BTT: The Gift of Reading

What, if any, memorable or special book have you ever gotten as a present? Birthday or otherwise. What made it so notable? The person who gave it? The book itself? The “gift aura?”

I actually have not been given all that many books as gifts, although I have been given LOTS of giftcards to bookstores.  There have been a few great ones though.

When I was in perhaps second grade, I received a book from my aunt for Christmas.  It was a picture book called The Big Book for Peace and was an anthology covering topics from homelessness to Japanese-American internment to childhood squabbles.  It is a book I still treasure.

When I graduated high school, I was given two different Dr. Seuss books by two different people.  My parents gave me the graduation classic Oh the Places You’ll Go and my Sunday School teacher gave me a new copy of my favorite Dr. Seuss book of all time, The Butter Battle Book.  The Butter Battle Book goes along quite well with The Big Book for Peace, since it is an allegory of the ridiculousness of the Cold War and the arms race.

Possibly the last book I was given as a gift was given to me by my now-husband.  We had been dating a very short time when he gave me a copy of The Professor and the Madman.  He already knew me well enough to know that I loved to read and loved words and thereby deduced that I would find a book about the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary to be interesting.  It was quite a thoughtful gift and a good indication of what was to come.

What memorable book-gifts have you been given?

14 comments to BTT: The Gift of Reading

  • I see why you married him!

  • Ti

    None. My friends think I am too picky with my books so I get gift cards.

  • so many gifts – awesome! :) i never got any books :(

  • The Butter Battle Book is one Dr. Seuss book I haven’t read. I’ll have to see if I can find a copy.

  • I really enjoyed The Professor and the Madman.

  • what a great (!) indication of what was to come. My future hubby knows me almost as well; not quite.

  • I think you’re a fortunate person to have so many kind people in your life. Happy Booking Through Thursday. I’m giving away a couple of books. See my sidebar if you’re interested.

  • I have received three dictionaries over the years from friends and teacher.

    Over the years my friends have cringed from giving me books for my birthday owing to my eclectic taste. I wish to express my desire for a bookstore gift-card but yet it sounds a bit inappropriate.

  • I had an eccentric great-aunt who sent me books that were a little too old for me for the first decade of my life. I’d grow into one and enjoy it and appreciate her, until the next time she sent me something I couldn’t figure out. Now I emulate her with my nieces.

    One of the best books she ever sent me was William Faulkner’s The Wishing Tree. I wrote about it on my birthday (July 8) because it’s about birthdays and if you read The Wishing Tree as a child, you’ll always think of it on that day.

  • I think I usually get gift cards and then pick books on my own. I can’t even remember the last time anyone gave me a book. Actually, not true. A friend of mine just gave me a copy of The Power of One, and I have yet to read it.

  • I once offhandedly mentioned that I was interested in reading the Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy and my husband came home from a business trip with a beautiful old hardback copy of all three in one volume

  • My husband has always been really good at supporting my habit. The very best gift he gave me was for Xmas a few years ago…the full set of Harry Potter. But often, for Mother’s Day or Valentines Day, he buys me books that he has chosen. Some memorable ones were Schindler’s List (before it was a movie) and Fall On Your Knees by Ann Marie MacDonald.

  • What rock have I been under?! I’ve never heard of *The Butter Battle Book*; is it shelved with children’s books?

  • My sister (who is usually appalled by how poorly read how I am) buys me books all the time, which I love. Sometimes they are mainstream (like the Jane Austin Book Club) and sometimes they are less well-known. One that pops out in my mind was The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead. I doubt I would have ever chosen it for myself, but I loved it.

    For our first date, my husband took me to a bookstore. It was pretty much a given after that. He also buys me books very frequently, though most of the time they are comic books he knows I want but am too embarrassed to buy myself!