How to Find Time to Read (Even When You're Busy)

How to Find Time to Read (Even When You’re Busy)

Reading is an activity worth making time for. Not only is it good for your brain, but it’s an enjoyable pastime. But even book lovers can struggle with finding time to read. Day to day life is busy, full of long workdays, endless errands, and chores. Squeezing some quality reading time into your day can be a challenge. Try these tips to find time to read–even when you’re really busy.

How to Find Time to Read (Even When You’re Busy)

How to Find Time to Read in Your Busy Schedule

Build Reading Time into Your Schedule

Sometimes the issue isn’t that there’s no extra time, it’s just that you can’t quite make the time to read. Maybe you forget that reading is an option when you’re easily distracted by binging the latest shows. If you make reading a part of your regular routine, it will not only be easier to remember to read, but also become a natural part of your day. Reading before bed is a common choice for many people. It’s a great way to wind down and it’s better to stay away from screens right before sleep.

If you’re having a hard time finding the time to fit reading into your daily schedule, check out our next tips for ideas on when you can read.

Pick Books You Actually Want to Read

You’re an adult.* You can read whatever you want. Forget the book clubs, the classics, or the boring trendy books that everyone is reading but you have no interest in. If you’re not excited about a book, you’re not going to want to take the time to read it. Even if you’ve started a book and you’re not enjoying it, ditch it. You don’t have to finish it. Your reading time is precious and you shouldn’t waste it.

If you’re reading a book you’re excited about, you will find yourself picking it up more. You may even grab your book instead of grabbing your remote control. And throw away any preconceived notions about what you “should” or “shouldn’t” read. Love YA? Fill your TBR pile with tons of YA. Prefer comics? Get some graphic novels. Want to be swept away? Grab some steamy romances. Who cares. Reading time is for you and you deserve to read whatever you want.

*If you’re a teen or kid, you may have assigned readings from school, but you should definitely use your free time to read whatever you want.

How to Find Time to Read (Even When You're Busy)

Step Outside Your Normal Routine

If you find it hard to break your daily habits like watching TV after work or scrolling through social media, sometimes you need to step outside that routine to find reading time. Consider going to a cafe, turning off your phone, and reading a book while you enjoy a cappuccino. The park is another excellent place for reading time. Find a bench, absorb some vitamin D, and read a few pages from your book. And, of course, the library is a free, quiet place that’s perfect for reading time.

Listen to Audiobooks While You Do Chores

I love audiobooks because they make it easy to read while doing other things. Yes, audiobooks count as reading! And they can add hours of reading time to your day. One of the best times to listen to audiobooks is while doing household chores. Your hands can wash the dishes while your mind is transported into the world of the story.

Audiobooks are incredibly accessible these days thanks to our smartphones. You can get a membership with a service like Audible to access a variety of novels and non-fiction audiobooks.

Also, check with your local library. Many of them offer access to the Libby app where you can check out ebooks and audiobooks for free.



Swap Social Media Scrolling for eBooks

Social media addiction is a common issue these days. Sometimes I pick up my phone and automatically open Twitter or Instagram without even thinking. Time on social media is usually time wasted, so if you swap that time for reading you will feel better and have extra reading time.

One of the best ways to achieve this is to delete social media apps from your phone and download an eBook app instead. All of the major eBook stores have their own apps or you can check out what eBook options your public library offers. Whenever you’re bored or killing time waiting in line, instead of opening social media open your eBook and read.

Use Your Commute as Reading Time

If you commute to your job, that’s extra time you can use for reading. If you take public transit to your office, then you get the option of reading a traditional book or an ebook. If you suffer from motion sickness, you can listen to an audiobook instead. If you’re driving to work, you can make the time stuck in traffic a little more fun with a book to pass the time.




Try Reading Short Stories

If you don’t have a lot of time to read or have a hard time committing to a full-length book. Consider reading short stories instead. You can get short story collections by an author you enjoy or try a themed anthology full of stories in your favorite genre. There are tons of podcasts that specialize in narrating short stories, so you can even enjoy them if you mainly listen to audiobooks.

Check Out Books from the Library

Libraries are incredible resources on their own, but checking out books can actually help you read more. I know that seems weird because you probably already have piles of books waiting to be read at your house. Checking a book out from the library gives you a deadline–you will have to return that book by a specific date which gives you the motivation to read it before then. If you prefer to read eBooks, you can check those out from the library, too.


If you’re a writer, you may need help finding time to write, too.

The Best Books for 8th Graders

The Best Books for 8th Graders

The Best Books for 8th Graders

A love of reading is important to encourage at any age, but especially when kids grow into teenagers. Those early teen years are a whirlwind of new experiences and also new gadgets that can distract from reading. Eighth graders, usually ages 13 and 14 years old in the United States, have tons of fun and interesting books that are great for their reading level. A lot of teens at this age are ready to read books written for adult audiences, but many will be more interest in young adult and teen-focused books. For this article, we’re recommending some of the best books for 8th graders in a variety of genres. These books are perfect for Christmas presents or Birthday gifts and are a fantastic way to keep your teen reading.

Classic Books for 8th Graders

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

This classic book by Maya Angelou is often found on required reading lists, but many students leave school without the opportunity to read this book. This memoir is actually the first in five volumes of her auto-biography and covers the years of her youth, perfect for 8th graders to relate to. It follows her life as she lives with her grandmother in Arkansas as a child and later lives in California where is her life is changed by an unplanned pregnancy.

Angelou’s unfiltered memoir not only gives readers insight into the early years of her life that helped shape her into the poet she is today but also reveals many realities of African American life in the United States. Her story is one filled with tragedy and triumphs that can inspire and inform young teenage readers.




To Kill a Mockingbird

This is another book that is commonly challenged in classrooms, but is essential for young readers. This Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Harper Lee tells the story of a young girl coming of age in the Deep South during the Great Depression as her father defends a black man on trial for the rape of a white woman. The novel is often praised for its handling of serious issues like racial inequality and rape, especially for presenting them in a way that is appropriate for young teen readers.

Based on some of her own experiences growing up as a 10-year-old in Alabama, Lee captures the prejudices and inequality of the time through a story that helps educate readers about these issues. It also covers themes like courage, compassion, class, and gender roles in a coming of age story that 8th-grade readers can relate to. If your child won’t be reading To Kill a Mockingbird in school, this is a great book to give as a gift or use for summer reading.


Of Mice and Men

Another classic to consider when searching for books for 8th graders, is this novel by John Steinbeck. While he’s most well known for The Grapes of Wrath, this novel is shorter and easier to keep the attention of 13 and 14 year olds. It’s also common in 8th grade classrooms and like the previous two books, often challenged and banned as well.

Based on John Steinbeck’s experiences working with migrant farm workers, Of Mice and Men follows two workers in California: George an intelligent man who dreams of owning his own land someday and Lennie a strong, mentally disabled man. The novel covers themes like dreams, loneliness and relationships, powerlessness, oppression and abuse, and fate. It also provides insight into the Great Depression and lives of migrant workers.


The Outsiders

SE Hinton is an author who transformed the YA genre with her gritty, darker stories of teens. The Outsiders is the most well known of her books and is often assigned reading in middle school classrooms. This book is of significant interest to teens because Hinton was a teen herself when she wrote it and the book was published when she was 18. While this book is great for any 8th grade readers, it’s especially good for boys who aren’t into reading or feel like they can’t relate to YA stories.

This coming-of-age story follows several teen boys who are in two rival gangs, one rich and one poor. The novel touches on themes of social class, honor, relationships, and coming of age. It also deals with violence, friendships, romantic relationships, and other issues relevant to young teens. This is another book that is often challenged and kept out of the classroom, but we highly recommend it for 8th grade and high school readers.


And Then There Were None

If you’re looking for a book that isn’t surrounded by controversy and is a little more fun to read, this classic mystery by Agatha Christie is a great choice. Many readers praise this as one of the best mysteries ever written and it’s a great introduction to the mystery genre for young teens. The premise is ten strangers are invited to an island under false pretenses. In addition to two servants, these guests are accused of murder and left alone, trapped on the island to pay for their crimes. They then start to die one by one.

If you’re looking for mystery books for 8th graders to read, And Then There Were None is an excellent choice. If your child enjoys this, it may open the door for them to read other Agatha Christie mysteries or YA mysteries.


Scifi & Fantasy Books for 8th Graders

Numbers

If you’re looking to get your 8th grader hooked on reading, one of the best ways to do that is to introduce them to a page turny series. Luckily, there are lots of science fiction and fantasy series written for 13 and 14 year olds. This book by Rachel Ward is the first in a series of science fiction psycho-thrillers with a touch of romance.

The main character is a 15-year-old girl named Jem who has the strange gift where she can see the date when a person is going to die when they make eye contact with her. That’s enough to make any person’s life complicated, but Jem is an orphan in foster care who doesn’t form close relationships until she meets Spider. Then everything gets out of control when she realizes he’s going to die in a couple of days and there will be a terrorist attack at the London Eye. This fast-paced thriller is fun and engaging for any 8th grader to read.


Sabriel

If your child is more interested in fantasy, they need to check out this trilogy by Garth Nix. This classic fantasy is an age appropriate alternative to Game of Thrones with a little extra magic thrown in. The story is about a young woman named Sabriel who has always lived away from the Old Kingdom and the Free Magic used within. That all changes when her father goes missing and she must adventure with two magical beings into the Old Kingdom and soon discovers her own destiny.

This trilogy is great for fantasy fans and as a female-led alternative to Harry Potter. While it’s often targeted at young women, it’s a classic story that readers of either gender can enjoy.


Cinder

This is the first book in the The Lunar Chronicles Series, by New York Times Best Selling author Marissa Meyer, and it’s another fantastic choice if you’re trying to get your 8th grader into reading. This sci-fi retelling of the classic Cinderella tale features a main character who is a cyborg and a mechanic who finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle when she meets Prince Kai. Suddenly the fate of Earth hinges on Cinder as she uncovers the secrets of her past.

This YA book appeals to fans of YA romance, fairy tales, and science fiction, with a perfect blend of the genres that is an addictive page-turner. This is a great option if you’re looking for books for an 8th-grade reading level.


Maze Runner

Well known because of the blockbuster movie series, The Maze Runner started as a best selling YA book series by James Dashner. While it’s often compared to The Hunger Games and Divergent, the series offers a new twist on teen battling for their lives. Thomas wakes up in the Glade with no memory of what came before. The Glade is inhabited by other teen boys, all arrived the same way coming up a metal elevator with no memory. They’re surrounded by stone walls that make up the ever changing maze surrounding The Glade. That’s their only exit and no one has made it through alive. Then a girl arrives with a message and they realize their only option is to go through the maze.

The Maze Runner series is great for 8th-grade girls or boys, but boys who may be turned off by the romance elements in other YA sci-fi books will appreciate this series which focuses more on other story elements. The series is full of dystopian settings and the story evolves and deepens with each new book as the answers to mysteries are revealed.


History & Historical Fiction for 8th Graders

The Diary of a Young Girl

This is another book that is often assigned in schools, but if it’s not a part of your child’s curriculum you should get them a copy. Anne Frank was just like any other 13 year old girl, until her family had to go into hiding because the Nazis were taking Jews to concetration camps during World War II. During her time in hiding, Anne kept a journal of her day-to-day life, dreaming of being able to go outside and wishing she could be a writer. Unfortunately her family was discovered and most of them perished in concentration camps, including young Anne.

When her father returned to Amsterdam after the war, he discovered his daughter’s diary and had it published in 1947. In addition to being a beautiful memorial to his daughter, the diary is a candid window into the lives of a family in hiding from persecution. 8th-grade readers will easily relate to Anne’s vivid voice and the universal coming of age experiences she had during those years. This is a great way to help young readers connect personally with the tragedy intolerance and war causes for innocent civilians like the Frank family.


The Port Chicago 50

All of history books for 8th graders focus on events well trodden in history textbooks, but this one by Steve Sheinkin covers a story most middle schoolers (and even adults!) aren’t familiar with. In 1944 an explosion at Port Chicago, California killed more than 300 sailors. As a result, 244 men refused to return to work, protesting the unsafe conditions. When it was over, fifty of the men faced charges of mutiny.

This book covers all of the events, presented in an easy to read narrative. It highlights an important event in military history while also taking a nuanced look at civil rights and the treatment of black men and women in our armed forces during World War II. If your 8th grader enjoys this book, they may also want to read Bomb by the same author.


A Night Divided

Twelve year old Gerta wakes up one morning in 1961 to discover the Berlin Wall has been built over night, not only dividing the city, but her family as well. While she, her mother, and one of her brothers is stuck on the eastern side of the wall (controlled by the Soviets), her father and other brother are on the western side of the wall, where he had been searching for work. Soon Greta and her family realize they’re prisoners in their own city and her father wants her and her brother to tunnel under the wall and join him on the other side.

This fast-paced story provides an entertaining read for any young reader, while also giving an insight into the real-life experience of this historic time period in Germany. This book is a great choice for readers who aren’t interested in reading about history, as the fictional story will sweep them up in the experience and doesn’t feel anything like a textbook.


Wolf by Wolf

This book by Ryan Graudin is a genre blender, combining World War II alternative history with the thrill of a spy novel, the magic of speculative fiction, and the relatability of a coming of age story. In Wolf by Wolf, it’s 1956 and Ya-el has escaped the concentration camp she was imprisoned in, but now she’s a shapeshifter with an important mission. She has to assume the identity of a motorcycle champion to compete in the Axis tour. Her goal is to win and get a chance to meet the reclusive Hitler and assasinate him.

This story is great for 8th graders, especially those who are interested in Man in the High Castle and other World War II related fiction. It’s also great for fans of werewolf tales and urban fantasy.


YA Books for 8th Graders

The Fixer

If your 8th grader prefers reading books set in the real world, they will enjoy the books in this section. This novel by Jennifer Lynn Barnes is a fun thriller that explores the secrets of Washington DC. Tess is sent to live with her older sister Ivy who is secretly DC’s “fixer,” someone who makes scandals disapear. Once Tess starts school, she finds herself in the roll of fixer for Hardwicke Academy. Soon both sisters find themselves wrapped up in the same conspiracy and realize what is really on the line.

This book is like House of Cards or Scandel but written for the 8th grade age set. This is a great read for any teens interested in politics or political scandals.


Pretty Little Liars

A lot of YA books for 8th graders have been turned into TV series or movies. This can actually be helpful in encouraging a teen to start reading if they’re not already a book worm. The Pretty Little Liars series has been made into a hugely popular series, but the original books by Sara Shepard were bestsellers in their own right. Plus these books are addictive, so they’re great to start a reading habit.

The story is about five beautiful girls who are friends, when their leader disappears, leaving the other four teens behind and full of secrets. Three years later they all start receiving threatening notes from a mysterious person. Now all of their secrets–big and small–could be revealed. The series includes 16 books, plus three companions novels, with plenty for your 8th grader to read.


The Princess Diaries

This is another series that was made into a movie, with a bit of a fairytale twist. These books by Meg Cabot follow the story of Mia, an awkward Freshman who is struggling with normal teen stuff when it is revealed her father is the crown prince of Genovia. That means Mia is a Princess and she’s got even bigger worries now!

The Princess Diaries series currently has 16 books in it, so there’s plenty to read. There’s also the two Disney movies to enjoy. This is a great series to give to 8th grade girls.


Buying books as a gift? Consider adding some fun bookmarks.


Romeo and Juliet Book Scarf

20 Coolest Literary Gifts for Shakespeare Lovers

20 Best Gifts for Shakespeare LoversEveryone knows Shakespeare. Whether you’ve read his plays in high school or memorized every word of his sonnets with delight, the works of William Shakespeare have had an immense influence on the worlds of literature and drama. For Shakespeare fans, there is nothing better in this world than the Bard. And if you need to buy a gift for a Shakespeare fanatic, then you’re actually pretty lucky. There are tons of Shakespeare gifts available, including jewelry and t-shirt, as well as even more bizarre, odd, and funny gifts. We’ve rounded up some of the best gifts for Shakespeare lovers. Whether you’re looking for a classic gift or something completely original, you’ll find it on this list.

Gifts for Shakespeare Lovers

1. William Shakespeare Action Figure

Just like Jane Austen, this literary hero has been turned into his own action figure. Standing at 5 1/4″ tall, this hard vinyl figure comes with a book and quill, so you can relive the excitement of Shakespeare penning some of his best-known plays. This action figure is perfect for displaying on a desk or bookshelf. For ages 12 and up.




2. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

This is a must have Shakespeare gift for any fan! If the fanatic you’re shopping for doesn’t own his complete works, you must buy this for them ASAP! Edited by two Shakespearean scholars, this book includes all of his works, modernized and corrected. When looking for gifts for Shakespeare lovers, this book should be at the top of your list.


3. Romeo and Juliet Book Scarf

Romeo and Juliet Book Scarf

One of the most tragic and beloved of Shakespeare’s plays, the tale of the star-crossed lovers Romeo & Juliet is often a favorite among his fans. This infinity scarf is hand printed with a romantic exchange between the lovers on oatmeal colored fabric. If your fan isn’t into R+J, LiteratiClub offers Hamlet scarves as well.


4. Shakespearean Coffee Mug

Give your loved one the gift of enjoying a little Shakespeare with their coffee and tea each morning. These large coffee mugs hold 12 oz. of your favorite beverage and feature Shakespearean quotes on the outside. There are three options available: insults, love quotes, and dirty quotes. Pick the one that fits the personality of the gift receiver. Include a package of their favorite coffee or tea to create a gift bag they’ll appreciate every morning.


5. Taming of the Shoe Shakespeare Socks

Socks are a classic gift, often given at Christmas. Take your sock game to the next level with these Shakespearean socks. These knee high socks feature a portrait of William, plus the spines of his famous books. While these socks are marketed toward women, reviewers say they fit men as well.


6. Hamlet Necktie

Hamlet Necktie

This Shakespeare gift is a unique handmade item that is incredibly classy. Handprinted by Cyberoptix, this tie features the title page from the 1604 edition of “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark” by William Shakespeare. This gives the tie a classic, vintage look that’s great for the office, church, or just dressing up for a night on the town. The seller offers 5 colors options, so you can get the perfect tie for your love one.


7. Pop Sonnets: Shakespearean Spins on Your Favorite Songs

Some of the most creative gifts for Shakespeare lovers are the ones that offer a fun twist on the style of the Bard. Pop Sonnets takes 100 famous pop songs and reimagines them as Shakespearean sonnets. The book is divided into sections like “Sonnets of Love” featuring Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley and Genie in a Bottle by Christina Aguilera or “Ballads of Heros” with classics like The Fresh Prince of Bel Air by Will Smith and “The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers. This is the perfect gift for music fans that love Shakespeare and iambic pantameter.


8. She is Fierce Shakespeare Quote T-Shirt

One of the most popular Shakespeare quotes comes from A Midsummer Night’s Dream: “And though she be but little, she is fierce.” This shirt is perfect for any fierce Shakespeare gal (or guy). Made from 100% cotton, this shirt is available in men, women, and youth sizes. Also available as a hoodie.


9. William Shakespeare Cookie Cutter

William Shakespeare Cookie Cutter

If the person you’re shopping for loves to bake, then we have the perfect gift for you. This custom cookie cutter is 4″ in size and makes a perfect cookie in the likeness of Shakespeare’s head. 3D printed with ABS plastic, the cutter includes details like facial features and hair. The cookies are great for decorating or just enjoying warm out of the oven.


10. The Play’s the Thing Board Game

William Shakespeare fanatics and newbies alike will enjoy this fun game. Each player is an unemployed actor in Elizabethan England. To win you want to assemble all the cards need to perform a scene from Julius Caesar, Hamlet, or Romeo and Juliet. This a great game for theater lovers and real world actors–especially because they can act out the scene once they have all the cards. Definitely, consider this if you’re looking for gifts for Shakespeare lovers who enjoy tabletop games.

The game offers four levels of play for different knowledge levels. 2-6 players. Recommended for ages 12 and older.

Check out more board games for book lovers.


11. Macbeth Quote Cuff Bracelet

Macbeth Quote Cuff Bracelet

This stylish gift is a brass cuff bracelet. It features a quote from Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, using the text from the 1750 edition. The scene is the three witches standing around a cauldron casting spells. The result is a beautiful black bracelet with brass text. This is a great piece for casual or dressy outfits and a must-have for Macbeth fans. Made to order, each bracelet is unique.


12. Shakespeare Magnetic Poetry Kit

Perfect for refrigerators or school lockers, this is a gift that will inspire writerly Shakespeare fans. This Magnetic Poetry set omes iwht over 200 themed word tiles themed after Shakespeare’s greatest works. This kit works great on its own or paired with any other Magnetic Poetry Kits. Imagine how creative you could get when combining Shakespeare with Yiddish or Freud.


13. William Shakespeare: An Adult Coloring Book

Shakespeare has made his mark on a lot of things: theater, literature, and now adult coloring books. Illustrated by Odessa Begay, this coloring book includes gorgeous illustrations inspired by Shakespeare’s work. This book is a creative stress reliever that brings you into the world of Shakespeare’s stories.

Don’t forget to get some adult coloring supplies to go with your gift.


14. William Shakespeare Magnetic Dress-up Doll

Let your creativity play with this unique Shakespeare gift. This magnetic dress-up version of the bard lets you apply a variety of outfits and accessories using magnets. Each prop and outfit is inspired by one of Shakespeare’s plays. Makes a great gift for young Shakespeare fans.


15. Shakespearean Insult Bandages

This is the perfect gag gift for Shakespeare fans and also makes a fantastic stocking stuffer! The bandages come with an illustration of the Bard and some of the most famous insults from his plays. Each tin has 15 bandages, each with a unique insult. These bandaids will add some fun to your boo-boo or can be given as a slight to your enemies.


16. Shakespeare, Not Stirred: Cocktails for Your Everyday Dramas

If you’re searching for gifts for Shakespeare lovers who also enjoy a well crafted cocktail, then we’ve got the perfect present for you! Shakespeare, Not Stirred is a collection of cocktails inspired by the works of William Shakespeare. These include twists on classic cocktails and other fun libations. Enjoy a “Richard’s Gimme-Let” or “Lady Macbeth’s G-Spot” at your next party. To take your entertaining up a notch, the book also includes tasty hors d’oeuvres based on his characters and plays. Cheers to Shakespeare!


17. Dashboard Genius Shakespeare

Take the inspiration of Shakespeare’s work on your next road trip. This fun and springy dashboard Shakespeare bust is a great Shakespeare gift, perfect for a gift basket or a stocking stuffer. Place him on your dashboard and he’ll help you ponder, “To be, or not to be?” Have the Bard ride shot-gun and always keep you company.


18. William Shakespeare Deluxe Air Freshener

If you’re putting together a gift bag for your Shakespeare fan, this air freshener goes perfectly with the dashboard bobblehead. Featuring the dignified image of Shakespeare, this air freshener smells like what the manufacturer describes as “Shakespearmint.” At 4″ tall, this air freshener will look great hanging from the rearview mirror of your loved one’s car.


19. Shakespearean Lip Balm Set

If you’re looking for gifts for Shakespeare lovers that are practical and fun, check this out. This gift set comes with three Shakespeare-themed chapsticks. Each tube is decorated as either mint flavored Shakespeare, apple flavored Hamlet, and orange flavored Macbeth. This lip balm comes in a decorative box, great for gift giving. It’s the perfect size to be a literary stocking stuffer.


20. William Shakespeare’s Star Wars Trilogy

What happens when you take the literary stylings of William Shakespeare and combine it with one of the most popular sci-fi stories of all time? Magic! This collection takes the original Star Wars Trilogy and reinterprets it as if written by Shakespeare. What results is a unique, funny, and enjoyable retelling of the classicc space opera. This set includes the originally trilogy: Verily, A New Hope, The Empire Striketh Back, and The Jedi Doth Return. This mash-up is the perfect gift for geeky Shakespeare fans.


Still stumped on gifts for Shakespeare lovers? Check out 50 amazing gifts for book lovers and awesome bookmarks for readers for more ideas.


Essential Books to Help College Graduates Transition to Adulthood

10 Essential Books to Help College Graduates Transition to Adulthood

10 Essential Books to Help College Graduates Transition to Adulthood
Graduating from college is a huge accomplishment. The big difference between college graduation and high school graduation is once the student emerges from their bachelor’s program their future is a little more unclear. Maybe they’re continuing in academia to pursue an advanced degree. Maybe they have a new job lined up. Maybe they have big plans to move to a new city and start a new career. No matter what their next steps are, your college graduate is in the middle of their transition to adulthood. The 20s are a time when they will question their identity, learn to let go of their childhood, and figure out the shape of their life. For some grads, this is easy. For others, it may be a bit tricky. That’s where this article comes in. If you’re looking for a gift to mark the occasion, check out these books for college graduates.

These books range from creative and beautiful book gifts to practical guides that will help your graduate transition into adulthood. They give advice and info on careers, living on your own, and important skills like cooking, cleaning and taking care of yourself. Check out our recommendations below. These make great gifts on graduation day or even to give your kid when they’re finally moving out of your house. If you’re looking for more sentimental book gifts, check out these unforgettable gifts for high school graduates.

Books for College Graduates

101 Secrets For Your Twenties

The twenties are a big time of change for most young adults. It’s the point where you leave the safety of college and go out into the “real world.” Often they’re working a full-time job for the first time, living on their own, and even doing their own laundry. And for a 20-something, making all this work can be a bit perplexing. This fun book by Paul Angone is full of easy to read “secrets” that demystify this period of life. Each secret has a page or two of explanation to help inspire, motivate, and even cheer you up. An example: secret number 11 is “Lousy jobs are the twentysomething rite of passage.”

This book makes a great gift for new college graduates because it’s easy to read and very approachable while giving humorous and meaningful advice. This makes a great gift from a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, or even an older sibling. This is the kind of book your graduate will go back to again and again for advice and encouragement.




Life Skills 101: A Practical Guide to Leaving Home and Living on Your Own

If your college graduate is about to venture away from home for the first time in their life, this is the book for them. Life Skills 1010 is filled with the practical knowledge every 20 something needs to know in their transition to adulthood. To covers topics like working, renting, dealing with roommates, finances, cooking and meal planning, time management, social skills, and even organizational techniques. This is the crash course in adulthood that every school should offer and no kid wants to hear from their parents. Instead of nagging them with your advice, give them this book instead.

The sixth edition of this book by Tina Pestalozzi is updated with the latest advice on finances, searching for jobs, and navigating the modern social world. This book makes a great graduation gift or you can tuck it into your child’s boxes as they pack up to move out.


The Pathfinder

When looking for books for college graduates, often career focused books are recommended. As the new grad embarks on the beginning of their professional career they may be filled with doubts, frustration, or even worry. This tool is a literal guide to finding the perfect career that’s guaranteed to give you the most happiness and success. It’s based on techniques developed by the Rockport Institute and includes 100 self tests to help choose the perfect career path.

This book is a great gift for college graduates who aren’t sure what to do with their art or philosophy degree or those with flexible degrees that could be applied to multiple career paths. Giving this book is like giving the gift of a personalized career counselor.


F*ck! I’m in My Twenties

This is a fun book that adds a little levity to the stress of graduating college and moving onto adult life. Taken from the most popular posts of her blog along with new essays, author Emma Koenig talks first hand about her experiences as a 20-something trying to figure out how to be an adult. Her writing style is accessible and humorous, which makes this a good book for college grads who don’t like to read and just roll their eyes at books of tips on how to be an adult. The book also features Koenig’s handdrawn illustrations, checklists, and more in her iconic style.

This quirky book makes a great gift for graduation day or to celebrate any of those birthdays during the 20s. Add a meaningful book inscription to make it a keepsake treasured for years to come.


Whatever You Are, Be a Good One

If you’re not looking to give a book of practical advice, but rather one of encouragement and inspiration, check this book out. This beautiful quote book by Lisa Congdon is filled with colorful, hand lettered pages of 100 quotes by well known figures like Joan of Arc, Oscar Wilde, Harriet Tubman, and Stephen King. Each page is like a mini work of art of motivation and creativity.

This quote book makes a great gift for creative types on their college graduation day. It’s also a good book for those 20-somethings who already live on their own and don’t need more practical guides to adulthood. Instead, this book makes a meaningful gift to celebrate their accomplishments and inspire them to move forward into a successful life. Don’t forget to add a personal book inscription to turn this into a precious keepsake of this accomplishment.


The Useful Book: 201 Life Skills They Used to Teach in Home Ec and Shop

A lot of college graduates are ready to enter the real world: they have their first job lined up, a nice new apartment, and a 5 year plan for career and finance. But then they realize they don’t know how to find a stud in the wall or sew on a button. These are skills that used to be taught in classes like home economics and shop but are often missing from the class schedule of millennials. The Useful Book helps bridge that knowledge gap for new graduates. Called “the encyclopedia of DIY,” this book is filled with useful charts, lists, and even step-by-step instructions with illustrations.

This will become your graduate’s go-to guide when they’re wondering how to boil an egg, fold a fitted sheet, or even patch linoleum. There are even more advanced guides like how to make maki or build a bird house. No matter their skill level, your graduate has a lot to learn from this book in their transition to self-sufficient adult.


Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance In Your Twenties and Thirties

The transition to working a full-time job and managing a personal budget can be a challenge for some 20 somethings. Responsibilities like rent, car payments, utilities, groceries may be a struggle to handle while also enjoying some fun stuff and figuring out how to save for retirement. Some people make the transition easily (maybe even during or before college), but for other college graduates, it’s a whole new world. Get a Financial Life is a fantastic book for college graduates on personal finance. Written by Beth Kobliner, a personal finance guru who focuses on education young people on managing money, this book is a great introduction for young adults. Written in an approachable and easily understandable way, the book explains the initially perplexing topics of health insurance, retirement accounts (like 401ks and IRAs), credit cards, personal banking account, investing, and more.

This book is a like a crash course for any 20 something to give them good financial footing for personal success. In addition to teaching the basics, the book also helps with getting out of debt (including paying off pesky student loans), saving for a down payment on a house, or even affording grad school. This a great gift for graduation day to give your child all the info they need. You may even learn something from reading the book, too.


My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag…and Other Things You Can’t Ask Martha

If you’re looking for a humorous book for college graduates who tend to be a on the messy side of the spectrum, check this out. My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag by Jolie Kerr is a practical guide to the messes of the lives of modern 20-somethings. She brings her cleaning knowledge (usually displayed in her column “Ask a Clean Person”) to impart basic tidying skills like mopping or more complicated scenarios like cleaning up a ginger beer that exploded in your kitchen.

This is a fun gift–and a gentle nudge–for any sloppy graduate. They will enjoy Kerr’s approachable writing style and her wise (and relatable) cleaning advice.


The Millionaire Next Door

If your graduate already has their personal finances in order, a career in mind, and a strong 5 (or 10, or 20) year plan, then they’re ready for the next level advice. The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko, who have spent over 20 years interviewing millionaires and analyzing data to figure out the secret behind their success. The results are actually surprising and not necessarily what most people would assume is behind most millionaire’s success.

This book makes a great gift for entrepreneurial minded college grads that want to build their own business, retire early, or just be financially independent. Through real life examples of regular millionaires (no celebrities or lottery winners), this book gives all the info you need to follow their path to success and financial freedom.


The Last Lecture

If you’re looking for more sentimental book gift that still imparts important wisdom, consider The Last Lecture. This book for college graduates is actually taken from the last lecture by Randy Pausch, a professor at Carnegie Mellon who was diagnosed with terminal cancer shortly before the lecture. What results is a beautiful and inspiring book about overcoming obstacles and seizing your dreams. His text is filled with humor and intelligence that any one can relate to at any age.

This is a great gift for college graduates who are unsure of their next steps or already facing obstacles towards achieving their dreams. It also makes a great gift to inspire any graduate. Adding a personalized book inscription will turn this unforgettable book into a lifelong keepsake they will turn to during moments of struggle and doubt.


Save on Pinterest

10 Essential Books to Help College Graduates Transition to Adulthood

Still looking for books for college graduates. Check out these 10 unforgettable books for high school graduates, some are great for any type of graduate.


Librarian - The Original Search Engine Mug

10 Fun and Bookish Gifts for Librarians

8 Fun and Bookish Gifts for Librarians

If you have any friends or family members who are librarians, you know how much they love their job. So when it comes time to buy a gift for them, you can’t go wrong selecting a present related to books, libraries, or even the Dewey Decimal system. It’s still easy to get stumped when trying to come up with something fun and creative that your favorite librarian doesn’t already own. No worries, as we’ve compiled this awesome list of gifts for librarians.

These gift ideas for librarians are great to give you inspiration when shopping for Birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, or even librarian retirement gifts. These gifts range from practical to funny to creative and unique. You’re sure to find something for your favorite librarian here. A lot of these gifts are great for book lovers who spend their fair share of time at the library. Check out the suggestions below.

Gifts for Librarians

1. Handmade Stack of Books Necklace

Handmade Stack of Books Necklace

If you’re looking for original librarian gift ideas that you won’t find in stores, this is a great option. These handmade necklaces feature a stack of vintage library books. They’re made from polymer clay and hand-fashioned by the artist, so each necklace is completely unique. You can even make a custom request for specific colors or book covers.

This necklace is a gift that any librarian would appreciate and gladly wear to work or for special occasions. Book lovers and avid readers will love it too!



2. Dewey Decimal Scarf

Dewey Decimal Scarf

If you’re looking for fashionable gifts for librarians, check this out. This gorgeous silkscreen pashmina is handmade and features a lovely print of 800 series of Dewey Classification. The print is from a 1876 book by Melvil Dewey, and this system later became the Dewey Decimal System that is still used in the US today. Librarians will love this little piece of library science history, especially since they can wear it out work or even out for an evening event. This scarf is also super soft and luxurious to wear.

Available as black on sand, black on blush, black on silver, black on cream, black on latte, pale gray on black, or pale gray on charcoal. For a paper-like look, order sand, cream, or latte.


3. I Work At A Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks

Sometimes you need a little humor to get you through a long day of work. Any librarian will enjoy this book, which is a collection of the most bizarre things that only happen in a library. They’ll chuckle as they read the story about the missing wetsuit or the unexpected scent of cooking crabcakes. Gina Sheridan recounts these and more in her book about the weirdest questions and quandries she’s experienced at her circulation desk.

Any librarian will enjoy a good laugh when they read this book and may be inspired to share a few of their own weird experiences in the stacks. Include a fun bookmark and this will become an unforgettable gift.


4. Library Card Tote Bag

This is a gift that’s fun and practical. Library cards and stamped due dates are a thing of the past in most libraries, but they still have a special place in most librarian’s and book lover’s hearts. Out of Print makes a bunch of cool book-themed gifts, including these library card tote bags. They’re perfect for carrying a load of borrowed books or anything else they may need to get them through the work day. And their co-workers will be so jealous when they strut into work with this bad boy.

Available in four colors: natural, yellow, gray, and blue. 100% cotton. Made in the USA.


5. Rainy Day Reads Soy Candle

Rainy Day Reads Gifts for Librarians

Old Book scented candles are a very popular gift for readers. But librarians have the pleasure of being surrounded by the “old book smell” all day, so when they get home they don’t want to unwind to a candle with the same scent. Luckily Frostbeard Studio has other bookish candle scents to choose from.

This one is Rainy Day Reads, which is meant to smell like–you guessed it–a rainy day, the kind of day where you curl up with a blanket and a cup of tea and read a good book. The scent blend includes fresh Rain, ginger, and lavender. This is perfect after a long day of work to relax and enjoy some pleasure reading.


6. Color and Activity Book for Librarians

This gift is great for librarians who enjoy unwinding with an adult coloring book at the end of a long day in the stacks. Made specifically for anyone who has worked in a library, this is more than just an adult coloring book. It’s filled with fun activities and jokes that any librarian or clerk will appreciate. Coloring in this activity book is a great way to unwind in the evening.

This is a fun gift to include with other more relaxing adult coloring books. Make sure to add some coloring supplies to create a great gift bag.


7. This is How I Roll T-Shirt

There’s a lot of funny librarian t-shirts available, but this one seems to be a big favorite. The shirt says “This is how I roll” with an illustration of a book cart. This a great shirt to wear on the weekends when librarians let loose and show their fun side (just kidding! We know librarians are fun at work too 🙂 )

This is also a great gift for any bookworms who spend a lot of time at the library browsing the stacks.

This shirt is available in men and women’s fit styles and sizes, plus five different color options. 100% cotton.


8. Librarian – The Original Search Engine Mug

Give your librarian friend their dues with this funny mug. Back before we all carried smartphones, people had to go to the library to find the answer to their solutions and quandries. And usually the first stop was the circulation desk to ask the librarian for help to find the answer. It’s almost like a super power. And even to this day, with Siri ready to attempt to answer your question, there are still librarians waiting to help you find the answer or the perfect book.

Give props to your knowledgeable librarian friend or family member with this awesome mug. Include some of their favorite tea or coffee to make a gift bag they’ll really enjoy.


9. “Talk Dewey to Me” Socks

This gift is practical, fun, and a little bit naughty. These book themed socks say “Talk Dewey to Me” on the sides and feature embroidered Dewey Decimal numbers all over. These socks are comfy and fun, perfect for a day at the library or curled up at home with some good books.

If you’re searching for gifts for librarians, these socks are great for an occasion and make perfect stocking stuffers.


10. Knock Knock Personal Library Kit

Now your favorite librarian can experience the joys of their job at their own home. Harkening back to how libraries worked when there were card catalogs and rubber stamps to mark the due date, this library kit comes with checkout cards, a rubber date stamp and ink pad, as well as one of those tiny pencils we all remember so fondly. There’s even pockets to stick inside the book cover to label with their name.

This gift is perfect for those librarians who are constantly loaning out their own books and need a way to keep track of them.


Still stumped on what to get your librarian friend or family member? Librarians love books, so there’s still plenty more gift ideas. Check out these unique bookmarks for readers or our megalist of gift ideas for readers and book lovers for more ideas.


Whoever You Are

10 Thoughtful & Original Baby Shower Book Gifts

Baby showers are fun events. They give you a chance to hang out with friends and celebrate the new child that will be coming soon. They also give you a chance to buy a gift. While baby shower registries are very common these days, you may want to make your gift a little more meaningful. One of the easiest ways to do this is to include a book as a part of your baby shower gifts. However, you don’t want to buy a baby shower book that is common or cliche because you risk someone else giving the same gift! Instead, you need to think a little outside the box to select an original book that mother and baby will love.

One of the great perks of giving a book as a baby shower gift is you don’t need to give a card. Instead, you can write a memorable message inside the book which turns it into a precious keepsake. Combining your thoughtful message with an original and meaningful book creates a slam dunk baby shower gift to be treasured for years to come.

Check out some of our suggestions for baby shower book gifts below.

10 Baby Book Gifts

1. Whoever You Are

This beautiful picture book by Mem Fox celebrates diversity and cultures from across the world. Young readers and babies will enjoy folk art, oil painted illustrations by Leslie Straub. The beautiful poem text helps teach the baby to accept and love the diversity they will encounter as they grow.

This is a great baby shower gift to consider for families who are adopting children from other countries, multi-cultural families, or just a unique gift option for your expecting friend.




2. Happy Birthday to You! by Dr. Seuss

This is meant to be a birthday gift, but I would argue the day you’re born is the most important birthday of them all! This classic book from Dr. Seuss is filled with his signature bright and playful illustrations. The Great Birthday Bird takes the reader on a special birthday trip. The celebration includes a trip throughout the world to eat whatever you want, visit wherever you want, and make your day special.

With a memorable baby book inscription in the front, this book will become a precious keepsake to be revisited each year on the baby’s birthday.


3. Beatrix Potter the Complete Tales of Peter Rabbit

Beatrix Potter’s classic stories of the young Peter Rabbit and his animal friends have been beloved by children for over a century. This gorgeous hardcover collection features all 23 tales fully unabridged, plus four previously unpublished stories.

Many people wouldn’t consider buying a book like this for a baby shower, but this is an investment in the baby’s reading future so they will grow up on these classic animal tales. Adding a meaningful inscription will make this a keepsake that the child will want to keep and pass on to their own children someday.


4. Little Hoot

If you’re looking for a bedtime story book to give as a baby shower gift, this is an original option instead of the cliche Goodnight Moon. This cutely illustrated children’s book flips the dilema of a kid who won’t go to sleep. Instead, Little Hoot wants nothing more than to go to bed while his parents want him to stay up and play.

This book works well as a little bit of reverse psychology to help encourage any little one to go to bed. Toddlers and babies will want to hear this story again and again at bedtime and love the full-color illustrations. This is a great choice for a baby shower book gift.


5. The Geek Baby Book: A Memory Journal

This book gift is a little different. It’s not a story book but instead a baby memory book. And it’s targeted for geeky parents. While many millenial parents aren’t interested in the traditional memory books of their childhood, they will love this one. It helps track all the special memories of first tooth, first steps, and first words. But it also takes advantage of the geeky love of video games and fantasy scifi movies.

The interactive pages and projects also track first viewing of Star Wars or rolling a natural 20. This helps them track what really matters for a little geek in training and will create a unique and meaningful keepsake for the whole family. This is a must-have baby shower gift for geeky parents.


6. Pat the Bunny

This classic interactive story is one of the best baby book gifts to give for baby showers or even first birthdays. Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt prompts the reader to pat soft bunny fur, lift fabric to play peak-a-boo, and more fun pages. This allows the book to easily capture the attention of babies and young toddlers.

This book originally was released in the 1940s and was the first touch and feel book of its kind. This special edition re-release includes two additional touch and feel pages previously removed from the book.


7. ABCs of Space

If you want a book gift that goes beyond a traditional bedtime story, this one is all about knowledge. Taking the traditional ABC book format and adding some extra science, ABCs of Space is an introductory look at astronomy perfect for little minds.

What makes this book and the others in the Baby University Series so cool, is it features three levels of learning, so as the child grows, their learning and understanding grow. Each letter has three sentences, starting with the very basic and then adding more and more information. This book and the others in the series are perfect for introducing young children to STEM concepts.


8. Color Me: Who’s in the Ocean?

If you’re searching for unique baby book gifts that will really stand out at the shower, check this out. Surya Sajnani has a series of Baby’s First Bath Books, including this one Color Me: Who’s in the Ocean?. This gorgeously illustrated book appears to be black and white until it’s dipped in water to reveal the vivid colors.

This book is perfect to distract fussy babies during bathtime. It also makes a great addition to a gift basket featuring towels, soap, tub toys, and other bathtime items.


9. You Are New

Illustrator and author Lucy Knisley has created this vivid book that’s perfect for babies and newborns. In her unique illustration style, Lucy features a diverse range of babies on each page. The book’s text rhymes through all the fun parts of being a new baby.

A cute story for bedtime or any time of day, it makes a lovely baby shower gift for expecting parents.


10. The Wonderful Things You Will Be

Some of the sweetest books for new parents and infants are those that celebrate dreams and the future to come. Emily Windield Martin’s The Wonderful Things You Will Be captures all the thoughts parents have when they see their child. It’s a sweet gift for the parents who can use it to share their love with their little one.

While this is a contemporary children’s book, Emily’s classic illustration style has a retro mid-century feel that makes it seem like an instant classic. This is a book that will never go out of style and will be cherished as the child grows older.


Now that you’ve found the perfect baby shower book gift, learn how to write a meaningful book inscription to turn it into an unforgettable keepsake.


History Has Its Eyes on You Coffee Mug

15 Must Have Gifts for Hamilton Fans

15 Must Have Gifts for Hamilton Fans

If you have a Hamilton fan in your life (or are one yourself), you know how much they love the hit Broadway musical written by superstar Lin-Manuel Miranda. They probably can’t stop listening to the soundtrack or complaining about how hard it is to get tickets. If you’re not sure what kind of gift to give your favorite Hamilton fan, this article covers the must-have gifts for every fan who can’t stop obsessing over the music and story of this revolutionary show. (You may even find something you want for yourself!)

Obviously, the absolute best gift you can get for any Hamilton fan is tickets to the show, but unless you have some amazing connections (or good luck with the ticket lottery), that’s not going to happen. Instead, this list covers the basics for new Hamilton fans and also includes cool and creative gifts for the fanatics that have been obsessed with the show since the beginning. Check out all of the Hamilton gifts below.

Must Have Gifts for Hamilton Fans

1. Hamilton Characters Plushy Dolls

Hamilton Characters Plushy Dolls

If you’re looking for original gifts for Hamilton fans, check this out. These cute little plushies are handmade stuffed dolls of characters from the musical Hamilton. Made by a private creator and artist, these dolls are unique and it’s guaranteed that even the most fanatic Hamilton fan won’t have them.

As of the time of writing, there are nine characters available: Thomas Jefferson, Eliza Schuyler (2 versions), King George, Alexander Hamilton (2 versions), Lafayette, Aaron Burr, and Angelica Schuyler.




2. Hamilton Original Broadway Cast Recording CD

The first thing every Hamilton fan needs is the Original Broadway Cast recording of this amazing show. This music has won a Grammy and a Tony, in addition to the hearts of millions of fans. The 2 CD set comes with an insert featuring photos and lyrics from the show. This soundtrack features all 46 songs from the Broadway production and was produced by Questlove and Black Thought from The Roots.

This is also a great gift for anyone you want to turn into a Hamilton fan because they’ll be hooked from their first listen to this soundtrack.


3. Schuyler Sisters Button Pins

Schuyler Sisters Button Pins

For fans who are ready to get to work, are these amazing Schuyler Sisters pins. Featuring the costumes and lyrics from the song The Schuyler Sisters, it will remind any fan of the iconic music of this show. These buttons are 1 3/4″ pin backs and come in a perfect set of three. They’re perfect for pinning to a bag or jacket.


4. Hamilton 2022 Wall Calendar

What better way to pay tribute to the Tony winning musical every day by looking at this gorgeous 2019 Hamilton wall calendar. It features gorgeous black and white images of the Original Broadway Cast, along with memorable lyrics and quotes from the show. It’s a great way to show your fandom at home or even at the office.


5. History Has Its Eyes on You Coffee Mug

History Has Its Eyes on You Coffee Mug

One of the lasting messages from the show is how the impact of our lives will be seen in the future and how history will remember us. This coffee mug includes the lyric History has its eyes on you. This is the perfect gift to remind the giftee to live every day working toward their goals.

Make it a fantastic gift set by including their favorite coffee or tea in the present.


6. Hamilton: The Revolution Book About the Musical

Known as the “Hamiltome” by fans, this book is the perfect gift for fans of this revolutionary musical. This book not only uncovers the history behind the story that inspired the musical, but also the evolution of the project that turned into the hottest modern musical. Lin-Manuel Miranda himself worked on this book to trace the development of the musical from his first performance at the White House in 2009 to opening on Broadway. It also includes footnotes for all of the lyrics, revealing inspirations behind the rhymes. This book is also chock full of behind the scenes and on stage photos. This is a must have for all true Hamilton fans.


7. Hamilton Lyrics Stemless Wine Glass

Raise a Glass to Freedom Hamilton Wine Glass

We can’t resist all of these Hamilton quote gifts. This stemless wine glass is perfect with the quote “Raise a Glass to Freedom.” This custom, made to order gift is a 20 oz stemless wine glass featuring permanent vinyl lettering. These glasses are perfect for enjoying a glass of wine, cocktail, or even soda (for underage Hamilton fans).


8. Alexander Hamilton Biography by Ron Chernow

This is the book that started it all. While on vacation, Lin-Manuel Miranda read this biography of the founding father Alexander Hamilton which sparked the idea for this unique hip-hop musical. Now you can learn the real life history behind the Tony Award winning musical.


9. “I Want a Revelation” Schuyler Sisters Print

"I Want a Revelation" Schuyler Sisters Print Hamilton Gift

Another wonderful piece celebrating the characters of The Schuyler Sisters (Eliza, Angelica, …and Peggy), this print features a beautiful drawing of the sisters during their song “The Schuyler Sisters.” This print looks great framed and on the wall of any Hamilton fan’s home.

Keep scrolling to see a gift that Peggy fans will absolutely love (hint it’s #12).


10. The Hamilton Mixtape

The Hamilton Mixtape was the original title of the musical that has now taken Broadway and the world by storm. Now it’s the name of a brand new album. Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda conceived this as a companion to the show’s soundtrack, featuring a combination of remixes of songs from the show by famous musicians, demos and unreleased songs from the show, and songs inspired by the musical.

The album features 23 tracks and includes artists such as The Roots, Busta Rhymes, Usher, Sia, Queen Latifah, Regina Spektor, Kelly Clarkson, Alicia Keys, Ashanti, Ja Rule, John Legend, Chance the Rapper, and more. This CD is a must have for all Hamilton fans, and since it’s not out until December, it makes a great Hamilton gift this Holiday season.


11. “Awesome. Wow.” Hamilton Quote Keychain

"Awesome. Wow." Hamilton Quote Keychain

One of the most beloved side characters in the musical Hamilton is King George. Played by Jonathan Groff in the Original Broadway Cast, this keychain captures one of his perfect lines of sarcasm. This line is sung in response to America fighting for and winning its independence from England. Better than the Hamilton merchandise you can buy at the theater, King George fans will absolutely love this keychain.


12. “And Peggy” T-Shirt

Many fans love the youngest Schuyler sister, Peggy. This shirt is in honor of her most famous line from the song “The Schuyler Sisters” where she bursts in saying “And Peggy!” The shirt is available in 5 colors and men, women and youth sizes, so you can buy it for any fan who can’t get enough Peggy in their life.


13. Hamilton Funko Pop Vinyl Figure

If the Hamilton fan in your life also loves collecting Funko Pop! Vinyl figures, then this is the absolute must-have gift you should buy them! Funko has released their own set of vinyl figures based on the characters from Hamilton. The full set includes 6 figures: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, Angelica, Eliza, Washington and Peggy.


14. Hamilton: An Adult Coloring Book

Hamilton Gifts for coloring book fans just got a lot more interesting. This brand new release is an adult coloring book covering the life of Alexander Hamilton. It includes many scenes made famous by the musical Hamilton, like the Battle of Yorktown, Hamilton moving to New York, and the wedding of Alexander and Eliza. Any Hamilton fan will enjoy de-stressing by listening to the Hamilton Official Broadway Recording and coloring in this awesome, historical coloring book. They can even add their own hip-hop flourishes, or write in the lyrics of their favorite Hamiltunes.

Don’t forget to include colored pencils, pens, or markers to create an unforgettable gift.


15. Young, Scrappy, and Hungry Hamilton Cuff Bracelet

Young, Scrappy, and Hungry Hamilton Cuff Bracelet

Jewelry is a great option for Hamilton musical gifts, especially when they feature lyrics from the show! This cuff bracelet features the beloved line “Young, scrappy, and hungry” from Alexandr’s song “My Shot.” This not only an awesome Hamilton gift, but it’s a great way to give a little motivation to young artists and writers at the beginnings of their career. Just like Hamilton, they can use their energy and desire to make big things happen in their life and for the world.


Want to see fun and creative gifts for writers and book lovers? Try our megalists of gifts for writers and gifts for readers.


Best Books on Writing Fiction

5 Best Books on Writing Fiction

Best Books on Writing Fiction

Some of the best gifts for writers are practical gifts that help authors improve their craft. A book on writing craft can help a writer improve their fiction and inspire them to create new and better stories, characters, dialogue, and more. We went out in search of the best books on writing fiction, focusing on the problems and issues many new novelists and fiction writers face.

The books we’ve gathered here will help with issues like how to write realistic and engaging dialogue. How to create believable characters. How to write a satisfying ending. How to write a story beginning that will hook a reader. How to use dialogue and action to reveal information about your characters. And more.

Whether you’re looking for a gift for a writer or you’re an aspiring author yourself, the books in this article are must have craft books for anyone who is writing fiction.

The Best Books on Writing Fiction and Writing Craft

Beginnings, Middles & Ends by Nancy Kress

This writing book by Hugo and Nebula award-winning author Nancy Kress covers the three most important parts of a story: the beginning, the middle, and the end. It’s easy for new writers to start with a fantastic idea that peters off throughout the story for a disappointing ending. Or maybe the beginning is so slow an editor doesn’t bother to finish it, even though the ending would blow their socks off. This book solves all those problems and more.

In this book, Kress gives solutions to common storytelling problems, so your story is fresh and engaging from beginning to end. Learn how to translate your story from the idea in your head to the page. You’ll learn how to write a beginning that will hook editors and readers. Then you’ll make your middle work towards the ending and develop your characters. And finally, you’ll learn how to deliver on your promises and give the reader an unforgettable ending. This is a must-read for any aspiring writer and one of the best books on writing fiction.




Plot Perfect: How to Build Unforgettable Stories Scene by Scene

This book by Paula Munier will help you build an exceptional plot for your story or novel. The goal of this guide is to help you make a page-turning plot that a reader can’t put down. It reveals the way to build a story structure that works, no matter the genre, to engage your reader and keep them wondering what will happen next.

This book also touches on developing characters, using dialogue, and defining your story’s theme to help add depth to your story. In addition to her amazing writing advice, this book also includes writing exercises and plotting templates so you can easily apply her wisdom to your work in progress. New writers and experienced novelists alike will find plenty of useful tips in this book.


Creating Characters: The Complete Guide to Populating Your Fiction

No matter how good a story idea is, you’ll lose the interest of readers and editors if the characters are flat or stereotypical. If you need help developing your characters so they feel like real people, this book can help you do it. Featuring the advice of over a dozen bestselling authors, this book collects essays covering things from character basics to using other story elements like point of view and dialogue to help explore your characters.

The instructions in this book will help you write realistic and relatable protagonists, as well as complex and interesting antagonists and villains. There’s even an entire section on supporting characters, so the entire cast of your novel or story will be well rounded. This book will lead you through all parts of your writing process, from brainstorming to the first draft and even through revision. This is the crash course in characters that every writer needs.


How to Write Dazzling Dialogue: The Fastest Way to Improve Any Manuscript

Dialogue is a tricky part of writing. The author must find the right balance between realism and keeping the story interesting and readable. And if dialogue is dull or boring, the story will drag and you will lose the reader’s interest. This book by writing coach James Scott Bell aims to demystify the process of writing dialogue so that it is snappy and engaging for the reader.

Using the techniques and exercises from his writing seminars, Bell wrote this book to help guide writers to improve the speech and dialogue in their short stories, novels, and screenplays. Using examples from popular books and movies, he’ll show you what dazzling dialogue is and the secrets to crafting memorable dialogue. This book is a must read for any writer who struggles with dialogue.


Creating Short Fiction: The Classic Guide to Writing Short Fiction

Most writers start with short stories as they develop their writing skills. This book by writer Damon Knight covers the entire process of writing shorting fiction from beginning to end. Knight spent decades teaching writing and this book offers all of his best writing advice on the craft of writing. The book covers the entirety of the writing process, starting with the first task of developing your talent as a writer. Then there are sections on getting ideas and translating them to stories, and the actual nuts and bolts of writing the story itself.

If you can only buy one book on writing fiction, I would recommend this one. It is one of the best books on writing fiction. In addition to Knight’s sound writing advice, the book contains many writing exercises he used in his own classrooms. Reading this book is like taking a creative writing class or workshop and is a great resource for any self-taught or newer writer.


Looking for other practical gifts for writers? Check out the essential reference books every writer should have on their desk. You should also consider the best software for writing a book or novel and tools to destroy writer’s block to help keep the creativity flowing.

Want to see fun and creative gifts? Try our megalists of gifts for writers and gifts for readers.


Essential Reference Books Writers Must Have on Their Desk

5 Essential Reference Books Writers Must Have on Their Desk

Essential Reference Books Writers Must Have on Their Desk

The art of writing is not a simple one. It required plenty of practice, research, planning, and actually writing. To make this task a little easier, it helps to keep reference books on hand to help dispel writer’s block and answer questions about spelling or grammar. We’ve come up with our top list of must have reference books for writers.

If you’re looking to buy a practical gift for a writer or aspiring author, any of these reference books will easily earn a spot on their desk and will be well used as they write new stories. Include a fun bookmark to add a little extra fun to the gift.

The books in the list are mostly selected for fiction and creative writing, though some of them are perfect for any kind of writer, including non-fiction writers, bloggers, and journalists. These books should definitely be owned by novelists and short story writers to help improve their fiction.

The Best Reference Books for Writers

Master Lists for Writers: Thesauruses, Plots, Character Traits, Names, and More

This book from Bryn Donovan aims to help you write your story more quickly with an all-in-one reference book. As you may guess from the title, this book is a collection of lists to help inspire you and be more creative with your stories and your writing.

Some of the interesting lists included in this book are:

  • Emotional Descriptions
  • Scents for Settings
  • Plot Points That Can Melt Reader’s Hearts
  • Motives for Murder
  • Ways People Say No
  • 100 Negative Character Traits

This book is chock full of great ideas and lists, broken into seven sections that cover all the parts of writing: characters, dialogue, action, plotting, setting, and description. This is a great book to have on hand when you’re stuck and need a little inspiration or nudge in the right direction.




Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus

With the prevalence of the internet and smartphones, most reference information (including spelling and word definitions) is available with a tap or a question to Siri. A writer should have a Dictionary and a Thesaurus on their desk. This Dictionary and Thesaurus combo from Merriam-Webster gives you the benefits of both in one convenient book.

Why does a writer need a physical dictionary? It’s not just because it looks good on their desk. Referencing a dictionary not only helps a writer find the correct spelling or alternate words to use, but it helps expand their vocabulary. Writers should keep a dictionary close at hand when they read and look up any words they’re unfamiliar with. Using a print dictionary means you’ll have to flip through many pages to find the word you’re looking for. While you’re searching you’ll discover new words and definitions, something that doesn’t happen with a computer dictionary. This helps increase your vocabulary and improve your writing. A good dictionary and thesaurus is a worthwhile investment for any high school or college student and a must-have for an aspiring writer.


The Grammar Bible

The mechanics of writing are boring and the least glamorous part of the writing process. But, they’re a necessary part of the written word, so every writer needs to understand grammar. This reference book by Michael Strumpf, the creator of the National Grammar Hotline, is the only book you need to answer all of your grammar questions. In fact, instead of being written like a boring college textbook, Michael has structured the book to answer actual grammar questions he’s encountered over the years.

The entire book is written in a fun and approachable way, giving you the grammar knowledge you need to write your story without boring you to sleep. Every writer should keep this grammar guide on hand to quickly and easily clear up questions and help produce a clean, easy to read manuscript.


100,000+ BABY NAMES: The Most Complete Baby Name Book

There’s nothing that can break your writing flow worse than having a new character walk into a scene and being absolutely stumped on what to call them. A good baby name book helps take the challenge out of naming characters. The benefit you’ll get from a name book comes in it’s reference value.

The book we’ve recommended by Bruce Lansky covers the more important thing you need in a name book: name meanings and name origins. This helps you find authentic names for characters of any background and also helps you if you want to give your character a name with a significant meaning. Another bonus with this book is that in addition to the thousands and thousands of names, it also includes articles about gender-neutral names, naming trends, and more.

Keeping a baby name book on your desk is a great reference tool to add diversity and creativity to your character names.


Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print

This is the number one book I recommend to my writer friends and one of the most essential reference books for writers. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers is written by two professional editors to help guide newer and aspiring writers take a manuscript with good potential and turn it into a publishable story or novel.

The book is divided into several sections like characterization, dialogue mechanics, voice, etc. Each section talks about weak writing to look for and correct, using examples from real manuscripts. At the end of the section is a checklist of points to use when editing your own writing, and then a few writing exercises to help you practice the new techniques.

This is an essential book to keep on your writing desk. Read it all the way through and then reference it again and again as you edit your work.

Save on Pinterest

5 Essential Reference Books All Writers Should Have on Their Desk


Looking for more practical gifts for writers? Check out software for writing a book, cheaper Freewrite alternatives, magazine subscriptions for writers and awesome journal gifts for writers.

Want to see fun and creative gifts? Try our megalists of gifts for writers and gifts for readers.


Happiness Is... Books for High School Graduates

10 Unforgettable Books for High School Graduates

10 Unforgettable Books for High School Graduates

Books make some of the best graduation gifts. They allow you to get something thoughtful or funny, that can also impart wisdom, confidence, or advice for a child or friend as they embark on the next great journey of their life. And with a book gift, you can add a thoughtful inscription to turn it into a keepsake.

If you’re looking for gift ideas for a graduate, here are a few books to consider to make a meaningful gift for their graduation day. The books on this list are mostly geared toward high school graduates, but some of them would also be good for college graduates (check out essential books for college graduates for more recommendations).

Best Books for High School Graduates

Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss

This is the perennial classic graduation book gift. Oh, The Places You’ll Go! is an inspirational send off for anyone starting a new phase of their life and makes a wonderful gift for a graduate. It’s also a great option for younger graduates leaving kindergarten, elementary school, or middle school.

The unforgettable rhyming lines are full of inspiration like:

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.

But the book isn’t just about the good side, it also covers possible stumbles and failures ahead, all in Dr. Seuss’s humorous style. This is a special gift that marks graduation in a classic and meaningful way.




Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 535 Easy(ish) Steps

Adulting by Kelly Williams Brown is a book that works well for high school and college graduates. This updated version of the New York Times bestseller is a humorous look at that transition to adulthood that many people struggle with after high school. Brown’s approachable and fun prose actually gives important life lessons like what to check when renting a new apartment, how to find a non-shady mechanic, how to fix your toilet, and more.

This book is a great gift that combines fun and humor with important life lessons. Make a great gift for a parent or grandparent to a child who is just graduating and preparing to move out on their own.


You Are Doing a Freaking Great Job: And Other Reminders of Your Awesomeness

If you’re looking for a fun an inspiring gift, but you want something more unique or more adult than Oh, the Places You’ll Go, check out You Are Doing a Freaking Great Job. This book is about celebrating a big accomplishment and combines the work of over 20 artists and designers.

With 200 uplifting stories, quotes, and words of advice in the fun and quirky style of social media art, it’s the perfect gift to inspire a new graduate. The cover alone is a better congratulations message than most greeting cards.


Roadmap: The Get-It-Together Guide for Figuring Out What to Do with Your Life

This is one of the most practical books for high school graduates. Some students graduate high school with their life plan firmly plotted. Others aren’t quite sure what to do next. Roadmap is for those graduates still trying to figure out what they want to be when they grow-up. This New York Times Bestseller flips traditional career guides on their head and uses interests to help guide career decisions.

Utilizing interviews and advice from 130 people across the country, they show different paths to success and give real-world wisdom. The book is engaging with a unique style and full-color charts. Readers can take it to the next level, and use a free access code that comes with the book to watch videos of the interviews online. This is an immersive experience that will help guide a new graduate on a career path that they will truly love.


Happiness Is … 500 Ways to Be in the Moment

Happiness Is isn’t targeted to graduates–it’s a fun and inspiring book about mindfulness that makes a great gift for anyone. But we recommend it for graduates as well. After graduation there are big changes ahead, whethers it’s starting full-time work for the first time, moving away from home, starting college, or all of the above. This book reminds you to slow down and be in the moment.

This book is a great gift for high school graduates as it will remind them to look around and appreciate each moment of their life, not just the big milestones. The book’s charming and friendly tone, coupled with cute illustrations make it a fun gift and a great introduction to mindfulness.


1001 Things Every College Student Needs to Know

If your high school graduate is college bound, there are a ton of new experiences ahead for them in the next few months. That first transition from living at home to moving across the state (or the country) and being on your own for the first time can be a shock for many students. This book helps to ease that transition a little by providing 1001 Things Every College Student Needs to know. Author Harry H. Harrison Jr. uses humor to provide the basics any high school graduate or new college student will need to be successful in college. If your teen hates to read, they’ll actually find this book to be fun and approachable. The advice is concise and presented in a witty way they will enjoy.

If you’re a parent buying this for your own graduating child, this book also works really well as a tool to start conversations and help you give them advice. This book covers topics from dealing with roommates to picking classes and majors as well as doing homework, reading, and studying. This book makes a great gift and a great overview to prepare any college student.


The Everything College Cookbook

Many books for high school graduates focus on celebrating the accomplishment of graduating. If you want to think a little bit outside the box or provide a useful gift at the Graduation Party that isn’t just a gift card, check out this book. The Everything College Cookbook is designed for young people who are living on their own for the first time and don’t have the convenience of a meal plan. For most high school graduates, their cooking experience is nuking a Hot Pocket in the microwave or reheating leftovers from something Mom or Dad cooked. They won’t have that luxury at college and you want to make sure your graduate doesn’t just default to fast food or ramen noodles.

This cookbook contains 300 recipes target specifically at college students. That means they’re easy, quick to make, and affordable. They also don’t require any fancy equipment as many can be made with a hot plate or a microwave. If your student is moving into an apartment with a regular kitchen, there’s plenty of recipes to help them utilize an oven as well. This book is great for teaching basic cooking skills and hopefully inspiring your students to get some variety in their diet.


Why Didn’t They Teach Me This in School?

High school classes cover history, math, and science, but budgeting and personal money management classes are often missing from the schedule. If you’re looking for practical books for high school graduates, Why Didn’t They Teach me This in School? helps bridge the knowledge gap for personal money management.

Written by business executive Cary Siegel originally to give advice to his children as they entered adulthood, this book has quickly become a favorite of parents looking to give their kids a little financial knowledge as they enter adulthood. Written to be easily read with memorable anecdotes both teens and young adults will enjoy this crash course in personal finances. This makes a great gift for high school and college graduates alike.


Do Your Laundry or You’ll Die Alone: Advice Your Mom Would Give if She Thought You Were Listening

If you’re worried these practical books for high school graduates aren’t fun enough to give as a gift, here’s one that combines that practical knowledge with some fun in a humorous book gift. Do Your Laundry or You’ll Die Alone presents the advice mothers want to give their nearly adult children, but knows they will roll their eyes and never listen to it. Writer and artist Becky Blades decided to write this as a common sense guide for teens to help assuage her own fears of her oldest daughter moving out on her own. The advice is well rounded from the practical (separate your laundry by colors) to the sentimental (keep one stuffed animal) to the hilarious (a bad attitude makes your butt look big). The pages of advice are punctuated with gorgeous art by Blades that makes this a beautiful gift.

This book is a perfectly sized book gift, just begging for a thoughtful inscription from a mother preparing to let their child venture out into the world on their own. This book is also a fantastic conversation starter for parents who want to sit down with their kids before they leave home and shares some of their advice, experience, and even regrets from their college years.


Almost Adulting: All You Need to Know to Get It Together (Sort Of)

This book is a little bit different from the other ones on this list. In fact, in may be the most “millennial” of all the books because Almost Adulting is written by vlogger Arden Rose. This is the kind of gift an older sibling or cool aunt or uncle would buy for a high school graduate, filled with the kind of advice that most parents aren’t stressing about. The advice in this book covers modern topics like online dating, sex, and mental health. It also hit some of the basics like having to buy your own groceries and decorating your first apartment.

This gift works well for high school graduates and also college grads transitioning into their own adult life. Since it’s written by a millennial for burgeoning adults, it makes a very enjoyable read and feels less preachy or stuffy than some of the other practical advice books on this list. That means the graduate might actually read it!


Save to Pinterest

10 Unforgettable Books for High School Graduates

Once you pick out the perfect book to give, don’t forget to add a memorable and meaningful book inscription to turn it into a precious keepsake for the graduate.

If you’re buying a gift for a graduate who loves to read, get them a unique bookmark to go with their graduation gift.