Book Fetish

Get Those Pencils, Get Those Books: Bookish Items for Back to School

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Ashlie Swicker


Ashlie (she/her) is an educator, librarian, and writer. She is committed to diversifying the reading lives of her students and supporting fat acceptance as it intersects with other women’s issues. She's also perpetually striving to learn more about how she can use her many privileges to support marginalized groups. Interests include learning how to roller skate with her local roller derby team, buying more books than she'll ever read, hiking with her husband and sons, and making lists to avoid real work. You can find her on Instagram (@ashlieelizabeth), Twitter (@mygirlsimple) or at her website,

You can see it in the aisles of Walmart and Target. You can see it in the panicked faces of teachers and students everywhere. We might not have a crisp feeling in the air quite yet, but back to school season has arrived. Anyone involved in education is approaching this new year with a rightful wariness. Between a national health crisis, inventing remote schooling on the fly, enduring a lack of child care and social interaction, and navigating constantly changing health requirements, students, families, and teachers have been through a lot.

In an effort to lift my own spirits and inject some joyfulness into an uncertain time, I’ve rounded up some bookish items to celebrate back to school. I hope you find something to get you excited the inevitable return to classes!

set of seven pencils with bookish sayings

Back to school means you need some fresh pencils. Why not choose this colorful set featuring bookish phrases? $15

set of five color pencils with grammar reminders

If you’re looking for something more functional, try these pencils with common grammar reminders. $9

zipper pencil case featuring cartoon books with happy faces

This happy little zippered pouch is the perfect bookish home for all your pens and pencils. $13

black and gold ACOTAR backpack

Even if you’re not a huge ACOTAR fan, this fun fantasy print makes this backpack perfect for back to school. $60

edgar allen poe backpack

Another fresh looking backpack, this one with a repeating portrait of Mr. Poe himself. $60

women of literature notebooks, colored blue, red, and green, with quotes from classic heroines

Become your English teacher’s favorite with these pretty and powerful Women of Literature notebooks. $15

small notebooks with pastel colored library cards as covers

Lovely pastel colors make these library card notebooks pop. Their small size make them perfect for back to school lists and discrete notes sent to your bestie three desks up. $7

sticker depicting a person looking away over their shoulder holding a stack of books

New notebooks, laptops, and water bottles might lead to a need for new bookish stickers! This one is lovely. $3

two pink book sleeves with a repeating graphic of a raised black fist and a BLACK LIVES MATTER banner

Want to keep your precious books safe in your overstuffed backpack? The answer is a protective book sleeve! $14

a glass mug with the words mood reader sitting on a brown table

Here’s a gorgeous mug to fill with something to sip to help you wake up or to keep you going during late night study sessions. $16

a tote bag with a person holding a book reading in front of the words after this chapter

You might need new tote bag. You might already have 254 of them. Either way, this gorgeous tote can hold a lot while sending the message that you’d rather be reading. $19

teardrop shaped earrings with colorful books

Add a pop of color to your outfit while proclaim your bookish nature. These earrings are a worthy addition to any back to school outfit. $8

shirt with bubble letters spelling readers are leaders

Show up to class proclaiming this truth in this sweet and simple T-shirt, available in sizes up to 3XL. $20

(Looking for more plus sized bookish clothing? Here’s a bunch more!)

pink long sleeve shirt with the words book lover

A flashy piece that’s made for casual Fridays or weekend study sessions. Available in sizes up to 5XL, this Book Lover shirt is a cool way to show your classmates where your heart is. $39

Can’t get enough bookish goodies? Check out our archives for more!