10 Things Every Book-Lover Must Have (Kind of)

by Allyson Gronowitz

What’s the best thing to buy a book-lover? Duh: a book.

Yet even the most dedicated bibliophile likes to read in style. Sure, we literature nuts frequently have our heads buried in the crisp, white pages of the latest paperback novel or the musty, yellowing parchment of a vintage, casebound classic — but there’s no reason not to look and feel downright suave while immersed in said reading. So whether you’re hoping to add some pizzazz to your literary experience or — in the rare instance when you venture to the outside world — simply hoping to carry your literary experience around with you, these 10 items that every book-lover must have are sure to meet your fancy.

1. Bookshelf Chair

It’s happened to the best of us: You speed through a book from start to finish, but you’re unwilling to exert the necessary physical effort it would take to heave yourself off your cozy couch to retrieve another book from the shelf. But what if your bookshelf and your chair were one and the same? Lazybones, you’re in luck: this self-contained Bookshelf Chair eliminates the need to ever get up. Ever. (It even comes with a lamp!)

2. Banned Books Mug

Banned Books Mug, $15, Amazon

There’s nothing like sipping a steaming cup of tea or hot chocolate while curled up with a good book. Grab the Banned Books mug off your shelf, and even the vessel carrying your hot drink will have a literary theme — albeit a nerdishly risqué one. (Bonus badass points if the book you’re reading is one of the titles featured on the mug.) Prefer to actually wear a list of banned books instead? Invest in the bracelet version of the mug and show the world how rebellious you truly are.

3. "I Like Big Books And I Cannot Lie" Pillow

Oh my god. Becky, look at her book! You can also purchase the matching shirt, which is designed so, so perfectly.

4. Ideal Bookshelf

Sure, you could display your favorite books on an actual, physical bookshelf, but it’s way cooler (and more space-efficient) to order a customized painting from Jane Mount instead. The Ideal Bookshelf project is, as Mount writes on her website, a way for her to “paint portraits of people through the spines of their favorite books.” Sounds like our kind of artistic enterprise!

5. Portal Bookends

There are many, many, many , funky bookends available out there. (And then there’s this one, because iPads are otherwise totally useless, amiright? Pro-tip: You can also use your spare hundred-dollar bills as bookmarks!) But my personal favorite are the Portal bookends. Though we can only metaphorically be transported into the worlds of books, this little guy zips through your bookshelf quite literally. Or maybe he’s actually just looking for some cake.

6. Book Tissue Dispenser

The world is chock-full of some pretty damn depressing books. Tragedy-stricken accounts such as Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking and recent PEN Award-winner Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers come to mind, as do fictional sob-stories ranging from Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief to Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. If you decide to tackle any of these heartbreakers, you’d better be prepared for an ocean of tears. What better way to clean up your messy blubbering than with a book-themed tissue box? This one-of-a-kind Kleenex dispenser will suit all of your weepy needs.

7. Book Stair Decals

Books have the astounding power to transport us to other countries, planets, eras, or universes. Now, apparently, books can also help you traverse the otherwise insurmountable distance between the different levels of your house.

8. Book Purse

These aesthetically pleasing and sentimentally precious purses are the products of the imagination of self-proclaimed bibliophile Caitlin Phillips, who is so attached to the touch, smell, and feel of books that she designed a way to carry one around with her at all times. Phillips, well-aware of the outcry (expressed by our very own Kelsey Thomas) that often accompanies the alleged destruction of precious literature, promotes her handcrafted book purses as “a second chance for well-loved books.” “Most of my work is made from damaged or discarded books, 90% were being thrown out by libraries,” she writes on Etsy. “All care is taken to never use valuable or rare books.” Whew! Guilt assuaged? Good, because Phillips' company boasts quite the collection.

9. Shakespeare Pill Box

Shakespeare Pill Box, $13, Philospher's Guild

This dual-compartmented pill box embossed with the Bard’s lovely visage is perfect for the literary hypochondriac in all of us. Contact your local apothecary for details on how to appropriately use your real and fake vials of poison.

10. "In the Library" Perfume

There’s a reason that bookishly brilliant Hermione Granger smells “new parchment” as one of her personal attractions when she gets a whiff of the most powerful love potion in the known Potterverse. What could possibly be more alluring than the scent of books? And that, my friends, is why things like Christopher Brosius’ “In the Library” scent exists. I’m pretty sure that’s what heaven smells like, too.

Image: KnobCreekMetalArts on Etsy