A bookish gift guide: What to buy for the bookworm in your life

We here at The South African have got your Christmas shopping covered with this list of gift ideas for the readers in your life.

Whether you are shopping for an amateur detective who is always lost in mystery novels, or you are looking for a gift for a baby bookworm just starting out, our festive reading list has something for everyone.


Sometimes, buying a book for someone can be very stressful, especially if that someone is an avid reader. You might not be certain if they actually like the type of book you are buying for them or if they even like the genre. There is also the nagging fear that they might have already read the book you bought them!

To avoid this stress-mess, rather buy the readers in your life bookish accessories. This is a good option if you do not know the person and their reading tastes very well or if you don’t want to risk buying a book they have already read.

Book-inspired candles

Candles are a fail-safe gift idea for bookworms because they are essential in creating a cosy reading atmosphere. The only things we appreciate more than a good book and some candles are bookish-inspired candles!

Over on Instagram, the Wick and Fandom candle makers make some of the most beautiful, scented candles inspired by fantasy novels.

Wick and Fandom Candle Company. Image via Instagram @wickandfandom

This is a perfect gift for a fantasy reader (think Harry Potter) and will complete any bookshelf arrangement.

Book sleeves

For a bookworm, there is nothing worse than your books getting damaged. Sadly, books tend to get a bit bent in bags and luggage and with the festive season’s travelling coming up, we need to keep our books safe!

Here is where Bookcozi comes in; they make the cutest book sleeves for all types of book sizes. Think of it as a phone case, but for a book.

Bookcozi has several adorable designs and they even have an option of designing your own book sleeve. This customize option makes it a perfect and thoughtful gift that will have any bookworm jumping with joy.

Book sleeves from Bookcozi. Image vis Instagram @bookcozi


As a bookworm myself, I can confirm that we always need help keeping our books organized, otherwise, the house becomes dotted with piles and piles of books that could be sitting neatly on a desk or table somewhere.

Here is where bookends come in: You can NEVER have too many bookends. Not only are they practical, but they are also decorative and add that little something extra to a bookshelf.

My favourite bookends are from Rialheim. These are a bit on the pricey side but will make a very special gift for a cherished bookworm.

Bookends from Rialheim. Image via Instagram @rialheim

Book Recommendations

If you rather want to buy the reader in your life a book, then take a look at these book recommendations. These are fail-safe options which will work across the board, no matter what type of reader you are buying for.


Non-fiction readers can be tricky to shop for. This is because we are usually very set in our ways in terms of what we like to read. That is why this list is curated with universal options for all types of non-fiction fans.

Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey

This weeks reading sorted…. #GreenlightsBook #AlrightAlrightAlright pic.twitter.com/pzWNbtxY7Q

— The Peanut Gallery (@_shanmoho) March 10, 2021

From the Academy Award-winning actor, an unconventional memoir filled with raucous stories, outlaw wisdom, and lessons learned the hard way about living with greater satisfaction.


The Profiler Diaries by Gérard Labuschagne

An expert on serial murder and rape cases, Gérard Labuschagne walks the reader through the senseless murder of Thembinkosi Cebekhulu in an extract from his book, The Profiler Diaries.

Read it in Exclusive Reads, The Penguin Post’s new sister magazine: https://t.co/ZD0ujSw4WV pic.twitter.com/hNU9wxpUFq

— @PenguinBooksSA (@PenguinBooksSA) June 9, 2021

In this gripping – and sometimes terrifying – account, former South African Police Service (SAPS) head profiler Dr Gérard Labuschagne, successor to the legendary Micki Pistorius, recalls some of the 110 murder series and countless other bizarre crimes he analysed during his career. An expert on serial murder and rape cases, Labuschagne saw it all in his fourteen and a half years in the SAPS.

The Profiler Diaries is a fascinating – and often hair-raising – glimpse into what it was like to be a profiler in the world’s busiest profiling unit.



‘The Missing Sister’ by Lucinda Riley

They’ll search the world to find her. From the Sunday Times number one bestselling author Lucinda Riley, The Story of the Missing Sister is the seventh instalment in Lucinda Riley’s multimillion-selling epic series The Seven Sisters.

The six D’Apliese sisters have each been on their own incredible journey to discover their heritage, but they still have one question left unanswered: who and where is the seventh sister?

They only have one clue – an image of a star-shaped emerald ring. The search to find the missing sister will take them across the globe – from New Zealand to Canada, England, France and Ireland – uniting them all in their mission to complete their family at last.

In doing so, they will slowly unearth a story of love, strength and sacrifice that began almost one hundred years ago, as other brave young women risk everything to change the world around them.


A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins

#ASlowFireBurning by Paula Hawkins, has gone straight in as a no 1 Sunday Times bestseller!
Get your copy today: https://t.co/XUcZYUXsCF pic.twitter.com/BAwTTzeq3d

— Transworld Books (@TransworldBooks) September 8, 2021

The scorching new thriller from the number-one New York Times best-selling author of The Girl on the Train.

When a young man is found gruesomely murdered in a London houseboat, it triggers questions about three women who knew him. Laura is the troubled one-night-stand last seen in the victim’s home.

Carla is his grief-stricken aunt, already mourning the recent death of yet another family member. And Miriam is the nosy neighbour clearly keeping secrets from the police.

Three women with separate connections to the victim. Three women who are – for different reasons – simmering with resentment.

SHOP ‘A SLOW FIRE BURNING’ HERE: https://www.exclusivebooks.co.za/product/9780857524454


Women in Science by Rachel Ignotofsky

We have a look at @ignotofsky‘s new book ‘Women in science’https://t.co/tbSfj9rFZA pic.twitter.com/EC03RfDlsM

— Chemistry World (@ChemistryWorld) August 8, 2016

A gloriously illustrated celebration of trailblazing women. Women in Science highlights the contributions of fifty notable women to the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, from both the ancient and modern worlds.

The book also contains fascinating infographics and an illustrated scientific glossary.


Ickabog by JK Rowling

The Ickabog is coming… A mythical monster, a kingdom in peril, an adventure that will test two children’s bravery to the limit.

Read J.K. Rowling’s #TheIckabog here: https://t.co/0A0x8dZwhP pic.twitter.com/083X5TSGkk

— Hachette India (@HachetteIndia) March 2, 2021

The Ickabog is coming… A mythical monster, a kingdom in peril, an adventure that will test two children’s bravery to the limit.

Discover a brilliantly original fairy tale about the power of hope and friendship to triumph against all odds, from one of the world’s best storytellers.

A beautiful hardback edition, perfect for sharing and gift-giving. Brought to life with full-colour illustrations by the young winners of The Ickabog Illustration Competition.


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