Buying books as a gift for bookworms is both easy and incredibly difficult: easy, because you know they love books, but difficult, because they probably already have so many and us bookworms often have very particular tastes! These days I more often tend to get book vouchers if someone wants to buy me a bookish gift, and that’s just fine by me. I really don’t expect people to know enough about my current book collection and what’s on my TBR list to pick me my perfect book, and so I don’t mind choosing for myself!
However, over the years I’ve received a lot of books as gifts, and they have often become treasured favourites, in part due to them being gifts, but also because of the amazing stories I’ve discovered through them. As a child (before I had my own money to spend on whatever I wanted) getting a new book would always be a highlight of birthdays and Christmases for me, and those early gifts led me to the genres and types of books I still love to read today.
So here are some of the best books I’ve received as gifts, and I’d love to know what yours are!
- The first two Harry Potter books
It’s hard to imagine a time when I didn’t know and love the Harry Potter books, but as an 8 year old child I’d never even heard about them until my parents bought me The Philosopher’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets for my birthday. To date this still has to be one of the best bookish gifts I’ve ever received, as it got me started on one of my all time favourite series, and the Harry Potter books have become a huge part of my childhood…and it all leads back to that one gift!
- Watership Down by Richard Adams
Another childhood favourite of mine was Watership Down, which I can remember receiving as a gift from my parents, although I can’t quite recall exactly how old I was, or whether it was a birthday or Christmas present. I had never heard of it before, but I loved rabbits (seen as I had five of them at one point!), so I think my mum and dad decided to capitalise on that, by getting me a book all about rabbits. I went on to love the film as well, although still to this day I can feel myself starting to well up upon hearing the song Bright Eyes!
- The Lord of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
My love of fantasy all leads back to The Lord of the Rings, which I got for Christmas off my parents (yes, they are very good at gift-giving!) as a young teenager. It was probably one of the first adult books I read, and was far from easy-reading, what with the pages and pages of description and the sheer length of it. However, I gradually found myself falling in love with the sprawling epicness of it, and the richness of the world painted by Tolkien, and above all with the characters, particularly the hobbits, who give up their quiet, simple lives in the Shire to save the world.
- The Scar by China Mieville
I had never heard of this book or the author until I received a copy of The Scar as a gift in my work’s Secret Santa. It’s easily the best gift I’ve received in a Secret Santa, as it was a great book that was right up my street, and it’s pretty impressive really that someone I only knew from work got it so right!
- Far From The Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
I can’t remember what occasion it was, but my friend gave me a copy of Far From The Madding Crowd as a gift several years ago, and I absolutely loved it! I had already read Tess of the D’Urbervilles and enjoyed that (although I was virtually an emotional wreck after it…Poor Tess sure goes through so much!), and my friend had really enjoyed Far From The Madding Crowd and so got me a copy as a gift. I love classics, and I love books, so it was a pretty successful present!
- The illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
When I first spotted the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in Waterstones, I virtually become Gollum with the One Ring…it was my precious! But it seemed like a lot of money to pay for a book that I essentially just wanted because it looked pretty. I still have my old and very battered copy of The Philosopher’s Stone that I received for my 8th birthday, to read whenever I wanted, so I didn’t technically need another copy, however pretty.
But thankfully my boyfriend bought it for me back in July for our one year anniversary, so you can imagine how pleased I was with that present!
So do you receive a lot of books as gifts? Which have been your favourites?