Your dream library? Might it feature chocolate and kittens?

posted in: Good old fashioned fun | 62

As I continue to be part of a campaign to save our local public library from closure, I’ve been thinking a lot about what my dream library might look like.

I definitely want trained librarians, a varied programme of events for all ages, a welcoming space to spend time in and fantastic, up-to-date stock, but I wouldn’t say no to a library which was full of chocolate, or had the odd kitten or two to play with…

Yes, I decided to make my very own dream library, and yes each book is made of chocolate!

And yes, there are kittens running amok over the shelves!

There’s a mixture of favourite classics and beautiful vintage books, along with whole bays dedicated to books shortlisted for prizes this year.

Here are the books shortlisted for this year’s YA Book Prize:

They may have chocolate inside, but on the outside they have blurbs and barcodes, just like real books.

I’ve also got a bay in my library dedicated to the 2017 CILIP Carnegie Medal shortlist:

Whilst, with all that chocolate calling to me, I strongly suspect this is one library it will be impossible to save, I’m not despondent because ANYONE can recreate this library. All you’ll need is a box or two of these:

…and then download and print out the pdf files I created of all the book covers:

Click the picture to download a pdf of these covers.
Please click on the image to download a pdf of these covers
Click on the image to download a pdf of these covers

A few books in my library come from the archives, created (mostly) from images available (and free to use) in the British Library Flickr stream:

Click the image to download a pdf of these covers NB This is a large file (23Mb)

If you’re having a Carnegie or YA Book Prize party why not make up some of these as favours. I used a solvent free glue stick to attach the covers to the wrapped chocolate. The chocolates I used are 38 x 28mm but if you want to make a chocolate library using a different brand/size of chocolate, I have the files as .svg files (if that means anything to you) which you can scale to any size – leave a comment if you’d like me to email them to you.

Whilst the images I’ve taken from the BL Flickr stream are released under a Creative Commons license, don’t forget the covers of all the other books were made by artists, many of whom are still working today. Please don’t use my files to make money as the art in the covers isn’t ours to financially profit from. Have fun, do! But please don’t exploit the work of the great illustrators who have made book covers so beautiful I wanted to celebrate them in my library.

UPDATE: The book wrappers also fit ALDI Assorted Neapolitan Chocolates (a bit cheaper than M&S), though the ALDI chocolates have writing around the edges which is visible. This could be a good thing – it is clear what sort of chocolate is inside the wrapper, but I quite like the plain edges of the M&S chocs from a design point of view.

62 Responses

    • Zoe

      Maybe you can find some chocolates a similar size? I had walked passed these for weeks in the shop thinking how good they would be to turn into books (a bit of strange thought when shopping!) and eventually just decided to give it a go.

  1. Library Mice

    Wonderful, and delicious chocolate (thank you again). They look so fab altogether!

    Unfortunately the presence of hazelnuts is making it difficult to use those partucular chocolates in a school setting so I am going to go on a hunt to find something similar!

    Library Mice recently posted..Picture Book Club SW

  2. Sara stanley

    I’m going to scour Aldi and Lidl for non brand name chocolates – I’d love to get kids to make their own covers and blurbs – wonderfully inspiring as usual zoe

    • Library Mice

      They both have them. I have used Lidl’s for my Harry Potter event (instead of Hershey’s). They are just quite a bit bigger, but I might end up going for that (because of cost mainly) if Divine doesn’t work out.
      Library Mice recently posted..Picture Book Club SW

  3. booksfortopics

    This is wonderful, what a lovely idea! I imagine it was its of fun to make. We could devour many of those titles in one sitting!

    • Zoe

      Devouring books? If I can help that happen, I’m a happy bunny!

  4. Chantelle

    These are seriously the cutest chocolate bars I have ever seen! Your library is adorable! I hope you are successful in saving your public library! The library I volunteer at was saved because a group of people rallied together and managed to save it by turning it into a community centre (which is a charity) and housing the library in the community centre. They lease the centre out for various activities etc. It is mostly volunteer run.

    I’m organising a YA event at the centre for June 17th and these chocolates would be perfect! I don’t suppose you have The Sin Eater’s Daughter and The Witch’s Kiss cover files do you?

    • Zoe

      Hi Chantelle, thanks for your encouragement on the non chocolate library front. We have three more meetings this week to move things forward hopefully. Your event looks great!

      • Chantelle

        Hi Zoe! Hope the meetings go well! Thanks! Come along if you can.

    • Zoe

      sorry, I don’t have the cover files, but will look into it later and get back to you

  5. rhian ivory

    I absolutely LOVE this idea. You’re so creative, what a wonderful library and I’m guessing a lot of librarians are going to be borrowing this idea.

    • Zoe

      Thanks Rhian. I’d be so happy if others enjoyed making these books as much as I have.

  6. Alexandra

    Wow! Thanks so much for sharing. It must have been so much work. It will be my next book club treat :-). Best, Alexandra

    • Zoe

      It doesn’t seem like work when you’re having fun (which I was!)

  7. Barbara

    What a brilliant and delicious idea! Thanks for sharing the covers. I see a craft project in my future…

    • Zoe

      I’ve emailed one svg file to you to check it arrives ok and that you can open it fine. If it’s pdf files you are after – they can be downloaded by clicking on the pictures above.

  8. Janet

    Hi Zoe

    What a fantastic idea! Please could you email me the svg files. Thank you very much.

    Best regards

    • Zoe

      Hi Janet, I’ve emailed you one file to begin with. Let me know it arrived safely and I’ll send the rest after the bank holiday weekend.

  9. Penny Swan

    These are so lovely – will definitely feature in my Carnegie Party!
    thank you so very much. I can see that I will be spending some time looking at your brilliant blog!

    • Zoe

      Great to hear they’ll be part of your party Penny, and thank you for your kind words about my blog 🙂

  10. Ann

    Lovely idea. Thank you so much for the printable files. Where did you get the shelves?

  11. Valerie

    Please could I request the files for the Carnegie books? Your work is stunning.

    • Zoe

      I’ve emailed you Valerie. Leave me a comment here if for some reason the email didn’t arrive.

  12. Susan Waller

    What a brilliant idea – please email me the svg files. Thank you so much for sharing

    • Zoe

      Hi Susan, I’ve emailed you one file just to check it arrives. If you let me know that it’s arrived safely, I’ll send you the other ones.

  13. Jane Woolfrey

    This looks amazing and will surely capture the imagination of a lot of our students. Echoing comments above, it’s an amazing idea and it’s so kind of you to share it. Please could you email me the svg files? Thank you very much

  14. Amy

    This is so brilliant Zoe – excellent work indeed! Would it be at all possible for you to email me the svg files? Thanks so much!

  15. Jane

    Hi, this is a brilliant idea. I’m having trouble finding the right size chocolates in NZ (but looking & testing is fun!) Please could you email me the .svg file? I would really appreciate it. If I can find appropriate chocolate, I’m thinking of making these for a library function. Would it be ok if I changed some book covers to NZ authors & titles?

    • Zoe

      Hi Jane, I’ve sent you a link to dropbox where you can download the SVG files. It’s not for me to say if you can use NZ authors/titles – I don’t know the copyright laws in NZ. But my hunch would be as long as you’re not using the cover images for financial gain, then that would be fine.

  16. Rebecca

    Hello, I love these, I have bought some chocolates but i think they might be the wrong size, they are 3.5 cm x 3.5 cm. Do you think they will fit?

    • Zoe

      Hi Rebecca, these are for rectangular chocs not square, so no they won’t work terribly well for the ones you’ve got I’m afraid.

  17. Joanna

    Hi Zoe. These are brilliant so thank you. I’m in New Zealand at a school for boys aged 4-13 years old so some of the titles are not going work. Is there any chance you could share your template/method so those of us less tech savvy could make up our own. I would also love to be able to add some New Zealand titles. I would be happy to share any I make. (Covers, not chocolate!)

  18. Tanya Paglia

    Hi Zoe. This is brilliant. I love them and can’t wait to make them. I bought a dollhouse sized book shelf to display them on and am going to give it (full of chocolate) to my director who is retiring this month. Can you please send me the file because my chocolates are a bit bigger. Thank you. Tanya email is

    • Zoe

      Hi Tanya, I’ve emailed you a link to the files on dropbox. Do let me know if for some reason the email doesn’t reach you.

  19. Lynnette Allen

    I love this idea. I would like to make these as a ‘thank you’ for my Little Librarians. I work at an elementary school, so most of these titles won’t ring a bell to them. Is it possible to get ones made from lower level titles?

  20. Imma Marín

    Hello Zoe,
    Congrats for this great idea. I am a librarian and would love to use it for some of the old books covers from our library. Is it still possible to get the editable file, please?

  21. k

    Hi Zoe,
    I wrote a comment several months asking several questions b/c i loved the idea of this project asking questions about sizing tryed explaining what I was triyng to do as a gift for a friend. I asked you if knew if the brand of cholcate you used was sold in the usa and what chocate brand might work best. I also asked if you had any book covers with travel theams. But it looks like my comment got deleted for no reason even when i check your blog a month ago to see if there was a respose. the comment was still there. But now it has been deleted why?

    • Zoe

      Hi Keira, I’m sorry that you didn’t find the answers you wanted. As I’m not in the US it is hard for me to know whether the chocolates I used are available in the US. I don’t know whether Marks and Spencers (the chain I used) exist in the US. And I’m afraid I only have these book covers.

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