There’s always a place in my heart and home for beautiful books, and they’re usually what I give to my loved ones for birthdays, Christmas, and other special moments.
On this page, I curate my favorite books to give as gifts, featuring beautifully illustrated books, hardcovers to treasure, and other choices that most bookworms will appreciate – even if it seems like they have every book already.
Browse through these perfect book gifts and treat a loved one (or yourself!) to a special book to treasure for years to come.
The most beautiful books for gifts in 2023
Best book for adventurers
Best book for bookworms
Best book gift for children
Best coffee table book
Best book for interior design lovers
Best book for foodies
Best fiction for people who’ve read everything
Best gift for self-improvement fans
Joie: A Parisian’s Guide to Celebrating the Good Life by Ajiri Aki
Joie is the perfect book gift for… readers who love travel, inspiring coffee table books, and most of all, Paris.
This gorgeous coffee table book for 2023 is one of the most beautifully made books I’ve seen in a long time. As you browse through these rejuvenating pages, you’ll uncover the Parisian secrets to celebrating life based on author Ajiri Aki’s time spent living in the city.
The Bird Hotel by Joyce Maynard
The Bird Hotel is one of the best books to give as gifts to… booklovers who have read everything already.
Spanning four decades and penned with beautiful touches of magical realism, this exceptional novel is one of my top picks of the best new fiction of 2023.
After heartbreak and loss, Irene, a talented artist, finds herself in a small Central American village checking into a stunning but decaying lakefront hotel at the base of a volcano.
With years of restoration ahead, the hotel, called La Llorona, will become Irene’s home and livelihood, as well as the setting for so much joy and companionship.
Rooms of Their Own: Where Great Writers Write by Alex Johnson and James Oses
Rooms of Their Own is the one of best book gifts for… book lovers and writers who love beautiful hardcovers and finding inspiration in the rituals of other creative minds.
Bringing together words by Alex Johnson and evocative watercolor illustrations by James Oses, this stunning book is a celebration of creativity, focus, and the craft of writing.
From luxury writing retreats to empty sheds at the bottom of the garden, readers can examine the unique spaces, habits, and rituals in which famous writers (ranging from James Baldwin to the Brontë sisters and Astrid Lindgren) created their most notable works.
Kinfolk Wilderness by John Burns
Kinfolk Wilderness is the perfect book gift for… adventurous folks who love wild nature and remote places.
Known for delving into home, style, and culture via their wonderfully well-made books and magazines, Kinfolk’s adventurous new release for 2023 is the ideal gift for travel lovers.
Kinfolk Wilderness is a stunning travel book to show off on a coffee table and keep turning to for inspiration, complete with wanderlust-inspiring photos and maps. Once you see it for yourself, you’ll probably want your own copy too.
Call it Home by Amber Lewis
Call it Home is one of the best book gifts for… interior design lovers who have a soft spot for coffee table design books.
If you love interior design, Amber Lewis’s California-inspired style is a treat for your eyes. Her new book, Call it Home, will be released on October 17, offering readers a gorgeous hardcover full of timeless design inspiration, documented with quality photographs and heartfelt stories.
Island of Whispers by Frances Hardinge and Emily Gravett
Island of Whispers is a beautiful book gift for… children aged 12+ who love escaping into richly imaginative fantasy worlds.
Perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman and Kiran Millwood Hargrave, this bewitching coming-of-age story turned fairy tale is brimming with ghosts and magic for young and adult readers alike to enjoy.
To make the book even more special, the exquisite hardcover is filled with captivating illustrations by Emily Gravett in a luscious blue ink. The book’s exterior also glitters all over with shining silver moths.
Leaving the Comfort Zone: The Adventure of a Lifetime by Olivier Van Herck and Zoë Agasi
Leaving the Comfort Zone is a special book gift for… adventurers who are drawn to the road less traveled.
Gestalten publishes some of the most beautiful travel books you can find, and this new release is no exception. This stunning hardcover (that would make a perfect coffee table book) weaves the story of one couple’s adventure of a lifetime.
Detailing a 40,000-kilometre journey spanning four years and accompanied by awe-inspiring photographs, it’s the story of a shared dream and a desire to break free from expectations.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Harper Muse Painted Edition)
The Great Gatsby is the best book gift for… booklovers who adore beautiful editions of timeless classics.
If you’re looking for special gifts for bookworms, Harper Muse’s Painted Classics series is an excellent place to start. With each title featuring a gorgeous painted cover, these books are perfect gifts to share and treasure. And what better choice than The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s all-time classic?
The Golden Mole: and Other Living Treasure by Katherine Rundell and Talya Baldwin
The Golden Mole is the best book gift for… readers who adore nature writing and gorgeous illustrations.
In the vein of Robin Wall Kimmerer’s beloved classic Braiding Sweetgrass, this delightful creation by Katherine Rundell is an ode to the miraculous treasure of our natural world that’s more astonishing than our wildest imaginings.
Weaving Katherine Rundell’s captivating words with sumptuous illustrations by Talya Baldwin, this awe-inspiring book is a chance to be bewitched and lovestruck, from stories of the two million kilometers a swift flies in its lifetime to the five hundred years a Greenland shark can swim our seas.
Excellent Advice for Living: Wisdom I Wish I’d Known Earlier by Kevin Kelly
Excellent Advice for Living is one of the best book gifts for… non-fiction readers who love self-improvement books.
Written by Kevin Kelly – co-founder of Wired, author, and technology thinker – this new self-improvement book is a five-star compilation of easy-to-read, wise, and practical snippets of wisdom for living well.
The idea for Excellent Advice for Living started on Kevin’s 68th birthday, when he began to write down for his young adult children what he wish he knew earlier about life. This wise and inspiring book is the result.
Farmhouse by Sophie Blackall
Farmhouse is a lovely book gift for… young readers to treasure by Caldecott Medalist Sophie Blackall.
“Over a hill, at the end of a road, by a glittering stream that twists and turns stands a farmhouse.”
Step inside the dollhouse-like interior of Farmhouse and relish in the joyful daily life of the family that lives there, rendered in impeccable, cozy detail in this beautifully illustrated children’s book that’s just as exquisite for grown readers.
The Notes to Mindfulness Journal by Intelligent Change
The Notes to Mindfulness Journal is the best book gift for… those who love starting a new year with a beautiful journal.
This stunning notebook is my top gift suggestion for people who love goal-setting, reflection, and self-improvement, produced by Intelligent Change, the makers of the equally excellent Five Minute Journal and Productivity Planner.
Notes to Mindfulness is one of the most beautiful journals I’ve ever set eyes on, decorated with a sparkling gold illustrated cover and full of stunning illustrations and inspiring prompts for a creative and reflective life.
The Book of Do: A Manual for Living by The Do Book Co.
The Book of Do is the perfect book gift for… friends and family who want to build a fuller and more sustainable life.
In this delightful new hardcover for 2023, The Do Book Co. – the beloved publisher of inspiring pocket volumes – has brought together the best writing and artwork from the collection into one beautifully produced volume.
Inspiring action and positive change, The Book of Do is carefully curated into themed sections, including Work, Creativity, You, Regenerate, and Sustain.
Persiana Everyday by Sabrina Ghayour
Persiana Everyday is the perfect book to give… foodies who are short on time and demanding on flavor.
I don’t often recommend cookbooks on Tolstoy Therapy, but this new book by Sabrina Ghayour is worth making an exception for. It’s a staple in my home and our go-to choice for dinner party winners.
Following her beloved (but complicated) Persiana cookbook, Persiana Everyday simplifies things with fuss-free, everyday recipes inspired by Persian and Middle Eastern flavors. I can particularly recommend the cheat’s dhal, baked halloumi, and Persian kuku.
A beautiful photo book from MILK books
Over the last couple of years, MILK books have become one of my favourite gifts to share with loved ones. I gave Iain a wonderfully well-made photo book of our trip on the Trans-Mongolian Railway for his 30th birthday, and we also created our wedding photo books with MILK.
If you’re looking for an extra special gift for someone special, I couldn’t recommend these gorgeous photo books enough.
Just make sure to get organized ahead of time, as it’ll likely take several weeks to design the book and wait for printing and delivery. (Although you can also buy gift vouchers if you’re limited on time.) When your photo book arrives, it’s a gift to treasure for years to come.
If you’d like more book gift ideas, you might also like my curated lists of…
If you adore books, need a bit of a boost, and would love some gentle comfort and guidance, check out The Sanctuary, a seven-day course from Tolstoy Therapy.