Baby Shower - Books instead of cards? — The Bump
October 2015 Moms

Baby Shower - Books instead of cards?

My mom is planning a shower for me in August and has been asking about details (food, registry, etc.). Being book lover, I was thinking about requesting that everyone bring a book instead of including a greeting card. Doesn't have to be an expensive hardback picture book or anything, we just want to build a library for our baby and thought this might be a great idea. If they want to include a thoughtful note in the book itself, that would be lovely, or just a handwritten note that I could paste into the book or add to a scrapbook. 

Is this reasonable? Have you ever done anything like this or attended a shower where this was requested? What do you all think? 


I don't remember seeing this in any of the previous posts (please correct me if I'm wrong!), so I thought I would ask. :)

JamieDubs
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Re: Baby Shower - Books instead of cards?

  • I suggested the idea to my hosts. I found a good way to word it on Pinterest, and found the exact one on Etsy. It had wording that made the idea comfortable and not forcing or a must do. I will try to find it and post it here!
    kindlycrystal
  • lnord7lnord7 member
    edited July 2015
    One of my girlfriends did this, and I loved the idea! The downside is that she ended up with several copies of the same book, and many people wrote their personal notes to the family in the inside cover, so it's not like they could swap them out or anything. The upside then is that they could leave a copy of Goodnight Moon at both sets of grandparents houses, in the car, etc.!

    I love it though- it was fun picking out a book that wasn't as common as something like Goodnight Moon, but also finding one of my favorite books as a little girl for her baby to have. Plus, children's books are so dang cute. I have a hard time stopping myself from picking them up at the store!
    kindlycrystal
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  • I have attended a shower where this was requested. It was very cute. The hostess out an insert into the envelopes with a cute poem. I've seen the poem on Pinterest since.

    kindlycrystalcarlymarie021casserole27
  • My Aunts did this for my baby shower. I love seeing the little note from family and friends when DD and I read the books now. 

    On the shower invite my Aunts had some little card letting guests know. 

    And you can get a book for about the same price as a card and a book actually gets used! 

    gogracelnord7kindlycrystal
  • I would love for my hosts to do this for my shower but I'm kind of afraid to ask. I'm concerned it may come off the wrong way. :-/
    image
  • I had it with dd1 (like you I'm a book lover) and she literally has a 2 ft wide 3-tired book shelf just about full of books now between my showers (only did the request at one the others were surprises but people have us books too), my mom collecting discarded books from her old school library before she retired and my own personal kids books my mom saved. Dd1 loves reading and will pull book after book off her shelf to have us read to her or just read to herself!

    kindlycrystal
  • It's way better than cards that cost the same that get thrown away. My friends did this at their showers.
  • I also love this idea! Cards are almost as expensive as children's books and books are way more valuable!

    You can write a personal message in a book, keep it for years and USE it. You can write a personal message in a card too, and then I'll feel bad about throwing it out and put it in a shoe box for the next 10 years, but never use it...
    kindlycrystal
  • A friend of mind did this and it was so fun. We were all trying to get the best book. I definitely love the idea and i know it was worded nicely on the invite so that it didn't seem like a demand.
    slhawkins25MamaOwl15
  • I would love for my hosts to do this for my shower but I'm kind of afraid to ask. I'm concerned it may come off the wrong way. :-/

    I just sent a picture of the request card to my aunt and said "what do you think, yay or nay?" Either way, we(mostly my boyfriend) picked a bunch of books for the registry, which will also help with not overlapping titles. With the big group, I didn't want to add a bunch of unnecessary items we wouldn't use, so he said why don't we pick a bunch of books! It was fun to look through them online and reminisce.
    lnord7komorebikindlycrystalMirandaC1984
  • My best friend did this at her shower 8 years ago and it was wonderful! It is neat that now her daughter has read the messages and knows who her favorite books are from.
    kindlycrystalmorganabyrd
  • We did this for my sister and have kept it up for my niece's birthdays and such, too! She has a ton of hand me down books with lovely notes from everyone. She loves her books!
    kindlycrystal
  • When I had my DD, my sister asked that everyone bring a book instead of a card.  Everyone loved the idea, and since then I have been to many showers where the momma-to-be has asked for books as well.  I still have the books that I got, and my DD loves reading what everyone wrote on the inside. 
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    kindlycrystal
  • I love this idea! The only reason I didn't do it is my mom kept all my childhood books so I'm going to grab those when I go home.
    kindlycrystalcarlymarie021alinic916
  • My hostess just suggested this and I also did it for my sister in law when I hosted her babyshower five years ago. I think it's becoming a lot more common. I'm also a reader and would love to add to baby's library before he arrives.
    kindlycrystal
  • Wow, glad to know everyone had such great experiences! DH and I still have a number of books from when we were kids, but you can never have too many. :D

    @mlobrummond, I love it! Would you mind if I sent that poem to my mom to include in the invites?

    carlymarie021
  • My mom is hosting my baby shower and she suggested it to me and Thats what we are doing. it's a wonderful idea. Children should be surrounded by books in my eyes :-*
    kindlycrystal
  • @kindlycrystal no problem! I actually found it on Pinterest, so I'm not sure who originally wrote it. There are many variations, but that one was my favorite :)
    kindlycrystal
  • @Krysta6 and @kindlycrystal I was just talking about this with a coworker.  She's about to have a grandson and was saying how she's going to give her son all his childhood books for the baby.  I've always been a huge reader and wish my mom would have kept our childhood books.  It's too bad not to have them, but will definitely remember that, to keep them for my children.

    @mlobrummond I never thought to put books on the registry.  What books did you register for?
    Krysta6kindlycrystal
  • aprosch said:

    @Krysta6 and @kindlycrystal I was just talking about this with a coworker.  She's about to have a grandson and was saying how she's going to give her son all his childhood books for the baby.  I've always been a huge reader and wish my mom would have kept our childhood books.  It's too bad not to have them, but will definitely remember that, to keep them for my children.


    @mlobrummond I never thought to put books on the registry.  What books did you register for?
    I picked a few of the popular ones, brown bear, brown bear.. Dr Seuss, anything I recognized but don't still have. My boyfriend wants to "make our girl tough" so he picked various curious george ones, baby farm ones, etc.. We're registered at Target and there's an entire section of them, so I would check where you register and I'm sure they have a section.
    alinic916
  • I just went to my cousin's shower where she had this. It was fun giving books and writing little notes in them. She received different books from everyone! I think I will be doing the same for my shower :) Such a great idea!
  • I gave my mom the idea but she didn't put on the invite so idk if she will just spread the word or not do. Either way I put some books on my registry from BBB and some people already bought some.
  • cmjn94cmjn94 member
    I had a friend do this and I'm doing it at my shower too!
  • My sisters and mother did this for my baby shower with DD. I loved it and I still do. We read the messages people wrote in them every night before we read the book. It is so special and a great idea!
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  • @CassidyWalles, if I were a shower guest and the hostess suggested I bring a book rather than a card, I probably would just reduce the amount I spent on the gift. Normally I decide how much I will spend on my gift and card (and gift bag if I don't have something else to use). Let's say I decide $50. Nice cards these days run $3-7 dollars these days anyway. So if I need a gift bag that means I would give the mother a $40 gift. If I was asked to give a book instead, maybe it costs $10-15, but I don't have to pay for the card, so I reduce my gift down to the $30-35 range. Other people would just have fun buying the book instead and not care about it costing a little more than a card.

    Bottom line if it is worded as a fun suggestion rather than a requirement it is not demanding. People still can choose whether to participate in it or not. Just know that maybe they will reduce the big gift cost to accommodate the book request.
    mlobrummondmorganabyrdkindlycrystalCCasey2015
  • A friend did this and I think it's a great idea. Cards are anywhere from $1 to $5 and you can find books in that range too. I hate cards. I think they are just thrown away and therefore a waste of money.

    I found the older women who attended her shower didn't like the idea.
    kindlycrystalcasserole27
  • LydiaPick said:

    Yeah I think that is a fun idea if it's phrased more as an option... I have been to showers like this before and while I would personally LOVE to get so many books for my little one, it does kind of feel like asking for two gifts to me. Usually if I buy a gift I will either just fill out the tag attached to the gift bag, or I'll get one of those cute "mini" cards for like...a dollar. On the other hand, if I buy a baby book they would usually be at least $10. So a card and book don't really feel equivalent to me. I guess you can cut the budget down on the gift if you are asked to bring a book too but yeah....just kind of feels like asking for two gifts if you request that :-/ I think if you want to fill your library, maybe just add books to your registry, or say "here is our registry but we would also LOVE to fill up our little one's library with your favorite book if you'd rather do that!" (Obviously worded WAY better than that haha)

    Perfectly said !
    LydiaPick
  • I think it's a cute idea, but I agree with previous posters who would be spending way more on a book than they'd be spending on a card.

    However, I think if you use clever wording like the poem from Pinterest and communicate it like, "we'd LOVE to get books to build LO's library" instead of "you must bring a book in addition to whatever else you're giving us" it works. Perhaps work into the wording something about brining a favorite book from childhood; you may discover some books you haven't thought of that become LO's favorite.

    Or you can register for a bunch of books. Any store that sells books, you can add them to your registry, and Amazon has a ton of options.

    Just a thought on getting multiple copies of books: babies tear up books. If baby tears up his favorite book and you've gotten two copies, you can just toss the torn up copy in the recycling bin.

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    kindlycrystalCCasey2015
  • @carlymarie021, My MIL actually gave my husband that book on our wedding day (the baby looks JUST LIKE him when he was little). He showed it to me later, with the little messages she wrote in it, and I bawled. So sweet!

    I definitely don't want the wording to come across like asking for a second gift and would have it be a preference, not a requirement. If anything most cards run about $3-$5 and you can get a paperback kids book for around that. Most of my favorites growing up came from discount stores or second hand, so that doesn't bother me. That was more what I had in mind, instead of spending money on a card that (while appreciated!) is going to sit in a keepsake box, I'd much rather have a book that our baby could enjoy. I really like the idea @MamaOwl15 had about a favorite book from when they were younger. That would be fantastic! 

    @mlobrummond, have you ever heard of A Mighty Girl? They have a list of books (https://www.amightygirl.com/books) about girls being strong and empowered.

    carlymarie021
  • Love it. Love it. Love it. My friend did this a few years ago and I've been obsessed with the idea ever since. I was such a heavy reader all growing up so it just makes sense and we'll be doing it as well. I don't think ANYONE reacted weird to the request. Quite the opposite, actually. Everyone had fun re-reading the books they themselves loved a a baby/ children. and couldn't wait to pass that one to their friends' baby!
    lnord7kindlycrystal
  • leah665leah665 member
    edited July 2015
    I'm doing this at my shower. I think it's way more meaningful than a card that will be thrown away. Plus the guests can write a special message for the baby that they can look back at when they're older.

    Edit: I also included that it could be a well-loved book or a brand new one. I am not opposed to people going to half-price books, goodwill, or regifting a book they already have.
    kindlycrystal
  • I keep cards if they have a particularly heartfelt written message inside. I registered for books, I wouldn't ask people to bring a book instead. To me it comes across as asking for 2 gifts and covering it with a cutesy way of asking. Not my style but to each their own.
    DylansCandyBarnofksgvn[Deleted User]
  • I see it as asking for another gift and I think it comes across as rude. I always include a book in the gift basket I make as a standard shower gift, and I've never spent less than $10 on a decent book.
    nofksgvn[Deleted User]Cupcakesandquilts
  • LydiaPick said:

    Yeah I think that is a fun idea if it's phrased more as an option... I have been to showers like this before and while I would personally LOVE to get so many books for my little one, it does kind of feel like asking for two gifts to me. Usually if I buy a gift I will either just fill out the tag attached to the gift bag, or I'll get one of those cute "mini" cards for like...a dollar. On the other hand, if I buy a baby book they would usually be at least $10. So a card and book don't really feel equivalent to me. I guess you can cut the budget down on the gift if you are asked to bring a book too but yeah....just kind of feels like asking for two gifts if you request that :-/ I think if you want to fill your library, maybe just add books to your registry, or say "here is our registry but we would also LOVE to fill up our little one's library with your favorite book if you'd rather do that!" (Obviously worded WAY better than that haha)

    Perfectly said !
  • My shower hostess did this for my shower for my first. I have to say my friends and family totally embraced it and little man has a shelf of books with little messages in them from people that love him. It was phrased as an option on the invitation. Some of the books were used, etc. That makes them even better! Well loved!
    kindlycrystal
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