Bookish Gifts for Gen X Men - Bookshelf Memories

Bookish Gifts for Gen X Men

Buying personalized gifts for gen X men can be tricky because it can feel like you’re buying gifts to give someone who has everything. When you know that he likes his books, bookish gifts are a safe choice, and practical too. For clarity, gen x is the category of people born circa. 1961 to 1981, and that’s going by the Strauss–Howe generational theory - the US authors of “Generations”, a 1991 book by William Strauss and Neil Howe. Going by that definition, gifts for gen X men are for those aged 40+, this year (2024).

Reading Gifts for Men Over 40

Books about Books

a custom painting of books on a bookshelf by Jane Mount

William Arthur Fine Stationery, CC BY-ND 2.0

Generally, it’s not a good idea to give books as gifts because the titles people choose are highly personal to them. The exception to that is if they share their reading list. When you can’t be sure what titles, genres, or sub-genres he’d be interested in, a safe choice is a book about books.  

Book Nook kits

book nook kit assembled and placed on a bookshelf between books

Image generated by A.I for illustration only

Book nook kits make building a bookshelf insert a breeze. They’re the perfect gift for creatives who like the idea of a puzzle, but perhaps aren’t ready to commit to yet another project. All the pieces are pre-cut, and provided you buy quality book nook kits, they’ll have décals included for decorating, paints, glue, and if the kit can be lit up, it’ll come with the right size of LED lights to light the book nook, along with the instructions to fit them.

Reading Related Gifts for a Man Cave

For the men with their own private space in a garden shed or man cave, decorative gifts for their space could be ideal.

Personalised signs

man cave written on a black stone in the shape of a heart hanging on a shed door using rope attached

Amazon handmade and Etsy are a couple of marketplaces where you can find plaques fitting for a man shed. For the wood workers, a good gift may be a personalised plaque with slogans like “Sawdust is man glitter”, pointing to the fact they’re almost always covered in sawdust from their wood crafting. For those who prefer to hang out and do their reading in their man cave, in private, other funny ones could pertain to drinking alone.  As an example: “It’s not really drinking alone if the dog’s home”.

Glasses or Decanters

different types of glasses for whiskey enthusiasts

Some men go to bars alone, bring their book along and enjoy a few pints, then head home. Others like to settle at home into their own little reading nook, either an area in a room in the home, or a man shed in the garden. Whatever their favorite choice of drink is, a good gift could be personalized glassware. That could be wine glasses, a whiskey tumbler, beer glasses, beer mugs, or beer steins.

Many of the German inspired beer steins are artistically decorated and can be used as a drinking vessel with a lid much like a teapot, or used as décor. For international travel gifts from Germany for a beer enthusiast, a beer stein would top the list. That’s where they’re originally from. Search online for Folk Art Beer Steins and you’ll see quite a few unique designs that would make interesting bookshelf decor pieces for a man cave.

Shot Glass Display Case

a collection of shot glasses in an illuminated display case

Wired Mist via Instructables.com | CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

A shot glass display case is perfect for men with a collection of bar shot glasses, perhaps many from their trips that were bought as souvenirs. These cases don’t have to be limited to displaying shot glasses though. They’re also just the size for displaying any type of miniature collection. For men with a man cave and a miniature collection of any theme, be that shot glasses, Japanese miniature landscapes, or scale model kits, a shot glass display case could be another display idea miniature collectibles.

3D Puzzles

miniature 3d model of a marble run

pshab (Flickr), CC BY-NC 2.0

There’s no shortage of 3D puzzle ideas for adults. There’s something for every level of enthusiast. Beginner to expert, or someone who just likes to spend a few hours at the weekend unwinding.

Gifts for the Men Who Read Outdoors

Reading outdoors is bliss in the summer. Some enjoy reading on park benches by a lake, others take a few books on camping trips or road trips in the RV. For those, there are bookish gifts for readers to take on the go. 

Washable or Wipeable Water-proof Book Covers

closeup of fabric wrapped around a book to cover it

There’s a higher likelihood of books being damaged outdoors than there is from armchair reading. A sudden downpour, an accidental drop onto a damp lawn or a flower bed can discolor the pages. For those who take their books on day trips, leaving them in the car on hot sunny days for several hours, it can result high temperatures inside vehicles melting the glue holding the spines together. To avoid that, fabric book covers can help keep book spines cool, and keep all the pages dry. These are available as different designs, some pouches, others are covers, some washable, some just plastic films which are more suited to exercise books, rather than reading books.

Book holder / Page Holder

a book with two clips on the edges holding the pages together

S Pakhrin, CC BY 2.0

Page holders are simple devices with a high impact on reading paperbacks outdoors. The slightest of a breeze is enough to turn pages. As such, readers usually have their hands bound to the book when their engrossed in the story. Picking up a beverage can mean losing their place on the page. Page holders make it easy to read single handedly, freeing up one hand to hold a beverage, or to grab the poker stick to keep a fire pit going.

Book-Related, Yet Useful Gifts for Campers

For the more adventurous, explorer type, it's the small and simple things that make trips easier that they'll appreciate best.

A Clip-On Reading Lamp

Close up shot from under a reading light showing the multiple mini LEDs used to illuminate the pages

Will Folsom, CC BY 2.0

Clip-on reading lamps are just bright enough to read the pages under the light, without it being so bright that it disturbs a partner in bed trying to get to sleep.  These are perfect for campers and travelers in RVs to read in bed at night. Accompany them with a page holder and drinks tray for a camping chair by a campfire, they make reading outdoors at night comfortable too. Ideal for the camping Dad’s who find they’re the last one left to monitor the campfire as it cools down to smouldering ashes while everyone else makes a dash for bed.

Tactical Pen

Close up of a tactical pen

LLORD via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0

Tactical pens are multi-functional tools. They can be used for journalling like noting down the location of a new fishing spot, for self-defence, and as part of a first-aid kit by using as it as winch to tighten a knot for a tourniquet to stem the bleeding from an open-wound. This would be more appreciated by adventure tourists who like to venture into the wilderness on backpacking treks. Tactical pens are practical gifts that take little room or weight in a backpack.