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Treats & Generosity – Booking Through Thursday


This week’s Booking Through Thursday question is:

What is the best book you ever bought for yourself?

And, why? What made it the best? What made it so special?


Do you give books as gifts?

To everyone? Or only to select people?

How do you feel about receiving books as gifts?

Two sets of questions were posted today, and I’m sure it was an error but I’ll go ahead and answer both.

The first few questions are hard. I’ve bought so many books that it would be hard to pick The Best Book [I] Ever Bought. At that point we’re getting into what books are my favorite. I’ve never (until now, really) spent money on hardbacks, so my books aren’t particularly special in a physical way, but they’re obviously important to me on an emotional level.

The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb, which was actually a gift, though I would have bought it myself, is my prized possession now as it’s personally inscribed by the author.

Word Freak by Stefan Fatsis is particularly special because I picked it up at the book store based on the cover, having never heard anything about it. It’s now one of my favorite books.

Do you have a favorite book that you bought?


I definitely give books as gifts, but I have to be (relatively) sure the person will like it and read it. There’s nothing sadder than books that languish at a non- or quasi-reader’s house.

I haven’t received too many books as gifts, and when I have, they’ve been books I’ve specifically requested. I’d be leery of anyone buying me a book because I have so many books, they’d be lucky if they didn’t buy me one I already own.

What I think is completely underrated is the bookstore gift card. My ex-boyfriend’s family, the one year I spent Christmas with them, almost everyone gave me a Border’s gift card, whether as the actual gift or a little stocking stuffer. No one else has quite understood how happy I can be with a little money to spend at the bookstore. Even my friends who know I read all. the. time. rarely get me a gift card as a gift. *sigh* If they only knew how easy I really am.

Do you get bookstore gift cards very often as a gift?

This leads me to something I’ve been meaning to ask you: Are you buying gifts for the holidays? I did for about half my people. I was pretty pleased with that.

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a signed copy of The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein! Contest ends December 29th.

| Tags: , , , , 19 comments »

19 Responses to “Treats & Generosity – Booking Through Thursday”

  1. Mae

    I can only dream of gift cards at bookstores. Friends either don’t give me books at all or buy me bizarre titles.


  2. Sally

    I love getting book store gift cards. It makes me feel like a kid in a candy store.


  3. Beth F

    I love bookstore gift cards too! And I mentioned them in my post too!


  4. Kathy

    Hubby always makes me make a list of books I might want. He is about the only one who will actually buy me books. Everyone else just gets me a gift card. I think this is the only way you can do this because unless you know exactley what someone has and may have already read you take the chance of getting them something they don’t want.


  5. Jeanne

    I give and receive books as gifts, and when someone has given me a bizarre title in the past, I could take it to Borders and get a store credit to pick out something I liked better. Now they don’t do that anymore, so giving books has gotten a little more problematic.


  6. nikki

    Word Freak = Awesome. I’m glad to finally know someone else who has read that! I now watch the Scrabble Nationals every year on ESPN 2 because of that book. (hosted by Stefan Fastis of course!)


  7. gautami tripathy

    I like to give as well as receive books. I got a Wally Lamb book as a gift. Although it has 937 pages, I am looking forward to read it.

    Here are my posts for BTT:

    Booking through treat

    Booking through generosity


  8. Robin

    I would love to get a bookstore gift certificate as a gift. A dream come true.

    Robin of mytwoblessings


  9. Alyce

    I agree with you that not everyone is going to be able to know what kind of book I would want. Gift cards are nice.


  10. Darlene

    I love bookstore gift cards. They are perfect. My dad asked this year what I wanted so I tell him a gift card. He tells me that a gift card isn’t a gift. Geez, what’s the matter with people. Of course it is, I can go buy books with it.


  11. S. Krishna

    I’m getting my sister books for the holidays – so far I have 2 but I’m thinking of adding a third one to the mix!


  12. donstuff

    Books and gift cards to bookstores are just about all I ever get as gifts – which is perfectly ok with me. The walls in my home office are lined with books and the walls of our garage are lines with books (two deep on the shelves), yet I still can’t seem to get enough. And, yes, books are my primary gifts. Reading really is power!


  13. Matthew

    I’m spending a lot of time matching books to their recipients, especially those who don’t read much. I believe there is a book for everybody.

    I’m a “piece of work” in terms of recipient of books. Over the years my friends have cringed from giving me books for my birthday owing to my eclectic taste. They also keep in mind that I’ve probably read some of the books they want to give me. Books do make perfect gifts, but by their very nature, books can also be a problem as tokens of affection. The delay factor is huge. Some books get a one-way ticket back to the used bookstore.


  14. Kiki

    I have often received gift cards because that is what I’ve asked for. Rarely does anyone buy me a book–I’ve read so many books, and most of my family doesn’t read like I do. Unfortunately. So most books I get are purchased by me. Sad huh?


  15. Kiki

    Oh, so the fact that most of my family members don’t read much, I don’t give too many books–except to my kids.

    Besides friends and my children and work(and sometimes even there, a bookstore!) I’m living in a non-reader culture.


  16. Becca

    I asbolutely love book store gift cards…if only people knew how happy they make me 🙂


  17. Jo

    I’ve purchased most of my books, and although my favorites (“A People’s History of the United States of America” for non-fiction and “The God of Small Things” for fiction) were both books I purchased, I have no idea how to answer this question. I did use my graduation money (just got a master’s degree) to purchase “The Complete Calvin and Hobbes,” which is quite fabulous.

    I recently purchased “Next of Kin,” by Roger Fouts, who for the last 40 years has worked with chimpanzees who use American Sign Language. The only three chimps who still use ASL live in a town very near me at a sanctuary/institute where Fouts and his wife still work. The book is absolutely amazing. I was already an animal lover and a vegetarian, but this book made me think so much more about the connection between humans and animals and even about what defines a human. It’s fantastic. I bought it from the gift shop at the institute where the chimps live, so part of the money for it went to help them, which makes me happy.

    I definitely give books as gifts. Although I don’t always give books and don’t exclusively give books, there’s no one on my gift list who doesn’t enjoy them. I’ve given almost everyone I know a copy of “Dreams from my Father,” and I’m going to buy several more copies of “Next of Kin” to give out.

    I LOVE to receive books, with a caveat. I love to receive books from people who know me well enough to know what I like to read (there’s more that I DO like than otherwise). If someone gives me a new book that I wouldn’t read, I exchange it. Book gift cards? Awesome!


  18. Kim L

    Ah gift cards to the bookstore… is there anything better? I would LOVE that for christmas. I am expecting, though to be getting more actual books than giftcard money. At least, though, I had the chance to tell everyone what books I actually want.


  19. Dawn

    A gift card to a bookstore is a double treat because I book a sitter and schdule a date night with my husband. We used to browse the bookstores in Harvard Square on our dates when we were penniless students. It’s nice to re-visit the book-charged atmosphere with money in our pockets!

    My full answer is here.


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