Book Fetish

Update Your Wardrobe With Fresh Bookish T-Shirts

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Kelly Jensen


Kelly is a former librarian and a long-time blogger at STACKED. She's the editor/author of (DON'T) CALL ME CRAZY: 33 VOICES START THE CONVERSATION ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH and the editor/author of HERE WE ARE: FEMINISM FOR THE REAL WORLD. Her next book, BODY TALK, will publish in Fall 2020. Follow her on Instagram @heykellyjensen.

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Out with the old and in with the new. You’ve worn down some of your favorite bookish tees to bare threads, and what better time than now, as we wind down yet another year, to give your wardrobe a refresh? You can use those worn tees to make yourself a quilt or pillow to give them a new life and purpose.

Whether you’re looking for delicious book puns, clever bookish sayings, or a reminder about the power of books, reading, and libraries in the world, look no further than these fresh bookish T-shirts. I’ve stuck to general reader/book lover options, so you won’t find, say, Jane Austen themed shirts or shirts focused on a specific book title.

I’m not much of a T-shirt person personally, but I won’t lie: I’m tempted to pick up many of these selections for myself. I love so many of the color palates and love, too, how many of these options are available for folks who need sizes outside of the typical 0–14. I’ve noted sizes alongside prices in the descriptions for each, where possible.

And maybe, if like me, you’re not a T-shirt person, you’ll find the perfect bookish tee gift for a book nerd below.

Fresh Bookish T-Shirts

Image of a woman wearing a shirt that reads "words and ideas can change the world." The shirt is black with books on it.

Words and ideas do change the world. That’s why reading matters. $22 and up, XS–3XL.

Image of a Black woman wearing a black t-shirt. The shirt has a green tea cup on top of four books in yellow, orange, and green. There is a fifth book leaning against the stack.

If you love books and tea, then this is the tee (heh) for you. $23, S–2XL.

Image of a pink t-shirt. The black text reads "Save the book worms," with a worm above the word save.

Save the book worms! I love this nod to Greenpeace’s campaign from 1975. $20 and up, S–4XL.

White shirt with black text that says, "In a relationship with my favorite fictional character"

What is your relationship status? $18, S–2XL.

Image of an Asian woman in a black t-shirt which reads "mood reader."

If you identify as a mood reader, you’ll want to pop this bad boy into your closet or chest of drawers. $25, S–2XL.

Image of a gray shirt with a butterfly, book, and toadstools. The quote on the shirt reads All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.

Edgar Allan Poe would probably love that he’s quoted on this cottagecore vibes T-shirt (I know I said this post wouldn’t include specific authors, etc., but I’m making an exception here). $25, XSS–3XL.

Image of a black t-shirt. It has a coffin filled with books on it, and a skeleton lying in front of that. It reads "in libras libertas."

While we’re onto aesthetics, how about this killer dark academia shirt? I’m obsessed with the happy skeleton and his coffin of books, finding freedom in them. $22, S–3XL.

A white woman wearing a pink t-shirt. The shirt has a tarot card on it, with the name "The reader." There is an image of a black cat on top of a pile of books, spilling a cup of coffee.

Has there ever been a more perfect T-shirt for book lovers who also love tarot cards and cats? The answer is no, and I’ll need one of these The Reader shirts in every color. $26, XS–3XL.

White t-shirt with a tarot card. On it is a white hand, pulling stars from an open book. The card is called "The Reader."

So you like books and tarot, but you don’t like cats? Gotcha covered. $22, S–3XL.

Image of a white t-shirt which reads "theme & setting & plot & conflict & character" in pastel colors.

If I had had a teacher wear this shirt, I’d have such respect for their commitment to literature and book nerdery. $27, XS–2XL.

Light blue t-shirt reads "Reading is Lit."

It is. Reading is lit. The end. $28, S–3XL.

Image of a white t-shirt which reads "support your local library." It's beside a stack of books and orange shoes.

After you don your support your local library shirt, go check out some of their new books, audiobooks, comics, and programming. $23, S–2XL.

Image of a peach colored shirt. In the center are the words "book club" in a swirly font.

Pop on your book club tee for all of your book club meetings, be them in person, virtual, or just you with your favorite read. $25, S–XL.

Image of a woman with olive skin wearing a sage colored shirt. The black font reads "Books are just word tacos."

I’ve read and heard many a “huh, that’s not wrong” in my bookish life when it comes to what books or reading might be. This was the first time, though, I’ve heard books called tacos and I love it. $17, S–2XL.

Image of a pink v-neck shirt with the word "literature" on it. The letters are shadowed in rainbow colors.

This literature tee will become a closet staple. It’s got such a perfect vintage feel to it. $18, wide range of sizes for kids and adults.

Black T-shirt with a print of an open book with flowers growing out of it and the text "one more chapter"

I love the parallels between blossoming flowers and reading so much. $12.50, XS–2XL.

Image of a blue shirt that reads, in script font, "you had me at books."

Wear this T-shirt and chances are, you’ll make some new bookish bffs. $18, S–2XL.

Image of a grey t-shirt with the words "reading will take you everywhere" in vintage, scripty font.

There is LITerally nowhere reading will not take you. $32, with sizes for kids and adults.

Black tshirt with pink font reading "bookish bitch"

I saved my favorite and the one I keep putting in my cart for last. There is an excellent Britney Spears song called “Work Bitch,” and I can’t help but get that in my head looking at this bookish bitch shirt. I’ve never felt so seen by a shirt in my life. $20. S–XL.

Don’t stop here. You’ll also be into these librarian shirts and sweatshirts, as well as these bookish hats.