Book Stand Use and Care Guide, and Ordering Information

The perfect book lover gift is our book valet book stand.

There is an undeniable charm in the timeless pleasure of holding a book in your hands. For avid readers and book lovers, the experience goes beyond the words on the page. It’s about the texture of the paper, the weight of book, and the cozy surroundings of a favorite reading spot. One of the most popular items in our functional home decor line up is our custom handcrafted book stand. We also call it a book valet.

Crafted with a perfect blend of style and functionality, the book valet is not just a simple book stand; it’s a thoughtful accessory that caters to the modern reader’s needs. Below are a few more details. First, how to order it for local pickup in Gardendale, Alabama (of course you can also order it here online, in our shop for shipping anywhere in the United States) and how they’re made, including advice for use and care.

How to Order for Local Pickup in Gardendale, AL

All of our products are in stock at Marketplace On Main, Gardendale, AL. Custom, or personalized options are available to order for local pickup at the shop. These orders must be placed and paid for at Marketplace on Main. The Gray Shed is a vendor at the shop. All orders placed through our online sales channels are for shipping only, local pickup orders are all handled through Marketplace on Main.

To order for local pickup in Gardendale, AL:

  1. In person, at Marketplace on Main, (located beside the Spectrum office, at 741 Main St., Gardendale, AL 35071) choose the product you’d like to have personalized and take it to the front desk and tell the clerk you’d like to order a custom version.

    You can take a moment to explore available options for the product here in our online shop to make it easier to place your order in person. Just show the clerk which one you have in mind.
  2. Marketplace on Main will fill out a custom order form and send it to us here at The Gray Shed.
  3. Your order will be ready for pickup at Marketplace on Main within 2-4 business days from the date your order is placed.

Here are product links for our book stands. You can place your order here for shipping within the United States or you can use these links as a guide for placing your order in person at Marketplace on Main in Gardendale, Alabama.

Decorative Front Book Stand Book Valet
Engraved Front Book Stand Book Valet
Monogram Front Book Stand Book Valet
Succulent Plants Book Stand Book Valet
Rose Book Stand Book Valet
Sunshine Book Stand Book Valet


The Central Charging Area – Where Tradition Meets Modern Convenience

Cord is hidden while cell phone charges and rests inside the book stand.

The central space of your book valet serves as a discreet charging area, integrating modern convenience into your traditional reading experience. As you delve into the captivating pages of your favorite books, your phone can recharge, tastefully hidden away while ensuring you stay connected on your own terms.

Use the book valet as a tablet stand if you prefer a digital reading experience. The design features of this book stand are well suited to keep cords tucked out of site but handy so your favorite device stays ready for use without becoming unsightly in the process.

Two openings positioned in the lower back area of the book stand allow charging cables to pass through it. There is a removable piece that sits within the base to provide a rest for your cell phone. If you decide you’d rather have the room to stow other items, you can carefully remove it. These openings also serve well when a tablet is propped on the front of the book stand since the charging cable can pass through the inside and out through either of these openings in the back.

Leather Care for Your Book Valet

Just as a well-loved book ages with grace, so too does the leather of your book valet. To keep your leather accents looking their best, wipe them down with leather conditioning wipes or leather conditioner. Apply it with care to avoid getting it on the wood portion of the stand.

To make this process easier, we’ve intentionally left the two leather coasters in the front area unglued so that they can be removed for cleaning and touch-ups. If you happen to spill something on them, you can remove them and wipe them down with a damp cloth or leather cleaner. Do not submerge or soak them and be sure to apply leather conditioner once the coasters are completely dry.

Regular conditioning not only preserves the softness and resilience of the leather but also contributes to how it looks. How often and the method you use to condition the leather will contribute to it’s color and character as time passes.

Character and Beauty of Imperfect Genuine Leather

We chose genuine leather to accent our book valet to contribute to it’s overall design. You may notice the presence of marks, streaks, and variations in color. Far from being flaws, these distinctive characteristics are the hallmark of genuine leather and contribute to our vision of functional decor. With extended use, leather is known for gradual changes in appearance and we incorporated it into the design. The dings and scrapes that may happen from regular handling use only enhance the uniqueness. Applying conditioner every few months acts as a finish and allows them to contribute to the one-of-a-kind nature of this functional piece of home decor.

Genuine leather, derived from natural animal hides, carries with it a history of life experiences, and the natural environment. The marks you may observe are the imprints of the leather’s journey – a map of sorts that tells a story of authenticity and individuality. These variations, often referred to as “blemishes” or “natural marks,” are a testament to the authenticity of the material and the craftsmanship involved in its creation. After a period of time, the leather accents will begin to tell the unique story of ownership. The more it’s in use, the more you make it your own one-of-a-kind piece of home decor.

We only use vegetable tanned leather and very often it is buffalo hide. Vegetable tanning uses tannins (a class of polyphenol astringent chemicals), which occur naturally in the bark and leaves of many plants. During the tanning process, genuine leather undergoes minimal alterations, allowing the inherent beauty of the hide to shine through. Some marks may result from healed scars or insect bites that occurred during the animal’s life, while others might be natural creases and wrinkles from handling that add character to the material. Over time, these marks may evolve, developing a rich patina that enhances the leather’s appeal. The more it is used, the more it changes and takes on characteristics unique to its use.

Far from diminishing the quality of your book valet, these imperfections elevate its aesthetic value. Each mark tells a story, turning your item into a unique piece of art that ages gracefully with time and use. Embracing these natural variations not only adds character to the leather but also underscores the authenticity and genuine nature of the material.

Take a moment to appreciate the nuanced beauty of the leather’s imperfections. They are not merely marks; they are a celebration of the material’s authenticity, reminding you that your book valet is a truly unique piece, crafted with care and respect for the natural beauty of genuine leather. So, let the marks on your book valet tell a story as you embark on your literary journeys, creating memories with each turn of the page and enhancing the charm of your reading sanctuary.

The Artistry of Tanning: Understanding Veg-Tan Leather’s Distinctive Charms

In the realm of leather craftsmanship, the choice of tanning method plays a pivotal role in shaping the character of the final product. We chose veg-tan leather for our book valet because it stands in stark contrast to its counterpart chrome-tanned leather. Unlike the rapid and efficient chrome tanning process, which utilizes chromium salts to achieve a quick turnaround, veg-tanning embraces a slower, more traditional approach. Derived from organic materials such as tree barks and leaves, the process imparts a rich, natural color to the leather. The result is a material that ages gracefully, developing a unique patina over time, reflecting the user’s journey and creating a one-of-a-kind aesthetic. While chrome-tanned leather may offer a more uniform appearance, the allure of veg-tan lies in its authenticity, environmental friendliness, and the ability to tell a story through the evolving hues and textures of the leather. Choosing veg-tan leather for your book valet not only ensures a sustainable and artisanal touch but also invites you to embrace the beauty of a material that matures with each cherished use.

Hardwood veneer for high quality.

We use hardwood veneer that is applied to MDF from a US manufacturer. Thin sheets of wood are applied to an MDF core. Why don’t we use solid hardwood? The mdf core actually makes the book valets stronger and sturdier than they would be if we were to use solid wood of this thickness. A thicker wood isn’t practical for the functional use, plus it would be too heavy to easily move it when necessary. Solid wood at the thickness we’re using for these would actually crack and break very easily. The combination of hardwood veneer over mdf gives us the beauty of hardwood and the strength and lighter weight of mdf. Together, it results in a perfect recipe for functional home decor. Reading your favorite book can now add to the beauty of your favorite reading nook.

Vintage, Bronze-Finish Hardware

The front of the book stand is finished with vintage-style bronze finish Chicago screws. This is a purely decorative touch. The screws do not hold the leather to the front of the book valet. The leather is glued down so all seams are adhered to the surface of the book stand. If you ever want to change the look of your book stand, the front can be opened up for access to the backs of the screws, allowing you to change the hardware.

Check back regularly as we continue to add more variations for our book stands. If you enjoy yours, don’t you think it would make a fantastic gift for the special loved-ones in your life, too? Please contact us if you have questions or would like us to design something special.

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