*Wow, I just got done typing this and I didn’t realize it was going to end up being this long. Kind of ridiculous on my part. I do think I have some pretty good stuff on this list, though, so feel free to skim the post. Apologies for no photos to break things up a bit.*
I don’t know about you, but it’s always difficult for me to put together my Christmas list at the end of the year. Throughout the year I try to keep up with things I want but don’t just get for myself. I make a list in the Notes app on my phone, I screenshot clothes, I keep a list of books on my Amazon of books I want and try to keep track of whether I end up buying them or not.
This year has definitely been an interesting one, in terms of my reading preferences (and just the year in general, I suppose). I started my bookstagram this summer, which opened me up to a whole other world of reading. I’ll admit that, while I did enjoy reading YA, I felt weird about it. I would secretly read Sarah Dessen books over and over again because they’re some of my favorites. I felt like I should be reading adult fiction. Which I love, don’t get me wrong. But when it comes to my writing, I prefer writing YA and nonfiction, and it’s important to read what you write.
Joining the book community on Instagram and later on Twitter really made me realize I don’t have to be a young adult to enjoy reading YA. In fact, I’d argue it’s important for adults to read YA, especially parents; it’s a way to help us stay connected to younger generations, to understand them better. But also, YA is just so fun to read.
So I broadened my horizons a bit. I’ve been reading more YA. This fall I received some books I had preordered that were adult fiction. Three books, all from favorite authors. One of them I read and reviewed, one of them I started reading and stopped about halfway through, and the third I haven’t picked up yet. There’s just something that isn’t doing it for me in those books.
Anyway. This isn’t just going to be a list of books. I’m going to go ahead and link my Amazon wish list so you guys can see what I’m excited about reading. And then I’m going to make a list of bookish things I’ve been wanting. No pictures, though, which sucks because I enjoy making blog posts that include pictures. Sadly, this will not be one of them. But don’t worry. If I get any of these items for Christmas I’ll be sure to include them in my post I have planned for shortly after Christmas, a quick breakdown of what I got for Christmas. I can’t believe it’s already almost Christmas.
Books (of course)
I mean, duh. Who doesn’t ask for books for Christmas? (Okay, basically everyone I know doesn’t ask for books for Christmas, but whatever.) I haven’t read ANY of these books that are on my wish list. Which means, even though I included the “boxed set” version of some of these, I haven’t even read the first book in any of the series on the list so I actually just need the first book, not the whole darn thing.
Okay so I freaking love sweaters. So much. They’re the best. I wish I lived somewhere that’s cold year-round so I could wear sweaters all the time. I hate summer with a passion, especially here in Iowa because summer = humid. I could probably count on one hand the number of days this summer that weren’t humid. And the worst part is, I didn’t even realize summer could be tolerable until I went to Vegas early this summer where, hello, it was absolutely NOT humid. I actually didn’t hate it at all. I think I belong in the west.
Wow, back to sweaters. The best ones I own are from Forever 21 and American Eagle. I like my sweaters to be oversized on me, but for some reason not all sweaters are made that way? What even is the point of a sweater that isn’t oversized and cozy? So my way around these sweaters that are cute but not the right fit is to just but it in a few sizes larger than what I normally would get. Obviously if I’m in the store I can just try them on, but when it’s online it’s kind of a guessing game. Luckily on both of these sites they have a little scale on how the item fits, so I base it off of that.
However, you have to be careful because sweaters unfortunately shrink. Like a LOT. So annoying. So even if the sweater is oversized I usually buy it a size bigger, just to be safe. My motto is, you can always make clothes smaller, but you can’t make them bigger. If I buy a sweater and I don’t like how big it is, I just throw it in the wash and dry it and it shrinks. After that it usually looks fine. But if I like how the sweater fits, I’m careful about keeping it out of the dryer. I hang my sweaters to dry.
And this may seem gross, but lately I’ve been wearing sweaters a couple of times before washing them (this obviously doesn’t apply if I happened to sweat in the sweater or it smells or gets dirty or something). This is because I got a super cute pink distressed sweater from American Eagle that was SO incredibly soft, and I knew I couldn’t dry it because it’d definitely shrink, but even after I washed it and hung it up to dry I feel like it shrunk a little.
And okay, I know you can find hacks on the internet to un-shrink your clothes. But frankly, that’s a lot of work. Have any of you tried that? I may try that with some clothes at some point, just to test it out and see what happens.
Okay, same exact deal as with the sweaters. Except I literally only own one flannel, because I’m picky about them. In high school I owned a couple of flannels that were paper thin and not soft at all, and I hated them a little bit. I never wore them after the first couple of times because they just sucked.
Since then, I’ve been super picky about what I buy. I bought a flannel from Forever 21 this fall that is absolutely PERFECT. I don’t have a picture of it but I’ll link to the exact flannel I bought HERE.
It’s perfect because it’s oversized and soooooo soft. Unbelievably soft. I wear it all the time over a black distressed-looking Hawkeyes t-shirt. It’s my favorite outfit ever, and my boyfriend informed me the other day that I looked like a college girl in that outfit. Which, I am actually a college girl, but thanks? Wasn’t sure how to take that.
So I’m probably going to try to find more flannels there like this one. I ordered is a couple of sizes bigger than I normally would, just to be safe, and it was super big on me when I tried it on. Which was nice. But then I threw it in the wash and went ahead and dried it, and now it turned out to be the perfect fit for me. So I’m going to have to check what size mine is and then order more and just do the same exact thing over and over again. Oh, and it’s still super soft after being washed a billion times.
An honorable mention is American Eagle. I personally haven’t tried or bought any of their flannels, but my sister has. I have trouble finding it on their website, but it’s an olive green one with holes in it and it’s the softest thing I’ve ever felt in my life. She bought it in Times Square when we went on vacation to NYC a year ago, so I don’t know what it’s called or anything. It’s softer than my Forever 21 flannel, that’s for sure. I’ve been looking around on their website and they have a bunch of super cute flannels on there, but I’m nervous to buy any because I want them to fit properly. So that hasn’t happened yet, but I do recommend their soft flannels. I wish I had one.
This counts as a bookish item, right? I love reading with a cozy blanket. It’s the best.
Tie blankets are awesome, I’ll eternally love those because they’re like twice as warm as a regular blanket and made with love. I also love fleece and plush blankets. And I have a blanket I’m obsessed with that my boyfriend’s parents bought me for Christmas last year. It’s the only blanket I ever really have in my bookstagram photos, so you can at least get a glimpse of it there. It’s hard to explain. It’s kind of knitted, I guess, but it has shiny thread woven into it so it looks glittery.
I’ve also been wanting one of those wool blankets that are knitted. You know, those giant ones that you see all over Pinterest and that it seems like only rich people have because they’re so expensive? (If you have one, I give you props and I am thoroughly jealous.) I want one of those so bad. It doesn’t even have to be huge, just enough to cover part of my body so I can use it when I’m curled up reading or lay it on the end of my bed. That’d be cute. I like the light pink ones and the gray ones.
Oh, you guys, I have found a delicious candle that I have to tell you about. It’s from Walmart and I got it for $3. I can’t find it on their website to link it, unfortunately, but it’s a Mainstays candle in the scene Country Holiday.
The candle itself is kind of getting low pretty fast, but that’s just what happens with Walmart candles. I mean, it was $3. I wish I would’ve picked up more of them, because it really does smell amazing. And I burn it all the time, which is also why it’s running low already after a couple of weeks. It really reminds me of Christmas and it’s a great winter smell, so I doubt I’d want to burn it after fall and winter are over anyway.
Just in general, though, I find that Mainstays candles do have really good scents and they’re cheap. But, you can also buy Bath and Body Works candles too. They’re my all-time favorite. If I can find a smell like this Country Holiday one there, I definitely want it. Their candles burn forever and smell so freaking good. I never never never buy them at full price, though, we always wait until there’s a deal or my mom has a coupon or something. Their deals are so amazing every year that there’s just no reason to buy them full price; just stock up when they’re super cheap and you’ll be good because, again, they burn for like a century!
(I just want to note that I love Scentsy as well, we have a couple of warmers in our apartment and my mom has a huge box of scents at home to choose from. They have some really pretty warmers. I just love using actual candles in the fall and winter, it just puts me in such a calm, festive mood, especially when dealing with finals.)
Of any kind, really. I’m obsessed with putting those white-wire white Christmas lights up around my apartments. I have them in our bedroom going around the windows and draped over our headboard. I have the in the living room going around the windows and hopefully I’m going to put some around the fireplace. And I have some in the bathroom going around the mirror. Originally those were to help me when doing my makeup, because the only light in the bathroom is a bright yellow one right over the mirror so it gives really bad lighting. I wrapped lights around the mirror in hopes that it would be useful when doing my makeup. It really doesn’t do anything, but they’re really cute to have on just in general.
The problem is, the lights in all 3 of these rooms are somehow all different shades of yellow. It started with the lights in our bedroom; they’re very yellow-y white lights, which I’m used to and I think they’re cute. I use them in my photos a lot, and they’re the same yellow as the tiny lights I got for book photos as well. Then I bought some lights for the living room, but those were more white-white lights. I realize this makes very little sense. Anyway, then I got some for the bathroom and they actually match the living room, but it’s weird because it’s right across from the bedroom so the lights are different. Then I decided I wanted more lights around the fireplace in the living room so I bought more, but THOSE ended up being almost a blue-white, like a really cool-toned white that DON’T MATCH THE LIVING ROOM, THE BATHROOM, OR THE BEDROOM.
So basically what we’re going to have to do at some point is take the bathroom lights and put them in the living room, so they all match, and then put these weird cool-toned white lights in the bathroom instead. Sigh.
Anyway, lights are always a great Christmas gift and they’re considered bookish in my mind.
Every year I hear people say gift cards aren’t a fun gift because they’re not personal at all. Which is true, technically they’re not personal in themselves because you didn’t walk into, say, Barnes and Noble and pick out a book for me. Instead, you went into Barnes and Noble and bought me a $25 gift card so I can go in and buy whatever I want. And to this I say:
Do you realize how personal that is? That you literally knew I’d want to wander around Barnes and Noble looking for a book I don’t know I want? And that you happened to give me probably just the right amount of money to pay for the book plus a cookie or a bookmark or something? That’s PERSONAL. Actively walking into the Barnes and Noble is 90% of the experience, which is why when I shop online I buy from Amazon. And half the time, I don’t even know what books I want. I walk around for an annoying amount of time with whoever I’m with following me around and giving me anxiety because I’m taking too long before I finally just grab a random book and call it good (this happened the last time I went into a B&N and my boyfriend followed me around, I grabbed 2 books and I DNFed both of them the other day).
Same goes for Amazon. Sure, you can check out my wish list and buy me books I want. I totally love that, because I love receiving books from people. Plus, if you’re buying me a Christmas present, odds are you’ve asked me what I want and I’ve already screenshotted the alternate list I have in my Notes app and sent you ideas of the books I want.
But if you buy me an Amazon gift card for, say, $25. Dude, that could EASILY be 3 books! And then I get to choose how to spend that $25 to ensure that I’m able to buy as many books as possible with it. Because, let’s face it, the people who are buying me presents don’t know exactly what books to buy, where is best to buy them, paperback vs. hardcover, etc. Give me the responsibility and you take the credit for the gift. It’s a win-win.
And on that note, I also accept gift cards to places like Target, where I can look for sweaters and blankets and lights and books, or restaurants like Olive Garden so my boyfriend and I can go on a date. Any gift card is a great gift card for me.
I promise I’m not telling you guys this because I want any of my followers to buy me anything. I mean, okay, I did post my Amazon wish list on my Twitter, but that was mostly for fun. I don’t expect anyone to buy me anything, especially since I won’t have the money to give back to anyone for a while. It’s just fun to participate in things once in a while.
I do hope you guys liked my list of things I want, which all honestly just came to me off the top of my head. I hope it gave you a bit of inspiration for your own Christmas lists. If you’ve made a post like this, or even a gift guide, send me the link so I can check it out! Also, I’m apologizing for missing Wednesday’s blogmas post. I talk briefly about this on my Twitter. I decided to incorporate it a little in today’s post to make up for it, so while this is my own bookish wish list, it can double as a gift guide as well. Which is admittedly sneaky of me, since technically anything can double as a gift guide if you like the items on the list enough.