Friday, November 20, 2009

Wands, Volvos, and Living Inside a Book

Do you ever wish you could live inside a book?
Or bring bits of that world into yours?
You're not alone. The shops at Etsy are full of bookish souvenirs, and people are buying.
And why not?

Photo by
A wand on your coffee table might bring back the magic of first discovering Ollivander's.

I've been thinking about bookish souvenirs ever since two things happened:
1. We took Ben for a college trip to Duke and found out it has a Quidditch team. (Yes, they really do. Though I'm not sure that's worth the price of a Duke education.)
2. I started recreating the outhouse door from this favorite book of my husband's.

You read correctly: an outhouse door.
My husband and his friend Butch LOVE Lonesome Dove and quote it to each other whenever they get together. The door is important in the book because it keeps showing up in different forms: first as an actual outhouse door, then as a sign for the ranch the two main characters run together, then as the casket door when Gus dies. Finally, Call takes it apart and uses it as a cross for Gus's grave.
So when it came time to give Butch a housewarming present for the apartment/airplane hangar he just built, (Butch is sort of a cowboy of the skies, and the building was a dream of his and his wife Alice before she died) Todd came up with the outhouse door idea. Luckily he found a photo of the prop used for the TV miniseries.

It was a really fun project to work on.

I know it's kind of a weird gift, but Butch is crazy about that book.
(I love that Butch's silhouette shows up in that photo.)

Maybe when people invest themselves fully into a book they love, they can't bear for it to end. Having something tangible to hold helps them keep the story alive. When we travel to far off lands, we bring home souvenirs. Aren't props from books the same sort of thing?
What do you think?

Would this treasure from The Da Vinci Code be too geeky for you?

You can buy it at Sky Mall, you know. Along with all sorts of strange things.
I might not put a shiny new cryptex on my Santa list, but I will admit to touring Saint Sulpice the last time I was in Paris. (If you read/saw The Da Vinci Code, you know why.)

Now here's a souvenir I'd love to have.

Photo by
Does that quote sound familiar to you? It's Mr. Darcy's proposal line to Elizabeth Bennet in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

If your Christmas is just not complete without Dickens' A Christmas Carol, then you need this ornament. Inside are quotes from the story. Great idea, huh?

Photo by

If Catcher in the Rye is one of your favorites, you might enjoy this painting.

Photo by

Can you guess which book inspired this necklace?
Photo by
It's To Kill a Mockingbird. The artist writes: This necklace depicts Boo with a pair of scissors, a red crystal for a drop of blood, and a clear crystal because it seemed that he could tell the future-- he was there when Scout and Jem needed him.

This is such fun that I just might do book presents for my whole family this year. Here's my only problem: Todd is hinting for an outhouse door to match Butch's. Call me crazy, but I'm not hanging an outhouse door in our living room.
I would let Todd pick out another book gift, but I'm afraid I know what he'd choose. Around this time of year he likes to quote from this book.

Can you guess what souvenir he'd pick?

I like an eclectic style, but be assured that it doesn't include that lamp.

If you could have any keepsake from a book you love, what would it be? I'd love to hear about it!
Have a wonder-full weekend, y'all!
Love, Becky

PS. If any of these souvenirs interest you, a click on the photo should zap you over to its Etsy shop.
Or maybe you'd prefer Edward's Volvo instead.


Sherry at EX Marks the Spot said...

What a wonderful idea to do souvenirs and gifts from favorite books! I LOVE the outhouse door - and Butch was likely delighted with such a thoughtful gift!

Jenny said...

Hello Rebecca, I came your way by Paris Breakfasts and Parisienne Farmgirl and love the gift ideas. I just have to have that creamer pitcher! and the Lonesome Dove door is just an awesome idea, think of the conversation piece it could be, hee hee.

Fete et Fleur said...

I love books! What a great way to gift give!!


Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I adore the little pitcher and the ornament. Your outhouse door, however, is pure genius. what a tribute! A bar just opened in our area totally based on that lamp in A Christmas Story. Weird.

lotusgirl said...

I wouldn't mind having a volvo! :)

ParisBreakfasts said...

These are just wonderful!
And Nathan says books will go away because they are inefficient.
We'll be using Kindles etc.
I hope not!

Anonymous said...


Lapo said...

These are great, and the outhouse door is fabulous. My husband would kill for one of those--what a great idea!
Harry Potter was my first inspiration for my own Etsy shop...books are magical indeed!

LW said...

The outhouse door is fantastic.
Very clever…


Chantile said...

You always find the most remarkable things! :)