Book Reviews and More

Hi! This blog is for my classes at Texas Woman's University.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

McCourt's Favorite Book Things

Hi everyone! I’m really excited about today’s post. It’s my version of Oprah’s Favorite Things. The main differences will be that they all have to do with books, reading, or writing, and they will all be relatively affordable. J

So if you have a book lover in your life, or want to treat yourself to a little something, here’s the list of “McCourt’s Favorite Book Things”.

1) Out of Print 

Goodnight Moon from Out of Print 

If you’ve seen me lately, chances are I’ve been wearing one of these t-shirts or carrying one of the Out of Print tote bags.  They have adult and kids' t-shirts, tote bags, phone cases, jewelry and more based on a great selection of book covers for adults and children.  For each product sold one book is donated to Books for Africa. So you can feel good and look good at the same time!

One note, sizes run small, especially the women’s - so you will most likely want to order at least one size larger than you usually wear and maybe two sizes if you have a tendency (like me) to shrink things in the wash.

2) Book Scarves 
Anne of Green Gables scarf from storiarts

Every since my trip to Paris, I have been smitten with scarves. I wore them all the time this year, or at least until the heat index soared to over 100 degrees. I’m looking forward to Fall so I can pull them out again.

There are lots of variations out there, but I’m eyeing this one from storiarts on Etsy. It quotes Anne of Green Gables, one of my favorite series as a kid.  There are lots of others to choose from including Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Little Women, The Raven, and more. Just search for book scarves in Etsy and you’ll see a selection.

3) iPad or E-Reader Covers

Dr. Seuss's ABC cover from retrograndma

Do you read on an e-reader, but still miss the look of a book? There are some clever ways to cover your iPad or e-reader. My favorite is this Dr. Seuss cover from retrograndma on Etsy (she actually has lots of cute bookish things on her site!). There are lots of other book cover designed covers for electronics out there as well. 

4) Book Purse

To Kill A Mockingbird purse from Novel Creations

I’ve been eyeing these book purses for years. They are starting to pop up on homemade sites all over, but I’ve always admired the ones from Novel Creations on (you guessed it!) Etsy. They have a large selection, including both classics and modern.

 5) Bookmarks

I admit it; I usually can’t keep up with my bookmarks. I know I should use them rather than dog-ear (or puppy-tail, as my son used to say) my pages. So I’m always on the hunt for a good bookmark that I won’t lose quite so easily.  My current favorite style is by Bookjigs. They are lovely to look at, but even more importantly they ingeniously clip onto the front cover or spine of the book. Then you use the string to mark your page. I never have to take them off the book while I’m reading it - so less chance of losing it!

My runner-up bookmark choice is the magnetic bookmark that clips over the top of the page. There are all kinds of them out there, but I really love these custom ones from craftedvan on Etsy. They feature  popular characters from books, television, and movies, such as the Lego Movie, Disney Princesses, Harry Potter, and more.  I think these would make great stocking stuffers!
Sherlock from craftedvan

The Fault in Our Stars from crafted van

Alice in Wonderland from craftedvan

6) Floating Bookshelves

If I thought I could get away with it, I’d have these all over my house. I love them! My husband found these Umbra Conceal floating bookshelves for me, most likely in an effort to help control the stacks of books we have throughout the house. They were such a hit, he already bought me more for Mother’s Day. I would love a wall of them!

7) Novel Wall Art

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone from Spineless Classics

Speaking of wall decoration, I think these are truly unique works of art. From Spineless Classics, they are whole novels printed on a poster. You probably will need glasses to read them, but I think it’s more about the overall effect than trying to read the book off of them! There are many clever designs with a nice selection of books. I think the Nutcracker or Christmas Carol would make a great decoration during the holidays. 

8) Book Letters

I’ve seen these popping up in eclectic and trendy shops and they are really neat. They are letters made from old books, usually old Reader’s Digest Condensed volumes. Even as un-crafty as I am, I was wondering if perhaps we (meaning Ben) could make them. So I have found these D-I-Y directions, but haven’t attempted it yet. If you want to just pick some up, try Anthropologie or Nordstroms.

9) Bookish Bedding

I’ve long been a fan of book-themed rooms and I came across these recently that are perfect for young (and old) fans of Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake. You can get them based on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Enormous Crocodile, and Matilda. I’d even pay overseas shipping for these unique creations.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

The Enormous Crocodile

Closer to home, Pottery Barn Kids has precious The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Peter Rabbit nursery sets.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Tale of Peter Rabbit

10) Library Kits

Until I'm an official librarian, I can pretend to be one at home thanks to these charming kits. 

Personal Library Kit by Knock Knock

For those future librarians and young book lovers out there, check out The Little Librarian kit. Hours of fun!

The Little Librarian

Okay, I’ll stop at 10 items, but must admit there are many more wonderful bookish things out there. Maybe I’ll have to do another one of these posts - perhaps as we get closer to the holidays. In fact, for any of my family members or close loved ones reading this - please consider this my birthday, Christmas, and Mother’s Day wish list for years to come! 

Happy shopping!


  1. McCourt, I always wanted to work in a library, too. I could see my child-self using these kits. I love to be super organized and these are perfect. I'll send you a photo of my favorite book thing. It's a pillow, no, it's a book holder, no, it's a pillow, no

    1. Rebecca,
      I love the idea of the book pillow. Maybe it would help declutter my bedside table. I could store the books in my pillows instead!
      Thanks for sharing! McCourt