Read Me – Burn With Me

I made Valentine’s Day cards, and I put them in a book.

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There’s a bit of a story behind this book and how it came to be, and you’ll find it a little further down on this page. First though, to get it out of the way, here’s how to get hold of a copy, as well as a few pictures:

Physical copy (non-profit*, print on demand)

Free download (pdf)


*Non-profit? What I mean by this is that I’m not making any profit from these sales myself. The company that prints and ships the books probably does make some money off of it though.


Add Your Own Art

The entire book is licensed under a Creative Commons license (see link below for more details). If you end up using any of my words for something creative, please let me know. I’d be really happy to hear about it.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


Okay, So What’s the Story?

It all started with a link to a page containing funny Valentine’s Day cards – the quirky witty kind. I enjoy playing with words, and I got it into my head I too could make some funny cards on the same theme.

So I did.

Or rather, I tried. I’m good with words, if I say so myself, but I’m pretty crap when it comes to the visual arts. In the end I decided I’d just create a simple template, fill in the words, and then share the cards like that with my friends so they could add their own artwork. No one actually did (that I know of), but it’s still an option if anyone wants to give it a go.

Making these cards was really fun though, and I got a lot of great feedback on them, so I made more. Then I did the same thing again the following year, and I still enjoyed it.

With time came the idea that I wanted to do more with the cards I’d created: perhaps print up physical versions of them, or t-shirts – posters maybe. Then, eventually, someone came up with the idea of making a book and putting all of the best cards in it.

Most of the cards stand on their own, but a few of them come in groups of two or three that belong together. There are also cards that work much better in the context of all the other ones.

A book seemed a really great idea, so I did it, and here it is – after a few iterations…

Burn With Me

Burn with me is the title of the first version of the book. I created it with the intent of bringing it with me to the Burning Man festival and use it as a gift. I wanted to encourage people to write in their books, so I had it made coil-bound, and attached a pen to it with a piece of string.

It ended up looking like this:

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There are also some pictures of what happened with one of the books I brought there on this page.

Read Me

After Burning Man I decided I wanted a hardcover version of the book as well. The softcover version with the pen attached was nice, but it got a bit battered and dented. A hardcover version feels a bit more solid and looks nicer longer.

That’s how Read Me came about. I adjusted some of the cards, and I added a some new ones. For the most part the contents of the two versions are the same, but there are a few differences. I’ve included the PDF files for both of them on this page in case you want to compare (they’re further down).

Two Versions? Same book, different price?

Read Me comes in two different versions. I call them the Commercial Version, and the Friends & Family version. The two versions are nearly identical, with only two things separating them from each other:

  1. The Commercial Version has an ISBN number, the Friends & Family version does not.
  2. The Friends & Family version is significantly cheaper than the Commercial Version.

The reason for this difference is related to distribution. The F&F version is only available from the print on demand service I’m using. However, I wanted the book to be available from other major retailers, and in order to do that I needed and ISBN number. What I didn’t realise was that having the book available from other retailers would increase its price by quite a bit (I still don’t make any profit from that).

The link at the top of the page is to the Friends & Family version – that’s the cheaper one. The Commercial Version is available from most major retailers.

Print Your Own Version

If you don’t want to order a physical copy through the link above, you’re more than welcome to download the PDF version of the book and print it yourself. The files are available here:

Read Me (pdf) – Friends & Family version (hardcover)

Burn With Me (pdf) – coil bound, softcover version

The softcover version and the F&F version are both available for purchase (non-profit) – scroll down for links.

Image files for covers.

The files are set up to be printed on pages six inches wide and nine inches high, so keep that in mind if you want to print them in some other size. You can find a guide on how to scale PDFs when printing here.

Also keep in mind that every second page is just the lines on the back of the card. If you’re not able to print on both sides of the paper, you may want to consider skipping every second page as they’re all pretty much the same anyway. Have a look at the PDF files and see what suits you.

Physical Copies

The physical copies of the books are created by a print-on-demand service. To order a copy for yourself, please use these links:

Burn With Me – coil bound, softcover

Read me – Friends & Family version (hardcover)

Please note, this is a non-profit project. The price you pay is what the print service charges for creating the book (plus shipping and taxes – if applicable). I have not added anything to their price, and I make no profit from you ordering the book from them.

It’s possible to find the Commercial Version of the book by searching for my name, or the name of the book, on lulu.com. That version is more expensive, and it’s really only there in order for the book to be available from other retailers.

I do make a small profit from the Commercial Version if you order it from lulu.com, but please don’t let that be a reason for you to purchase it. I do not make a profit if you order it from any other retailer.

Feel free to use the PDFs and the cover images above to print the book yourself if you prefer that.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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