Bookish Things That Aren’t Books – Some Fab Swag I Love

Posted February 22, 2019 by Amber in Memes / 6 Comments


There are two reasons why I keep subscribing to book boxes.

The first is that OwlCrate has forced me to step out of my comfort zone and try new things.  For example, The Hearts We Sold and Foolish Hearts are books I wouldn’t have picked up on my own, and I loved them both.  Also the exclusive covers are a huge perk for me.

The second reason is the swag!

Frankly speaking, if you don’t enjoy the swag in a book box, there’s really no point in subscribing.  The books themselves, even in hard copy at full price, still come to about $10 cheaper than just buying the book.  I’ve canceled subscriptions to perfectly lovely boxes because I didn’t enjoy the swag I received.  Then, there are boxes I don’t mind coming back to time and again, because I usually love everything I receive.  Even international ones – like FairyLoot and Illumicrate – will get an occasional buy from me because I trust them to deliver something I’ll like.

By the wayyyy.  If you’re international, Illumicrate is switching to a monthly instead of quarterly subscription, starting with the February box!  I’m hoping this will still mean there’s as much love and care put into the box, because this one is solid.  I’ve only ordered it a couple times, but it’s really well curated, and they put together fabulous special edition boxes.  Smol, unsponsored plug.

So the swag.  Lets talk about my favorite swag.

For the purposes of this post, I am limiting my choices to four items.  Do note that I also like mugs!  Depending on the material they’re made from.  I like actual ceramic mugs with a gorgeous design.  I like OwlCrate’s mugs….


Enamel Pins

I am a sucker for enamel pins.  Also I LOVE that OwlCrate is including enamel pins in every box this year?  So excited.  I’ve been collecting enamel pins for a few years now, mostly of the Disney variety!  I have a whole case of Disney pins.  I have a canvas purse with nerdy pins on it, but thanks to book boxes and also me having no self-control on Etsy… I’ve outgrown that canvas and need a new solution….

The pins pictured here are from Dreamy and Co., NerdyPost, and OwlCrate (created by Alchemy & Ink).  They’re also all ones I can’t fit on my purse so they now live on my kitchen table until I find a new solution.


Art Prints

My love for art prints – and especially typography prints – is completely nonsensical, because I have nowhere to display them.  I have a few favorites on my bookshelves leaning against the books, but overall… they live in a box and wait to be used on Instagram.  But I love them anyway.

I especially love typography prints featuring book quotes.  For example, the quote that says “Go then.  There are other worlds than these” in the above photo is from NerdyPost, and that’s a quote from The Dark Tower series.  When they did their Stephen King box, I was over the MOON because there’s little to no Dark Tower merch and I love this quote.  That one is on display next to the series on my shelf.



Candles are my ultimate weakness.  I not only have candles from book boxes – I’ve also bought candles from a bunch of different merchants on Etsy, all bookishly themed.  These small, homemade soy candles are so fragrant and lovely.  But I probably have 60 candles at this point.  I’m not even kidding.  I have whole orders from Dio Candle Company. and Wick and Fable that I haven’t even unboxed because I know I’m moving in a couple months, won’t burn them before them, and don’t want to rebox them.

Candles are also a VERY common item in book boxes, so it keeps me happy.  I’ve found a lot of different bookish candle companies that way.  Someday, I plan to do a whole post about the bookish candle companies I buy from, but probably not until later in the year.



I mean, of course?  I think one can always use another bookmark, especially a beautifully illustrated one.  I received a carved wooden box (super cool) in the November 2018 Fantastical Reads box, and now I use that to store all my bookmarks.

Bookmarks, like art prints, always have book quotes or beautiful illustrations on them.  I’m personally partial to the regular flay bookmarks (or woodmarks) but I actually do have a handful of magnetic bookmarks that aren’t pictured here.  I use those mostly in my planner.


I think it’s also worth adding that I have some favorite artists and companies that make me really excited to receive a box when it’s teased they’re sponsoring.  So sometimes I’ll get an item I wouldn’t normally use (i.e. a makeup bag) that I’ll find a use for because it was illustrated by Risa Rodil or Evie Seo and it’s lovely.  I may do a whole post on them someday. 😉

There’s definitely a lot of swag out there that doesn’t appeal to me at all.  I feel like the bigger book boxes have starting to steer away from perishables, and I’m really glad about that.  I have packets of loose leaf tea and hot chocolate still waiting to be drank (drunken?) and I don’t drink coffee, so I’m glad to see those types of items less frequently.  It’s definitely each to her own, so if you’re considering a book box, look into past boxes and the regular feel of the swag to make sure it will be worthwhile for you!


This week’s Book Blogger Hop asked:

What’s your favourite bookish accessory that’s NOT a book?


Short answer:  Anything beautiful or useful!  I don’t really like getting patches or wall hangings or tea towels or pillow covers, because I don’t really have a use for them.  Or samplers?  I dunno, I don’t like the tease I guess. 🙂  But I love useful items that I can display, like lovely soy candles and beautiful artwork, as discussed above. 🙂  …  I also don’t need any more book sleeves!  Four is plenty!


Do you enjoy book-related merchandise?

What do you do with the goodies in book boxes?

Are you a candle person?

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6 responses to “Bookish Things That Aren’t Books – Some Fab Swag I Love

  1. I am so glad OwlCrate went to enamel pins too <3 They are so much better than the buttons! I love candles too but I only have 2 bookish ones and I am afraid to burn them. The Lunar Queen one in particular because it smells so good but its so small I don't want to waste it (which is silly because not using it is the same as using it up and I have never actually "finished" a candle before anyway haha) great post!

    Brittany recently posted: Friday Face Off: Abandoned Buildings
    • Amber

      I’ve splurged on a couple bookish candle orders, but I’ve only burnt Frostbeard so far. I’m trying to get rid of all my Yankee Candles! 😂 The homemade soy candles smell so incredible.

  2. I love Bookish Swag so much, but I don’t usually get to enjoy it myself because I never have the money (curse college and my future student loans!) but I think I’m going to come back to this post and read all your other ones on swag and boxes to help find the best boxes for me. I normally am not that picky on the swag that I get, I just need it to be bookish themed. I once got a box of ‘bookish items’ and it had leather stickers…none of them had anything to do with a book or reading, so I was a little sad about that.

    • Amber

      College makes things tight for sure! I think the only books I bought the entire time I was in college was when the local Borders went out of business and they had their going out of business sale….

      I can recommend straight out what one you should get – you’re a US blogger, right? Hands down, OwlCrate is the one to start with. It’s the best-quality US-based one I’ve found, EVERYTHING is bookish somehow, and it has great books (as long as you read YA – looking at your blog, I”m guessing yes?) and is competitively priced with other book boxes. Fairyloot and Illumicrate are UK based and they’re also EXCELLENT but because they’re international, they’re about 50% more costly.

      If you ARE interested in book box research, I really recommend following @novelknight on Instagram. Not only is Austine a wonderful person, she does the most honest book box reviews I’ve ever seen, item by item. 🙂

      • Monica Laurette

        I’m graduating soon (yay!) so I’ll keep OwlCrate bookmarked for now until then and maybe get a one-time box to start with. If all goes well I will be in France for seven months after graduation so I wouldn’t be getting the box during that time, I’d have to save all my money for the trip/job.

        And Austine’s account sounds great and I’ve been looking for more people to follow on my bookstagram!

        • Amber

          Oh good, I’m glad to have pointed you her way! She’s a really lovely person, I hope you enjoy her feed!