Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Bookish Gift.........and wrapping it too

photo by Kimberly Taylor ~ Mimi Charmante

It was this photo by talented blogger Kimberly Taylor at Mimi Charmante that got me to thinking about book gifts. First of all I love this photo she sells in her lovely, lovely Etsy shop and the other thought was she must be a reader too. You couldn't take this wonderful of a photo and not be, it has too much reverence in it. It's surprising really that I haven't talked about a simple book as a gift sooner especially since reading has been such a source of pleasure in my life. I can do anything, wait anywhere, endure most, as long as have a book in hand. When I was 9 years old I read all 52 Nancy Drew books in one year ( I told you I was intense) and I haven't stopped reading since. I read way too fast, have way too many books, spend too much, and don't see any of that changing in the years ahead. It is written into my marriage vows.......take me, take my books, their expense, and my nightly reading light...........sorry about that~xo

By January 1st, most people are gifted to the hilt and there likely isn't much more that they need or want. Which makes it the absolute best time of the year to give a book gift. It makes snow days positively welcome. Pick the absolute best book you have read the past year, or a stack of them even better, and indulge someone with the pleasure of reading. When I give a book gift there is a few things I do to make it more "bookish" so to speak.

My Bookish Details


Always a bookmark. In fact, keep a handy supply around and head over to Kimberly's Etsy shop (click here)and stock up. She has a gorgeous selection of new velvet bookmarks with charms and pearls that will add a thoughtful touch to any book gift at a very reasonable price of $8.00. Consider adding in her gorgeous print shown above, any reader would love this addition. You must visit her blog Mimi Charmante, you will be absolutely charmed by her, if you aren't already.

Hide the Price
Use little stickers or seals to cover the price. My friend always does this and I have adopted this most civilized habit.These tiny stamp stickers are the perfect size but if in a pinch a real one would do nicely as well. They know roughly what you've spent anyways but this looks so much better.

Always have a packet of decorative but blank bookplates handy. I place a single one loose inside the front cover. Let them decide if they want to use it or how they will label it.

Personal Book Plates
If working ahead of your gift giving date and dealing with a serious book lover, order in a set of these adorable personalized bookplates form the fabulous artist Felix Doolittle. 25 Ex Libras 2" self-adhesive labels for $50.00 and they come in the cutest little tin. Lots of image choices and other shapes as well.

Wrapping the Book Gift

Yes, you can use brown kraft paper. I am always a bit wrapped-out in the first few months of the year and like to explore more relaxed styles of gift wrapping. I have nothing against twine, what you usually see with kcraft paper, but much prefer a simple ribbon. Books are perfect for this understated wrap.

I prefer a double layer gift wrap for books. Maybe I am afraid sharp folds will bend the book cover. This method eliminates any need for tape and I just like the relaxed style. One layer in one direction(shown above) then another layer going the other way so all book edges are covered. This technique also works really well with tissue paper. I will show you how to pleat and wrap with tissue in an upcoming post.

Here you can see the two paper directions. I used a small off cut of this graphic black and white gift wrap as a base for the attached and layered card I made. White cotton ribbon from Kate Spade was recycled after a quick iron. Keep reading, that copy you see is my new favorite thing to do on book gifts.

Book Quotes

Make a gift tag with a quote from the book. A few lines of book copy handwritten or printed on a blank gift card adds a bit of mystery to the book gift. I like to entice them to open those pages and immerse themselves in a story I think might bring them great reading pleasure. I will tell you what book this quote is from in my next Reading List post. It was my favorite book from 2009.

Include a newspaper or online review of the book or links . I like to know how others thought of a book before I start a new one. Just fold and tuck into the rear cover.

Enjoy the story.........

Photos 1 to 3 from Mimi Charmante/Photo 7 from Felix Doolittle/All other photos by Sande Chase ~ A Gift Wrapped Life


  1. I always scratch out the price on greeting cards and write 'Dont be nosy' :O) It's very cheeky of me but I love doing it :O)

  2. Since I'm always giving myself the gift of books, maybe I should start wrapping them for myself! A perfect idea for the new year.

    A very Happy 2010 to you, Sande.


  3. After my father died, I kept a number of his medical books. Last August, I took several of a matching series, stacked and tied them with a ribbon and sent them to my sister. They were older books that I am sure he had not looked at in along time, but they were beautiful and, more importantly, they were his. She was thrilled...especially after finding handwritten notes our father had written in the margins. It is impossible to buy anything for her but she told our mother that it was the best gift she has ever gotten. I keep a ribboned stack on my desk just to remind me of him.

  4. I love this post!
    You've made the presentation as enticing as the book itself. Actually, more so! Usually, with a gift that is a book, most people exclaim, " Oh it's a book"
    You've shown a way to take the focus off the immediate recognition that it is a book and make it a process of discovering just what kind of book it is and why you chose it just for them!
    I love how you love the presentation which is why you are The Gift Wrapped Life.

  5. I LOVE this idea of wrapping and presenting a book as a gift. PERFECTION.

  6. Sande can you post the address for the bookmarks on etsy. The link you have doesn't work.


  7. Just the most lovely way to present a gift of a book to anyone. Savings this idea away, for sure! TY*

  8. What a terrific way to gift wrap a book ! ! Thanks so much for passing your expertise on to us all. It really is wonderful! That's how I'm going to wrap books in the future!

  9. Hello Sande and Happy New Year!
    This post was just perfect! As huge lover of books I always end of gifting them as well and what could be more beautiful than the options you posted today!?! Gorgeous!!! I can't wait to order some of the bookmarks for myself and to have on hand when giving a book, they are beautiful (I think I need the Pearl one for myself). Loved it!!!

  10. Not only are you incredibly inspirational and fully of wonderful ideas, but you truly are one of the sweetest people I have *met* in blogland.
    Thank you my friend~

  11. Dear Sande,
    I cannot believe that you got all this from wrapping a book. Absolutely amazing. I love the stampp stickers to cover the price and the bookplates and the way that you have wrapped it.
    I have gleaned so many ideas from this one post. Thanks. XXXX

  12. Sande,

    Mimi's photographs are so beautiful!
    I just love the covers of old, antique books. They are little works of art on their own.
    I love your idea of covering up the price on a book. If I've read a book that I am giving to a person as a gift, I like to write them a little note about how the book has made an impression on me and tuck it inside the book. Your gift wrapping is always so beautiful and so extraordinary. Thank you for this post.

  13. What a great way to wrap a book gift love it! very unisex too my husband is a book worm so I know how to wrap his next book thanks Sande :)

  14. What a lovely post ~ I'll be saving this idea as I have several birthdays coming up in the next couple of weeks.

    Thank you for sharing~

  15. I love your book giving ideas Sande....they bring new life to the whole idea of book giving. You are a clever girl....xv

  16. Bonjour Sande,
    Yet another beautiful and informative post. Antique books are a favorite of mine to give and recieve. Like Mandy said, the covers themselves are works of art.
    Speaking of works of art - you did a brilliant wrap design for a book. I never would have thought to use Kraft paper, but you've created a lovely gift, and I'm definitely going to experiment with this even though I know it won't turn out as pretty as yours.
    Happy wrapping!

  17. I am a bookworm through and through and very much appreciated this post. I like your idea of using kraft paper to wrap it as I have huge rolls of the stuff and never even thought of using it for wrapping presents. Thank you Sande for yet another perfect post!

  18. Sande really great post. I adore the gift of a book and with all your personal touches when you do, makes it all that more special. Your gift wrapping techniques that you've shown are terrific. Your such a classy dame!
    All the best to you and your family for 2010. xx

  19. HI Sande
    I love to give and receive books as gifts. It is giving a whole new world to someone and these wonderful ideas to personalise the gift makes it so much sweeter... The images are gorgeous as is the wrapping and the stamp to cover the cost!! Brilliant!! Hope your New Year is wonderful xx Julie

  20. SAnde-
    you always have such chic wrappings.

  21. What a beautiful and well thought out post! I too am an avid book lover, and have more than my share...what great tips and ideas you have here! You are off to a great start for 2010...
    I hear it is a bit chilly for you, as in record! Stay in and enjoy your books!

  22. A book is the best gift ever and I love how you have wrapped it up. Kim is one of the most wonderful people isn't she! I always said that if I did not love her so much ~ I would hate her for being so sweet!

  23. Dear Sande,

    This is so refreshing! Books are the perfect gift because they are like holding a whole new world~ And easy to wrap too! A perfect inspriational post for the new year!


  24. I loved this posting! I LOVE books, and I had to chuckle at your comment about your marriage vows....take me, take my books, their expense, and my nightly reading light....

    It would have fit perfectly in my own vows, only I didn't think of it. It seems hubby is totally resigned to the piles of books by my bed, beside bulging shelves, wherever there's an empty space...and the night light.... well, I don't think he'd sleep as well without it, it's become such a part of our lives!

    And yes, I love your book wrapping idea with the book quote for a tag............ This is a keeper for me!

    Thanks....... I don't think I said it yet, Happiest of New Years to you and yours!

  25. You have such class and I love your blog site!

  26. Wonderful post. Thanks for sharing the ideas and DYI for wrapping. I love to give books, so this is just a perfect way to make the gift presentation as special as the careful selection of the book.

  27. You are, hands-down, the most creative wrapper I have ever seen, Sande. Love it! Stay warm...xo

  28. Oh my goodness! This is the most wonderful idea and your entire blog is just STUNNING!!!!!!!!!! I am so glad to have stumbled across it! I will be following it with excitement from now on!

  29. My girls always ASK for books- you've elevated book gifting to an art form- bravo! Thanks for the link here, I am bookmarking it!! And sharing it on twitter. :)

  30. sande... another amazing post... one better than the last... you are so very talented. i love books... vintage books my favorite and the vintage book section at bergdorf's is my favorite... have a great weekend... x pam

  31. That is just the BEST! You know you need to compile a book of all these fantastic ideas of your...I can picture it now :)

    It's no surprise that I'm slightly enamoured by books, especially vintage..I have hundreds and hundreds of books that are very precious to me. Yes I read them all. I even have the first 22 or so Nancy Drew books in their original dustjackets.

    The wrapping shown here is fabulous, again I'd never have thought of it.

    Hope your weekend is going great honey,
    xoxo DJ

  32. I always give beautiful decorating books to two of my friends for Christmas gifts. This year they had the prices on the backs which I couldn't remove. It never occurred to me to cover it with a stamp or sticker. What a wonderful idea! I also love the idea of including a bookplate. I'm afraid when I get really busy during the holidays, I tend to get a bit sloppy in certain areas. New Year's Resolution!!

  33. I am thrilled to have found your blog. LOVE this elegant way, my new way, to wrap books.

  34. I learned so much from just this one posting. I now have your whole blog to go through - I want to read all of them! -shirl

  35. I know I responded last year when you first posted this... but I've been browsing and when I came across it again... I still LOVED it.... so here's to books and all their splendors.

  36. oh!! absolutely loved the idea..

  37. I am new to your blog but truly "better late than never". Our book club always exchanges a gently read book at our December meeting. I have already wrapped my book, but I am going to unwrap it and redo it in your style. Thank you for your great ideas. I also like the idea of giving books in January when the pressure is off and the weather makes my want to stay inside....and read. I am going to be looking for more of your blogs. Bring myself up to date.

    thanks so much, Susan


Your comments are such a lovely addition to my day. Thank you.


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