A book is kind of a magical thing. It can educate you. It can transport you to new places. It can expose you to new ideas. It can help you forge connections with other people.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What to Write in a Book for a Child or Baby
- What to Write in a Book for a Parent, Sibling, or Close Family Member
- What to Write in a Book for a Friend
- What to Write in a Book for a Teacher
- What to Write in a Book for Someone Who’s Experienced Loss, Grief, or a Tragedy
For all these reasons, books can make great gifts for people of all ages. And they can be given alone or as a part of a care package.
Some people like to write a special message in a book when they give one as a gift. Other people prefer to enclose a card with a personal note. Here are some messages you can include when you gift a book to a friend or loved one.
What to Write in a Book for a Child or Baby
Did you have a favorite book growing up? Most of us have books like Goodnight Moon or The Giving Tree that we remember fondly. If you like to give those nostalgia-laden books as gifts, you can include some new baby wishes, as well as messages like these:
1. “When I was little, my parents used to read this to me. I know you and your parents will have fun reading it together.”
When parents and children read together, it fosters a strong bond. A gift like this is good for the kid, but it’s also something the family can enjoy together.
2. “Your mom told me this was your favorite series. I picked up the newest one for you so you didn’t have to wait for it to come to the library. I hope you like it!”
When kids like to read, buying them books is a great way to encourage them. They’ll appreciate you fostering their interests.
3. “I heard you enjoyed the Harry Potter books when you were younger. This is another great series that you might enjoy now.”
This is another excellent message for someone wanting to form a connection with the kids in their life. It’s a way to show you pay attention to their interests.
4. “I know you enjoy science. I bought this book for you because it has some cool experiments you can do with your parents.”
Books aren’t just things you can passively enjoy. They can also provide engaging activities and content. Books like these make a great gift, and the accompanying message can explain that.
5. “This was my favorite book when I was your age. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!”
Some books that we love as children really hold up over the years. You can give books like these to the children in your life. You may even be able to talk about the books with them and form a stronger connection.
What to Write in a Book for a Parent, Sibling, or Close Family Member
Books can make special gifts for family members on so many occasions. And special gifts go well with special notes. Here are some heartfelt messages to accompany that gift.
6. “You’ve worked so hard for so many years. I hope you can find some time to kick back with a good book.”
A book can be a great gift for a parent who recently retired. You can include some happy retirement wishes with your note too.
7. “I love all of our family meals together. I bought you this cookbook, and I look forward to trying new recipes with you.”
Books can give you a reason to spend time with your family doing the things you love. The right message can help convey the intent of the gift.
8. “I’m so excited that you’re going to be a mom, and I’m going to be an aunt! I bought this book to help you get ready for your bundle of joy.”
Books can be both practical and sentimental gifts. A parenting book for an expectant mother is one.
9. “I remember reading Dr. Seuss books to you when you were little. Here’s one for you to enjoy as an adult. I’m so proud of you.”
Oh, The Places You’ll Go! is a perennial favorite for graduates. If a relative of yours is graduating high school, an inscribed book is an excellent gift.
10. “Happy 21st birthday! I got you this book of cocktail recipes you can try. Just remember to drink responsibly.”
For a milestone birthday, you can get a book that honors the occasion. An inscription makes it extra special.
What to Write in a Book for a Friend
Sometimes we find the perfect book for a friend. It may be a new book by their favorite author. It might be a self-help book to aid them in navigating a situation in their life. Here are some words you can include with a gift like this.
11. “I know you’ll be on bed rest for a while. I thought this book might help you pass the time.”
12. “I saw this book and immediately thought of you. Thank you for always being such a thoughtful and caring friend.”
Sometimes the best gifts are ones given for no particular reason. An inscription like this lets people know you were thinking of them.
13. “Congratulations on your promotion! I know you’re nervous about your new responsibilities, so I got you this book on leadership. I know you’ll be amazing.”
If your friend is going through a big change, a book can help guide them through it.
14. “I know you’re a big fan of this author, and I saw they had a new book out. I thought I’d pick you up a copy. Enjoy it!”
A gift like this shows a friend that you’re paying attention to their interests.
15. “I’m excited about our girls’ trip coming up. I picked up some beach reading for you. I’m looking forward to spending time together!”
A book can be a small gift to commemorate a big occasion, like a special vacation.
What to Write in a Book for a Teacher
Most teachers love books. They can make great gifts for holidays or Teacher Appreciation week. Be sure to include a note thanking them for their hard work, too.
16. “I have learned so much from being in your class this year. You have helped me enjoy reading more than I thought possible.”
Gifts from students are very meaningful to teachers. An inscription can make the book even more special.
17. “ Since you got to assign me so many books, I figured I’d give you a copy of my favorite one. I won’t make you write a paper about it, but I’d love to hear your thoughts!”
If you’re inspired by a teacher, you may want to connect with them. A book that resonates with you can do that.
18. “You mentioned this was your favorite book when you were in high school. The class chipped in to get you a copy as a thank-you.”
When a teacher goes above and beyond, students will sometimes pick out a special gift for them.
19. “Thank you so much for your hard work with my son this year. I don’t have the words to express what it means to me. I bought this book on gratitude because I thought that would express it better.”
At the end of the school year, parents sometimes give teachers a gift out of appreciation. An inscription can make the gift more meaningful.
20. “I know you’ve been looking for classroom copies of certain books. Some of the parents took up a collection to get you what you need.”
Teachers often dip into their own pockets for school supplies, including books for their students. Classroom sets as a gift can relieve a financial burden on a teacher in your life.
What to Write in a Book for Someone Who’s Experienced Loss, Grief, or a Tragedy
When someone goes through a life-changing loss, sometimes life-changing books can help them cope. Pick out a book for someone to guide them through the grieving process, and include a message like these:
21. “When I lost my mom, this book brought me a lot of comfort. I hope it can help you as you grieve.”
When people are facing a loss, it’s hard to know how to help. A practical gesture like this can be comforting.
22. “I know you’re grieving right now. Sometimes a good book can distract you a little. I hope it helps, even a little.”
Reading a book can be a good escape when people are sad. A note along these lines can communicate that you understand that.
23. “I can’t begin to understand what you’re going through right now. I heard this book can be helpful for people who are grieving.”
We can’t ever truly comprehend someone else’s grief. A book can be a good way to reach out to someone and express your condolences.
24. “I know your recent diagnosis came as a big shock. I got you this book to help you learn more about your situation.”
Death isn’t the only tragedy we can face. An illness can also weigh on a person.
25. “I know the loss of your father was unexpected. I also know you and he shared a strong faith. I hope this might bring you some peace.”
If you’re giving a gift to a person with religious beliefs, a book on that topic may ease their burden.
Post-loss tip: If you are the executor for a deceased loved one, the emotional and technical aspects of handling their unfinished business can be overwhelming without a way to organize your process. We have a post-loss checklist that will help you ensure that your loved one's family, estate, and other affairs are taken care of.
Accompany a Gift with a Heartfelt Note
Books are a perfect gift for so many occasions. You can give them as a post-surgery gift or a birthday gift. You can give them for no occasion at all!
No matter the reason, a book is almost always appreciated. Including a heartfelt message can really put it over the top.