Only Slightly Foreboding: Aesthetic Dark Academia Gifts

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Have you fallen down the rabbit hole of all things dark academia? If you haven’t, a quick and dirty primer: dark academia is an aesthetic encompassing higher education, the arts, writing, poetry, and gothic design. Readers who love dark academia love books set in boarding schools or universities, with an underpinning of magic, intrigue, and a foreboding mood. The aesthetic and desire to lean into dark academia has had fair criticism, though, particularly as it can be very white. But more and more people of color are finding themselves speaking up about the whiteness, helping to add more realism to the world of school halls and gothic columns. It only seems right for readers — who are gifted with an array of awesome dark academia book options — to also seek out some fun dark academia gifts.

Part of the aesthetic is curating it, both online and off, and these fun aesthetic dark academia gifts will help make your interests even more clear. You will notice, of course, in items relating to books that they lean toward being far less inclusive than the sub-genre of literature truly is. This is, as always, due to who gets bigger marketing budgets and thus, more attention and more potential fandoms dedicated to them.

Bookish Dark Academia Gifts for Lovers of the Aesthetic

Your books will get in on the aesthetic with this dark academia bookmark made of wood and comprised of books loved by fans. $7

Your space needs to smell like the style, too, and this library scented candle will do the trick. $14

Put this “Bury Me in Books” print in a vintage frame for an even more gothic feel. $15

One of the things about this aesthetic that I really like is how cozy it is and how much autumn flavor there is. Carry that on you with this Frankenstein sweatshirt. $32

Inspired by the cloth covers of old books, this tote bag is a knockout. $25 and up

For the writer side of dark academia, this storyteller enamel pin is a must. $10

Don a book locket ’round your neck. $27

Mushrooms are perfectly aesthetic, too, and this handmade mushroom bookmark will be perfect inside whatever tome you’re reading. $9.50

Upgrade your notebook collection to include this blank notebook with a cover which makes it look like an old book. $13

These dictionary page pendants are just *chef’s kiss*. $30, with a number of page/definition choices

Honor knowledge and wisdom with this Greek statue tee, available in a few colors. $25 and up

If you love The Secret History, then you know this mug is a winner. $21

Book lovers never go to bed alone, especially with this pillow. $17 and up

Pop this wooden spell book pin on your sweater, sweater vest, or tote bag. $8

What’s more dark academia than a sweatshirt proclaiming in books, freedom, but in Latin? $20 and up

Carry this little leather journal with you wherever you go, as it’ll hang right on your keys with you. $16

Though much of the aesthetic is about avoiding technology, if one must have their phone, it should have an old book case. $30, with different phone options

Use this tote and never answer the question of what dark academia is again. $18

And the best way to show off your collection of books fitting your aesthetic? These gorgeous petrified wood bookends. $172

– Kelly Jensen

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