Booking Through Thursday - Books as Gifts

Deb at Booking Through Thursday has a two-parter for us this week:

Part One:
What is the best book you ever bought for yourself?
And, why? What made it the best? What made it so special?

I'm not sure if 'best' means quality of the writing or of the actual book. I guess I'd have to say the recent Pevear-Volokhonsky translation of War and Peace. It's aesthetically beautiful and, well, darn good literature. I'd never read W and P, so it felt like a big plunge to buy a hard cover of it. It was my major read of 2008.

Part Two:
Do you give books as gifts?
To everyone? Or only to select people?
How do you feel about receiving books as gifts?
I love to give and receive books - though I have to know the recipient pretty well before I feel confident enough to know what they like in books. Unless, of course, they have a current wish list; that makes it so easy.

I've noticed that, even though I read mostly fiction these days, when people gift me with books, it's usually nonfiction. I guess they feel more confident in knowing my political or spiritual reading tastes than they do my fiction taste. News flash people! I have a wish list! Actually, I'm not fussy; if someone buys me a good book I know I'll love it regardless of whether it's on my wish list or not.

So when in doubt, buy me books! or Powell's gift cards!


Smilingsal said...

Sometimes the best book gift is the one you haven't come across.

Anonymous said...

I just might get to visit Powell's next summer...I'm already dreaming about what sections to spend my time in!

That War and Peace cover really is beautiful.