One of the great joys of living a bookish life is going to author events. Whether it’s at a large festival, or a small, intimate reading and signing at a bookstore, meeting authors can be a wonderful, enriching, and memorable experience. I’m lucky enough to live in a city with a wonderful independent bookstore that has played host to some of my favorite authors. There are times I go just for the reading and speaking portion of the night, but more often than not, I am one of those readers who waits in line to get their book signed and personalized. And whenever it’s possible, I love to take pictures with authors.
I recently realized that not only did I have a good set of signed books, but I also have a fun collection of photos with authors I’ve met as well. The problem was, the pictures were just sitting in my phone, languishing in a photo album. Sure, some of them had been posted to Instagram the night of the event, but aside from that, I had no way of sharing or remembering these fun moments.
So, what’s a bookish dork to do? I don’t have quite enough pictures to turn them into a photo calendar (yet!), I don’t have a mantle to display them on, I don’t have a scrapbook or memory album, and, honestly, I’m running out of wall space to hang pictures frames on, too.
I realized a pretty simple solution: get the pictures printed out and keep them with the signed books! Now, you could just use the picture as a bookmark for your favorite chapter or whatnot, but since I had several photos for most authors, I decided to take it a step further.
Inspired by old school library catalog cards and pockets, I made paper pockets to keep my photos in! You could use whatever paper and card stock you have on hand, or splurge for some fancy decorative paper. I decided to try to match the covers or binding as best I could, and wrote the date of the event on the pocket.
For paperback books, I stole some photo corners from my mom, and set the picture on the inside cover.
That’s it! If you’re someone who likes to make pilgrimages to author houses and museums, you could also make a pocket for those photos or postcards as well! I printed off some photos of my visit to the Jane Austen House Museum in Chawton, so now when I decide to reread Persuasion, I can flip through some photos and remember that trip.
If you you’d like to try this memento pocket idea yourself, you can make your own in a few minutes! Just grab your photo, place it on your preferred paper, and using a ruler mark about 1/4″ border around the top and two sides (or just eyeball what looks nice to you), and a mark 2-3″ from the bottom for the pocket. Add about 1/4–1/2″ to each side of your bottom pocket mark (you’re going to fold those in and glue them to make your pocket). Cut it all out and it should look like this:
Now fold your pocket tabs in, put a line of glue on them, fold the pocket up, press the sides closed, and let set.
Once it’s dry, you can use double-sided tape to attach your pocket to the inside cover or whichever page you like. And voila!
Next time you you loan your book, your friends can admire the amazing pictures you took with all your author pals!
If any of y’all have figured out creative ways to display your photos with authors, let me know in the comments. I’d love new ideas for any new pictures I take.