published by Thom Dunn on September 18, 2013 - 10:13am
Oktoberfest is the annual German harvest festival, a citywide fair in Munich full of beer and bratwurst that takes place over sixteen days leading up to the first weekend of October. It’s awesome, or so my German friend tells me, and given my affinity for all things beer and meat and revelry, I tend to believe him (although I am mostly indifferent towards lederhosen).
I realize, however, that not everyone shares my love for such delicious gluttony. But rather than rudely asking what the hell is wrong with you and how could you not love malty lagers, tasty bratwurst, and lots of drunken singalongs, I’ve come up with a list of three alternative Oktoberfests for you to enjoy in those first days of autumn, all of which have been inspired by my other favorite thing that’s not booze, meat, or music — which, of course, is books.
Books are for reading, yes, but did you ever consider them as part of your home decor? I’m not just talking about books sitting on a shelf organized by color. Click around DIY blogs and you’ll see instructions for repurposing books into everything from storage to hanging mobiles.
For me, there’s only one issue with book DIYs: I can’t stand the thought of cutting up a book. A few years ago I had the brilliant idea to carve out the pages of an old Singer sewing book to make it into a storage cubby. After I flipped through the book, I realized I didn’t have the guts to take a knife to those gorgeous pages.
If you feel the same, ease the pain by crafting with books that have yellowed, stained, ripped, or missing pages. Hit up your local flea market or Goodwill to find books you’re not emotionally attached to. The other option is to buy the decor so that the guilt of destruction lies with the creator.
Whether you decide to craft or buy, here are a few ways to use those precious books as decor around your house.
Kick off your shoes, chow down on some mushrooms, and whip out the sparklers: it’s time to celebrate Hobbit Day and Tolkien Week. Though there are some discrepancies between the Shire and Gregorian calendars, Hobbit Day - the birthday of both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins - has been celebrated on September 22nd since 1978 and is the kickoff to Tolkien Week.
Many schools, bookstores, and libraries observe the date as a way to focus on Tolkien’s work and pique the interest of new fans, but here at Quirk, we love a good party.
Just as the rise of “chick lit” is often credited to Helen Fielding’s debut Bridget Jones’s Diary, the birth of “chica lit” is said to swell from Alisa Valdes’ debut megahit The Dirty Girls Social Club. And if you haven’t guessed already, essentially the genre is a segment of women’s fiction that features a Latina protagonist, and it has a young adult counterpart.
It's possible your childhood wasn't complete without treasured books such as Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and James and the Giant Peach. The master behind these slightly twisted tales, Roald Dahl, would have been a whopping 97 years old on September 13th, and who wouldn't love a delectable cookie on their birthday?
In honor of Dahl and his dark side (Curious? Dahl didn't just turn Violet Beauregarde into a giant blueberry … check out My Uncle Oswald) here are boozy bourbon peach cookies, perfect for nibbling along with your afternoon tea, just the way Dahl may have done on his birthday.