The Reference Library

The Reference Library

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While encyclopedias may have gone the way of the woolly mammoth, there are still some books which are downright handy to have.  Lots of these books are not necessarily something you would go out and buy for yourself.  Plus, I super-duper-entirely love this wrapping paper I bought on Kickstarter and have not yet given a gift that would utilize it.  Check it out, Cheeseburger Wrapping Paper:


How cool is that?!  I love Kickstarter, I find way too many awesome things on there.  I digress.  You can now purchase this gift wrap from the designers at Gift Couture.  Also their video is fun.

First off, remember that purchasing a gift that’s not on the registry is very high risk and not recommended.  Check out the Gift Giving Guidelines.

Now I will regale you with scenarios that are very pro this gift:

  • Dinner guests are coming, you’ve decided your menu but don’t have a specific recipe.  The INTERNET doesn’t work.  Oh no.  What do you do?  You go grab your Joy of Cooking, problem solved.
  • You want to bake cupcakes with your cousin’s kid, every online recipe you seem to find includes using a cake mix (aka it just barely counts as a recipe).  You go grab your Joy of Cooking (then try to find one that doesn’t use cake flour, eventually succeeding.  True story.).
  • You’ve got a turtle for dinner and need to know how to dress it.  Yup, that’s in the Joy of Cooking.
  • It’s a lazy Saturday morning and you don’t want to wade through online recipes just to make pancakes – Joy of Cooking again.
  • Pretty much any basic sauce or classic dish that’s ever been made is in there, too.


So grab a Joy of Cooking and wrap it in some hamburger bun!

  • You’ve been invited to a Jewish funeral.  You’re not Jewish.  What’s the protocol and what’s appropriate?  Ask Emily Post.
  • You’re sending out wedding invitations.  Someone’s in the military.  How do you address them?  Emily Post knows.
  • Job etiquette, tipping, using utensils and setting tables, how to properly eat an artichoke, having houseguests, being a houseguest, writing emails.
  • You get the idea.

I have the Thumb Indexed Version (the little tab indents so you can flip to chapters), it’s the blue one.  It’s pretty darn handy and not really something I would ever think to buy (my spouse did, though).  There’s also an even newer, 18th edition.
Wrap this sucker in a bun as well, it’s very close to the same size as the Joy of Cooking.  Remember when giving this gift it may be taken by the receiver as, “you think I’m uncouth?!”  So, make sure that you write something in your card, or say something to the extent that you don’t think they need a lesson in etiquette, it is just a very nice book to have, for some of the aforementioned reasons.  Even if you do think they need a lesson in etiquette, it would be rude to say so; stick with the script!

Now, we need a burger for those buns!  A big, juicy burger would be a good book on home repair.  I have less strong feelings about this one, but have seen this one around before, Black & Decker Complete Photo Guide to Home Repair.  Let’s say you “accidentally” dropped an unwanted gift on your nice hardwood floor and it left a mark.  This book will help you forget the memory of that terrible wedding gift, by helping you fix that floor gash.  Other, more realistic scenarios include fixing your leaking toilet, filling your drywall, how to clean and paint brick, replacing your ugly sink faucet, etc.  It also comes with a million photos (more specifically, over 2000), so those of us without great imaginations can still follow along.

Burger toppings time, you’ve got cheese, lettuce and tomato left to pick from!  Finances are a huge part of getting married (beyond just paying for a wedding!).  Adding a personal finance book that you have read and appreciated, or one you’ve heard good things about, may be very much appreciated by a couple down the line.  I have read The Wealthy Barber, The Millionaire Next Door, Rich Dad Poor Dad (can’t say I cared for it), and a few others. I have not read Dave Ramsey, but he has lots of followers.


Thank you to Shannon for suggesting this next book category: First Aid/Survival.  Personally, I have a copy of the SAS Survival Handbook, though I have to admit I haven’t read very much of it.  Another choice would be the AMA Handbook of First Aid and Emergency Care.

Some other choices for topping books could include Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, The 5 Love Languages, Newlywed Handbook: An Owner’s Manual for Modern Married Life, a travel guide to their honeymoon destination, one of their favourite books in a nice or rare copy, a novel each for the honeymoon (if they read).

Another book category suggestion, which will depend on the recipients and your relationship with the recipients, is on the topic of sex.  Let me be more blunt: unwrapping a book on the topic of sex in front of people might be super awkward for them, plus it might be awkward forever if that book is coming from Great Aunt Edna or some other person you would like to keep totally mentally disassociated from your bed.  Please, be audience appropriate!  There are a great many books on the subject, including The Joy of Sex, but I will leave you to your own devices on that one.


Congratulations, you have now made a Reference Burger.  Pretty sure I just made that up.  Plus, you probably didn’t get the super awesome wrapping paper.  I think this would be a unique wedding gift from a Maid of Honour/Best Man/Bridal Party, or a group of people at a shower.  Books are much cheaper in the US of A, where I tend to purchase mine (sorry, Indigo).  If you bought the Joy of Cooking, Emily Post Etiquette, Home Repair, 1 finance book, 1 first aid book and 1 newlywed book, plus the wrapping paper, you’re looking at about $130-150 USD.

Remember, always, always, always include  a card.  With lots of words written by you.

Do you have any great “reference” books you recommend?  What would you add to the list as a good book for newlyweds?  Would you appreciate this as a gift?


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