It’s almost Valentine’s Day and flowers would be a great gift if your Valentine didn’t prefer the smell of a new book over a fresh rose. This Valentine’s Day, make an evening of the things your favorite book nerd loves most with a literary-themed night in. Here are some of the romantic, funny, and fun bookish gifts available at Kards Unlimited to help you plan the night!
1. Out of Print T-Shirts
Set the tone for the evening with literary shirts from Out of Print! Throw on matching Where the Wild Things Are tees before showing off your wild sides (ahem). The Alice in Wonderland design (pictured) will lead the way down the rabbit hole of love (ahem). Comfortable enough for sleepwear, trendy enough for daywear, your Valentine won’t be able to get enough of their shirt.
2. Bookish Jewelry
Gift the one you love (or really really like) book-themed accessories to finish the look. Voz cuffs and pendants are perfect for a Valentine-on-a-budget. Designed for pop culture and literary buffs, designs range from the bold (“Books are sexy”) to the romantic (“You have bewitched me body and soul”).
Kathy Bransfield Necklaces are hand-stamped necklaces will sweep your sweet off her feet. Made of sterling silver with gold-plated brass overlays, romantic themes include Tennyson’s iconic quote, “If I had a flower for every time I thought of you I could walk through my garden forever.” Cue the swoon. Here are some others, including for your bestie; don’t forget Galentine’s Day is the Monday before Valentine’s Day!
3. Get Cookin’
Once you’re both dressed for the occasion, warm things up in the kitchen with dinner from a lit-inspired cookbook. From the playful 50 Shades of Chicken to cookbooks inspired by the Outlander and True Blood series, we’ve got plenty of cheeky, sexy, and delicious options to choose from. Make the meal solo or turn it into a team adventure; sometimes two cooks are more fun than one!
4. Harry Potter Games
Ron and Hermione. Harry and Ginny. Always. Anyone who says the Harry Potter series isn’t romantic is a dirty filthy liar. While the 32nd shade of chicken is in the oven, have some lighthearted game time with Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit, Hogwarts Battle, or Harry Potter Clue. I’m sure there are ways to make it sexy, if that’s your kind of thing. Remember, Gryffindors, this is Valentine’s Day, you don’t have to win.
5. Temporary Tattoos
Now that you’re all romantic over HP, you’ve probably realized you’re soulmates. But before you go get matching Always tattoos on your first Valentine’s together, try something a little less permanent. Go the sensible, romantic route with a set of Jane Austen tattoos, or the dark but just as fun Edgar Allen Poe set. “The Tell-Tale Heart” is kind of Valentines-y, right? I mean, it’s got a heart.
6. Coloring Books
All right, the Ravenclaw won Trivial Pursuit in five minutes flat and temporary tattoos are now plastered over arms, legs, faces, and the dog, but there are still fifteen minutes before dinner is ready. What to do? Let your love relax and color pictures from their favorite books while you set the table. Whether coloring sizzling scenes from Outlander and Game of Thrones, or re-living childhood with The Little Prince, Little House on the Prairie, or Harry Potter, coloring books are all the rage right now for a reason.
What’s sweeter than dessert? Poetry. All right, don’t skip dessert. That would be a bad choice on Valentine’s, but certainly add to the sweetness with some poetry recitation. Not a poet? We have you covered. Love poems are always a great choice, but if you’re looking for something for year-round, we also offer themed books of poetry covering just about everything, including pets and animals, music and the blues, marriage, parenthood, solitude, and even a book of erotic poems. Take your pick, it’s hard to go wrong.
8. North Ave Candles
Time to get cozy before the evening’s main event: reading! (What’s better?) Pull out the plushest blankets and add some ambiance with a North Ave Candle. Heat things up with a Fahrenheit 451 inspired candle, which smells of smoked pine and parchment, or play some jazz and light a gin, juniper, and daisy Great Gatsby candle. Offering more than a dozen book-inspired scents, North Ave Candles are made right in Pittsburgh!
Almost ready to cuddle and read, but don’t forget the best friend of book nerds: tea! Tea Forte’s heart-shaped gift sets will warm your Valentine’s heart, but any of the samplers are strong choices. Chocolate tea will satiate the sweet tooth, while teas for the heart will show you care. The Tea Forte Noir flavors are especially fun for after dark. Don’t know where to start? Our staff happens to love tea, and we love to talk, so feel free to askfor recommendations.
Now the best part of the evening, it’s time to read! We may be called Kards Unlimited, but we also have a pretty awesome selection of books. Better yet, we’ve compiled a special section with our favorite love and romance books to make shopping for your Valentine even easier. From Pride and Prejudice to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and tear-jerker Me Before You to Aziz Ansari’s comedic Modern Romance, there’s something for every taste and romance level.
Come on in to Kards Unlimited for more great ideas to make your Valentine’s Day one for the history books. And don’t forget your Valentine’s Day card while you’re here!
I read a book a while ago called Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon. The book isn’t really about stealing, of course, but about how to go about capitalizing on inspiration and understanding the differences between emulating a style because you appreciate it and straight up copying someone else’s work.
When I heard Neil Gaiman was going to publish a book of Norse mythology (inventively entitled, Norse Mythology), I immediately thought of Steal Like an Artist because one of the things Kleon talks about in the book is getting to know the influences of your influences. If you want to paint like Van Gogh, find out not only all you can about him, find out all you can about the painters that he admired and that influenced him.
Gaiman’s appreciation for Norse myth is very obvious when you read his novel American Gods, since several characters directly from Norse mythology are transformed into main characters of the novel. However, I’m excited to read the Norse myths retold by Gaiman himself, since they are such a significant influence on his writing.
Norse mythology is not nearly as well known in America as its Southern European counterparts. Indeed, the word mythology in and of itself generally gets people thinking of Olympus and Hercules and the rest of the Greek pantheon. Norse mythology is quite different. The gods are more heroic and human, their enemies are much more diverse and, frankly, weird, and the nine worlds that make up the Norse universe provide a multitude of paths a departed soul can take from life instead of a simple trip across a river to the Underworld of the Greeks and Romans.
Anyone who has asked for book recommendations at Kards Unlimited has undoubtedly been pointed in the direction of Neil Gaiman. All of his books have been picked as favorites of at least a few of the staff and the KU Book Club has read three of his novels over the course of our meetings. I’m certainly not alone in being excited for Gaiman’s newest book, and I think you will be too. Come pick up a signed copy, on sale tomorrow, 2/7/17!
Are you still salty about the New England Patriots beating the Steelers and making their ninth Superbowl appearance? Nothing sucks as much as watching your team get bested by a bunch of dirty, cheating pretty boys, coached by the most repulsive man on this planet. So what better way to help heal the wound by being a sore loser and making fun of the Patriots! Here’s my top ten list of why you should hate the Pats:
- TOM BRADY/Bill Belichick Both Left Pregnant Woman, For A Younger One
Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen have been together since 2007, but are you aware of Bridget Moynahan? Brady left her for Gisele when she was more than three months pregnant with his child. Gisele is also nine years younger than Bridget. It goes to show you that the man has commitment issues. It’s no wonder why him and Belichick get along so well, Bill also left his wife and high school sweetheart Debby Clarke while she was pregnant with their third child together for his now girlfriend Linda Holiday.
2. Robert Kraft Gave a Superbowl Ring to Putin
Ok, while he technically didn’t give him a ring, it’s still questionable why the owner of a sports team would want to meet the Russian President. While on a “business trip” Kraft was introduced to Putin, to whom Kraft showed his superbowl ring. Apparently, Putin tried it on and never gave it back. Just knowing that Vladimir Putin is a fan of the Patriots, one can only speculate the shady deals Kraft and him have done over the years.
Now this one is really the only unbiased reason I have on this list. In May of 2015, the NFL began their investigation into the claims that the patriots were tampering with their footballs; deflating their balls to make it easier to grip and throw during the AFC championship game against the Colts. How could America’s team be cheaters? Have they no morals, have they no shame?
The bottom line is, they cheated, they knew about it, regardless of what they say. The Golden Boy himself was in hot water, though only being charged a measly four game suspension. This wasn’t the first time the Pats were caught though…
If deflating footballs gets you all worked up, you probably forgot when the Patriots were caught taping the New York Jet’s defensive coaches’ signals during a 2007 game. Taping coaches isn’t against the rules if done from designated areas, but the Pats were filming from their own sideline, which is not allowed. Belichick was fined 500k for this, the team itself was fined 250k and their first round draft pick in the 2008 draft. It came out later that they were taping the St. Louis Rams practice before the Superbowl in 2002 as well. Caught cheating twice, but they must have an excellent PR team, because Pats nation is as strong as ever. (Sounds familiar…)
5. Any Fan 23 and under only knows winning
Don’t you just hate people that win everything? But don’t you hate it more when those people weren’t there from the beginning? Welcome to Patriots Nation. The epicenter for bandwagon fans. A fun fact, if you’re 23 and under, you’ve only witnessed seasons with at least 11 wins. They’ve never really had much to complain about. No young Patriots fan is even remotely humble about winning, and if you bring up cheating, they turn into a little kid covering their ears and eyes, blind and deaf to the truth.
6. Week 17 2000 was the last time they played a game already eliminated from playoff contention
Stats like this just rip people’s hearts out when they read them. Lions fans have witnessed a winless season, Jets fans have suffered from mediocrity, and Rams fans have watched their team pack up and move. But for the past seventeen years, Patriots fans have had the hope of making it to the playoffs. They can’t relate to any other team or fan, they just live in this little fantasy world where they never lose, and that’s why Pat fans are just so insufferable.
7. Aaron Hernandez
A local boy from my home state of Connecticut, ended up playing tight end for the Pats in 2010. In 2013 he was arrested for the murder of semi pro football player Odin Lloyd. He was released from the team, found guilty of the crime, and sentenced to life in prison without parole. He was also indicted for the double murder of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado. I know the Pats really can’t control these terrible things, but it just throws fuel on the fire. It leaves a stain on their reputation.
8. Why does Belichick cut the sleeves off his shirts?
This one is purely a matter of taste. Is it for movement? Style? Does he need to air his pits out constantly? Whatever the reason, I think it’s the stupidest thing in football and I will make fun of him for it until the day he retires.
9. Fans just suck
Patriot’s fans are simply the worst fans in all of sports. They’re loud, rude, entitled, bandwagon-y jerks. I have yet to meet a fan I get along with.
TE Rob Gronkoski is the quintessential douche bag. He’s dumb, he will sleep with your girlfriend in a heartbeat, and he’s admittedly pretty good at what he does. Nobody likes that type of person.
There are plenty more as to why you can hate the Patriots, but hopefully this give you some motivation.
…is why we LOVE Valentine’s Day!
and also we love love. Like a lot. It’s our thing.
I’m going to try my very best to stay calm and not to shout at you during this tour of our best Valentine’s Day cards. Look how calm I am. No hyperbolic exclamations. NBD. Whatev. I could care less. Ok let’s look at some cards.
OH MY GOD THO LOOK AT THE PUNS!!!!!!!!!
Not only are these cards the CUTEST, and fair-trade recycled, they also happen to support an amazing cause. The card makers are women who have escaped sex trafficking in the Philippines and young adults orphaned by disease in Rwanda. Each card is signed and so connects you to the life you are helping to transform. I know. Crying. I can’t even. Also from Good Paper, some adorb gay/lesbian designs because LOVE IS MOTHERF***ING LOVE! Ahem.
Maybe puns aren’t your thing. How about some SCIENCE! I’d say the more romantic sciences are Chemistry (duh) and astronomy (man crush on Neil Degrasse Tyson):
Science not your thing? How about the 80s! The 80s is everyone’s thing. Except curmudgeons. These cards are by a new company we are IN LOVE with called The Found:
Maybe you want that vintage vibe; check out these beautiful water color cards from Driscoll:
How about these naturally occurring hearts in nature from the lovely Hearts Happen line, we have a bunch and they are all so sweet:
Hey if you like nature, maybe you like NPR? Eh? Safe assumption? Animals? Eh? Try out these cards from Lady Pilot, also a new favorite:
Let’s get serious now. Let’s get down to the best kind of love. NERD LOVE. And the best kind of cards, OUR CARDS! That’s right, these are homemade fresh out the oven best served with geek sauce.
But seriously, we have serious cards too. We have it all, and we sincerely love to help you find the perfect card so if you need some ideas, just ask! Hedgehog card? Yep! Cats? Duh! Dogs? C’mon. Cards from my grams? Of course! And don’t forget, Galentine’s Day is real, don’t forget to send your friends some love. This party isn’t just for lovers anymore;-)
It’s February and you know what that means: love is in the air! Ah, l’amour… Not to mention the billion other awesome things we’re celebrating this month. There’s Valentine’s Day, of course, but there’s also Groundhog Day, Did You Fart? Day, National Sticky Bun Day, and Tell A Fairy Tale Day just to name a few. Read on to see all we’re in love with this month! Read more »
Hi! Happy January! We’re speeding into the future here, and we’ve got a lot to celebrate this month. 2017, International Kiss A Ginger Day, Cheese Lovers Day and more! Read on to see what we’re celebrating this month. Read more »
♫While the merry bells keep ringing/May your every wish come true♫ It’s our absolute FAVORITE time of year: the holiday freaking season! We’ve got so many things to celebrate this month, besides the usual faves, like Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. Read on to find out what’s getting our spirits even higher this month! Read more »
Now more than ever we need to remind ourselves what we are thankful for and not take those things for granted. So without further ado:
- Nerds. You make the world go round. Enthusiasm is the spice of life, in a Dune kind of way.
- Leftover Halloween candy. Rotting my teeth as we speak, and Starburst are literally flying across the office at an alarming and dangerous rate.
- Books. But seriously, can you even imagine life without? Don’t. Don’t try. It’s awful and cold and dark in that place.
- Pets. Along with books, make life worth living. Sometimes I look at my cats and get really tripped out that this super fuzzy little creature with legs and a face that exists on this planet is living in my house and likes to hang out with me.
- Harry Potter/J.K. Rowling. We’re pretty sure that Harry Potter is 95% of what we talk about here at KU, and the other 5% is usually about reminding the males to use the bathroom spray in the employee bathroom. (Note: We need more bathroom spray.)
- Each other. We like to create a family here at Ku, and right now our staff is aces. We are really lucky to have really good people working with us.
- Game of Thrones references. Ok I lied, our conversations here are 60% Harry Potter and 40% GOT. We like to yell “YOU KNOW NOTHING JON SNOW!” at trainees. But in a nice way.
- Star Wars references. Ok I lied again. Our convos our 50% Potter, 20% GOT, and 1,000% Star Wars references. Most used: “these are the cards you’re looking for” and “that’s no (insert moon-like object).
- & 10. The last 2 are dedicated to YOU our wonderful and loyal customers because I want to talk about you for more than as sentence. You are sincerely what makes us love coming to work everyday. Interacting with you about what you’re reading, watching, eating, and especially hearing you laugh, reminds us why we’re here. We have fun with each other here, but it’s the customers that really make it all worth it.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families, human and feline and canine and all.