11 Fantastic Gifts for Geeky Grads

iStock.com/PeopleImages
iStock.com/PeopleImages

Have a loved one who recently graduated from high school, college, grad school, or a secret wizarding academy? Show your support with just the right gift.

1. Kodak PRINTOMATIC Digital Instant Print Camera; $70

A person prints out a black-and-white photo from a yellow PRINTOMATIC camera.

Kodak, Amazon

Kodak's PRINTOMATIC camera is more than just an instant camera that lets users to print snapshots on demand—though it does that, too. The digital point-and-shoot camera can be used to capture and save photos to a microSD card as well as print in color or black and white. The 2-inch-by-3-inch prints are water-resistant, smudge-free, and sticky, so they're ready to scrapbook immediately. The camera body comes in six different fun colors, so you can customize it to your grad's personal taste. 

Find it: Amazon

2. My Coffee and Book Club Subscription; $32 and Up

A stack of books on a table next to a cup and saucer
iStock.com/elenaleonova

Give your favorite bookworm/coffee geek a professionally curated box of their two great loves each month with My Coffee and Book Club. Each month, they'll get two hardback books, an e-book, and a bag of coffee. The subscription offers a choice between eight different genres (acclaimed fiction, acclaimed non-fiction, science fiction, thriller, mystery, horror, romance, fantasy), or users can elect to receive random picks, and the java comes in 12-ounce packages of small-batch whole bean or ground coffee. Each box ships out during the first week of each month. (If your grad isn't big on books, Cratejoy also offers of plenty of other geeky subscription boxes, from science kits to magic supplies to coding projects and "escape the room" games.)

Find it: Cratejoy

3. Beetlejuice Handbook For The Recently Deceased; $8 and Up

The cover of the 'Beetlejuice: Handbook for the Recently Deceased' journal

Insight Editions, Amazon

In Tim Burton's world, dearly departed characters can get a sense of what to expect from the afterlife with the help of the Handbook for the Recently Deceased. You can get a replica of the prop that appeared in 1988's Beetlejuice in several forms: Give the paperback or hardback notebook version of the book to your grad and he or she can fill in whatever tips might be helpful, or give them the notecard set to ensure you get a very spooky thank you card in return.

Find it: Amazon

4. Ghostbusters Playing Cards; $9

Select cards from the 'Ghostbusters' playing card pack

Albino Dragon, Amazon

Help your favorite student pass the time between cram sessions with Albino Dragon's officially licensed Ghostbusters playing cards, which are decked out with original illustrations. Each face card has a different character from the classic ‘80s comedy, including Slimer, Peter Venkman, and Winston Zeddemore.

Find it: Amazon

5. BB-8 Desk Lamp; $33

All nighters can be conducted under the soft glow of a BB-8 lamp, minus the concentration-breaking sound effects. The lamp stands 8.5 inches tall and has three different lighting modes—tap BB-8's head and it switches between natural white, amber, and warm white light.

Find it: Walmart

6. Bookworm Beach Towel; $40

A towel with an image of book spines on it

Cassia Beck, Society6

No matter what their next move is, we hope your favorite grad is about to wrap up their months of studying by spending some much-needed time hitting the beach. Help them show off their love of literature with this beach towel from artist Cassia Beck. The image features a collection of books by literary juggernauts like Virginia Woolf, J.D. Salinger, and more. (We also recommend this one, which looks like a classic library card, or this one, which has a more abstract writerly vibe.)

Find it: Society6

7. Skillshare Subscription; $36 and Up

A chalk outline of a person's head with a yellow lightbulb inside it
iStock.com/anilakkus

Just because graduation is over doesn't mean your favorite nerd is going to stop learning. Give them the gift of post-grad learning with a Skillshare membership, which gives them unlimited ad-free access to classes on the site and offline. Options include lessons on languages, writing, design, animation, photography, business, crafts, and more. With gift subscription plans ranging from 3 months to one year, your recent grad can learn everything from how to knit a scarf to how to master Photoshop to how to understand the stock market.

Find it: Skillshare

8. Exploding Kittens; $20

'Exploding Kittens' card game in its box

Exploding Kittens LLC, Amazon

Exploding Kittens is a popular card game for anyone who likes cats, explosions, and the website The Oatmeal. The party game comes with 56 illustrated cards and allows for up to five players (or up to nine with the expansion pack). As the most-backed Kickstarter project of all time, it's practically guaranteed to be fun. If you want to keep your favorite grad's game night going even longer, there are also multiple expansion packs.

Find it: Amazon

9. The Lord Of The Rings Doormat; $33

A doormat reads "You shall not pass" with a silhouette of Gandalf on it

getDigital, Amazon

A doormat that features a warning from Gandalf may not be the most welcoming item to put outside your front door, but at least it'll keep out the Balrog.

Find it: Amazon

10. Doctor Who Stein; $20

A ceramic TARDIS stein

Doctor Who, Amazon

This officially licensed stein is the perfect container for throwing back all kinds of inter-dimensional drinks. It has a lid and enough room for 50 ounces of liquid.

Find it: Amazon

11. Owl Tapestry; $34

No college dorm room or post-grad apartment is complete without a tapestry. Skip the usual kaleidoscopic designs and opt for something unique; Society6 has a whole slew of options, including this lovely bunch of owls.

Find it: Society6

A version of this article first ran in 2017. It has been updated to reflect current availability as of May 2019.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

8 Fun Bookmarks to Keep Your Place

iStock
iStock

Why settle for a torn piece of paper or receipt when you can have something way more exciting? These bookmarks are for readers who want to add some extra whimsy to their reading routine.

1. Sprouts; $12.50

These ingenious silicone markers don’t work like normal bookmarks. Shaped like adorable sprouts, they fit inside your book and mark the exact line you’re at on the page. Because they’re made with a flexible material, you can close the book easily with the sprout inside and it will spring back to shape when you open the book again. The sprouts come in sets of six. For a little luck, check out the four-leaf clover iteration.

Find it: Amazon

2. Butterflies; $10


If you've ever wanted to have a real Disney princess moment, consider buying these bookmarks, which will make it look like butterflies have perched on your books. The set comes with 10 pieces in a variety of designs.

Find it: Amazon

3. Crocodile; $13

These clever placeholders create the illusion that a crocodile is lurking on top of your book. When you lift up this intimidating bookmark, it shows the reptile’s sharp teeth, warning others not to dare lose your place. (If mammals are more your style, there is also a hippo option.)

Find it: Amazon

4. Lamp; $13

Let this lamp-shaped bookmark illuminate where you left off. The lamp shape sits on top of the book while the yellow light-beam fits snuggly between the pages. It comes in three colors: white, red, and gray.

Find it: Amazon

5. Literary Feet; $24

Remember that scene in The Wizard of Oz when the house fell on the Wicked Witch of the East and only her feet stuck out? You can recreate that iconic movie scene with a bookmark. Even better, the design isn’t restricted to just the witch: You can get all kinds of famous book character feet to stick out of your book. Just some of the literary legs available include Alice from Alice in Wonderland, a direwolf from A Song of Ice and Fire, and a magician from Harry Potter. There are also some non-book selections, like animals, ballerinas, and Yoda.

Find it: Amazon

6. Food; $30

Let some of your favorite food keep your place. The plush bookmarks feature a slice of pizza, ice cream, coffee, and an ice cream sandwich.

Find it: Amazon

7. Magnetic pals; $5

You’ll be even more motivated to read if you have a small buddy smiling at you from the side of your book. You can attach them to any place on the side of the page, so you know exactly where you are in the story.

Find it: Amazon

8. Pointers; $7

These bookmarks also mark the exact place in the book, but without the help of magnets. Instead, they come with stretchy loops that wrap around the entire book. A hand pointing can pinpoint the exact word, in case you’re the type that stops reading mid-sentence. They come in packs of three.

Find it: Amazon

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy.

Get Cozy With Bob Ross Slipper Socks

Always Fits
Always Fits

Setting aside the evening to binge-watch The Joy of Painting videos is a foolproof way to have a relaxing time. In case Bob Ross's inspiring mantras and soothing landscape paintings aren't comforting enough, now you can boost the coziness factor with a fluffy pair of slipper socks branded with the beloved artist's likeness.

These socks from Always Fits capture the warm and fuzzy feeling of watching Bob Ross craft his masterpieces. The inside is lined with wooly sherpa material, and the outside is made from a velour blend. Non-skid grips protect the bottoms, so you can pause your binge session to get a fresh canvas or refill your tea mug without slipping across the floor. The socks are patterned with cartoon versions of Bob Ross—complete with his paintbrush, easel, and signature perm—against a background of happy little trees.

The comfy footwear is available in two sizes: small/medium (women's shoe sizes 5 to 8) and medium/large (sizes 8 to 10). One set is available for $18 online, with discounts applied to bulk orders of five or more.

If you're looking for more ways to get in the Bob Ross spirit, you don't have to stop with slipper socks. Mugs, T-shirts, and coloring books inspired by the artist are all available to purchase.

Bob Ross slipper socks.
Always Fits

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

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