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!)