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Tech for the bookworms in your life

Spending eight years as a reference librarian, instructor of information literacy, and even a library director, along with completing a Masters in Library Science, it’s safe to say, I’m a huge fan of books and information access. I am also the copyeditor here at Pocket-lint. Our reviews, how-tos, and head-to-head comparison articles covering all the tech that I dream of scooping up, come through my desk. So, for the holiday season, let me be your expert guide on what tech to gift the book-lovers in your life.


Best eReaders: Upgrade your print book library for greater storage and accessibility

The best eReaders are waterproof, easier on your eyes and can save you valuable shelf space with fantastic digital storage options.

With a library (excuse the pun) of helpful tech to choose from, I looked to the Pocket-lint team to help me narrow down my list into three categories. We’ll start by looking at the best devices to manage and access your library of stories and information, then hop to the best desk essentials, and finally over to additions to spruce up your space. And because I can’t help myself, I’ll try to sneak in some pro tips throughout the list too. Without further ado, the best tech for the avid reader in your life, from a certified book jockey.

Best tech to read and listen to stories

kindle oasis

Amazon Kindle Oasis

Best Kindle eReader

Amazon’s best offer with a huge display screen

The ultimate reading device, this is for book lovers who consume books at speed and want the best device available to read them on.


  • Large storage
  • WhisperSync
  • Beautiful display
  • Includes page turner buttons

  • 2019 launch
  • Expensive, other worthwhile models exist
  • App store is limited

While I personally have the most experience using the original Kindle Fire 1st generation model, it’s the Kindle Oasis that I’d quickly replace it with if given the chance (hint, hint). The display size and premium performance are the standout features, and while it launched in 2019, it still rates very high among Pocket-lint editors here (earning 4.5 out of 5 stars), who agree this is the top experience you can have with a Kindle.


Amazon Kindle Oasis (2019) review: Glow up

The Amazon Kindle Oasis (2019) remains our top choice for reading devices. It’s expensive, but, if you read a lot, it’s unmatched. Find out why in this full review.

It’s often overlooked for recent Kindle Paperwhite and Scribe models, but the Kindle Oasis is the unsung hero of the range. The pros of this device include IPX8 waterproofing, offering protection for those wanting to read by the beach, bath, or pool. Plus, if you’re an audiobook aficionado, the 32GB storage and 4G connectivity are especially useful. Larger storage allows for more local file download space for offline reading and listening — audiobooks, in particular, are hefty files. The 4G connectivity enables WhisperSync to match up ebook and audiobook titles where you last left off if you own both.

If a writing 2-in-1 option, like the Kindle Scribe, or small size for portability, like the Kindle Fire, in your eReader isn’t a major concern, this is the model I’d recommend for your next purchase.

reMarkable 2

reMarkable 2

Best ewriter for storytellers and professionals

An environmentally friendly way to organize your brilliance

The reMarkable 2 is the ultimate minimalist document creation/editing tool. It has dozens of paper style templates, integration with Docs and Dropbox, and is so well-designed. 


  • Templates for writing, music, and more
  • Compatible with notes app
  • Space and paper saver
  • 10.3-inch, E Ink, textured display for paper-like feel

  • No backlighting for nighttime
  • Expensive

Reading stories isn’t the only way to expand your book-tech. The novelists, song-writers, and storytellers out there can also join in the fun with the tablet-like experience of a reMarkable 2 notebook. Remarkable promises to keep creatives, and their ideas, organized and at the ready the next time inspiration strikes with its incredible lightweight and thin notebook that can replace all the paper notebooks in your bag.


ReMarkable 2 review: You’ll never need paper notebooks again

It’s a tablet for writing on that has a paper-like feel… it’s a bit magical

The Pocket-lint team reviewed the Remarkable 2 back in 2021 when it came out, and I personally saw the device in action last summer. The feel of the tablet is as close to paper as any writing tech we’ve seen. My previous library director purchased one last summer, and it was a delight to see the functionality and impressive ability to turn quick notes into easily readable PDFs.

Some detractors to mention, beginning with the price. This is an expensive bit of tech that I would recommend if you or others in your life prefer to physically write things and want a way to do that with less paper waste and on a product without distracting extras. This is not intended to replace your phone, tablet, or eReader (although it can display PDF and EPUB ebooks), it’s truly meant for writing. If you are looking for a more all-in-one device, you may want to check out the Kindle Scribe.

If the price tag is an understandable turn-off, I think many could get by with the Rocketbook Fusion notebook as well – you’ll miss out on many premium features, but for much less of a hit to your wallet.


Toniebox starter set with Playtime Puppy

Best storyteller for kids

Audiobooks and songs for your favorite little one

The Playtime Puppy Tonie in this set even has tunes like “Wheels on the Bus” and “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” The bundle provides a charging station for the Toniebox, too, which offers up to 7 hours of battery life.


  • Less screen-time while still offering storytelling
  • Many characters to choose from and collect
  • Extremely kid and user-friendly
  • Battery lasts long enough for most outings

  • Has proprietary charger stand
  • A little bulky for travel
  • Initial learning curve to downloading content

My two favorite toddlers are both getting Tonies this Christmas. Sometimes the TikTok algorithm wins, and with the Toniebox it did its best work on me and my sister-in-law. The Toniebox is a cube speaker, wrapped in soft fabric, that can play music or stories by attaching different Tonie characters to the top of the device. If you have a toddler in your life who loves storytime and singing, I think this is the perfect way to give them more stories and independence, with less screen time.


What is a Toniebox, how to set it up, and can you add content to Tonies?

Tonieboxes and Tonies are popular kids toys in 2023, ranking on Amazon’s best toy lists. Here’s how to set up and use these storytelling devices.

I now have one Toniebox and six Tonie characters in my house, and I’m so happy I lost the TikTok battle this time. The hand painted quality of the characters is excellent. There is a fantastic variety in the Tonie store and on Amazon of different characters from Disney, fairytales, popular and classic picture books, and educational characters by National Geographic.

Tonies are recommended for ages 3 and up, so if you buy them for a child under that age, it is not intended for them to play solo. Some of the Tonie characters could be choking hazards without supervision for younger children.

I purchased the Playtime Puppy starter set above and additionally a few fun characters: Shrek, Counting with Fox, Going on a Bear Hunt, Sleepy Friends Lullaby, and two DIY Creative Audio Characters. I am most excited about giving the custom Tonie characters to my friends and family to create their own audio to play for their kids. Whether it’s a favorite lullaby sung by a grandparent who lives out-of-town or a bedtime story from the parent who travels.

Best desk essentials for your home library

Librarians know how to stay cozy, even with most of our buildings’ ancient rattling HVACs, excitable patrons, and back offices that give Pandora releasing Chaos for the first time a run for its money. Here are my top choices to make your own home library space peaceful and serene, and no, it’s not just three different cardigans.

Ember mug 2

Ember Mug 2

Best beverage warmer

For those of us with cold tea and coffee all over the house

$120 $140 Save $20

The second-generation Ember Mug can keep your coffee or tea at its perfect temperature for 80 minutes on full charge, or forever if you have it sat on its charging coaster. Perfect for winter months.

The Ember mug, and specifically the second generation, is a favorite among editors here at Pocket-lint. I seethe with envy every time I find my cold tea and know that my colleagues have perfectly tempered caffeine in their mugs from NYC to Wales. The Ember Mug 2 has IPX7 waterproof rating, but should be hand washed only, not put through the dishwasher.

There’s an app for smart control to set your preferred temperature, but it works fine without the app too. You can get up to 80 minutes of heat on the mug when it’s not on it’s base, which should give you just enough time to remember where you are after diving into a fantasy novel.

Ember mug

There are a couple of models that might appeal to different consumers. The mug version above is what I would use, as I work remotely. However, if you have someone who commutes or is an on-the-go parent, the Ember Travel Mug 2+ is a game-changing option. It incorporates Apple’s Find My technology, to help you locate your favorite vessel.

NIIMBOT B21 Inkless Label Maker

Niimbot B21 Inkless Label Maker

Best tech to organize your books, shelves, and desk

Create custom bookplates and genrefy your shelves

For custom book stickers and shelf labeling, make your home shelves as easy to browse as your favorite library or bookshop with the Niimbot B21.


  • Connects to your phone
  • Stylish design
  • Four color options

  • Not as customizable as larger models
  • Somewhat pricey

When it comes to organizing books for instant accessibility, a label maker is a great techy way to ease into organization without immediately opting for an eReader. The Niimbot B21 inkless label maker packs a lot of features into a small and stylish package. It’s portable, comes in four colors, and can connect to your iPhone or Android device through the Niimbot app for easy printing and design access.

The wireless printer can be taken with you, whether from room to room or out of the house, and can print for up to four hours after an hour and a half charge. The printing is done with thermal technology and doesn’t need ink. Labels print at a width of 0.8-inch to 2-inch and the Niimbot B21 comes with an included pack of 50 x 30mm labels (230pcs/roll) to use.

Sony WH-1000XM5

Sony WH-1000XM5

Best noise cancelling headphones

Get lost in quiet serenity or immersive listening

$328 $400 Save $72

An amazing all-round package that sounds simply incredible, Sony’s latest offering is pretty much as good as it gets.


  • Outstanding active noise cancellation
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Comfort for long listening sessions
  • Heaps of functions

  • No support for aptX
  • Don’t fold as small as they used to

The Sony WH-1000XM5 are my dream active noise cancelling (ANC) headphones. I’m currently rocking an old pair of Logitech G435 cans that I mostly purchased for their decent microphone quality but which lack ANC, and I regret it. Our Pocket-lint team gave the Sony WH-100XM5’s a perfect rating (5 of 5) during their review, and they were just behind the Bose QuietComfort Ultra in our pick of overall headphones of the year for our annual Pocket-lint awards.


Sony WH-1000XM5 review: Still an ANC masterclass

Sony updated its flagship WH-1000X headphones in 2022, now in its fifth iteration. This time there’s a change in design, on top of other improvements.

However, the Sony headphones came out on top based on value, in our head-to-head comparison of the two, which is why they’re my choice here. Comfort and long audiobook listens go hand-in-hand, whether you have roommates, would like privacy from little ears, or just need a break from the noise of the world; these are my dream ANC headphones and I think they’ll impress the audiobook lover in your life too.

Best library space and reading nook additions

Good lighting makes all the difference in a reading space. Smart lighting is the way to go to allow customization for your favorite bookworm to glow up, dim and glimmer, or brighten their space.

Govee smart curtain fairy lights

Govee Curtain Lights

Best smart lighting for coverage

Great pick for teens and college students

$90 $130 Save $40


  • Animated options galore
  • IP65 waterproofing
  • Extremely customizable
  • Different ways to mount and apply

  • Curtain style not for everyone
  • App has a learning curve

The Govee curtain lights are a versatile and fun way to upgrade any space, but one I think would work so well in teens and college students’ rooms to customize their space. I bought curtain fairy lights a few years ago that are not smart, and I love the effect they have on my space, but I would prefer to upgrade mine to the Govee model. Harsh overhead lights are the enemy of most of my millennial-aged friends, and I think that’s one quirk that most generations can get behind.


Govee Curtain Lights review: Fairy lights have never been so fun

Govee’s Curtain Lights look like an awesome way to easily brighten up your living space, but are they worth the cash? I put them to the test.

The Pocket-lint team reviewed and tested the Govee smart curtain lights this past summer. It scored well in brightness levels, compatibility with Google Home and Alexa, and the effectiveness of the RGB animated lighting. If you don’t use a smart home hub, the app will work well for you to control, set up new lighting settings, and use timers. These lights are much more expensive than standard curtain lights, so the IP65 waterproof rating is nice to see for longevity’s sake.

The app comes with heaps of preset styles but also offers DIY customizations and the ability to upload gifs to the lights. How effective the animations may be will depend on the original design’s complexity and how far you are from the lights. The lights approximate to 520 pixels for images to display. The feature that I cannot wait to try out is the music reactive mode, which uses microphones to react to the surrounding music and noise with lighting changes and pulses. Probably not best for parties, but ideal for creating the perfect vibes while reading.

Philips Hue Go Smart Portable

Philips Hue Go Portable Table Lamp

Best portable light

Stalk the halls like a ghost in a Brontë novel

The Philips Hue Go Portable Lamp offers a design that can blend in with most interiors. Portability allows it to be used in a multitude of reading spaces, making for a very versatile device.


  • Great performance
  • Multitude of features from Hue app
  • Solid and portable design
  • Waterproof

  • Expensive
  • Design may not be to all tastes

If you dream of carrying around an oil lamp like a lighthouse master in a mystery novel, you are not alone. The Philips Hue Go portable table lamp is a stellar multiuse option that could be a great addition for your home reading nook, or any other space you need to illuminate. It has a handy silicon section along the stem for easy carrying. As a Philips Hue smart device, it is compatible with the Philips Hue Bridge, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Matter — a rarity in smart lighting.


Philips Hue Go Portable Table Lamp review: Lighting up your home and garden

The Philips Hue Go Portable Table Lamp has been transforming my living space for a few months, but should you buy it? Here’s my full review.

There’s a button on the top of the shade that can control the device with presets within the app, allowing for some manual control if you don’t have your phone or tablet nearby. The lamp comes in two finishes of black and white, but the lighting options are where the color variety really comes through.

The Philips Hue Go portable table lamp is a simple design that should match most interiors, but might not be as stylish as some would like. The expense is another thing to consider. Seeing as it could be useful at night without waking the whole house and has a charge that lasts up to 48 hours, making it great in a pinch for a power outage, there’s a case for the value being worth it for this lamp.

_hooga Book Light, Rechargeable Clip On Blue Blocking Amber LED

Hooga Book Light

Best booklight clamp

Blue light blocking for easier nighttime reading

This hooga book light is rechargeable, clips on easily to books, and most importantly for nighttime reading, has blue light blocking LED lights.


  • Budget-friendly pick
  • Eases eye-strain
  • Long battery life
  • Travel sized

  • On and off button is reportedly loud in some reviews
  • Button is easy to turn on in a bag

If you or someone you know was ever disciplined for staying up too late reading, the hooga book light is a great find. Hooga’s clamp style book light promises to help night owls give their eyes a break with blue light blocking LED, so eye strain can be reduced. This version has amber color lighting, but there are other options if you prefer a less warm hue. It’s travel-friendly in its size and won’t hit your wallet as hard as some of my other dream picks.

Honorable mentions: Apps and gadgets for bookworms

If the above gifts don’t feel like safe bets for the bookworm in your life, the three below should be useful, yet still personal picks for them. and Audible gifts cards are great for audiobook lovers. gift card (3 credits)

Safe choice for audiobook lovers

If your favorite loves independent bookstores, this is the gift card for them allows you to purchase audiobooks and still support your small and independent booksellers. A portion of the audiobook sale goes to your selected bookstore. Like Audible, the membership is $14.99 per month, but you can also browse for free and buy books à la carte without a monthly subscription by purchasing ‘credits’ to your account as you go.

audible gift card logo

Audible gift card (3 credits)

Safe choice for audiobook lovers

For the recipient who’s fully in the Amazon ecosystem

Audible, when integrated with the Kindle system, allows for seamless integration, WhisperSync, and some pretty cool Audible exclusive content. I’m really enjoying the abridged dramatized adaptations of a few of my favorites for a new style of listening.

Acriment premium metal book ends

Acrimet Premium Metal Bookends

Safe pick for shelving

Low tech solution for safely storing and preserving large collections

My last pick may seem an odd one, but shelf maintenance technology is the name of the game here. If someone you know has truly hundreds or thousands of books, they need quality, heavy-duty book ends. The Acrimony brand linked here offer fun colors and different sizes, which is very important to support books that are larger than standard height. A common problem with art books, cookbooks, and stored “coffee table” books. Prevent spine warp and bending by supporting print books properly on your shelving.

If your gift recipient has metal bookshelves, I must mention magnetic bookends as an incredible option for heavy tombs.

Why tech gifts for book lovers in your life?

Many who romanticize the library field say that they too wish to spend all day reading. And without rudely shushing them, to that I say – most of us wish that was actually our job too. Rather, libraries have always been more concerned with connecting people to information in the most efficient and understandable way possible.

And sure, we do that by helping folks locate books, but many library mission statements have evolved to ensure equitable access to information in both the print and digital world. At least in my past positions, I’ve spent more time navigating patrons around information.

That’s not to say I don’t read a lot, and that I don’t love recommending books to friends and family; it’s usually off desk hours though. So don’t be too surprised that a librarian’s dream gift guide isn’t solely a gift card to your local bookstore, although that’s an evergreen recommendation, not just around the holidays. This list is the tech that I fantasize about adding to my home library that would improve my reading and listening experience.

How should I organize my reading space?

I may get into trouble with my previous Information Organization professor, but my advice is this: organize it in the way that makes the most sense for your brain. If you like by color, by golly, organize by spine color in your own home. The way I organize is by subject for nonfiction and genre for fiction, then by author’s last name, because that is what makes the most sense to me and I like to find my books quickly.

If you like the model I described above, here are some tips to think about before you start creating your own classification system. We like to compare bookshelves with grocery store shelves. You don’t tend to find canned goods next to yogurt on the shelf. Similarly, you don’t usually find books on how to garden next to historical fiction or memoirs.

You can classify your collection into basics, like non-fiction and fiction. Then, further section by “genrefying” your books for fiction and deciding the “aboutness” (what the book is about versus what the catchy title says) for non-fiction. Get to know your collection or use an online free catalog like LibraryThing if you really want to go above and beyond.

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