How to Ask for Books Instead of Cards

Title: How to Ask for Books Instead of Cards: Celebrating with Literary Treasures


When it comes to celebrating a special occasion, such as a baby shower, a birthday, or even a wedding, many people often receive a multitude of greeting cards that may eventually end up tucked away and forgotten. However, there is a growing trend that encourages guests to bring books instead of cards, fostering a love for reading and creating lasting memories for the recipient. In this article, we will explore the benefits of asking for books instead of cards and provide you with some creative ways to make this request. Additionally, we will address some frequently asked questions to help you navigate this alternative gifting tradition.

Benefits of Asking for Books Instead of Cards:

1. Building a Library: Books have a lasting impact and can be enjoyed for years to come. By asking for books instead of cards, you can start or expand a personal library for the recipient, be it a child, a friend, or even yourself. This collection of books becomes a treasured gift that can be passed down through generations.

2. Encouraging Literacy: By requesting books, you promote the importance of reading and literacy. Early exposure to books helps develop language skills, enhances imagination, and fosters a love for learning. Encouraging guests to select their favorite childhood book or a personal favorite can create a sense of nostalgia and inspire a lifelong appreciation for reading.

3. Thoughtful and Personal: Books offer a more personal touch compared to traditional cards. Each book can reflect the guest’s personality, interests, or even hold a special meaning in relation to the occasion being celebrated. This makes the gift-giving experience more thoughtful and meaningful.

Creative Ways to Ask for Books Instead of Cards:

1. Invitations: When sending out invitations, include a note politely requesting guests to bring a book instead of a card. You can use phrases like, “Your presence is present enough, but if you wish to bring a gift, a book would be cherished forever” or “In lieu of a card, please bring a favorite book to help build a library of love.”

2. Themed Requests: Incorporate the theme of the event into your request for books. For example, if it’s a baby shower, you can say, “In celebration of our little one’s arrival, we kindly ask you to bring a children’s book to help build a storybook collection.”

3. Book Drive: If you’re hosting a larger event or want to make a bigger impact, consider organizing a book drive where guests can bring new or gently used books to donate to a local library, school, or children’s charity. This way, you not only receive books but also contribute to a greater cause.


1. Should I specify any particular type or genre of books?

It is entirely up to you. However, leaving it open-ended allows guests to share their personal favorites, ensuring a diverse collection. If you have a specific preference, such as educational books or classic literature, you can mention it in your request.

2. Can I request specific titles or avoid duplicates?

While you can suggest specific titles, it’s best to avoid duplicates by asking guests to write a brief message inside the front cover of the book they choose. This way, the recipient will have a personal note from each guest, making each book unique.

3. What if someone insists on bringing a card?

It’s important to remember that some guests may prefer to bring a card or are not aware of this alternative. In such cases, graciously accept their gesture and appreciate their presence. Emphasize that the preference for books is simply a suggestion, not an obligation.


Asking for books instead of cards is a meaningful and enduring way to celebrate special occasions. By building a library and encouraging literacy, you can create lasting memories and foster a love for reading. With the creative ways mentioned above, you can make your request for books more engaging and personalized. So, the next time you plan an event, consider asking for books instead of cards, and witness the joy that storytelling and reading can bring.

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