a good book than their math homework, there does come a time where they have to take a break from reading to do other things for a while. But that’s where this gift comes in.
The DIY Approach: If you don’t have a lot of time or a huge budget for your gift, a thoughtful set of DIY bookmarks makes a lovely gift. Design them from scratch, or start out with an online bookmark template. Sprinkle in some literary clip art, quotes, and whatever else you think they might like. You’ll have your gift ready to print in an afternoon.
If you have some more time to shop, you can also consider grabbing a more elaborate book holder like the one above to help them keep their place!
Constantly looking for new books because your favorite teen just powers through them so quickly? Then Book of the Month is your new BFF. Every month, their editorial team selects 5 new release hardback books and audiobooks. Subscribers choose one with their subscription – but they can add on additional picks from the month or BOTM’s catalog for an additional fee. And a few days later, their book selection is delivered right to their door in a cheerful blue box.
Book of the Month offers a few different gift options, depending on your budget:
The best part about this gift is that it’s instantly available to your teen reader to start making their picks, so it’s very last-minute friendly.
Ever since Borders stores were shuttered in the early 2010s, Barnes & Noble has been the last big name in brick and mortar bookstores. Luckily, with their diverse collection of books, audiobooks, toys, and games, it doesn’t look like B&N is going anywhere anytime soon.
Sometimes, there’s no need to overthink a great gift. A Barnes & Noble gift card is an obvious choice for any avid reader, teens included. Whether they want to pick up the lates Sarah J. Maas bestseller for their collection or snag the hottest #booktok book from Alice Oseman or Colleen Hoover, they can add any of the titles they’ve been after to their TBR.
Target is by far the most fun of the errand stores. Unlike the grocery store or the warehouse store, the end cap of every aisle has something to delight readers: scented candles to set the ambiance of their next reading night, a cozy blanket to curl up with on a rainy reading day, and of course, plenty of books themselves.
Amazon is now such an everything-store that it can be easy to forget that the megagiant corporation got its start as a humble bookseller. In fact, Amazon even owns goodreads, the social media site that lets bookworms track their latest reads and reading goals.
Still haven’t quite found the perfect gift for the teen reader in your life? Consider a versatile Visa gift card. Visa gift cards are accepted anywhere that Visa credit cards are accepted, which means they can spend your gift on practically anything they want – from that ereader they’ve been saving up for to a stack of new books from a local bookstore or an online independent bookseller marketplace.
Plus, with Gift Card Granny’s build a card creator, you can easily add thoughtful touches to your gift. Make the background a photo of you and your favorite teen together, or find a snapshot of a beautiful bookshelf. Add a personal message for a finishing touch. Most physical Visa and Mastercards print the same day and mail out the next, so this last-minute gift will be on its way before you know it.
We hope that these ideas have given you some inspiration in your gift search. Don’t forget, if you’re still not quite sold on any of these ideas, there are thousands of other book stores, restaurants, and attractions in the GiftYa catalog – so take a look!