Book Fetish

Bookish Swag for Summer Patio Parties

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Anne Mai Yee Jansen


Anne Mai Yee Jansen is a literature and ethnic studies professor and a lifelong story addict. She exists on a steady diet of books and hot chocolate, with a heaping side of travel whenever possible. Originally hailing from the sun and sandstone of southern California, she currently resides with her partner, offspring, and feline companion in the sleepy mountains of western North Carolina.

The days are long and the sun is bright in the sky; what better time for a summer patio party? It’s a good season for any bibliophile with enough time and spare change around to jazz up their outdoor space for a bookish backyard bash.

Whether you’ve got a patio, a balcony, an estate, or a front stoop, there’s sure to be some manner of bookish swag on this list to suit your style.

Ironically, as much as my indoor space is full of books — on the floor, on tables and shelves and chairs, in the kitchen and by my bed — my outdoor space is entirely devoid of them. In one way, it makes complete sense: books don’t weather the outdoors well (pardon the pun, I just couldn’t help myself). Sunshine and moisture are book killers.

At the same time, it makes my outdoor space feel kinda sparse. It’s no wonder I don’t really read out there, despite my love of gardening. So in the spirit of bringing that bookish flair out into the fresh air and sunlight, I think it’s time for me to up my backyard’s bookishness.

Everyone’s space — like their reading taste — is different, so I hope you’ll take inspiration from the items on this list and find a way to translate them to fit your needs, wants, and personality. Enjoy!

Table Decor

book pages table runner

This table runner ($30+) is made from the pages of fairy tale stories. It’s super customizable, and makes for a special table display. Added bonus: your guests will have something to read if conversation stalls mid-meal.

roses made from book pages

Embellish your table with these paper roses ($14) made from old book pages. Nothing beats a bouquet of flowers with that old book smell…

book bundle with flower

You can customize the level of distress in this book bundle centerpiece ($10+). A charming way to repurpose battered books and decorate your table at the same time.

bookworm candle

This soy Bookworm-scented candle ($23) will light up any bibliophile’s table! In case you’re wondering what “Bookworm” smells like, it’s is a charming blend of woods, leather, and other sweetly-musty scents.


book page cloth napkins

Machine washable book page cloth napkins ($4)? Yes, please! And you can use these again and again, which brings form and function together perfectly.

literary genre coasters

I am absolutely in love with these cork literary genre coasters ($26). Each coaster is printed in a different color and features a genre, complete with corresponding icon. Not to mention, they come in sets of six inside a whimsical “the cold can and the tea” holder!

book lover wine glasses

These book lover wine glasses ($18+) come in sets of 2, 4, and 8. Some of them are perfectly punny, with sayings like “Talk Nerdy to Me” and “Poe Me a Glass” (complete with raven image), while others are elegantly direct, like “Cats Books Wine.” All of them feature fun illustrations that really add to their appeal.

Yard & Garden

giant chess set

Do yard games like the Queen of Hearts with this oversized PVC garden chess set ($251). Be careful, though: nobody likes a host who runs around their yard shouting “Off with their heads!!”

3D-printed book planter

This adorable little 3D-printed book planter ($15) is perfect for succulents. Measuring 3.5 inches tall and 4.5 inches wide, it’s a small but impactful addition to any outdoor space. And since it’s 3D-printed, you get to customize it with your favorite titles!

nature-themed book banner

This nature-themed book banner ($18) is made from pages featuring illustrations of plants, animals, and other elements of the natural world. It’s a sweet addition to any outdoor space, whether you hang it along a fence or over a door.

General Ambiance & Flair

"book nerd" apron

This simple Book Nerd apron ($15) will have you BBQing in style! You could probably sneak your current read into one of those large pockets…

"Nevermore" door mat

It may be a touch macabre for a summer gathering, but I couldn’t resist sharing this Nevermore door mat ($38+). After all, those shoes aren’t gonna wipe themselves!

book page luminaries

Add some ambiance with these lovely book page luminaries ($3+). With a few LED tea lights, these delightful little bags will brighten any patio party in more ways than one!

book quote pillow

These little “We read to know we’re not alone” pillows ($38) are perfect for patio furniture, which isn’t always the most comfortable. The saying is a lovely sentiment for a party, too.

flying books throw blanket

At the end of a long day (or a successful party), it’s nice to have a soft, cozy blanket to snuggle up under. This particular flying books throw blanket ($30+) is available in 3 different sizes and has a nice micro fleece underbelly to keep you warm so you can keep turning those pages well into the night.

Need some books to go with your bookish swag?

Check out this list of 40 summer reads for 2022! If that’s too much work for you, take a quiz instead — try this quiz where you design your dream garden and get a nature-inspired book rec. Then again, perhaps you’re fantasizing about patio parties because you’d rather not venture into the great outdoors; if that’s you, you might find this essay on how one indoorsy Rioter loves nature in books.