The holidays are right around the corner and Black Friday looms on the horizon. It’s time to start making those holiday gift lists and checking them twice… And if you’ve got a lot of book lovers on your list you may want to start checking their bookshelves, too. Because if there’s one thing book lovers love it’s adding to their to-be-read pile.
Like always, we’re here to help you start picking out gifts for the nerdy readers on your list. We cover some of the basics and then we dive into types of books (and specific books) that are sure to score! If nothing else, you can use this list as a jumping off point when starting your own search for the perfect gift.
Classic Book-Related Gifts
Let’s knock out the basics right now. There are tons of go-to gifts for book lovers including tote bags, bookmarks, literary themed t-shirts, literary socks, and more. We’ve covered a lot of those items in previous lists and, honestly, you can’t go wrong with any of them. They’re classic gift ideas for a reason: they’re readily available and people like them!
Another low hanging fruit is the Kindle. By now I think most people have gotten over their aversion to books in electronic form. Whether you get the basic model, the beloved Paperwhite, or one of the fancier versions you can’t go wrong. There’s even a kid’s version with a 2-year, no questions asked warranty. Pair them with a Kindle gift card and you’ve got a gift most people can enjoy.
We also frequently recommend coloring books because sometimes people need to have a little fun. But this year we’re going suggest you try something different. There are tons of nerdy crafting books out there covering a wide variety of topics. We’ve even reviewed a few of them ranging from crocheting to felting and more. But, of course, coloring books are still good, too!
The important thing to remember is that you’ve got more options than just buying books your nerdy book friends!
Have Some Fun!
If you are buying a book for them, though, have some fun with them! You don’t need to worry about picking out a masterpiece. Find something that will pique their interests and maybe give them a good laugh. Don’t get too bogged down on picking the right book.
Art books are always a great place to start. This year we saw some really great releases. If you’ve got video game fans on your list, there are some cool new books out focusing on Overwatch, The Legend of Zelda, and Horizon Zero Dawn. Not a gamer? Check out books featuring shows like Rick and Morty, movies like Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and artists like Mondo! Seriously, there are tons of options.
And there are tons of other fun books!
Random Illustrated Facts is hilarious and (somewhat) educational! Paperbacks From Hell offers an intimate look at the history of horror novels which is something you may never have thought about before. Two of Grady Hendrix’s other books, Horrorstor and My Best Friend’s Exorcism, are even more fun.
The World of Lore is a great supplement to the original Lore podcast and the Amazon series adaptation. And if you have any soon-to-be-parents (or just regular parents) in your life, prepare them and their offspring for the zombie apocalypse with Only Dead on the Inside!
Don’t be afraid to explore some of the kookier books out there because you might just find someone’s new favorite book.
Embrace the Horror Genre!
Pop culture is starting to slowly move into a golden age of horror. Between Stranger Things, It, and the slew of other Stephen King adaptations that keep popping up, people are ready for a good scare. That’s probably true of at least one person on your list, too. Luckily book publishers are savvy to the genre’s re-emergence.
The easiest place to start is with the king of horror and his progeny. Not only have a lot of Stephen King books seen cover redesigns and re-releases this year but we’ve also had a couple new books come out from King and his sons. Sleeping Beauties (written with Owen King) just came out recently and Joe Hill’s latest collection of novellas, Stranger Weather, hit shelves last month.
And, of course, Stephen King has decades worth of books to consider including obvious choices like It, Carrie, Salem’s Lot, The Stand, Cujo, Pet Cemetary, The Shining and so many more. Joe Hill’s earlier books a good choices, too, as is his graphic novel series Locke & Key!
Not into King? No worries. We’ve recently read a handful of other books that might be up your alley. Or, rather, your giftee’s alley. If you’ve got a slasher film aficionado to buy for consider Final Girls by Riley Sager. Or if you’re buying for a teen reader with a love for slashers, you can pick up There’s Someone In Your House instead.
Nostalgia fueled horror fans may want to check out Grady Hendrix’s My Best Friend’s Exorcism, which just got an awesome VHS-themed paperback release. (Yes, I’m recommending it again in the same gift guide.) And Edgar Cantero’s Meddling Kids is great choice for horror fans wit a good since of humor and an equal love of Lovecraft and Scooby Doo. A weird combo, I know, but it works!
Books for Nerds About Nerds
Another idea when buying nerdy books for nerdy friends is to buy nerdy books about nerdy characters (no, I don’t think I could have fit nerdy into that sentence any more times than I did). There have been a lot of books released recently about folks with nerdier interests or working in nerdier industries.
Young adult fiction in particular has been embracing the nerds. One of our favorite books of the year was Ashley Poston’s Geekerella, whose heroine is obsessed with fictional series Starfield. Then there’s The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash actually takes place almost entirely at New York Comic-Con. And The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You and it’s follow-up Not Now, Not Ever (both by Lily Anderson) mix things up in the YA romance realm with their truly nerdy heroines.
Of course, not everyone is into young adult fiction. Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, which is being released as a film soon, bridges the gap between young adult and more general fiction as does his second novel, Armada. Both feature nerdy guys (and girls) embracing their nerdiness to save the day.
Meanwhile The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker and A Hundred Thousand Worlds by Bob Proehl blend contemporary fiction with nerdier pursuits. And if you’re looking for something non-fiction look no further than Blood, Sweat, and Pixels by Jason Schreier, which focuses on the making of video games and will most certainly be at the top of our Best Books of 2017 list!
Nerds are cool – and there are tons of new books out there for the nerdy readers in your lives.
Some Genre Specific Suggestions
If you’re looking for some genre-specific gifting options then you’re in luck. The staff put together a few lists of books we’d love to see under the Christmas tree. You can check them out and maybe get some ideas!
Science Fiction & Fantasy
- Artemis by Andy Weir
- Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty
- Too Like the Lightning and Seven Surrenders by Ada Palmer
- It Devours! (and Welcome to Night Vale) by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor
- The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
- Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
- Star Wars: From A Certain Point of View by Various Authors (or Thrawn by Timothy Zahn)
- Sleeping Giants and Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel
- Invictus by Ryan Graudin
- Nyxia by Scott Reintgen
- Illuminae and Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
- Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
- Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray
- When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
- Gilded Cage by Vic James
- House of Furies by Madeleine Roux
- The Witch Boy by Molly Ostertag
- All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson
- Adventurer’s Guild by Zack Loran Clark and Nick Eliopulos
- Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power! by Mariko Tamaki and Brooke Allen (and Lumberjanes: To The Max Edition Vol. 1)
- The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale and Miles Morales: Spider-Man by Jason Reynolds
- Click’d by Tamara Ireland Stone
- The Star Wars: Join the Resistance books by Ben Acker and Ben Blacker
- The latest Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard and The Trials of Apollo books by Rick Riordan
We have a children’s list still in the works, too. Look for it later this week!
Now it’s your turn! Are there any books you plan to give as gifts this year or any you hope to receive yourself? Deck the comment halls with your suggestions. We’ll bet there are some folks out there who would certainly appreciate them!