How to Host a Literary Holiday Party

How to Host a Literary Holiday Party

This time of year is packed with holidays, and it makes us want to eat, drink, and be merry nonstop. But who says you need a holiday to throw a party? Here, we’re offering a step-by-step guide to hosting your very own literary bash.

This is the first thing you need to decide. Do you want a Jane Austen party, a Great Gatsby party, a come-as-your-favorite character party, or just a party celebrating books? You really can’t go wrong here. Pick a theme that feels right; it’ll help when making decisions later.


Guest List
Non-readers are certainly welcome, but let’s be real: This event is for the most bookish people you know. Round up your favorite readers, the ones you know won’t have any qualms dressing up as their favorite author or character to attend.


Think of your invitations as the first sentence of a book. It’s an important first impression to make, and one where you have a lot of room for creativity. If you’ve picked a theme, let that guide you. If your party is simply for book lovers, we’d recommend invitations inspired by library cards and book covers.

When it comes to book displays, libraries are where it’s at. Take inspiration from these crafty librarians and create your own.

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And what are the holidays without a wreath? This one uses music sheets and not book pages, but use it as inspiration for your own.


Low lighting and candles scattered about are sure to give your affair an intimate and cozy feeling. Frostbeard Studio has great scents like Oxford Library, Christmas at the Burrow, and Sassenach. We also love this DIY route of creating your own candle holders:


Music can also help to set the mood. Ambient Mixer has playlists inspired by elvish cities from Lord of the Rings, Hogwarts common rooms, and more!

There are endless routes to go when you’re serving literary cocktails. Tim Federle lists a few in his book Tequila Mockingbird. But you can also use the internet to find ones that fit your theme.

For example, go north of the Wall with this Ygritte-inspired cocktail:


Or warm up with a hot butterbeer from the Three Broomsticks:


Place settings
Using Scrabble tiles to spell guests’ names at each place setting is sure to be a crowd pleaser, as is this stunning table runner:

When the guests are ready for dinner, a hearty serving of beef stew, inspired by Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, is sure to leave them full and satisfied.



For dessert, we’d recommend taking inspiration from C.S. Lewis and serving Turkish delight.

Who doesn’t like a good round of trivia? You don’t even have to do all of the hard work yourself if you ask each guest to send you one to two trivia questions before the big day.

Or you could pick up It Was a Dark and Stormy Night to test your guests on their knowledge of famous first lines in literature.

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night Game



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