20 Brilliant Items Every Book Lover Will Want

RASCH via Amazon
RASCH via Amazon

For true bibliophiles, every day is book lover's day. But once a year, on August 9th, Book Lovers Day (capitalized) encourages readers of every level of voraciousness to unplug their smartphones and relax with a good book. If you want to show your undying dedication to the written word, you can take your celebration one step further by filling your favorite reading nook with the scent of an old book, a cup of book-themed tea, and dozens of other amazing products that every book fiend will love.

1. 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die: A Life-Changing List; $22


Workman Publishing Company via Amazon

Think you've read every great book there is to read? James Mustich, a veteran bookseller and author of 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die: A Life-Changing List, might disagree. While his long, long list includes children's classics like Goodnight Moon and sci-fi comedies like The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, there are also some unexpected gems in there. And if you endeavor to read just one suggested title per month, you've got your next 83-plus years of reading all planned out. (If you'd rather digest the book in bite-sized segments, there's also a page-a-day calendar version.)

Buy it: Amazon

2. 100 Essential Novels Scratch-off Chart; $35 to $130

Pop Chart's 100 Essential Novels Scratch-off Chart
Pop Chart

Once you've started to make a dent in James Mustich's list of books, you'll want to show off your progress—whether people ask about it or not. Pop Chart's scratch-off poster lets your keep track of which classic novels you've read, with a total of 100 titles featured.

Buy it: Pop Chart

3. Old Books Candle; $22

Old Books candle from Frostbeard Studio
Frostbeard Studio via Amazon

Want to set the mood for a totally old-school reading experience? Minneapolis-based candlemaker Frostbeard Studio uses soy wax to re-create the delicious smell of old books (“the sweet, papery sort,” according to the company, not the mildewy ones). With scents of paper, dust, newsprint, and vanilla, the handmade candle is all the things we love about aging books—minus the allergens.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Charles Dickens Library Candles; $12

Charles Dickens library candle
Paddywax

Not a fan of the smell of old books? Take a big whiff of Charles Dicken, the bard of the dark and gloomy streets of foggy, 19th-century London, who gave us such dreary high school English class staples as Great Expectations and Oliver Twist. But like the scrappy street urchin protagonist of the latter, you’ll be asking for some more, please, when you experience the scent of this Dickens-inspired candle. Made of fragrant notes of tangerine, juniper, and clove, the only thing that could make this more authentic would be some chimney sweep soot under your nose.

Buy it: Paddywax

5. Literary Book Bags; $105 to $165

KrukruStudioBooks literary bags
KrukruStudioBooks via Etsy

KrukruStudioBooks's totes give the phrase book bag an entirely new meaning. Each purse is designed to look like a classic novel, complete with the author's name and illustrated cover art. Choose whether you'd prefer your bag to be crafted from faux or authentic leather, and then just pick your favorite book: Pride and Prejudice, Madame Bovary, Hamlet, The Little Prince, and Lolita are among the many titles they offer. And since each bag is produced by hand, you can custom order them in a variety of sizes, colors, and styles.

Buy it: Etsy

6. Bookmark Necklace; $100

Uncommon Goods' Literary Lovers Bookmark Necklace
Uncommon Goods

Is it a necklace? Is it a bookmark? Why can't it be both? Uncommon Goods' intricately patterned sterling silver necklace works with almost any outfit as a piece of jewelry; take it off and it becomes a charming bookmark to help save your place.

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

7. Foldable Book Lamp; $28

BOSQUEEN foldable book lamp
BOSQUEEN via Amazon

When it's closed, BOSQUEEN's book lamp looks like your average book. But open it up and it becomes a book-style lantern with a gentle LED glow and its own USB port. It's foldable and portable, too, which makes it easy to place it wherever you want.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Novel Teas; $14

Novel Teas
Novel Teas via Amazon

There are few things cozier than grabbing a hot cup of tea and curling up on the couch with a great book. You can keep the literary theme going with Novel Teas, boxes of English breakfast tea that feature quotes from famous authors on each tea bag.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Library Card Mug; $12

Out of Print's Library Card mug
Out of Print via Amazon

While, for the most part, printed library cards have gone the way of the card catalog, Out of Print remembers the days of learning the Dewey Decimal system with this nostalgia-driven library card mug.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Edgar Allan Poe Scarf; $32

Out of Print Edgar Allan Poe scarf
Out of Print via Amazon

Edgar Allan Poe's mug is unmistakable, so why not stun—and hopefully delight—some people with Poe in scarf form? Out of Print’s teal Poe-ka dot scarf is lightweight, and is made from 80 percent cotton and 20 percent silk. Because it’s hand-dyed and hand-printed, it will need to be dry-cleaned, which seems a fair tradeoff for all the compliments you're sure to get.

Buy it: Amazon

11. Banned Books iPhone Case; $36

Society6's Banned Books iPhone case

Society6

Show your support of unsavory books (even if they are often banned for ridiculous reasons) with one of three simple black-and-white “I read banned books” phone cases from Society6. The cases are compatible with iPhone and Android. Sleek is more for appearances, whereas Tough Case insures less damage and Adventurous protects against worst-case scenarios. Besides protecting your phone, the case also works as a conversation starter.

Buy it: Society6

12. Bram Stoker Dracula Tote; $25

Society6's Remember Bram Stoker - Dracula Tote Bag
Society6

Dracula scribe Bram Stoker should be remembered for his gothic stories—and for being fashionable. Society6’s hand-sewn tote bag features a yellow rose, pink bow, and Stoker’s portrait preserved in a cameo; the tote comes in three different sizes.

Buy it: Society6

13. Knock Knock Personal Library Kit; $13

Knock Knock's Personal Library Kit
Knock Knock via Amazon

While sharing a treasured book with a friend, family member, or colleague is one of the greatest joys a true bibliophile can experience, there's always that tiny matter of making sure said book gets returned. Even if your personal book collection doesn't come close to rivaling the New York Public Library's, this library kit will ensure that you always know who borrowed your first edition copy of The Great Gatbsy last.

Buy it: Amazon

14. Pacheco coffee table with storage; $590

17 Stories' Pacheco Coffee Table looks like a fancier version of a now-vintage library card catalog file. The veneer finish is composed of distressed fir and birch, and dark metal legs support the table, which is a spacious 4 feet long. Three drawers open to a lot of storage instead of individual catalogs, making it perfect for storing ... well, books for one.

Buy it: Wayfair

15. Bibliophilia: 100 Literary Postcards; $16

Bibliophilia: 100 Literary Postcards
Obvious State Studio via Amazon

While postcards may most often be associated with travel, books have their own way of taking you places. This collection of 100 postcards features 50 of the most powerful quotes in literary history, so that you can let your favorite author—be it Virginia Woolf or Oscar Wilde—do the talking.

Buy it: Amazon

16. Library Books Wallpaper; $27

Rasch Library Books Wallpaper
RASCH Limited via Amazon

You don't have to have an additional 1000 square feet of home to create your own personal library. Fake it in any sized space with this library-themed wallpaper, which makes any room feel like your own personal reading nook.

Buy it: Amazon

17. Literary Mugs; $16

Uncommon Goods' literary mugs
Uncommon Goods

Uncommon Goods has immortalized Jane Austen, Lewis Carroll, the Brontë sisters, and Edgar Allan Poe by giving them their own stoneware mugs. Quotes from their works surround images of the novelists, from Austen spouting romantic wisdom from Emma (“If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more”) to Poe’s “Nevermore” philosophy.

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

18. Why So Ever Bards Dispense Profanity: A Party Game Based on the Works of William Shakespeare; $25

Why So Ever Bards Dispense Profanity: A Party Game Based on the Works of William Shakespeare
Why So Ever via Amazon

William Shakespeare may be known as the world's greatest writer, but he also had a notorious potty mouth. His plays, sonnets, and other works are filled with all sorts of dirty jokes (which may have gone right over your head), which is why this adults-only game, which is basically the Bard's version of Cards Against Humanity, so apropos.

Buy it: Amazon

19. Pride and Prejudice Writing Gloves; $26

Storiarts' Pride and Prejudice writing gloves
Storiarts

Whether you're reading, writing, or just taking the dog for a walk, you can keep the magical words of Jane Austen (or many of your other favorite writers) close by with these fingerless writing gloves.

Buy it: Storiarts

20. Still I Rise Infinity Scarf; $48

Storiarts' Still I Rise infinity scarf
Storiarts

If it's your neck that tends to get chilly, cover it up with the warming words of Maya Angelou's Still I Rise (which you can also pair with some writing gloves). Like the gloves, the scarves—both of which are decked out with the text of Angelou's beloved poem—celebrate a variety of authors, including Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Kenneth Grahame, and Roald Dahl.

Buy it: Storiarts

8 Fun Bookmarks to Keep Your Place

iStock
iStock

Why settle for a torn piece of paper or receipt when you can have something way more exciting? These bookmarks are for readers who want to add some extra whimsy to their reading routine.

1. Sprouts; $12.50

These ingenious silicone markers don’t work like normal bookmarks. Shaped like adorable sprouts, they fit inside your book and mark the exact line you’re at on the page. Because they’re made with a flexible material, you can close the book easily with the sprout inside and it will spring back to shape when you open the book again. The sprouts come in sets of six. For a little luck, check out the four-leaf clover iteration.

Find it: Amazon

2. Butterflies; $10


If you've ever wanted to have a real Disney princess moment, consider buying these bookmarks, which will make it look like butterflies have perched on your books. The set comes with 10 pieces in a variety of designs.

Find it: Amazon

3. Crocodile; $13

These clever placeholders create the illusion that a crocodile is lurking on top of your book. When you lift up this intimidating bookmark, it shows the reptile’s sharp teeth, warning others not to dare lose your place. (If mammals are more your style, there is also a hippo option.)

Find it: Amazon

4. Lamp; $13

Let this lamp-shaped bookmark illuminate where you left off. The lamp shape sits on top of the book while the yellow light-beam fits snuggly between the pages. It comes in three colors: white, red, and gray.

Find it: Amazon

5. Literary Feet; $24

Remember that scene in The Wizard of Oz when the house fell on the Wicked Witch of the East and only her feet stuck out? You can recreate that iconic movie scene with a bookmark. Even better, the design isn’t restricted to just the witch: You can get all kinds of famous book character feet to stick out of your book. Just some of the literary legs available include Alice from Alice in Wonderland, a direwolf from A Song of Ice and Fire, and a magician from Harry Potter. There are also some non-book selections, like animals, ballerinas, and Yoda.

Find it: Amazon

6. Food; $30

Let some of your favorite food keep your place. The plush bookmarks feature a slice of pizza, ice cream, coffee, and an ice cream sandwich.

Find it: Amazon

7. Magnetic pals; $5

You’ll be even more motivated to read if you have a small buddy smiling at you from the side of your book. You can attach them to any place on the side of the page, so you know exactly where you are in the story.

Find it: Amazon

8. Pointers; $7

These bookmarks also mark the exact place in the book, but without the help of magnets. Instead, they come with stretchy loops that wrap around the entire book. A hand pointing can pinpoint the exact word, in case you’re the type that stops reading mid-sentence. They come in packs of three.

Find it: Amazon

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy.

11 Scrumdiddlyumptious Roald Dahl Facts

Ronald Dumont / Getty Images
Ronald Dumont / Getty Images

A world without Roald Dahl would be a world without Oompa Loompas, Snozzcumbers, or Muggle-Wumps. And who would ever want to live in a world like that? Celebrate the author with these gloriumptious facts about the master of edgy kids' books.

1. Writing was never Roald Dahl's best subject.

Dahl held onto a school report he had written as a kid, on which his teacher noted: “I have never met anybody who so persistently writes words meaning the exact opposite of what is intended.”

2. Making up nonsensical words was part of what Roald Dahl did best.

When writing 1982’s The BFG, Dahl created 238 new words for the book’s protagonist, which he dubbed Gobblefunk.

3. Roald Dahl's first profession was as a pilot.

And not just any pilot: Dahl was a fighter pilot with the Royal Air Force during World War II. And it was a plane crash near Alexandria, Egypt that actually inspired him to begin writing.

4. Roald Dahl got into some 007 kind of stuff, too.

Alongside fellow officers Ian Fleming and David Ogilvy, Dahl supplied intelligence to an MI6 organization known as the British Security Coordination.

5. Roald Dahl's first published piece was accidental.

Upon recovering from that plane crash, Dahl was reassigned to Washington, D.C., where he worked as an assistant air attaché. He was approached by author C.S. Forester, who was writing a piece for The Saturday Evening Post and looking to interview someone who had been on the frontlines of the war. Dahl offered to write some notes on his experiences, but when Forester received them he didn’t want to change a word. He submitted Dahl’s notes—originally titled “A Piece of Cake”—to his editor and on August 1, 1942, Roald Dahl officially became a published author. He was paid $1000 for the story, which had been retitled “Shot Down Over Libya” for dramatic effect.

6. Roald Dahl's first children's book was inspired by the Royal Air Force.

Published in 1942, The Gremlins was about a group of mischievous creatures who tinkered with the RAF’s planes. Though the movie rights were purchased by Walt Disney, a film version never materialized. Dahl would go on to become one of the world’s bestselling fiction authors, with more than 100 million copies of his books published in nearly 50 languages.

7. Roald Dahl read Playboy for the articles.

Or at least his own articles. While he’s best known as a children’s author, Dahl was just as prolific in the adult short story sphere. His stories were published in a range of outlets, including Collier’s, Ladies Home Journal, Harper’s, The New Yorker, and Playboy, where his topics of choice included wife-swapping, promiscuity, suicide, and adultery. Several of these stories were published as part of Dahl’s Switch Bitch anthology.

8. Quentin Tarantino adapted a Roald Dahl short story for the big screen.

One of Dahl’s best-known adult short stories, “Man from the South” (a.k.a. “The Smoker”), was adapted to celluloid three times, twice as part of Alfred Hitchcock Presents (once in 1960 with Steve McQueen and Peter Lorre, and again in 1985) and a third time as the final segment in 1995’s film anthology Four Rooms, which Quentin Tarantino directed.

9. Roald Dahl's own attempts at screenwriting were not as successful.

One would think that, with his intriguing background and talent for words, Dahl’s transition from novelist to screenwriter would be an easy one ... but you would be wrong. Dahl was hired to adapt two of Ian Fleming’s novels, the James Bond novel You Only Live Once and the kid-friendly Chitty Chitty Bang Bang; both scripts were completely rewritten. Dahl was also hired to adapt Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for the big screen, but was replaced by David Seltzer when he couldn’t make his deadlines. Dahl was not shy about his criticisms of the finished product, noting his “disappointment” that the film (and its changed title) shifted the story’s emphasis from Charlie to Willy Wonka.

10. Roald Dahl made an important contribution to the field of neurosurgery.

In 1960, Dahl’s four-month-old son Theo’s carriage was struck by a cab driver in New York City, leaving the child suffering from hydrocephalus, a condition that increases fluid in the brain. Dahl became very actively involved in his son’s recovery, and contacted toymaker Stanley Wade for help. Together with Theo’s neurosurgeon, Kenneth Till, the trio developed a shunt that helped to alleviate the condition. It became known as the Wade-Dahl-Till valve.

11. Even in death, Roald Dahl's sense of humor was evident.

Roald Dahl passed away from a blood disease on November 23, 1990 at the age of 74. Per his request, he was buried with all of his favorite things: snooker cues, a bottle of Burgundy, chocolate, HB pencils, and a power saw.

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