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Help them change the world. But first, they need books.

Students Need Books

It's a truth universally acknowledged that students need books. To write essays. To study for exams. To be the change they wish to see in the world. But with food, rent, travel – and the occasional beverage, of course – it all adds up. 79% students worry about making ends meet (The National Student Money Survey 2019), meaning there is little to spend on books. And that's where National Book Tokens come in.

National Book Tokens... 

  • can only be spent on books – whether textbooks, non-fiction or novels
  • help students budget for required university texts
  • encourage reading for pleasure, shown to benefit mental health and well-being
  • help people support high street bookshops across the UK and Ireland
  • are printed on FSC-certified board instead of plastic*


Win £1,000/€1,100 of books for a student of your choice

Do you know a student who would benefit from our Book Bursary? Nominate them to win £1,000/€1,100 of National Book Tokens – enough to buy every book they'll need for university, whatever they've chosen to study. If you win, not only will their reading list be sorted, you'll also get a £50/€60 National Book Tokens gift card for yourself to say thanks (although we're sure they'll remember to do that too).

This competition has now closed. Meet our winner below. 



We're pleased to announce that this year's winner is 16-year-old Caitlin Toal from Cumbria. She has received £1,000 of National Book Tokens. 

Caitlin says, "I enjoy reading young adult fiction, particularly by John Green, and I enjoyed studying Jane Eyre for my GCSEs last year. I'm currently studying English Literature at A level due to my passion for reading.

I feel extremely lucky to have won this as it sets me up for my future. Also, due to the fact we are a fairly low income family, it means I'll be able to buy all the resources I need, which I might not have previously been able to afford. It will help me massively during my studies and when I go to university in 2021. I'm unsure yet of what I'd like to study, so I’ve chosen a broad range of A levels to keep my options open. However, my ultimate goal is to have a career that helps people. Thank you so much."

Caitlin was nominated by her mum Jennifer Toal, who has won a £50 National Book Token for herself. Congratulations, Caitlin and Jennifer!



Terms and Conditions

This competition has now closed.


1 x £1,000/€1,100 National Book Tokens gift card for the nominated student 
1 x £50/€60 National Book Tokens gift card for the named entrant 

By entering this competition, entrants agree to be bound by the following terms and conditions:

  • No purchase necessary.
  • Opening date: Wednesday 4th September 2019.
  • Closing date: 11:59pm, Sunday 20th October 2019.
  • Only one entry per person will be accepted; any subsequent entries after the first will be invalid.
  • The prizes are non-transferable and there are no cash alternatives. The Promoter reserves the right to amend the specification of the prize or offer an alternative prize. In exceptional circumstances, the Promoter reserves the right to foreclose the competition without notice.
  • The prize of £1,000/€1,100 of National Book Tokens will be split over 4 x £250 gift cards or 5 x €220.
  • To be eligible to win £1,000/€1,100 of National Book Tokens gift cards, the nominated student must be aged 16 or over and in full or part-time education at a recognised learning establishment, or on a recognised apprentice scheme. If the nominated student does not meet these criteria, the entry will not be valid. The decision as to who is or is not a qualifying student will be made by the Promoter and their decision is final.
  • The competition is open to UK and Republic of Ireland residents except employees of the Booksellers Association and Book Tokens Ltd., their families, employees of participating bookshops, and anyone else connected with this promotion.
  • Entrants must be aged 16 or over.
  • Entrants agree to the Promoter using their details, and the nominated students' details, in post-competition publicity. The details will not be used for any other purpose, or passed onto any third parties, unless specified. The winning entrants' details may be shared securely with a third-party in order to fulfil the dispatch of competition prizes.
  • We will contact the winning entrant by email. In the event of the entrant not responding after 14 days, we reserve the right to allocate the prize to another entrant, or foreclose the prize. Unsuccessful entrants will not be contacted.
  • By entering, entrants acknowledge that this competition is a game of chance, which does not involve exercising any skill or judgement.
  • The Promoter accepts no responsibility for entries that are incomplete, illegible, incorrect, corrupted or fail to reach the Promoter by the closing date for any reason. Automatically generated entries or entries via third parties are invalid and shall not be considered.
  • The Promoter’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • The Promoter will only use entrants' email addresses and other personal information as outlined in our privacy policy.
  • Promoter: Book Tokens Ltd., 6 Bell Yard, London, WC2A 2JR.



Are you a student? Check out our university survival guide!

Before you can change the world, you need to focus on you. Check out our handy survival guide featuring 37 brilliant books to help you crack university and beyond, from essential skills and fantastic fiction to books about people who've inspired change.

Last year's winner

Charlotte Small won last year’s Book Bursary at the start of her first year studying History at the University of York. Charlotte said the Book Bursary came "at the best time ever". She looked forward to spending her £1,000 of National Book Tokens on books recommended for her course, especially Russian history. She was also "keen to introduce her cousins to the joy of reading" and wanted to treat them to some books as a surprise.

National Book Tokens gift cardsAbout National Book Tokens

National Book Tokens have inspired booklovers since 1932. Each year, thousands of people give National Book Tokens as gifts, encouraging teens to read for pleasure and helping the next generation of adults be a force for change. Available to buy in bookshops and online, and accepted bookshops, online and on eBooks at Blackwell's, National Book Tokens are the perfect gift for students and soon-to-be students.

*As of August 2018, standard National Book Tokens gift cards are printed on FSC-certified board instead of plastic. You may still find older plastic National Book Tokens gift cards as we encourage shops to use all remaining gift cards rather than destroy them. Both board and plastic National Book Tokens gift cards can be topped-up and used rather than thrown away.


Buy a gift card

Start their adventure with a National Book Token

Buy a gift card for a student or soon-to-be student

• Buy one of our popular gift card designs or send an e-Gift online 
• Find your nearest bookshop and pick up a gift card instore 

Buy a gift card



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