Literary (Non-Book) Gift Guide

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It’s that time of year again. When checkout lines take fifteen times longer than usual and the mall parking lot is actually hell. And avoid physical stores at all costs. My Christmas shopping is done either before Thanksgiving, or pretty much exclusively online. Two years ago, I broke my rule when my little sister begged me to drop her off at the mall. And what happened? I got in a car accident (not my fault). Right in front of the damn mall. So this year, I am continuing my Black Friday tradition of sitting at home and reading or watching Christmas movies in my fuzzy pjs.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t like holiday shopping. I’m just thankful I live in the age of online shopping. So, in the spirit of the season, I wanted to share some of my absolute favorite bookish gifts for the literature lovers in your life (other than actual books, of course).

My first suggestion is something anyone might love – whether or not they’re a big reader. And that’s scented candles. But not just any scented candles book scented candles. Whether they smell like actual books (I’m a bit obsessed this Old Books scented candle), or just things in books (butterbeer seems to be a very popular scent) they’re all pretty amazing. There are three sellers on Etsy that I am completely in love with – and yes, I’ve tried all of them, and they’re all great. The first is Frostbeard, which makes the most amazing soy candles and wax melts. I highly recommend Oxford Library (which has been described as “freshly-showered Sherlock” – yes please!) and Gatsby’s Mansion. Next is a little shop called From the Page, which sells wax tarts, candles, and lip balm (for your bookish friends who might not be into candles). If I had to pick one all-time favorite scent, it would be their 221B Baker Street. It’s just so good! And finally, I really enjoy Bubble & Geek, which sells book, tv, and movie fandom-inspired candles, fragrances, lip balm, and soap. I am a little bit in love with their Loki and Thor scents. And their King in the North candle (inspired by A Game of Thrones) is an amazing minty scent that I like to use to wake me up when I’m studying. There are a ton of different bookish inspired scents, and I think it’s easy to find something anyone will like, whether they’re into floral (try Pemberley Gardens), light and fresh, (like my favorite white tea-scented Mad Tea Party), warm and chocolatey (Reading at the Cafe smells like coffee and chocolate pastry), or even a little bit spicy (I really like Sunnydale Library). I think any of these candles (or lip balms or wax tarts or soap) will make amazing gifts! They’ve also all released Christmas-y scents this year (Whoville, Candy Cane Forest, Christmas in the Great Hall, and Yule Ball are just a few), so you might want to check them if you’re in the market for some holiday scents.

I think another great gift for readers and/or writers is a really cool desk accessory. I have several bookish items on my desk, and they make me really happy when I look at them. Mundane items, like a pencil holder are so much better when they’re literary-related. I adore my mousepad – this one, from TakeItWith – which reminds me of my favorite children’s book, Where the Wild Things Are. They have plenty of other designs, like The Little PrinceAlice in Wonderland, and Fantastic Mr. Fox. TakeItWith also sells coasters and nightlight, which I think would be so cute for any little bookworms in your life – I really love this Hungry Caterpillar one!

And finally, no bibliophile’s closet is complete without some literary clothing. One of my favorite online shops is Out of Print Clothing, which makes really great book-cover merchandise. Their sweatshirts are super-comfy (I have 1984 and Pride and Prejudice), their t-shirts are awesome (I own their library one, Ender’s Game, and American Gods), and I’m a huge fan of their tote bags (I take their Where the Wild Things Are one with me to my nanny job). They also sell jewelry, coasters, phone cases, baby clothes, notebooks, and a slew of other awesome things. If you haven’t checked them out yet, you need to. Another really great option for book-related clothing is Litographs – they make their own shirts, posters, and tote bags featuring different designs of each book, made out of the text of that book (it’s hard to explain, just go look at them). I really want to try their temporary tattoos,  which are really cool, grown-up book designs (I really like this Wonderful Wizard of Oz design).


Happy shopping everyone! I hope you all survive Black Friday with minimal damage (to yourselves and your wallets). Let me know what your favorite bookish items are in the comments!

And keep an eye out for one (or two) more holiday gift guides!

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