Shopping: Book-inspired objects

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Books are no longer shyly sitting on a shelf. "The Great Gatsby" is an online video game (, artists are turning weathered novels into objects d'art and rumor has it that snooty designer Karl Lagerfeld is crafting a perfume inspired by that old-book smell.

Here are some other items certain to make you a book worm, although maybe not in the traditional sense. Buckle up, bibliophiles. It's time to go shopping.

"Moby Dick" illustrations, from $20 to $300

Local librarian Matt Kish began illustrating every page of the Signet Classics edition of "Moby Dick" purely because he loved the story. He posted them online for family and friends to see, but Tin House Books also was paying attention. The publisher is currently compiling Kish's work into a volume of art. The book won't be available until fall, but he's selling illustrations that didn't make it into the compilation on his Etsy page and website.

Wallet, $20

The Emperor's Newest Clothes, Short North and Grandview

These cigarette cases-turned-wallets feature art from old pulp fiction novel covers. Several different illustrations show seedy scenes and sexy ladies, one of the most popular being the "Sorority Sluts" cover.

Penguin vintage book cover postcards, $25

Anthropologie, Easton

Some of these novel cover designs are surprising, particularly the one with a photo of John Lennon dressed up as Superman, an image used for a 1966 book of his writing.

Also check out the store's tea-based perfume line, which is sold in packaging designed to look like a book ($48), or peruse the editions of classic literature dressed up in embossed canvas covers ($20).

Antique book page art, $8.50 per print

This design studio takes old book illustrations - like John Tenniel's iconic images of Alice in Wonderland or studies of octopus and jellyfish - digitally cleans them up and then prints them onto antique book pages that are at least 70 years old.

Maxine, Dear belt buckle, $32

Tigertree, Short North

The art for these belt buckles comes from discarded kids' books. This line created by Tigertree's owners, Josh and Niki Quinn, also sells belts hand-pressed with a beloved quote from Kurt Vonnegut's book "Slaughterhouse-Five": "Everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt." It's the epitaph on the grave of the story's protagonist, Billy Pilgrim.