10 Gifts for the Literary Traveler in Your Life

by Katy Kelleher

From quirky stocking stuffers to grandiose globes, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite finds in our 2014 Gift Guide. If you would prefer to purchase a book, check out our list of great new titles for giving and getting

Screen Shot 2014-12-14 at 3.48.46 PMLiterary Tattoo – $5 – Buy it here

Let’s start with a fun stocking stuffer. These cute temporary tattoos are perfect for the bookworm who has a new favorite novel every month—or the college student you know who is considering some permanent ink. Let them wear their existential crisis on their sleeve (or rather, on their arm) with this humorous Kafka-themed stick-on.

Screen Shot 2014-12-14 at 3.51.15 PMWine Traveler – $14.99 – Buy it here

Here’s another offbeat find: a wine glass-within-a-glass. Do you know any wine enthusiasts who are prone to spills? Or perhaps a vino fan who is always on the go? This glass will solve their drinking woes (it’s also a solid choice for an officemate, because nothing says “we’ll get through this week together” like a wino-themed gift).

Book Plate StaScreen Shot 2014-12-14 at 3.47.04 PMmp – $20 – Buy it here

If you, like me, have a bad habit of borrowing books and not returning them, maybe you should give your favorite lending library a bookplate stamp. That way, they can brand their books, thus making it far easier to return all those borrowed tomes to the right homes.

Screen Shot 2014-12-14 at 4.26.38 PMLibrary Candle – $21 – Buy it here

Did Mark Twain actually smell like tobacco flower and vanilla? Did Tolstoy give off a scent of black plum and persimmon? Did Emerson’s home reek of cedar and wild fern? Who knows! But the Library Collection of candles and scents from Paddywax offers a nice alternative to the saccharine sweet smells of your typical scented candle.

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Wall Adapter – $21.99 – Buy it here 

I’ll be the first to admit that this little neon box isn’t the sexiest gift out there. But who hasn’t found themselves scrambling for the right charger? Jet setters will adore this device—the USB Port adapts to fit into four of the most common plug configurations used around the world and allows you to charge your gadgets either from an AC power port or a USB port. The prongs fit outlets for over 150 countries, including everywhere from China to New Zealand.

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 12.16.26 PMHunter Colorblock Umbrella – $45 – Buy it here

In my opinion, the best gifts are things that you wouldn’t buy for yourself, but improve your life immediately. This bubble umbrella fits the bill. Made by the rainy day experts at Hunter, it is durable, stylish, and most importantly, guaranteed to keep you dry. Know someone who is headed to London for a semester? This would make a lovely parting present.

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 11.41.35 AMPersonalized Wall Art – $65 – Download the app here

Instantly Framed is my new obsession. It’s an app that frames pictures from your phone. All you need to do is give it access to your Instagram account, choose a photo, and enter your information. It takes about two minutes to order a customized, framed print. And what Literary Traveler wouldn’t like a classy keepsake or their favorite trip? This is a particularly good gift for anyone who has moved away from their beloved hometown and feels the twinges of holiday-induced homesickness.

Victorian Whale Bookends – $68 – Buy it here

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Okay, it’s not a white whale, but I think Melville would still enjoy this set of whale-shaped bookends. Made from sand-casted iron, this hollow whale is sturdy enough to keep even their heaviest leather-bound books in place. Whimsical and quirky, it would inject a nice dose of humor to a weighty bookshelf. Make it a gift set and pair it with a copy of We, The Drowned, a riveting nautical yarn from Danish author Carsten Jensen.

Screen Shot 2014-12-14 at 4.18.05 PMGrosvenor Desk Globe – $85 – Buy it here

Named after the first editor of National Geographic magazine, this is a beautiful piece for a globetrotter’s home office. While the style is vintage, the globe was created using up-to-date National Geographic cartography and features over 4,000 place names, as well as raised relief to evoke the earth’s natural topography.

All-Weather Bag – $140 – Buy it hereScreen Shot 2014-12-15 at 12.03.05 PM

Designed by the genius bag makers at Baggu for surfers-on-the-go, this water-resistant bag is a great choice for your favorite weekend warrior. Welded seams and a water-resistant zipper keeps water out (or in, if you’re packing wet clothes) and the nylon fabric is easy to hose off and wipe dry.


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