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Raid Your Shelf: Books That Were Gifted to You

Raid Your Shelf: Books That Were Gifted to You

To us bookworms, more books are often the gifts we prefer to receive. We asked our resident bookworms and the First Look Club to show us the books on their shelves that were gifted to them. Keep reading to find out the stories behind each book.


I actually have a lot of gifted books because I always ask for books for Christmas and my birthday, but for this I chose S, which was the first book my boyfriend ever got me. It showed that he really knew what I liked. S is what happens when you try to push the boundaries of what a book should be like—it’s a mystery wrapped in an epistolary novel, with photographs, maps, postcards, and other clippings slipped in between the pages. It’s crazy fun. - Jean



When I was with my first company, my closest office mates decided to chip in and get me a birthday gift. The story behind makes the book valuable since they based their decision on my personality and narrowed it down to this or a hardbound Edgar Allan Poe collection. They were thinking of purchasing the latter but was worried that I might already own the book so they bought The Canterbury Tales instead. They were so spot on with the two choices that I purchased the hardbound Edgar Allan Poe the following day as a treat to myself! - Agnes

My paperback copy of Lisey’s Story came from a holiday gift exchange thing. I honestly can’t remember who gave it to me, but I know this was during the mid-to-late aughts, AKA My Call Center Years. I’ve since “upgraded” to the hardcover edition. Normally, I would have given it away or sold it, but for some reason it’s still with me. - Clifford

Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors, and my husband gifted me with this treasure of a compendium. Prince of Stories gives you an exciting look into what’s going on in the creative mind of his—from commentaries on his works, to unpublished artworks and covers and trivia. It’s a fun and fascinating supplementary read to give you even more things to think about on his thought-provoking works. - Nicole



I found this in the sale pile of Fully Booked, attracted to it because it was about Spain. Unfortunately, it had to go back into the pile because I was overbudget. Weeks later, I found it under our Christmas tree – a gift from my mom, who spotted the same book and knew that I would like it. - Regina



The Stand by Stephen King was already my favorite novel when one of my best friends from high school gave me this hardcover edition as a birthday gift. I’ve tried to read it a few times, but I always default back to my battered old paperback copy. This one is just to keep. - Jed


Back in college, my late mother used to surprise me with books each time I came home for the weekend. One of these books is Le Corbusier and the Power of Photography. I dabbled in photography and she bought it as a reference and an inspiration. The profound influence of Le Corbusier on our visual culture is vividly captured in the hundreds of photos throughout the book. - Jowana

These gifted books remind me of the support I receive from my friends. Fuck It Do What You Love book was gifted to me by a friend who was concerned I might be feeling bad leaving my previous work, while Smaller and Smaller Circles was given by a friend who supports my appreciation for Filipino novels. - Karla



When starting out, I was gifted the book: Your First Leadership Job in the hopes that I could use what I learned to be a better leader. - Tony



When you work for a bookstore you don’t get a lot of books as gifts. This was given to me by now husband before I worked for a bookstore. I believe it’s one of the last books Life Magazine released before they ended their print run in 2000. - Denise



My grandmother got me the Anne series by L.M. Montgomery after she won a bingo game. Anne Shirley is different from the other book characters who raised me because Anne’s storyline wasn’t frozen in time as a spirited kid; you get to see her grow from child to adult. Of all my faves she’s the only one who has given me a blueprint of the kind of person I want to be as a grown-up. If I live to be an old lady, I’d like to be one as irrepressible and open-hearted as the elder Anne Shirley was. - Reina


Which of books on your shelves were gifted to you? Share yours at Bookworm Corner at Fully Booked.



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