I’ll never forget the period of time my family obsessed over The Sims. I suffered for hours sitting through my siblings painstakingly building and decorating their houses. Their obsession lasted well over a year, and I truly thought I would die of boredom, right along with their characters who were dying of starvation. So, when Animal Crossing: New Horizons came out last month and my sister, Maranda spent every conversation we had discussing how she was building her island, all I thought was, “Great, here we go again.”
It wasn’t until our mom joined the Animal Crossing community and spent the better part of a week begging me to join that I finally relented (I blame quarantine for my actions). The addiction came swiftly, and soon I was staying up way past my bedtime, digging up trees and scouring the beach for sharks. A few days into the vortex, I was able to travel to Maranda’s island, where she enlightened me on how to turn my drab island into a book lovers paradise. Little did she know that if she led with that, I would have started playing a month ago.
Here are five things to every bibliophile should know when playing Animal Crossing.
You can create your own dream library.
If you long for floor to ceiling bookshelves that cover every inch of the wall but live in a tiny apartment with just enough room for a trusty crate of books, dig out your blueprints and build yourself that at-home library that you’ve always dreamed of on your island. With a few DIY recipes, you can build bookshelves. Once you have your walls covered with the latest best-sellers, spend some of your hard-earned bells on a comfy reading chair. Your virtual at-home library might not be real, but you will feel just as excited when it finally comes together (well, almost).
You can turn your favorite book jacket covers into wall art.
Once you build your amazing library, you will need to add a little flair. This website lets you upload any photo you’d like. It then generates a QR code to scan using The Nintendo Switch Online app. Maranda’s library was filled with prints of jacket covers like, Le Petit Prince, A Court of Thorns and Roses, and The Name of the Wind. It was awesome! Just be careful if you have a list of favorite books as long as ours, you might forget to sleep that day.
You can run around your island dressed as your favorite literary character.
If you fancy yourself a designer, you can use the Custom Designs app on your Nook phone to channel your inner Tim Gunn and create ready to wear outfits. From Harry Potter’s cloak to Gandalf the Grey’s hat, the only limitation to what you can design is your imagination.
Don’t have a creative bone in your body? Don’t sweat it. There are plenty of custom designs in the kiosk at Able Sister’s clothing store. Players all over the world can upload their designs into the database, which are free to obtain. To use the custom design portal, you need a Nintendo online subscription, but the subscription allows you to access plenty of content that it’s worth the price. I also recommend searching Reddit and other online communities to find custom design clothing.
Put a Little Free Library on your island.
Okay, so it’s not actually functional, and truly just there for the aesthetic, but who could resist? Despite the inability to grab a book from your island’s Little Free Library yourself, you can pretend your neighbors are totally using it when you aren’t looking. If they aren’t, you can just swat at them with your bug net to make them move away. If you don’t like books, you can get off the island, buddy!
You can spread the word about Libby!
Even though this is a virtual world, real friends can come to your island to pick fruit, fish, catch bugs, and hear about your favorite one tap reading app! With the same website I mentioned using to convert jacket covers, you can upload an image of Libby to post in your community as well! If your friends haven’t met our favorite librarian yet, they will be excited to learn that there is 24/7 access to free ebooks and audiobooks from their local library when they finally decide the hop off their Nintendo Switch at 4 am.
Do you know any other fun ways to show off your love of books in Animal Crossing? Head over to our Instagram (@digitalbookmobile) and let me know in a comment!