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Sign up to receive emails packed with exclusive competitions, book recommendations, offers from your local bookshop, and more – plus you can win a £100/€120 National Book Token every month!

Hold up! For 2021, we've changed our Book Bursary to our fantastic 'Win £1,000 of National Book Tokens for an awesome young adult' competition – find out more.

Students Need Books

They can change the world. But first, they need books.

Whether they're attending virtual seminars, heading to university lectures with their peers, or studying at home, students need their own books. It's been a hard year to be a student, with 96% saying they're affected by the Covid-19 crisis (COVID-19 UK Student Survey 2020). 79% of students also worry about making ends meet (The National Student Money Survey 2019) – with food, rent, travel (and the occasional beverage, of course!), it all adds up. That's where National Book Tokens come in.

National Book Tokens... 

  • can only be spent on books, including textbooks, non-fiction, and novels
  • help students budget for required university texts
  • encourage reading for pleasure, which is shown to benefit mental health and wellbeing
  • help support high street bookshops across the UK and Ireland
  • are printed on sustainable FSC-certified board instead of plastic* for the environmentally conscious!





WinnerWe're pleased to announce that the winner of our 2020 Book Bursary is... Ellie Powell from Conwy in Wales! She has received £1,000 of National Book Tokens to spend on books for her BA degree in English and Politics at Manchester Metropolitan University. 

Ellie said, "I've always enjoyed reading and loved English in school. Studying English at university has only deepened my passion and enjoyment for it. I'm hoping to study for an MA next autumn and feel very lucky to have won such a wonderful prize which will help me do so."

Ellie was nominated by Heath Roberts, who won a £50 National Book Token. Congratulations, Ellie and Heath! 


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 the books they 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). To nominate a student, simply complete the form below.

This competition has now closed.


Terms and Conditions


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: Thursday 3rd September 2020.
  • Closing date: 11:59pm, Sunday 18th October 2020. 
  • Only one entry per entrant will be accepted; any subsequent entries after the first will be invalid.
  • An individual student may be nominated more than once by different entrants.
  • 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 – or have deferred a place 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.



Check out our university survival guide!



View the guide

Are you a student or soon-to-be student? 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. 


Meet the 2019 winner



Winner16-year-old Caitlin Toal from Cumbria received £1,000 of National Book Tokens to spend when she starts university in 2021.

Caitlin said, "I enjoy reading young adult fiction and studying Jane Eyre. I'm currently studying English Literature at A Level. I feel extremely lucky to have won as it sets me up for my future. We are a fairly low-income family and it means I'll be able to buy all the resources I need, which I might not have previously been able to afford."

Caitlin was nominated by her mum, Jennifer Toal, who won a £50 National Book Token for herself. Congratulations, Caitlin and Jennifer! Will it be your nominated student this year?


About National Book Tokens



National Book Tokens gift cards

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 them a gift card ahead of university

Pick up a gift card from your favourite bookshop

Buy our gift cards in thousands of bookshops across the UK & Ireland.

Find a bookshop

Send an e-Gift card directly to their inbox

Send them an e-Gift by email, or print at home (£ and €).

Send an e-Gift card

Send them a personalised gift card

Get free personalisation (normally £1.99) on any gift card (£ only).

Create your own

Buy one of our popular gift card designs online

Get speedy delivery to you or direct to them (£ and €).

Buy online


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