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Tracy C. Gold

AUTHOR, EDITOR, TEACHER

5 Tips for a Bring a Book, Not a Card Baby Shower

on February 10, 2021

When I was pregnant, I went to a friend’s baby shower, and she asked guests to bring a book instead of a card. At first, I was hesitant—weren’t books more expensive than a card? But then I found the wealth of baby books available for about the same price as a card (under $10, and in some cases under $5), and I knew I had to do this for my own baby shower, too! After all, it was so much better to have lots of books we’d use for years than a giant pile of cards we’d eventually throw out.

Baby reads "Nita's First Signs"

Now that my daughter is almost three, I am so glad I did this! We have so many books that are signed by friends and relatives. Every time we read them, we think of that person. This is something we will treasure for years to come!

So here are my 5 tips to have a great “bring a book, not a card” baby shower. 

  1. Add a bunch of books to your gift registry. Even if you do this, I guarantee you’ll end up with multiple copies of Goodnight Moon, because not everyone will go off the registry. (This will happen if you don’t put books on your registry, too. People love bringing books.) Still, pick out the books you’d like so your library is just the way you like it! Need a place to start? I have a list of our favorite baby shower gift books here, and a separate list of baby books under $10 here.
  2. Ask for the books on your invitation. Here’s a post with some great ideas for wording, but I kept mine simple because I didn’t have a lot of room on my invitation: “Please bring a book instead of a card. Sign the book with your name and thoughts for Rob and Tracy to share when they read to the new baby!” Make sure your guests know your baby’s name (ours was on the front of the invitation). If you don’t know the name yet, you can say something like “new baby BABY’S LAST NAME” so they can write that.
  3. Set up a place to sign books at your baby shower. I didn’t do this, and I wish I had. Not all of my friends and families signed their books, and I didn’t remember who gave me what after the fact. Have a little “signing station” set up for anyone who forgot and make an announcement to remind people to sign their books. If you’re doing a “drive by” shower, keep pens handy and double check that the book is signed!
  4. You can still ask for signed books with a virtual shower. If people are shipping gifts from online straight to you, they won’t have a chance to sign the books. Consider sending out a label if you are mailing your invitation. You can use a cheap one from Avery labels or order cute ones with a custom design, sometimes known as “bookplates.” They can then send you the label back for no more than the cost of postage!
  5. Send pictures of the book to the giver when you read it. See how this can be so much more special than a card? When we read a signed book, we know exactly who sent it at the moment we read it, and we can easily snap a picture and a video to send it to them. Of course, no obligation to do this, but it’s a wonderful way to stay connected to family and friends in the haze of the baby days!

Want to thank me for these tips? Add my picture book, “Everyone’s Sleepy but the Baby,” to your baby shower registry! I promise you’ll relate to it more than you’d like when your baby arrives! The book link is an affiliate link; I will use any extra income to buy more books!


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