Category Archives: The Reader’s Board

5 Amazing Ways To Make Books Look Even Better

Cheers to all those book-loving creative spirits, working around the clock, raising the bar when it comes to literary style.  Here are five ways you can spruce up your look with your book love:

1.  Clever Character Costumes

thanksforallthefishYou’ve been a pumpkin three years in a row: it’s time to change it up.  The Philadelphia publishing house Quirk Books has four simple Halloween costumes you can opt for.

How simple are they?  Grab your bath robe, snag a clean towel pick up/make up a copy of DON’T PANIC and BAM!  You’re Arthur Dent of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

(If you’re feeling really inspired, make it a cute couple costume with your other half dressed as a dolphin.)

2.  Tattoo You


Yes, it’s a commitment, but a commitment to literature.  Doesn’t that seem worth it? Tattoolit is a Tumblr page dedicated to tattoos inspired by books.  If none of these quite suite you, rack your brain and flip through your favourite novels for the line or character that has stolen your heart.


3.  Accessorize.

For all your phone case, coffee cup and wall art needs, look no further than The Literary Gift Company.  A great way to add a little decor to your abode or belongs to say, “Why yes, I do love Jane Austen.

4.  Get Your Bling On.

On Etsy, you can be sure you’ll find a plethora of rings, cufflinks, bracelets and necklaces inspired by words on a page.  A ring such as this beauty to the left is a perfect fit for any Lord of the Rings lover, designed by Little Gem Girl.

Additionally, book jewelry is less of a commitment than a literary tattoo.


5.  Book Bags.

Book bags- a personal favourite- are an easy do it yourself project.  A blank canvas bag
with a clever quote of character silhouette, and you’ve got your self a bookish book bag.  One word:  Pinterest.  Find your inspiration for an easy-peasy DIY  book bag there.

If you’re short on time but high on book love, never fear:  Etsy will have you covered here as well- check out The Book Fiend shop for great bags like this red one.


Whats your favourite way to wear your love of books?  Tell us in the comments or tweet us!

10 Ways to add Literature to Your Life

If you’re moving in the direction of digital books, you might be missing the feel of a paperback between your fingers or the weight of a hard cover in your hands.  Fear not; here are 10 easy ways to keep the physical written word in your life (besides buying more physical books).


1.   Creative Bookshelves

This one might seem obvious, but there’s a difference between cataloging your novels like a high school library, and displaying them with some charm and style. Design Sponge has put together a brief list of tips on Styling a Bookshelf to get you started.

2.   Wall Art

source: Bookishly

Is there a quote that struck you in Pride and Prejudice?  hang it on a wall.  You could pick up a blank canvas and do it yourself, or you can let Bookishly do the work for you.  Bookishly takes favourite and loveable quotes from novels, plays and other works and places them on a blown up page from a book. You can buy their prints on

3.   Name Cats After Authors

If this one sounds crazy to you… well, it shouldn’t.  Names like “Whiskers”and “Fluffy”just aren’t for everyone, and who doesn’t see the humor in telling Oscar Wilde to get off the table?  If you’re still not convinced, try telling Dickens and Chaucer that there names are are funny. Go on.

Dickens and Chaucer
source: couch in livingroom

4.   Cooking with Hemingway

Are you a fan of both fiction and food?  In search of the perfect hamburger?  Apparently, so was Hemingway. According to the Paris Review, the author of classics such as A Moveable Feast was meticulous about his hamburger recipe- you can find his recipe here.  Now you know what you’re doing for dinner.

5.   Make a Book Purse

Craft lovers and DIYers, this project is for you.  Create your own book purse out of a hard cover novel and some matching fabric. We know, we know… Cutting up books is nothing to take lightly. But we all know that there’s a book somewhere on your bookshelf that you won’t ever read again  You may have a virtual copy of it already on Sumbola anyways!  Give it new life as a fashionable accessory any reader or writer would fancy. You can find the project instructions on


6.   Wear It on Your Sleeve

If ever you’re unsure what to wear, you can’t go wrong with lit-inspired clothing.  If anything, a dress that doubles as a map of Middle Earth is sure to be a conversation starter.  You can check out Flavourwire’s Literary Fashion for more inspiration. If a temporary outfit isn’t your style, refer to number seven.

7.  Tattoo You

If your thinking about ink, think twice about that dolphin in a heart or barbed wire, and reconsider your favourite literary reference.   Buzzfeed has 50 Literary Tattoos for you to consider, ranging from Little Prince homages to Gatsby Glasses.


8.  Character Cocktails

Drinks inspired by characters and authors alike are a great way to get creative with your next get together.  You can, of course, create your own or go to the internet for tested and true recipes, such as Little Pink Blog’s Harry Potter Themed Cocktails.

9.  Stare at Your Stairs

source: favim

Instead using a runner to accent your stairs, you can paint  them to look like the spines of your favourite novels.  Inspiration on this home decor idea comes to us from the BookRiot’s Awesome Bookish Staircases.

10.   Fall in Love, Get Married

This one might take some major commitment, but why not celebrate your love of another human being with your love of literature?  Retreat By Random House has some of the sweetest, clever ways to add books to your wedding theme.




Margaret Atwood, September 26th On The Strombo Show

Monday afternoon, the stage was set and audience assembled for an interview with Margaret Atwood on the George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight show.  The discussion between the candid, charming host and acclaimed author may have been already been recorded but it is well worth catching  this Thursday night, (September 26th at 7pm ET). Although we cannot guarantee what specific content will appear on the evening show, here are some of the highlights from the full interview:

  • While Atwood expressed that she has never published books under a pseudonym, she admitted to critiquing her books in several papers, under the guise of an alias.  One particularly harsh review provoked such outrage from readers that numerous letters to the editor were written in her defence.
  • Widely known for her environmental activism, Atwood declined to discount the value of city life altogether.  One reason she cited in favour of the metropolitan was that city bees are actually healthier in urban and suburban areas than they currently are in agricultural areas due to the heavy use of pesticides.
  • Despite the changes in the publishing world  since the mid 1960′s, the seasoned writer addressed the consistent”girlification” of book covers with female authors.  Drawing attention to author Maureen Johnson’s Coverflip challenge, she commented on how even her own books have been subject to gender specific cover suggestions, which not only target a specific group of readers, alienating another, there lies the potential for “misrepresentation of the contents”.


Do you have a favourite interview moment with Margaret Atwood?  Comment below, or tweet us @sumbolacosi.

9 Reasons to Visit Literary Festivals

This weekend, Word On The Street brought readers, writers and story telling enthusiasts together to celebrate  written word in five cities across Canada.  Readers of all ages at WOTS Toronto rifled through cases, bins and stacks of books.  Families stopped to enjoy an iced tea a magic show.  Authors such as Joseph Boyden, Austin Clarke and DJ McIntosh signed critically acclaimed and best selling books, while up coming authors and publishers connected with the crowds.

Hundreds of authors and thousands of readers took to Queen’s Park to celebrate the festival, and here are the top 10 reasons why:

  1. Get out.  Take a break from routine, jump into a book-crazed crowd, and have some fun.  There will be time to read on the in your favourite chair later, so step outside and remind yourself how important reading is to so many other people.
  2. Meet your favourite authors.  This one might seem overly obvious, but if you’re lucky enough to have a festival in your community where you can meet the authors that line your bookshelves,  why not go to get their book signed?  It can be a great chance to chat or ask the questions you would at your dream dinner party.
  3. Improve your skills. Literary festivals almost always mean literary workshops.  This could be your opportunity to hone a specific written piece with the aide of professional writers, develop thematic writing, practice specific techniques or engage your creative side. These workshops are usually for all skill levels, high energy and supportive.  Depending on the festival, they could even be free!
  4. Learn about community affairs.  These events mean more than just book vendors.  Often times, you’ll find different community or political groups looking to engage with the book loving public.  There might be a tea house that hosts a monthly book club.  There might be a libertarian party representative to bounce questions off of.  Its all part of the fun.
  5. Meet the experts.  Discussions and presentations are noteworthy features of any literary celebration.  Topics can range from research techniques, advocacy for human rights or environment, emerging technology, you name it!  Anything that readers and writers are passionate about is sure to be talked about.
  6. Discover new talent.  There are  a plethora of skilled, profound and compelling authors  out there.  Most of them will never know the fame of JK Rowling or Shel Silverstein, but popularity isn’t the only earmark of a good book.  Consider it a chance to find hidden treasure. Who doesn’t like treasure?
  7. Share the excitement.  Reading and writing are often solitary, quiet activities, so embrace opportunities that make it a social one.  You can go with fellow book lovers, or better yet, bring someone who doesn’t know the wonderful world of written word.  With all the books, speakers and sales, there’s bound to be something to spark their interest. At the very least, there’s food.
  8. Enjoy the food.  Festivals can be great for the tastebuds too.  Unique and exciting food and beverage vendors can keep you energized as you stroll through the crowds, tents and pavilions with an ever-growing pile of books and pamphlets.
  9. Find great deals.  A book fair could mean bundled books, $3 hardcover novels,  or even books that have yet to hit store shelves! Not only can you add to your personal collection, but books can make great gifts.  Fact.

Convinced? Great!  Here are some of the book festivals kicking off this coming week: