Thursday, November 6, 2008

Booking Through Thursday


So, it’s my birthday today. (Please, no applause.) But it’s inspiring today’s question–

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?”

That's a tough question, but the most memorable book I've received as a gift has to be my illustrated version of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. This particular edition is slipcased, with a woven, bottle-green cover. It contains absolutely gorgeous black and white and color illustrations by Lewis C. Daniel and was published in 1940. The mother of one of my friends gave it to me when I was in high school. She is a librarian and used to have an antiquarian bookshop; she gave it to me because she knew I liked poetry and I guess just wanted me to have something special! It's special to me because she is special, and of course because it's just gorgeous and I've never seen anything else like it.

Also very memorable and special is the edition of Carl Sagan's Cosmos that my husband gave me for our anniversary this year. It's special because it's something I'd always wanted but never got for myself, and it was his own copy.

(BTW, today isn't my birthday- it's the birthday of the person who wrote the question!)

8 comments:

jlshall said...

The Leaves of Grass sounds like a really wonderful book. There were some fantastic illustrated books published in the 1940s - wish there were more today. And how lucky your friend was to have a mother with such a great bookshop!

Smilingsal said...

That edition of Leaves of Grass is special, and the one who presented you with it even more special. Happy Booking Through Thursday. I'm giving away a couple of books. See my sidebar if you're interested.
http://bookcritiques.blogspot.com/

Serena said...

I recently received a commemorative version of Leaves of Grass from a friend of mine and love it. Is it really your birthday? Happy Birthday!

Scobberlotcher said...

I think your gifted book is the most memorable and special I've read about all day. I LOVE that book, too.

Happy Birthday!

candyschultz said...

I don't believe I have ever received a book as a gift. Which is surprising but my family does not have any idea what I read as they don't read. Yup all 4,000 books around here are mind.

Book Zombie (Joanne) said...

I think it was a fabulously sweet gift your hubby gave you. I find that when a person passes along a book to you of their very own, it is so meaningful and special.

Marcella said...

I love Carl Sagan.

Heidi Estrin said...

Cosmos was a great book. But I think my favorite birthday book was a set of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, oversized and illustrated with creepy woodcuts by Barry Moser. I collect different illustrated or translated editions of Alice, and my folks gave me these when I was a teenager, to add to my collection.