Friday, December 14, 2012

Bookish Stuff That's Not Books

Dear Jenny,

I got the awesome Gatsby t-shirt you sent me! Love! It!

It made me realize I've seen lots of fun literary items lately. How about a little round up? Probably too late for Christmas gift-giving, but hey -- it's always a good time to buy literary goods!

Stuff to Wear and Carry

T-shirts: As you already discovered, awesome T shirts at Novel-T (clever name). Since they're numbered, I love the idea of starting a sports team and having everyone wearing their favorite novelist. Of course, I don't really do sports (they don't have hockey jerseys) -- maybe a very nerdy bowling league?

Ts and Totes: Etsy seller Riverwest Concern has a lot of different pop culture t-shirts, tote bags, and prints, but several have a literary bent. This Walt Whitman tote bag makes me giggle.

Jewlery: In fact, Etsy is, not surprisingly, a treasure trove of literary awesomeness. The jewelry Jezebel Charms sells is great -- I don't wear cuffs, but these are pretty fabulous. And I'm loving the Dracula earrings (complete with blood!)

Stuff to Use

Misc: Penguin Classics totally rocks the bookish goods (20% off and free shipping right now, to boot!) with posters, mugs, thermoses, etc.  (And, of course, the postcards I gave you last year) (was that just last year?!) The "I'd Rather Be Reading" tote bag is pretty great.

Mugs: These Literary Transport mugs are pretty clever -- locations in the books make up a fictional "bus line" documented on the side of the mug. And here's a mug with the Greatest First Lines of Literature (so they say -- I don't know who made the call...)

Stuff for the Walls

Illustrated quotes: Artist Evan Robertson illustrates quotes from various works of literature using punctuation marks as part of the illustration. Check out his Etsy shop, Obvious State. (Got some Prufrock there for ya.)

Gatsby: It's been a Gatsby-riffic year -- possibly because of the upcoming movie? (Which I cannot wait to see! Baz Luhrmann? Yes, please!) The Heads of State makes awesome graphic posters, including this one, depicting imagined business cards from all of the characters in the book. (Non-literary note: their travel ones are also great. I especially love SF and Chicago.)

Book pages as media: Wall Envy Art is an Etsy shop with as much pop culture as bookish reference, but I really like their book-y offerings of screen prints over torn out book pages. I particularly like this Shakespeare quote. (In fact, that may be my favorite thing of all of these...)

Great print: Oh, Etsy -- you've got so much to offer! This print from Visual Philosophy is sweet -- even though that Dr. Seuss quote might be a bit overused, I love that clean, graphic design.


Several illustrators are making posters using all of the text in the book to make the illustration itself -- I keep seeing these everywhere, and now I know why: Tons of people are doing it! :) Here are my three favorites:
  • Litographs: I find these to be the most artistic of the choices. Several different artists work on these and I love the images. Also, they come in color or black and white. Particularly lovely are the graphics for The Jungle Book and Gulliver's Travels. I'll bet The Importance of Being Earnest is hard to read, but it looks cool.
  • Spineless Classics: Their site is difficult to navigate and I'm not sure if it's a good idea to call your business "spineless" (I get the joke, but come on...), but some of the posters are fun. The text is in columns, with a silhouette of the image cut out and the title and author featured prominently. I especially like Harry Potter.
  • Poster text:  Like Spineless, the text is in columns with the image silhouetted within. No author/title, though. They have my favorite Gatsby -- love the green light.
Believe it or not, there are others out there -- these are just the ones I've seen the most. I think those might be nice for new parents. Up all night with the baby? At least you can read snippets of a novel on the wall above the crib. Of course, this would have to be a book you're already very familiar with...

How about you? Seen any other good lit stuff lately?


PS -- I have finished The Art of Happiness and just need to write about it. I have already started At Home (and am loving it!) Talk about squeeeaking in by the deadline!


  1. ohmigod. YOU ARE EVIL. I WANT IT ALL!

    And since what I wanted to get you is out of stock at Amazon, I just ordered you the dracula earrings instead!

  2. Also, my favorite Etsy bookish thing---the book purses. So cute:

    I might be ordering the Ulysses lithographs from the link above. I love it. Here's the link: