Sunday, October 03, 2010

Book Ideas

My daughter is planning to have a Halloween party this year, so I hit Target this week to start getting ideas for decorations (her theme is internet avatars, which is kind of a challenge.) I saw a big book on the end cap of the stationery/party goods aisle, and good citizen that I am, I picked it up to take it back to the book section. That's when I discovered it wasn't a book at all but a book-shaped storage box. Although it was a bit pricey ($9.99) it was the perfect size to store the blank cards and stationery that I usually shove in a pigeon hole in my desk, so I brought it home. For a storage box it really fools the eye, though, and I think with a couple pieces of cardboard, an old hardback book cover and some glue you could make one of these yourself.

The holidays always mean lots of gatherings and parties at our house, and when friends and family visit I usually put out a stack of my books on a table to sign for anyone who wants them (saves me trips upstairs to the book room, too.) I've never found a pretty way to display them other than in a neat stack or a basket, or just in a row on one of the book cases. Then I was washing my cake stand last night and recalled the diaper cakes I used to make for my nieces' and nephews' baby showers back in the nineties, and suddenly a lightbulb went off.

My stand is only standard cake size, so I couldn't pack the books too close together, but fanning them out and adding some pretty bookmarks made a display that would work on the coffee table or as a centerpiece (I was also thinking this would look pretty on an author's booksigning table.)

Mom is always sending me little bits in her letters, and this Current bookmark made me laugh out loud. If we are what we eat, squirrels should be following me around with lust in their hearts. But it also gave me a neat idea on how to hand out recipes for the holidays -- instead of using index cards, why not print them out on cardstock as bookmarks?

Using a slightly-oversize bookmark format would give you enough room to place a photo of your dish on the front side, along with a list of all the ingredients. Instructions on how to make the dish would go on the back. The recipient could then tuck the bookmark into the appropriate place in their cookbook at home (as well as sticking it in their purse or coupon holder when they go out to shop at the market.)

If you mail out Christmas cards every year and want to share a recipe with friends and family who aren't in your area, you could stick the recipe bookmark in the envelope (just use cards that have long enough envelopes so that you don't have to fold it.) This would also be a nice promotion item for authors who want to give out at booksignings the actual recipes for dishes from their novels (Alison Kent, I'm looking at you and all those lovely cupcakes.)

Added: I put together a quick example of a recipe bookmark and uploaded it to Google Docs here if you want to see how I'd do it; the box lines I drew around them didn't transfer during the upload but the front and back of the bookmark are side-by-side.


  1. << If you mail out Christmas cards every year and want to share a recipe with friends and family who aren't in your area, you could stick the recipe bookmark in the envelope >>

    What a really great idea. Thanks!

  2. Oh wow! I love your idea of recipes on bookmarks. That's a terrific idea. I have a Christmas cocoa mix I usually give out in small tins at Christmas my friends and family who live around me. Now, with your bookmark idea I could share the recipe on it in w/the Christmas cards I send as you suggested. I really, really like that. Thanks for sharing it. :)

  3. Very cool idea but unfortunately, technophobe that I am I can't find the bookmark in google docs...

  4. These are neat ideas. Thank you. And yes, the bookmark made me laugh too.

  5. That is such a great idea!! OMG, I love it. Bookmarked for future reference. Pun intended.

  6. I like the display, not because I tend to give my books out all the time, but because I usually have about a dozen books waiting to be read, and being able to see them all at a glance would be great (and it would inspire me to get more done, if only so that I can read one of them).

    Very good ideas!

  7. Great ideas! Must make some recipe bookmarks.

  8. You are so cleaver. and thanks for the yummy sounding recipe.

  9. Books are such beautiful objects in themselves, so I love to see them displayed on a cake stand! What a neat idea.

  10. I have also found book-shaped storage boxes at Garden Ridge. I love them :) So beautiful.

    And I couldn't stand to cut up a hardback book to make my own. I could never bring myself to highlight or write notes in a textbook either...(though come to think of it, I might still have a couple of old textbooks that I hated enough that I might be willing to cut apart to make a box out of...)

    I love the bookmark/recipe idea. That would be perfect for documenting my own twists on book recipes (especially given how much I hate to write in a printed book!).

  11. I love the recipe/bookmark idea! Very neat.
    We did a Halloween party a few years ago for my kids and made some gross or "scary" foods. Heat some cheese dip and put a few drops of green food coloring in it...instant snot. We also made "Zits":Tommy-toe tomatoes hollowed out and filled with some cream cheese softened with some sour cream. Their friends still talk about it.
    Be Blessed,
    Jennifer Wofford

  12. Loved the idea!

    How are you planning to complete the avatar theme so far? :)