We all love to wear our loves, our hobbies, and our passions on our sleeves. We book lovers are proud of the way that reading has captured our imaginations, shaped our lives, and made us who we are today. Some of us have bookish tattoos, others wear literary t-shirts and scarves, and some wear book enamel pins. Metal pins, after all, are the biggest collector’s items of this decade (save, perhaps, for Funko Pops), and the people who make them have the imagination and the skill to bring your favourite books, quotes, characters, and ideas to life for you to wear proudly. Here are fifteen gorgeous custom enamel pins for book lovers!
‘Book Nerd’ by Rather Keen
I’ve been a personal fan of Rather Keen’s enamel pins for years via Instagram. When we visited Strand in Manhattan back in February 2019, I was thrilled to see his metal pins being proudly displayed near the register. The ‘Book Nerd’ hard enamel pin has a simple design reminiscent of Harry Potter, proudly displaying exactly what we are: enormous, emphatic book nerds. The bright colour and cursive font inlaid on a book cover is stylish and captivating, making for one of the most beautiful book enamel pins.
‘Read More’ by Ectogasm
Of all the book enamel pins out there, this is one of the most classy, colourful, and celebratory pins for sale. Oh, the detail there, it’s just delightful. The open book, subtly three-dimensional, with a kind of tea-stained faded yellow colouring like that of a classic tome. The bookmark draped over the top. The clear lettering declaring to all who see it that reading is beautiful; reading is magical; that they must read more books. Then, of course, the pièce de résistance is the gorgeous rose design bordering the book, bringing so much life and colour and vibrancy to the design. There aren’t many custom enamel pins quite like this little darling.
‘Wuthering Heights’ by Literary Emporium
Look at this hard enamel pin. Just look at it! For book lovers, this is one of the best metal pins money can buy. That is, of course, if you’re a fan of Wuthering Heights. As you can tell from my gushing, I’m a colossal fan. And this design really captures the tone and aesthetics of Wuthering Heights. It’s the window! The window that Cathy’s ghost hammers at, the window that Kate Bush sang through, pleading to Heathcliff. The bare, dead branches of the tree on the moor; the pitch dark of the night sky; and the fantastic choice of quote from the book. I love everything about this. It’s one of my favourite custom enamel pins, and I hope it’s yours as well.
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‘The Call of Cthulhu’ by Ectogasm
H.P. Lovecraft’s stories have seen something of a resurgence over the past few years. Authors like Neil Gaiman have been deeply moved by his mythology. King of horror Junji Ito took the ‘cosmic horror’ subgenre and ran with it. And then there’s Bloodborne, my favourite video game of all time, and something that captures the very themes, atmosphere, and tone created by H.P. Lovecraft so perfectly. Riding on that wave of Lovecraftian love comes this most badass and awesome of custom enamel pins. If anyone you know ever wanted proof of the wild imaginative power of literature, well, this pin might convince them! A pin that proudly boasts the name of Lovecraft’s most famous story, with the delightful detail of a Cthulhu tentacle actually turning the page. If you wear a suit to work, this might just be one of the coolest custom lapel pins you could wear. Ideal for weddings, too.
‘The Raven’ by Literary Emporium
I don’t know about you but I’m not actually the biggest fan of Edgar Allan Poe’s poetry; I much prefer his short stories. That is, of course, with the exception of The Raven – an astonishing accomplishment of poetry that uses prosaic storytelling and one of the most hypnotic rhythms to mesmerising effect. The image of the raven has become as legendary as the poem itself, as has the phrase ‘nevermore’, spoken by the taunting raven to the perpetually lonely and lamenting narrator. And here we have one of the most simply and striking custom enamel pins, and also one of the best cheap enamel pins! A minimalist design that’s understated but packs a very clear punch: a raven, pitch black, spotted with stars and the infamous phrase ‘nevermore’.
‘Readers Gonna Read’ by Literary Emporium
Haters gonna hate, and readers gonna read. One of the most witty and charming custom lapel pins is also one of the best book enamel pins you can get your hands on. While the cheeky phrase scrawled across this most delightful of metal pins is clever, it’s the attention to detail that really sells this one. The lettering, edges, and leaves are all a captivating gold that gleams against the black. The pages are flowing open like a spellbook. And, best of all, the book is worn and old. Even though it’s a metal pin, it has the look of an old, well-read leather tome. This subtle affectation, all bent out of shape, goes a long way to making this one of my favourite custom enamel pins.
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‘Black Cat Wizard’ by Jomostickers
This Harry Potter enamel pin is to die for! A lot of us love enamel pins for their adorable aesthetics, their glossy sheen, and the opportunity to show off a clear message about what we feel, think, and love. This Harry Potter enamel pin does all three! It’s a gorgeous pin depicting a witch’s familiar black cat, clad in a long Hogwarts scarf in the Gryffindor colours, sporting some adorably oversized Harry Potter glasses and his iconic scar. If you look closely, you’ll also spy a Hogwarts letter, very likely addressed to this pretty kitty, stamped with a pawprint. This is one Harry Potter enamel pin that is utterly irresistible.
‘I Read the Fucking Book’ by Bookish and Bakewell
Do you happen to be a fan of Axis of Awesome? If you are, you’re already laughing and clapping at this delightful hard enamel pin. If you’re not, well, they’re an Australian three-piece comedy band who write and perform tongue-in-cheek songs, one of which, Rage of Thrones, was styled after Killing In The Name and espoused the anger of A Song of Ice and Fire fans when Game of Thrones was at the height of its popularity. The vocalist would repeatedly shout: “I read the fucking books!” Feeding perfectly off the wild energy of that song, this most hilarious of custom enamel pins is a fantastic choice for any angry book lovers out there who get exhausted by second-rate film and TV adaptations and wish everyone else would, like they did, just read the fucking book.
‘Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost’ by Fable and Black
Perhaps one of the most famous literary quotes of all time, now forever emblazoned onto one of the most stylish custom enamel pins. This pin features a traditional eight-point compass as well as subtle leaves reminiscent of the broaches worn by all members of the Fellowship of the Ring. The beauty of this pin, in particular, is that it speaks to both book lovers and travellers equally. And given that we at Books and Bao are both, we are rather enamoured with this most stylish of book enamel pins.
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‘Just One More Chapter’ by Literary Emporium
This most classy of custom enamel pins riffs on the iconic and beloved Penguin Classics design aesthetic, switching out the Penguin logo for a book with its pages fluttering, and the “title” proudly and emphatically stating this pin’s wearer as a book lover. We all, after all, know the eternal struggle of saying, “Just one more chapter…” and then, suddenly, the sun is rising. This pin is also purple, the best colour (don’t @ me). If I still wore a suit, this would be on the top of my list of custom lapel pins to buy and wear with pride.
‘Ophelia’ by Literary Emporium
This has to be the most underrated, underused quote from Hamlet ever. This line from Ophelia, “We know what we are but know not what we may be”, is infinitely better than most other Hamlet quotes thrown around on a daily basis. And here, on one of the most gorgeously crafted custom enamel pins I’ve ever seen, it can be worn with pride. Look at the detail on this beauty! The cracked skull of Yorick, the stars, flowers, leaves, and ferns. The gold against the black. All of it, so bloody stunning! Without a doubt, this is one of the most refined and gorgeous custom enamel pins for sale anywhere.
‘Bookshop’ by Fable and Black
Of all the metal pins in all the world, this is one of the most detailed, delightful, and wholesome custom enamel pins I’ve ever laid eyes on. Rather than depicting a book, a literary quote, or a character, this pin’s design is of the most quaint and idyllic little bookshop you could ever imagine. With the warm glow of a light on inside, an ‘open’ sign on the door, and a window stacked with the silhouettes of books waiting to be bought. This is one of the most beautiful custom enamel pins, designed with real love and dedication.
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‘I Have Lived 1,000 Lives’ by Ectogasm
The quote emblazoned across a stack of five books was famously written by A Song of Ice and Fire creator George R.R. Martin. While it’s said from one character to another, it’s nonetheless a truth that can be applied to every one of us, and we’ve all felt it to one degree or another. Now, with this most romantic of book enamel pins, you can celebrate that feeling proudly and with real style. Each book on this stack of five displays a different font and with a cover of a different colour. It’s beautiful – simply, utterly beautiful.
‘Ollivander’s’ by Pinsicle
One of the most iconic places in the Harry Potter universe makes for a fantastic aesthetic for the most original and unique Harry Potter enamel pin. A blend of black, white, gold, and brown brings to life the look and magic of Ollivander’s shop front, as well as the paving stones of Diagon Alley. There are the stacks of wands in their boxes, an owl in the window, and twinkling stars below a sign that proudly displays the name Ollivander. All of this detail really brings to life this magical Harry Potter enamel pin.
‘Alethiometer’ by Fable and Black
We’ve saved one of the best custom enamel pins for last. This utterly gorgeous (and huge) alethiometer enamel pin really captures the details of the original from Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, even down to the different symbols – the bee, the sword, the skull, the anchor, all of them! The black, white, and gold inlays and the three needle points, it all makes for one of the best custom enamel pins for book lovers. How do you get better than this as a gift for fans of His Dark Materials? It’s an absolute beauty, and the largest enamel pin on this list.
Will predominantly writes about the books of Books and Bao, examining the literature of a place and how the authors have used the art of storytelling to reflect the world and the culture around them.