15 Awesome Literary T-Shirts

While book-lovers and folks in the book industry are notorious for quite a few things, I’d venture that style isn’t near the top of the list. What, then, are hip bookies (and book-loving hipsters) supposed to wear?  How can we telegraph our love of lit to the masses, other than carrying around beaten hardcovers and coveted review copies?

With t-shirts, of course!

This is, as far as I can tell, the awesomest list of book-related shirts ever collected. While each shirt is an example of what’s available from a given site, most have a few other shirts and hoodies available that are related to literature. I’d encourage you to check out the sites if you like what you see.

Looking for more? After reading this list, click over to Revenge of the Literary T-Shirt for 14 more designs.


Books are a BIG Deal, from Wonder Shirts – Mo Willems is one of my favorite children’s authors, so of course it was awesome to find a shirt with one of his illustrations on it.  Wonder Shirts has a ton of shirts, all featuring work by authors and illustrators of children’s books.



Mad Riddle, from Of Literature – You recognize the quote from Alice in Wonderland, right?  “The Hatter opened his eyes very wide on hearing this; but all he said was, ‘Why is a raven like a writing-desk?'”  Unfortunately, Of Literature is out of stock of all their Lit books right now, but keep an eye on them – their stylized designs are fantastic.



Eat. Sleep. Read. from Indiebound – Arguably the most popular slogan to come out of Indiebound’s launch, now available in book form!  Hit both the “I Buy Local” and “I Love Books” birds with one shirt-shaped stone.



Death of a Salesman, from Mighty Fine – Mighty Fine slapped a bunch of shirts together styled after the covers of classic novels, and called the whole bunch their “Summer Reading” line.  Clever, eh?



Will Work for Books, from Overdue Media – I might have to get this one, because I essentially DO work for books.  Overdue is also the home of Unshelved, a radical librarian-based webcomic.



Kilgore Trout’s Tomb, from Vonnegut.com – What more do I really need to say?  KVJr wrote some of my favorite books, and most of his quotes and illustrations deserve to be on shirts, bumper stickers, and billboards.  I just wish this shirt came in a size smaller than XL.



Movies : Ruining the Book Since 1920, from Typetees – Is the book always better?  I’ll direct you to these blog posts for more analysis.  Either way, it’s a cute shirt.



Books Rule! from Scary Go Round – You’re right, little guy.  Books DO rule.



Prose Before Hos, from Busted Tees – “Ya know that cute girl in your english class that you’ve been trying to impress? This shirt should do the trick. It shows you’re smart and clever while making sure she knows you’ve got a sense of humor too. Place your order on a Monday, get the shirt on a Thursday, wear it to class on Friday and ask her out for Saturday.”



Read Books Not T-Shirts, from Shirt City – …too late.



Thing 2, from 80s Tees – Even though most of their stock is focused on TV shows and movies from the decade of my birth, 80’s Tees has a respectable number of shirts based around kids books.  Yes, you can get “Thing 1” too.



I Like Big Books, from Zazzle – …and I cannot lie, you other brothers can’t deny, when a book comes in with an itty-bitty font and a round spine in your face you get…



Classic, from Penguin Books – Penguin is one of surprisingly few book publishers that makes swag for consumers to purchase.  This shirt refers to the Penguin Classics line, and the back cleverly (and a bit snarkily) suggests that you “judge a book by its logo.”



Emerson, from Literary Rags – Emerson is one of the dozens of authors, playwrights and philosophers Literary Rags has stuck on a shirt.  Each shirt has a quote from the author on the back, and a portrait on the front.



Spoilt, from Threadless – You aren’t going to make any friends with this shirt, which spoils the ending of books (including the big Harry Potter shocker), movies and TV shows.

7 responses to “15 Awesome Literary T-Shirts

  1. Pingback: Books about Books are Rad Squared | Brews and Books

  2. Pingback: Out of Print T-Shirts | Brews and Books

  3. Pingback: Revenge of the Literary T-Shirt! | Brews and Books

  4. Pingback: Headed to NEIBA! | Brews and Books

  5. im using the thing two picture for my daughter and her friends costume. Were gonna just trace the pattern….does anyone know where i can find a thing one pattern?

  6. Pingback: 100 Great Gift Ideas for the Book Lover in Your Life - OnlineCollegeCourses.com

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