Decorations make great gifts, especially when they’re personalized in some way. Too often, though, they turn out to be useless, generic knickknacks that people keep on display only out of a sense of duty.
The same cannot be said for these sculptures made from old books. Each page is folded by hand until they, when fanned out, spell out a message of your choosing. This must take amazing patience and skill, but the result is worth it: you can open or close the covers to make this fit whatever space you have precisely, and the shadows between the pages cause a weird but pleasant stroboscopic effect whenever you walk past it.
Some suggested designs include anniversaries or birthdays, names, one-word inspirational messages, and initials connected with hearts. The artist, Luciana Frigerio, based in Vermont, is herself a book lover and will be happy to try and accommodate any reasonable requests.
The major drawback of buying this as a gift or to mark some occasion is that it is not cheap. Expect to pay at least $100 plus shipping, depending on the complexity of the design and any particular requirements.
On the other hand, this also makes it more special. You almost certainly won’t see anything like it at a friend’s house, and since each sculpture is personalized with its own message and made from a real, recycled (but not too battered) book, finding an identical one will be almost impossible.
It seems like they would gather a lot of dust over time, but provided you place them so they’re covered from above (like on a bookshelf), normal dusting and an occasional shake should take care of this.