Newsletter 1

My Bat Signal for Book Nerds

Kim Ukura

Staff Writer

Kim Ukura is a book lover, recovering journalist, library advocate, cat mom, and lover of a good gin cocktail. In addition to co-hosting Book Riot’s nonfiction podcast, For Real, and co-editing Book Riot’s nonfiction newsletter, True Story, Kim spends her days working in communications at a county library system in the Twin Cities area. Kim has a BA in English and journalism from a small liberal arts college in Minnesota, and a master’s in journalism from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. When not getting to bed before 10 p.m., Kim loves to read nonfiction, do needlework projects, drink tea, and watch the Great British Baking Show. Instagram: @kimthedork Twitter: @kimthedork

My sister is notoriously good at picking out Christmas presents, but this year she really outdid herself with my gift, a custom, screen printed infinity scarf with text from one of my favorite books, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. It is the most awesome thing in the world.

The scarf was made by artist Tori Tissell, who sells screen printed items on Etsy in her store Storiarts. Most of the items for sale at Storiarts are based on classic literature. But once in awhile the shop opens up for custom orders, which are announced periodically on the shop’s Facebook page and Twitter feed.

harry potter infinity scarf from storiartsThe passage that’s printed on my scarf is one of my favorite sections of the series, Dumbledore’s “Remember Cedric” speech. His last few lines — “Remember, if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what it easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good, and kind, and brave, because he strayed across the path of Lord Voldemort. Remember Cedric Diggory” — make me tear up every time I read them.

Obviously, the scarf has a lot of personal meaning to me. My sister and I have really fond memories of reading the Harry Potter books together as kids and as adults. And in my day job as a journalist, I work with words constantly. Having the chance to wear words that are important means something to me.

But the most unexpectedly wonderful thing about this is scarf is the way it opens up conversations with other book lovers. I was going through the drive through at Caribou Coffee last week when the barista asked me about the scarf. When I told her the text was from Harry Potter, she called over both of the other baristas to take a look at it and we got to nerd out about the Harry Potter books while I was waiting for my chai latte.

I’ve gotten asked about it by close friends when visit them and complete strangers in the grocery store. When I posted a photo of the scarf on Facebook the day after Christmas, it got more “Likes” than anything I’ve put up in months. Book people are the most amazing people, but reading is so often a private experience that it can be hard to pick each other out. The best thing about this gift is that it’s provided a visible signal that invites other book nerds to come and find me.


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