Starting Early - Hosting a Build a Library Baby Shower


Today I want to take you back in time. It’s 2014. My family is living in Texas, and I’m spending my work days just down the hall from the craziest most fantastic coworker of EVER (her name is Devin!). She’s pregnant and ecstatic, and I’m ecstatic for her. And I’m sad because I’m moving and I’m not gonna get to meet this little human who’s going to change her life. So when the office crew decides we’re going to host a baby shower, I say yes to helping. Because I love Devin, and I want every second of time with her that I can get.


Knowing the Book Junkie that she is, we decide to go with a “build a library” theme.

(The very first day she started working in our office, she spent the lunch hour with her nose buried in a book. And I remember thinking to myself “This girl and me - we’re gonna make it!”) Let me tell ya - this was so much easier than I thought! Let me outline what we learned.

  • Make books your shower decorations - put them EVERYWHERE! Children’s books are colorful and bright. They’re beautiful pops of color that can dress up a room. You’re doing double duty with gifts and decor all in one. It’s also SUPER FUN to not tell the Shower Honoree that all the decoration books are hers too - it leads to ugly tears.

  • Let the books inspire your party food - and display the books by the corresponding food. Hungry Hungry Caterpillar should go next to the fruit tray. Prop up Green Eggs & Ham next to the Deviled Eggs. Stack If You Give a Moose a Muffin and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie right next to heaping piles of both. You get the idea…

  • Don’t make the invitation too complicated - simple & clear with an obvious focus. I used a weird app I had on my phone to put it together. I still love it.

  • Use books for EVERYTHING - even the guest book. We had everyone write love notes to baby L in a copy of Happy Birthday to You by Dr. Seuss. This is my personal favorite - I read it to my boys every year on their birthdays.

  • Have printed bookplates on hand. We used labels. Print the date of the baby shower and add a message like “given with love from…” Have someone write the name of the gifter on the label and stick it in the cover of the book as the Honoree unwraps.

  • Remember to take some stinkin’ pictures! Ummm...didn’t do so great on this one. Don’t forget, ok?! (If we can hunt them down, we promise to post pictures later)

  • Finally, throw this kind of shower as a team - more brain power is best! With several us being all hands on deck, we were able to strategize, buy, decorate, cook, scour Pinterest for ideas, and clean it all up easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Ultimately, I think it was the best baby shower I’ve ever attended. Mostly because it was for Devin. But ultimately because we shared our love of reading, our joy in books, with a baby who we hadn’t even met yet. His bookshelves were full to bursting, even before his Mama heard his cries. My family and I moved away a few months later. We missed his birth by only a few weeks. But my heart was full even thousands of miles away, because I knew he would know how much we loved him already because he was surrounded in books.

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