11 Book-Inspired Candles for Bibliophiles

Some people go to bookstores to peruse the titles that line the shelves, while others can’t get enough of the inviting atmosphere those literary sanctuaries provide. Part of that warm and fuzzy feeling involves the distinct scent of books. But what about when you want to go one step further and actually catch some odors inspired by the books themselves? Don’t fret. Sit back, relax, crack open your favorite tome, and breathe in these 11 book-friendly candles for all the lit-geeks out there.

1. HARRY POTTER

Spireside

If you can’t apparate from your couch to the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade to actually drink butterbeer, why not have a wizard’s beverage of choice to smell instead? This candle, which is called “Wizard’s Pub,” features the nutty and buttery scent of spiced pralines—which is intoxicating enough that even Voldemort would want to take a whiff.

Spireside Candles, $18

2. SHERLOCK HOLMES

Amateur sleuths can follow the clues to cozy up to this candle inspired by 221B Baker Street’s most famous resident, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most notable literary creation: Sherlock Holmes. With a warm fragrance of black currant tea and leather, the only way to round out such an elementary scent would have been with a bit of Holmes’s pipe tobacco. But as is, it’s enough to make anyone break out your deerstalker hats (and, obviously, your wallet) to solve the aromatic mysteries of this candle.

From the Page, $12

3. WALDEN

In Henry David Thoreau’s nonfiction classic Walden, the Transcendentalist wrote, “I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.” If you want to break away from society for a woodsy jaunt just like Thoreau, but also want to make your one-room shack smell nice while doing it, look no further than this Walden-inspired candle scent.

Hearth and Hammer, $18

4. CHARLES DICKENS

Charles Dickens was the bard of the dark and gloomy streets of foggy London with such dreary high school English class staples as Great Expectations and Oliver Twist. But like the scrappy street urchin protagonist of the latter, you’ll be asking for some more, please, when you experience the scent of this Dickens-inspired candle. Made of fragrant notes of tangerine, juniper, and clove, the only thing that could make this more authentic would be some chimney sweep soot under your nose.

Paddywax, $21

5. THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY

Don’t panic! While a towel is, unfortunately, not included with this candle inspired by irreverent British satirist Douglas Adams’s beloved sci-fi send-up, it does smell like the most useful item an interstellar Hitchhiker can carry. Order 42 of these and you’ll be all set for a perfectly fragrant journey around the galaxy.

Frostbeard, $18

6. THE GREAT GATSBY

Don’t let the false promise of the American Dream circa 1922 get you down. Keep that ambition burning bright with this vanilla and musk-scented candle meant to evoke the green light at the end of Daisy Buchanan’s dock in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, The Great Gatsby. It smells great in East Egg, West Egg, and in any mansion in between.

Hearth and Hammer, $18

7. EDGAR ALLAN POE

Quoth the raven: “Nevermore. Also, wow, this candle smells awesome.” The author behind macabre tales like "The Fall of the House of Usher" and "The Tell-Tale Heart" is a favorite of fans of morbid fiction everywhere, and his grim essence is perfectly captured in this candle that smells of cardamom, sandalwood, and absinthe. Like Poe’s works and his preference for drink, this candle is intoxicating.

Paddywax, $21

8. THE HOBBIT / THE LORD OF THE RINGS

There can only be one candle to rule them all, but there are so many good J.R.R. Tolkien-related choices from which to choose!

If you’re a peaceful type who would rather spend time loafing around Hobbiton, there’s no better way to get things smelling like a Hobbit hole than the minty and oak moss aroma of the appropriately named Hobbit Garden candle. But if you’d rather go off on an unexpected journey with a mischievous wizard like Gandalf, the smoky tobacco of this Pipe-Weed candle could make one loopy enough to simply walk into Mordor.

Bubble and Geek, $16

9. A GAME OF THRONES

You won’t need wildfire to illuminate this set of nine candles, inspired by the major houses of Westeros in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire saga; matches will do just fine. There’s a scent for every season: House Targaryen’s smoky red clove is good for months where it's hot as dragon's breath; House Tyrell’s garden-like aroma will make you forget about a Lannister double-crossing in the springtime; House Greyjoy’s ocean and sandalwood will keep you safe during drab autumn; and, since winter is coming, fire up the cool fresh-fir scent of House Stark.

Lumos Candles, $108

10. THE HUNGER GAMES

You wouldn’t think that frosting cakes would give you an advantage in a teenage dystopian battle royale, but Peeta would prove you wrong. This kitschy French vanilla buttercream candle is guaranteed to make you forget about some of the less savory parts of The Hunger Games saga like, say, all the child deaths and Caesar Flickerman’s hair.

From the Page, $12

11. THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY

We can’t guarantee that lighting this candle with preserve your youth or beauty, but it sure does smell gorgeous. Its hints of bergamot, cedarwood, and bay leaf are sure to make you feel like you’re doing some Oscar Wilde-approved hedonistic gallivanting in a Victorian-era parlor.

Herbs of Grace, $15

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TASCHEN
Everything You Need to Know About Food in One Book
TASCHEN
TASCHEN

If you find yourself mixing up nigiri and sashimi at sushi restaurants or don’t know which fruits are in season, then this is the book for you. Food & Drink Infographics, published by TASCHEN, is a colorful and comprehensive guide to all things food and drink.

The book combines tips and tricks with historical context about the ways in which different civilizations illustrated and documented the foods they ate, as well as how humans went from hunter-gatherers to modern-day epicureans. As for the infographics, there’s a helpful graphic explaining the number of servings provided by different cake sizes, a heat index of various chilies, a chart of cheeses, and a guide to Italian cold cuts, among other delectable charts.

The 480-page coffee table book, which can be purchased on Amazon for $56, is written in three languages: English, French, and German. The infographics themselves come from various sources, and the text is provided by Simone Klabin, a New York City-based writer and lecturer on film, art, culture, and children’s media.

Keep scrolling to see a few of the infographics featured in the book.

An infographic about cheese
TASCHEN

An infographic about cakes
Courtesy of TASCHEN

An infographic about fruits in season
Courtesy of TASCHEN
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YouTube/Great Big Story
See the Secret Paintings Hidden in Gilded Books
YouTube/Great Big Story
YouTube/Great Big Story

The art of vanishing fore-edge painting—hiding delicate images on the front edges of gilded books—dates back to about 1660. Today, British artist Martin Frost is the last remaining commercial fore-edge painter in the world. He works primarily on antique books, crafting scenes from nature, domestic life, mythology, and Harry Potter. Great Big Story recently caught up with him in his studio to learn more about his disappearing art. Learn more in the video below.

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