Thursday, November 6, 2008

Booking Through Thursday--Presents!



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?”


My husband gave me a wonderful book as a gift. It is an 1857 edition of Jane Eyre, the first "cheap edition", I believe. I never would have bought it for myself. It's small and bound in leather, and there were personal reasons he chose it for me. I really love it, both for the reasons it was given, and for the physical book itself. I wonder who else read this copy in its 151 years...I wish it could tell me its story.

What is the best book you ever got as a gift?

22 comments:

Jules said...

Oh wow! 1857 edition! Lucky you. Nice book:)

Sarah said...

Ooooh, I love old books. They have so much history to them. That sounds like a wonderful and special present.

jlshall said...

What a lovely gift! You're very lucky to have such a thoughtful hubby.

Gentle Reader said...

jules--I like your gift book story, too!

sarah--I love old books, too, and used book stores. It was a wonderful present!

jlshall--I do feel lucky, thanks!

_lethe_ said...

My first comment here, hello.

Beautiful! If this is the cheap edition, what must the luxury edition have looked like! (I'm guessing all leather, no paper sides.)

Leah said...

Such a lovely present, I am sure you treasure it. I recently included something on my blog about a First edition copy of my favourite book Precious Bane by Mary Webb. A friend bought it for me when I graduated and I love it.

Cathy said...

I'd be like you--wanting to know the stories of all the people who've read that copy!

Smilingsal said...

That could be the premise of another fiction book. Happy Booking Through Thursday. I'm giving away a couple of books. See my sidebar if you're interested.
http://bookcritiques.blogspot.com/

Matt said...

O-M-G! I just started reading Jane Eyre, which to my amazement I have never read in AP English or college! Mine is a 1971 edition of the Norton critical series. I love it!

Gentle Reader said...

lethe--lol! I think one of the reasons it was the "cheap" edition was that they started printing it in one volume instead of three. But I like to think there's an all-leather, beautiful version, not "cheap", out there :)

leah--I'm not a book collector, but I do appreciate first editions and rare books. It is nice to have this one :)

cathy--I know, anything that old must have an interesting history, right?

smilingsal--Thanks for the link, I will go check it out!

matt--you'll have to let me know what you think of Jane Eyre! It's such an interesting book, especially if you know the history of the Bronte sisters...

Litlove said...

What a lovely gift! Your husband sounds such a sweetie - so creative and thoughtful. I think my best book gift came from my publisher who sent me a copy of Julian Barnes' Nothing to be Frightened Of, inscribed to me by the man himself. That was cool.

Gentle Reader said...

litlove--my husband is a sweetie, thoughtful, creative and very, very funny. And I think the Barnes is a great present, too--definitely cool :)

Bookfool said...

Wow, that is almost unbearably cool!

Susan said...

What a lovely book. It looks beautifully bound. And looks like in very good condition. From the picture it looks brand new.

J.S. Peyton said...

Ok, that's just hands-down the perfect gift. Very, very cool!

Gentle Reader said...

bookfool--it's my only rare book :)

susan--I think the binding itself is newer than the book--what I hear about books like this is that long ago the collector would have all of his books bound in matching leather bindings, so it's difficult to say when it was bound relative to how old the book actually is! But it is in good shape, thanks :)

j.s.--it's still the best gift I've ever received :)

Tara said...

That is a fabulous present. It sounds like you have a very thoughtful husband.

Jen said...

such a gorgeous orchid....

my godfather gave me Cry the Beloved Country one year for my birthday when i was maybe 12 or 13 -- i felt honored that he believed i was capable of discussion of the ideas in that lovely book.

Gentle Reader said...

tara--he is a very thoughtful guy.

jen--I read Cry the Beloved Country when I was a teenager and it had a huge impact on me--you're right, it is a lovely book.

Robin said...

Lovely gift!! And what a special husband you have! He's a keeper!

Gentle Reader said...

robin--lol, I'll let him know you said so! That's a joke we have about the kids, that they're "keepers", so he'll appreciate it :)

Susan said...

Beautiful book! and you're right, I often with older books, whose hands and how many, has the book passed through. I love books like treasures like that.