Best Book Shirts to Elevate Your Wardrobe
by Jaylynn Korrell
Book shirts are the best shirts.
When people love books, they really love books. They give time and money to develop their reading habit, and when they get lost in impressive books or get whiplash from an explosive twist, they relish the next opportunity they can share it with someone.
But what if they didn’t have to talk? What if they could let your shirt do the talking for them?
It’s not always easy to find book shirts that aren’t lame. Take it from me: a person who buys her partner literary shirts nearly every year.
Believe it or not, there are TONS of book shirts that aren’t corny or over the top.
The book shirts in this list include some of the most popular titles ever written, eye-catching images, catchy sayings, and subtle nods to the reading experience.
Here’s my list of of some of the best book shirts!
(Everything on Independent Book Review has been independently selected by a very picky group of people. As an Amazon affiliate we may earn a commission on items you purchase through our links.)
1. Simple Book Shirt
There’s a reason I’m starting with this one! It’s toned-down, bookish, artful, AND a nice color. I always love including nature in some form in conjunction with books, so this book with flowers design checks a lot of boxes for me.
2. Book Nerd T Shirt
Many readers are proud to call themselves book nerds. This vintage style t-shirt gives readers a retro vibe while communicating to those around them that yes, they’d be happy to talk to you about the best book they read recently.
3. “Abibliophobia” T Shirt
It may sound a little silly, but that’s only because it is! Do you or the reader in your life fear that you’ll run out of books to read? This would make a perfect shirt for someone who sees the humor in their infatuation.
4. “Read a Book” T Shirt
This shirt is a classic, with a simple and effective suggestion.
5. “Read” T Shirt
This shirt is a special one, and not just because I’ve bought it. This “Read” shirt is from my favorite Black-owned bookstore in Philadelphia Uncle Bobbies. It is simple and cool and communicates clearly (but not in a pushy way) that other people should read too. This has always been one of my favorites.
6. “I’m With the Banned” T Shirt
Books are being banned. They always have, but lately, it feels like it’s everywhere. If you or someone you know is proud to support books that are banned or on their way to becoming banned, this is the shirt to buy.
7. “Get Lit” T Shirt
I’m not sure who made the connection between the popular saying “get lit” and literary culture, but I’m grateful that they did. It allowed awesome book shirts like this one to be made!
8. “The Bookstore at the End of the World” T Shirt
Magical things happen when book lovers unite. This is exactly what happened when a few booksellers lost their jobs during the height of the pandemic. This shirt is the result of their efforts to support each other and share their expertise. It is a good buy on its own, but it feels even better when you know the message behind it.
9. “The Reader” T Shirt
Tarot card lovers will appreciate this book shirt. It mixes this craft with the love of reading into one epic piece of clothing.
10. “Walden” T Shirt
Oh, who wouldn’t love to rep this gorgeous piece of nature writing by Henry David Thoreau? I don’t think I’m alone in feeling drawn to bringing new books out to this cabin in the woods and get lost for a while.
11. “Books Are Magic” T Shirt
This shirt is another one from a famous independent bookstore, only this time it’s from one of the best bookstores in NYC! Books are Magic is a magical space in Brooklyn, NY that you should definitely visit if you’re ever in the area. This awesome shirt (with a true message!) will hold you over until you make it there.
12. “Read Banned Books” T Shirt
Another one for the reader who’s tired of book bans! This red one with a little flame symbol is giving me big Fahrenheit 451 vibes, so Ray Bradbury fans would love it as well as those who don’t want to see that dystopian future happen.
13. The Great Gatsby T Shirt
The Great Gatsby is one of the most widely read books in the country–and with reason! It takes you on a complicated journey of ideas and fallibility and love, and people who love it really love it. This famous cover design t-shirt is a hit with English teachers and fans of 20th century classics.
14. “Drink tea, Read Books, Be Happy” T Shirt
I wish I saw more billboards with wholesome & true sayings like this one! Be the billboard and wear this shirt, will ya?
15. “It’s a Good Day to Read a Book” T Shirt
Isn’t it though? There are so many benefits of reading, so every day seems like a good day to read.
16. “Save the Book Worms” T Shirt
This delightful saying could mean a lot of things, but to me, it’s about how if there’s a zombie invasion, you should come looking for me (and other readers). Check the library!
17. 1984 T Shirt
1984 by George Orwell seems like it is about yesterday, today, and tomorrow. This classic political dystopia is eerily relevant, and the shirt is just as creepy real as the book is. But of course, there are a lot of options for classic book shirts like this one.
18. “ISBN Thinking of You” T Shirt
What a cute, funny, and kinda romantic design for the reader who loves puns and inside jokes! Not everyone knows what an ISBN is (an International Standard Book Number), but every book has one, so avid readers probably do. I think it could make an excellent gift for a bookseller.
19. “Bookstores. Cats.” T Shirt
Bookstores and cats go together like comfy chairs and fireplaces. Life is sweet when life is bookish. If you or your loved one is a cat-friendly indie bookstore fanatic, there’s no better shirt.
20. Due Date Card T Shirt
Don’t you miss the days where you’d get a due date card like this when you borrowed a library book? This shirt is a fun nostalgic reminder of the good old days.
21. A Clockwork Orange T Shirt
Are you and your droogies drinking moloko and looking for new shirts to wear? A Clockwork Orange is a memorably odd and disturbing book that some readers are absolutely hypnotized by. This shirt with the classic cover is a real horrorshow for those who love the Nadsat language and this creepy novel.
22. “Support Your Local Library” T Shirt
Your local library deserves support and love! This shirt helps remind yourself and others to show your appreciation. Library book shirts make great gifts for librarians or people who are especially attached to their local library. (I’m looking at you, Matilda!)
23. Elephant and Piggie “Read” Book Shirt
This neat book shirt features the famous Elephant and Piggie, from the popular children’s book series. Book shirts like these are great for kids or for adults feeling a bit nostalgic.
24. “Raised by Libraries” T Shirt
Libraries shape the lives of book lovers around the world. If you have felt the impact of these sacred spaces in your life then a book shirt like this could be just the fit for you.
25. “My Weekend is All Booked” T Shirt
Reading is a perfectly acceptable excuse to not go out on the weekend. This shirt lets everyone know you are not messing around, but in a light-hearted and funny way.
This book shirts will be sure to elevate your wardrobe and give it some more literary flare. For more bookish gift lists, click here!
About the Curator
Jaylynn Korrell is a nomadic writer currently based out of Pennsylvania. In addition to writing and reading for Independent Book Review, she curates lists at GoodGiftLists.com.
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