Literary Paraphernalia

Where to Shop for the Bookworm or Writer in Your Life, or, Skip Black Friday for Me

I’ve been told by more than one person that I’m not easy to shop for. I’m not a capitalist. I’m not a huge consumer. I won’t wait in line today on Black Friday. I won’t push and shove to get a gaming console or a huge discount on a pallet of makeup. I don’t wear makeup. I don’t care about fashion. I could give a shit about the latest pop culture trend. But I am a bookworm and a writer.

And so are other writers within this blog. Melanie, co-creator of The Poetics Project, started Literature Paraphernalia section of our blog. In this section are a lot of great lists of bookish items for the bookworm and/or writer in your life. If you’re looking for some great gift-giving ideas, these post are a really good place to start. Even picky people like me find things to fall in love with.

To bag or not to bag. I think that’s the quote.

This bag, from JumpingJackalope on Etsy.com, is a bag I actually own. Melanie featured it in one of our blogs and I bought it for myself for school. It’s been a good book bag and has held up at school, but I did travel with it and it got a little beat up on the plane ride. I love the bag so much, though, that I’d be glad to own another and JumpkingJackalope is constantly updating her shop and adding more awesome bags.

Literary Paraphernalia: Belligerent T-Shirts for the Timid Bookworm

There aren’t many things that I hate in the world. Sometimes, I’d like to think of myself as a peaceful, serene, all-loving, and tree-hugging kind of person. However, the reality is that there are numerous things that will set me off into mini-Hulk mode. One being:

I absolutely hate being interrupted while reading.

It isn’t often that I am abruptly stopped in the middle of a reading experience. For the most part, I don’t mind being interrupted if it’s an obligatory, academic reading that I’m already dragging myself through in the first place. But if I’m entirely enraptured in reading a leisure book with my brow scrunched, possibly laughing to myself, or showing signs of water-brimmed eyes—clearly enthralled by my good read—then a person should, by all means, leave me be.

The few times I have been interrupted usually fall under the following circumstances: 1) Someone had a legitimate question that needed to be answered promptly 2) Someone has tried to sell me something  3) Someone thought it was a good time to talk to me about God 4) Someone just wanted to talk because they had nothing else to do.

Here’s the thing though: I’m what some people might call “timid.” I’m not nearly as vocal as I should be when it comes to speaking out against intrusive irritants. So, if one were to interrupt me during my leisurely reading hour(s), then it is no surprise that I react by using body language. Most of the time, I put down the book and shoot daggers with my eyes while attempting to transmit telepathic signals that equate to “Fuck. Off.”

In any case, if you similarly hate disruptive people with nothing better to do than shatter literary climatic moments for readers, then here are a few t-shirts from Look Human and SKREENED that can help address the problem:

Literary Paraphernalia: Book Ends for Your Home

I know it’s hard to believe in the need for book ends. In truth, they seem like one giant oxymoron.

When I moved to another state, I stuffed as many of my books as I could into my suitcase—carefully selecting the ones I knew I’d want to reread, the ones I hadn’t yet gotten to, and others that simply held sentimental value—and grudgingly packed the rest away to be put in storage.

Without my complete personal library, I find a lot of empty space left on my shelf. Slowly but surely, I’ve been filling it in, but there’s an art to the placement of books on a shelf. Books aren’t only gateways to other worlds, they are also beautiful products all on their own. I stack some books in piles, lean others against each other, all with their spines facing out—their covers each as lovely as a painting on the wall.

Bookends can accent your books, and below are just a few found on Etsy, all of which you can find on our Pinterest board!

Brontosaurus Metal Book Ends

Book Ends of the Earth

1970’s Brass Metal Owl Book Ends

Barn Wood & Edison Lamp Book Ends

Literary Paraphernalia: Bookish Crocheting Patterns

I’m a hooker.

That is, I like to crochet. Crocheting looks like knitting to the untrained eye, but while knitting uses needles, crocheting uses hooks.

Hence the term hooker. I don’t knit. I don’t play with needles. I hook. And I like the things I make, like this capitalist pig I made for my friend who hates his job:

Complete with money sack.
Complete with money sack.

My love for hooking and books are going to unite in this post. I have one quarter of school left until I graduate, and I know that I can’t be idle for long. So while researching some cook crocheting projects for myself, I decided to put together a list of awesome literary crocheting and share it with all of you.

Smaug from The Hobbit

You have to supply your own treasure.

This project might be a little ambitious to start with, but heck, it’s awesome. Who doesn’t want their own Smaug? I kind of wish I could insert Benedict Cumberbatch’s voice into it, somehow.

Sunflower Bookmarks

I have a thing for sunflowers.

Sunflowers are one of my favorite flowers, and they make really cute bookmarks, too. This project is also a lot less ambitious and easier for a beginning hooker to execute.

Book Tote

I’m in the middle of making this pattern, actually.

This pattern calls it a shopping bag, but all my shopping has to do with books, so I call it a book shopping bag. This pattern is easy to make and can carry a whole bunch of books.

Literary Paraphernalia: Bookish Rings

Rings are my favorite kind of jewelry. Unlike bracelets, they don’t snag on things or make writing and typing awkward. And unlike necklaces, rings seem more versatile. Most of my rings can be worn with any of the clothes in my closet.

Unique rings are not always easy to come by. Sure, you could grab something trendy and cheap at Target or Forever 21. But so will hundreds—if not thousands—of others. And sometimes it’s nice to stand out.

Etsy is a great place to find unique, literary jewelry—whether it’s for yourself or a loved one with a fancy for books (the holidays, after all, aren’t too far off). Below’s my own wishlist. If you want to see more literary finds, be sure to follow us on Pinterest!

Vintage Little Prince Ring

Sterling Silver Book Ring

Comic Book Ring

Literary Paraphernalia: Bookish Halloween Costumes

With only two weeks left before Halloween, it’s time for people like me—people who can’t even decide what to eat for lunch, let alone who to dress up as on one night every year—to quit procrastinating and choose a costume.

As cosplayers can attest to, Halloween is the one time of year it’s socially acceptable for us book nerds to dress up as our favorite characters. For us to go beyond our imaginations and don a new personality and new look for a night. I scoured the Internet (a.k.a used my googling powers) to find some literary costumes for this week’s Literary Paraphernalia—for little ones and adults, from the highly-detailed to the seriously-lazy. It’s all here.

Mary Poppins

Alice in Wonderland

Emily Elizabeth

Literary Paraphernalia: Writerly Art Prints

After several months of simply thinking about getting around to buying furniture at some possible date in the near future, I have decided to actually buy furniture. My walls feel empty, and I’m no longer in that awkward in-between-paychecks-and-jobs stage. In the spirit of filling up my empty walls, I took a look around on Etsy. I found a shop called Obvious State that sells literary prints and other bookish goods, like custom-picked notebook sets.

But really, I lingered at Obvious State’s shop because of their section of literary prints, each well-designed and with similar aesthetics. I imagine one or two posters above my writing desk, a reminder of why to keep going. Below are just a few posters from the Etsy shop’s inventory, but I found these ones particularly relevant to writers.

“All Truths Wait In All Things” Walt Whitman Poster

“Do A Fabulous Story” F. Scott Fitzgerald Poster

“Write Drunk; Edit Sober” Ernest Hemingway Poster

Literary Paraphernalia: 10 Bookish Scarves for Winter

Winter is around the corner, and, in the Northwest at least, the temperature is starting to drop, rain clouds are filling the sky, and people like me are restocking their closets with some warm clothes to get them through the season. Here are ten literary scarves you can purchase on Etsy to help you bundle up! Don’t forget to check out our Pinterest board for more literary finds.

Marvel Comic Book Scarf

Jane Eyre “I Am No Bird” Scarf

Where The Wild Things Are Infinity Scarf

Literary Paraphernalia: Tolkien-Inspired Tattoos

Today you folks get a double dose of Literary Paraphernalia, because we couldn’t get enough of Tolkien. (And also, because I’m itching to get some new ink—and I’ll take any excuse to look at some more literature-inspired tattoos.)

All of the tattoos below were inspired by Tolkien and his work. Do you have a favorite? Do you have your own Tolkien-esque ink you’d like to share? Tell us below!

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Meet Kaylee Sauvey and her Etsy Shop Full of Hobbits

Kaylee Sauvey and I were both writing tutors at Fullerton College, although we first met in a poetry class. She, I, and Melanie (co-founder of this blog) all worked in the same place, were all English majors at the same school, and all had similar interests. We loved writing and we loved books.

Melanie’s love for writing and books has taken her to Portland to pursue her MA in publishing. My passions have driven me to pursue my Ph.D. so I can teach and research English around the world (hopefully). Kaylee’s passions have driven her towards law school, which may seem a bit removed from her English-major and writing-tutor roots, but fear not. Legal matters are heavily rooted in writing, and Kaylee still keeps her passions for books and reading alive with her really cool Etsy shop.

Kaylee’s favorite book growing up was The Hobbit. She has this to say about the book itself:

In the spring of 1999, during a family trip to the library (which, in itself, was a special kind of treat for me), my dad checked out a book and later that evening, he began reading aloud, “In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit.” The next pages would reveal exactly what a hobbit was, but I wanted to know more and more as each page turned. That was my introduction to J.R.R. Tolkien; the foodless dessert at the family dinner table after a feast of cabbage rolls. I even remember what we ate that evening because every detail of that moment piqued my interest and launched me into a into my own adventure from which a part of me would never completely return; I went to Middle Earth that day and now, fifteen years later, a UCLA English graduate, I can attribute my passion for literature to that fateful day when an elaborately-imagined, adventurous world bloomed before my eyes.

Over the next few years, I anticipated the Peter Jackson films. My Irish twin sister and I would sit together, books in hand, and talk about what we hoped the characters would look like before they were cast. We were Tolkien hipsters and that is the one thing for which I will continue to be firmly hipster. I didn’t like Lord of the Rings or Tolkien because everybody else did, but I liked it before my age group did. I recall standing outside of a movie theater, disappointed at a missing detail in the Fellowship of the Ring film, when an eighteen-year-old friend of mine challenged eleven-year-old me about that particular detail, insisting that I was wrong and that the film got it right. We went home and checked our books. I was right. He apologized the next day. I say this to illustrate how much of an impact Middle Earth had on me. I studied it. It became more of a reality to me than my own life. I’m sure this is the description of obsession, but aren’t the greatest minds obsessed with and passionate about something that they consider special and beautiful? What is Tolkien’s world if not those two words?

J.R.R. Tolkien rewrote my future, in a sense. He directed me down the path of studying literature. He showed me that you can be passionately obsessed with fiction. But ultimately he showed me that we are capable of more than we realize; within his stories, the smallest characters have the most impact. It’s a ripple effect. You, as a single thread in the tapestry of the world, have the power make a difference; your color can be seen and admired by those who look at it and in turn, others will be inspired and attempt to be strong and stand tall. Tolkien showed me that the journey of life is often unexpected and full of death-defying obstacles, but through perseverance and belief in yourself, you can make it through Mirkwood, you can slay a dragon, you can survive being the main course in a troll feast, and yes, you can simply walk into Mordor.

Kaylee’s love for Tolkien can be found in her Etsy shop, where she has many cool Hobbit and Lord of the Ring themed items. Her clothing is hand painted and her notebooks are hand assembled. If you’re so inclined, you can find other pop culture and literature-based goodies in her shop.

Here’s a complete list of what she offers in the way of Tolkien goods.

Thorin Oakenshield Triple Panty Set

She has hand-painted panty sets for the girl that just can’t get enough Thorin on her crotch.