I really liked this idea of reusing newspaper to make gift bags. I think this is something you could do with old book pages too if the book was large enough. It would be an especially nice touch if you could use a book or author's work that was near and dear to your friend.
The example shown on this link also includes a bag made from the Wall Street Journal, which is a great idea for giving a small gift to a coworker. Presenting a gift in a special way can make it that much more meaningful.