I’m sure if you have a blog, bookstagram, or belong to the book community in any sort of fashion, you know about all the hype surrounding bookish merch. Candles, bookmarks, art prints, Funkos, bath soap, jewelry, lip balm, nail polish, pillows – the list goes on forever. And I’m by no means immune to any of this myself. As I type up this post, I’m currently surrounded by two recently-burned bookish candles, a pile of preorder swag (bookmarks, book plates, etc.), a magnetic string thingy that holds up my art prints, a book-themed flip calendar that I got from a bookish subscription box, and two actual books. All of this in just one corner of my fairly large room FILLED with bookish stuff. You could say I have an obsession, but I’m guessing you probably do too.
So, in celebration of my love for book swag, I decided to feature a few of my top favorite (online) bookish stores! I tried to pick some shops that are underrated, that you guys may not have heard of before. Of course, I could name 15000 other shops that I adore, but that would be an extremely long post! (And obviously the title of my post is a bit facetious; what shops you consider the best are probably totally different than mine!) I also highlighted my personal favorite item from each shop, in case you need a recommendation to get you started.
Clicking on the shop’s title will take you directly to their store. All photos on the right are my original work.
I thought it appropriate to start off my post with the store that really began my obsession with merch, namely candles. One day probably 2 years ago, I randomly decided to purchase Brittany’s Lunar Chronicles set (my first bookish candles ever) after seeing a photo on Instagram. Since then I’ve been in love! Novelly Yours is hands-down my top favorite candle store. The scents are always gorgeous and on-point, I’ve never had a candle tunnel, and they can really fill a room. Plus there are a huge variety of candle sizes and all sorts from different fandoms!
Favorite Item: The Wraith candle. SERIOUSLY THE BEST CANDLE ON THE FACE OF THIS EARTH. (not pictured)
I’m sure most of you have probably heard of this store, but I absolutely love it! Gina makes a crazy amount of stuff, including bookmarks, soaps, perfumes, lotions, and lip balms. Her soap literally made taking a shower an otherworldly experience. I also love her lip balms and bookmarks! Honestly I’m obsessed everything from this store, and lately I’ve been feeling like it’s time for a soap restock at my house, lol.
Favorite Item: Kaz soap. It’s red like the blood of Kaz’s enemies and smells very masculine. 13/10 would recommend.
I feel like even if you don’t know this store, you’ve definitely seen the bookmarks before. Happy Hello Art has such a cute, distinct artistic style and I have a *slightly* humongous collection of their bookmarks. I hung a string across one of my bookcases, and clipped the little bookmarks over it so they’re all proudly and adorably displayed. If you’re looking to get some quality clip-style bookmarks, Happy Hello is the place to go!
Favorite Item: Six of Crows set. Honestly I’m biased just because I’m so obsessed with the Grishaverse, but C’MON. LOOK AT LITTLE KAZ AND HIS CANE OF DESTRUCTION. And Inej with her knives!! The detail is insane and I’m in love.
This shop is definitely the most underrated on the list. I recently found out about The Bookish Flame when I received Jen’s Gansey and Ronan candles as a gift. They smell seriously amazing, and I love the size! After that I purchased a few Grisha-themed candles (because when am I not buying Grisha stuff??) and that sealed my love forever. If you’re looking for a cost-effective and unique candle, The Bookish Flame is the answer! Also the sparkly gray Ketterdam candle in front and the Sturmhond candle with a blue label on the left are the two candles from TBF. Unfortunately I don’t have a nice photo just featuring TBF candles yet.
Favorite Item: Ketterdam candle. THE SPARKLES ARE SO COOL!! Also the scent is absolutely divine and smells just like how I would imagine Ketterdam.
Till & Dill is probably the most recent company that I’m fallen in love with. They make the most STUNNING bookmarks & art prints you’ve ever seen – just see the very crappy picture I’ve attached. As far as I know, Till & Dill doesn’t make your typical fandom bookmarks (meaning they don’t depict specific bookish characters), but their artwork is truly gasp-worthy and super original, and it clearly evokes the spirit of our favorite stories. The bookmarks are a very nice texture and high-quality, plus I found the price to be incredibly reasonable and they have A+ costumer service!
Favorite Item: Taurus bookmark (first bookmark on the left). Throughout the year, T&D have been releasing a line of Zodiac-themed bookmarks, so I decided to purchase my sign when it released! I just love the adorable bull and magical girl design. Unfortunately, you can’t get this bookmark anymore (since it’s a new Zodiac sign on the calendar), but if your sign is later in the year you can still snatch up yours!
Okay guys, I saved the best for last!! Brittany (@abibliophilesbkm) recently relaunched her Etsy store (it used to be called Pages & Polish, which is why it says that on the bottle in the photo) that sells bookish nail polish AND eyeshadow! I don’t know about you guys, but I can’t name any other companies that make book-inspired nail polish, and I definitely can’t name any with eyeshadow. Britt puts a ton of time and effort into her products, I have four of her polishes and can honestly say they’re the best polish I’ve ever owned. The colors are gorgeous and represent the characters/settings perfectly! Unfortunately, the shop is currently closed because of technically difficulties, but should be open very soon with preorder slots for ACOTAR-themed eyeshadow palettes! Yes, all you Maas fans can get excited, so go check out Stardust Cosmetics on Instagram to see what the palettes will look like (there’s also Rhysand nail polish just sayin’)!
Favorite Item: Heartrender polish. It’s a delicious red color that’s based on Nina, and I’m a Six of Crows junkie so obviously I’m a woman in love. (not pictured)
So I hope you all enjoyed this post, and now have a sufficiently stocked wishlist of bookish merch. If you guys want any more information about the shops or more recommendations (trust me, I have plenty), please feel free to ask! Also, I want to make it clear that I’m not a rep or reviewer for any of these companies, just a true fan!