I'm constantly on the look-out for cool non-book gifts for book lovers. If you have book lovers on your gift list who are like me, it's hard to shop for them. You know they love books, but they have a lot already, you aren't always sure what they've already read, and what if you pick a bad one? So, while I don't do this very often, I do try to share with you book-related gift ideas or craft ideas that I really like. Remember the stone bookends? Still my favorite bookends ever!
When Brad Wirz from Gone Reading International contacted me and asked me to take a look at their book-shaped plates and share my honest reactions about them, I thought this might be another chance to share a fun gift idea with you. Wow was I mistaken. If you get your hands on these, you are not going to want to give them to anyone else. Trust me.
First, the plates arrived so well packaged that they could have gone through a war zone and come to me intact, I think. I recently ordered two ceramic bowls for my dogs. Both arrived literally shattered, so to see not one scratch on the three plates from Gone Reading--that was cause for a party. Never undervalue good packaging. Having to replace broken pieces is a hassle.
When I've seen the images of the plates online before I wasn't really sure that people would always necessarily know what the plates were, but seeing them and holding them myself there's no doubt. Maybe an alien who's never seen a book would be confused but anyone else wouldn't.
One of the characteristics I liked most about the plates--and that gives them their unmistakeable books shape--was their depth. As you can see, I treated myself to a dinner of pasta, salad and bread to try the plates out. I wasn't worried about any sauce or dressing running off the plate, and the shape of the "pages" allowed my butter knife to rest easily along the edge. You know the klutz who is always dropping silverware on the floor because she leans it unbalanced against her plates and it falls? Yeah, that's me. I didn't run into that problem with these plates.
The plates are also sturdy. I was quite impressed with their weight and size. They were originally designed for restaurants, so that explains the heft. They were meant to be high use items. The large dinner plate measures 10 1/2" square, the salad plate is 8 1/2" square and the bread plate 6 1/2" square. And as you can see, they can all nest inside each other for a lovely presentation on the table. While I was eating I was figuring out if I should try to find some bookish placemats or go find fabric and make my own.
I chose to eat pasta with a marinara sauce to test the plate for staining. And this is the plate post-dinner and through the dishwasher. As you can see, as lovely as when I first unwrapped it.
And speaking of the dishwasher, the plates were easily washed on either rack. I'm a lazy gal when it comes to dishes. I don't like to have to wash them by hand. So being dishwasher safe on all racks is another big plus to me.
They are also safe in the microwave. My primary concern was whether the large dinner plate would fit o.k. in my microwave. The interior base of the microwave rotates while cooking, so I worried about the corners of the plate possibly knocking into the sides of the microwave, but there was plenty of room.
While I don't have a book club that comes to eat at my home, I could see these being a great feature to such a group. But I simply fell in love with them because I thought they reflected my personality. Since I've owned my home, I've had a set of non-descript hand-me-down dishes that were handed down to the person who gave them to me. This is the first time I've seen some that I felt compelled to buy in order to replace the second-hand ones; I just feel that they fit me.
There's an added bonus for me on these plates. Do you all know about the basis for Gone Reading? It's a philanthropic e-commerce site. The sale of their products benefits reading-related causes. You can read more about the company in this Huffington Post article. For me, there's simply something rewarding about knowing a purchase I am making helps others less fortunate instead of padding a wealthy business's bottom line.
So, YES! I can whole-heartedly recommend these plates. I adore them. I'm going to complete a set for myself. I think other book lovers would enjoy them as well, especially if there is have some kind of occassion that calls for household goods: house-warming party, wedding shower, etc. There are also platters available so maybe you want something as a hostess gift for a holiday party. There are probably endless ways you could find to gift these beauties, but again, I think if you get your hands on them, you won't want to part with them.
If you have a question about the plates that I didn't address in this post, feel free to leave it in the comments. I'll answer it to the best of my ability based on my use of them. Or you can find out more about the plates as well as other fun reading-related items carried by Gone Reading at their website.
And now, back to your regularly scheduled reading!