I’d forgotten, until I headed over to Cornflower today, that it’s BAFAB week! For those uninitiated, that’s Buy A Friend A Book – so you all have until the end of the week to put your name in the comments here, and one lucky winner will be sent a fantastic book. Usually I’ve asked the winner to pick from my 50 Books You Must Read But May Not Have Heard About, but this time I have another trick up my sleeve…

Patch is currently in talks about resuming his role as name-picker. He is unavailable for comment, but early rumours suggest that he will be continuing in a role of some variety.

To make entering your name even more fun, and with a slight twist on Karen’s, and even with a theme – when commenting, please also say the best book you’ve ever been given as a present. You can say who gave it too, if you like. What’s mine, I wonder… I think mine will have to be Five Get Into Trouble by Enid Blyton, which was also the first book I ever read ‘by myself’ (I have my doubts as to how independent this was – I remember Our Vicar’s Wife reading a page, then me reading a page, then OVW reading three or four pages because we couldn’t wait to find out what happened… I daresay she’ll confirm or deny this!)

Well, there you are. Please pop your name in the hat, even if you’ve never been to this blog before! All welcome.

47 thoughts on “BAFAB Week!

  • July 1, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    Ooh – it’s a three way tie, I think, between ‘Letters to a young poet’, ‘Atonement’ both of which were birthday presents and ‘Lovely Green Eyes’ which someone from work gave me.

    Add my name to the hat (or bowl, or whatever) and come put your name in my prize draw!

  • July 1, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    I would have to say the second edition of Now We are Six that my great aunt gave me when I turned 6.


  • July 2, 2008 at 2:00 am

    For my eighth birthday, my parents gave me hardback copies of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach. I still have them and shelve them in places of honor.

  • July 2, 2008 at 5:54 am

    I understand that this is probably not the kind of book you were thinking of, but the best book I’ve ever been given was the Oxford Canadian Dictionary.

  • July 2, 2008 at 9:42 am

    “Stuck-in-a-Book’s favourite feline, Dark Puss” nominates “The Feynman Lectures in Physics” (3 volumes) given to me by my late father when I was in my final year of school in the ninteen seventies.

    I must rush off now as my flute lesson beckons …

  • July 2, 2008 at 10:22 am

    For my tenth birthday, a friend gave me “Alanna: the First Adventure” by Tamora Pierce. Not great literature, but great fun, and the first time I remember realising that girls could have adventures too, rather than just doing the cooking etc. for the (male) adventurers!

  • July 2, 2008 at 10:40 am

    Impossible question for me, so I’ll just say that whoever (and I should think it was my parents) gave me my first Enid Blyton certainly started something! Oh, and there’s Doctor Dolittle from Aunt Mary, and Little Women from Grandpa, and……

  • July 2, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    Five go off in a Caravan was the first book I ever read myself (four or five times in succession!) but that was a school prize, so I don’t think it counts. It’s a difficult one – I’ve been given so many books over the years Probably either my original green Virago (now falling-to-bits) copy of the Provincial Lady, or my Folio Society complete works of Jane Austen. Please add my name to the draw and if you’re interested in my BAFABW draw, you’d be very welcome to join in:

  • July 2, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Wow–that’s tough because, since I can remember, books were my favorite presents.
    Hmm…OK, if I have to pick…I think…maybe…
    Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss, which was given to me by my favorite teacher when I graduated from high school.
    Great giveaway idea!

  • July 2, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    Alice in Wonderland, which must have been Christmas 1962, a few days short of my 6th birthday – and I was entranced by it, though it’s one of those cheap Dent’s children’s classics that don’t even have any pictures. I still have it, spine sadly torn, read over and over again.

  • July 2, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    Our Vicar’s Wife asked me to add this comment:
    “yes, we did read Enid Blyton like that! (Then you were able to ‘go solo’ most of the time) and my favourite book(s) ever – Jane Eyre (up until she left school… for years and years, until I grew up), Frenchman’s Creek – for pure escape and romance, What Katy Did at School – for ‘grit’, and Little Women – for Jo. (Sorry it’s not just one!)
    All these are years and years ago. More recently – Cadfael and Didius Falco – I love a bit of historical murder!”

  • July 2, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    My father gave me “Have Space Suit, Will Travel,” by Robert Heinlein, which I thought I would hate (SO not my style, dad) and then absolutely loved. Couldn’t put it down. It told me that my dad knew me better than I thought. So the book was great, and the relationship was great, and the gift was great, and it started us swapping book recommendations, which can’t be improved upon.

    Please come over for my BAFAB Week post!

  • July 2, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    When I was younger (around 4-5), I really hated books and didn’t want anything to do with them. My teacher found out and sent me a big box of books, like the Little Engine that Could and Phil the Ventriloquist. After reading those books, I became a bookworm. :)

    ~ Popin

  • July 2, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    No one buys me books (sob) because I work in a public library and they obviously think I don’t need any. A colleague gave me her copy of The Girl in a Swing by Richard Adams because I had read mine so many times it had fallen apart.

  • July 2, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    Probably “Susan Pulls the Strings” given to me when I was about 10. It was the first book in a series written by Jane Shaw and I still have them all. Oh, I so wanted to be Susan!

  • July 2, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    My best friend at school gave me Jane Eyre for my 16th. birthday. I’d borrowed it from the library and harped on about it so much (boring her to tears, for she was no reader) that she got me my own copy to shut me up. And I still have it.

  • July 3, 2008 at 12:10 am

    Hmmm. Having lots of trouble with this question as people tend to not buy me books since they’re afraid I’ll already have it. I’m going to say the boxed set of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books I recieved as a child. Throw my name in please!

  • July 3, 2008 at 12:14 am

    An e-friend sent me the boxed set (probably his own) of the Mapp and Lucia series by E.F. Benson. I had reading copies already of course but this was a boxed set with illustrations by Natacha Ledwidge put out by the Folio Society in 1994 – a set I could never have afforded.

    Tell Patch I have a friend I’d like to introduce him to. :-)

  • July 3, 2008 at 2:06 am

    A very close friend gave me “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” and it just seemed to meaningful. It was a literary form of a promise of our friendship. haha.

    Carmen T

  • July 3, 2008 at 2:07 am

    my aunt gave me ginger pye when i turned 8. It was my favorite present for a really long time!

  • July 3, 2008 at 2:19 am

    The best book I was ever given as a present? Or the best present I was ever given as a book? I don’t *know.* Of course I deeply thank the long dead people who gave me Pooh and Alcott and Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Melendys and Oz books and all that, but the specifics are lost in the mists of time. People mostly don’t give me books now cos they think I’ll snipe. (What does that say about me?) No, I’ll simply say what I’d LIKE to be given as book gifts…here goes…Deirdre LeFaye’s A Chronology of Jane Austen’s Family, 1700-2000 (very expensive); Patrick Bronte, Father of Genius; In Tearing Haste, the Letters of the Duchess of Devonshire and Patrick Leigh Fermor; Letters of Lady Caroline Lamb ed. by Paul Douglas; Ballad of Dorothy Wordsworth by Frances Wilson…Oh, never mind. Please kindly include me in the draw! – Diana

  • July 3, 2008 at 7:40 am

    Yes please for the draw

  • July 3, 2008 at 10:13 am

    It would definitely have to be Dahl’s Matilda. It was the first book I truly got stuck into, and I loved it! I think I spent most of my childhood emulating her. She cetainly imspired me to read, and read and then read some more.

  • July 3, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    You’re too kind Simon! Strangely people don’t buy me books often–it’s really sort of depressing. I think they’re afraid I might already have read it. So any book someone gives me is a special treat. I was, however, given a nice illustrated volume that has all of Jane Austen’s novels in it, that I am fond of.

  • July 3, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    I can’t remember being bought a book apart from Modesty Blaise which a friend bought me for my birthday this year. I know I had books bought as a child but can’t remember any specific ones.

  • July 3, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    I think my favourite book gift as a child was the Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton which was given to me by a great Aunt (90 last month and still going stong!). I read it till it fell apart nad sentimentally I still keep it – even if it is in bits.

    I would love to enter your draw, and you’re welcome to enter mine too if you are interested, , and I will add you to my BAFAB giveaway round up too.

  • July 3, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    Can I enter please Simon.
    Favourite book gift was the Collected Poems of Thomas Hardy which my housemates at uni clubbed together to give me more years ago than I like to remember…


  • July 3, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    I don’t know how but I always forget about BAFAB week. Grr…
    Anyway, best gift book… One of my aunts gave me a collection of The Brothers Grimm fairy tales. It’s a little book, with wonderful drawings and I guess it means so much to me as it was one of the first books I got to own.

  • July 3, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    Hi Simon,
    I know your friend Claire, I know her as Cathy, she walks to work with you!

    My sis-in-law gave me The Kite Runner and I read it thru the night and cried a lot at the end. Am now looking forward to seeing the film.

    Can’t see your hat but I’d very much appreciate being put in it! Thanks lots!


  • July 3, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    I have a history of being given terrible books, actually, or perfectly good books that I just don’t have any interest in. For example, my mother used to give me books about cats, not because I was interested in books (although clearly I was, I used to carry home enormous grocery bags full of books from the library each week) but because I wanted and could not have a cat.

    (People also used to give me cat posters, stuffed toy cats, cat-themed clothes, and so on – none of which had the essential catliness that I desired. Now I have seven cats and tons of books about OTHER THINGS.)

    I think the best book I’ve been given is A Gentle Path Through the Twelve Steps, by Patrick Carnes. It was given to me very generously by my first sponsor in a twelve-step program. The book itself was very helpful and has a ton of fantastic exercises that can be used to deal with all kinds of life issues – it’s not specific to dealing with alcohol or bad relationships or money or anything like that.

    But also, it was a big deal to me that a near-stranger was willing to just up and give me a new book. I got to learn to trust people a little more and accept help a little more, and not have to try to afford this book to work from on the little I made at the time from various side jobs.

  • July 3, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    Hi Simon!!

    Hmm, this is hard – I seemed to always buy my own books, BUT my parents bought me my Nancy Drews when I was young. Can you believe my favorite book EVER is Gone With The Wind and I don’t own a copy?????


  • July 4, 2008 at 12:25 am

    The Count of Monte Christo. It was given to me by my brother. I have read it n number of times and love my much thumbed book.

  • July 4, 2008 at 4:48 am

    my mother gave me a book called whispers when I was 16 in my easter basket. I can remember asking for this book several times and she thought I was too young for it. I was about a seriel killer that was terrorizing a town. Really scary stuff.

  • July 4, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    Grimm’s Fairy Tales, a very, very long time ago.

  • July 4, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    My favourite gift was A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh. I still have it. I remember colouring the pictures one day–but I remember being neater than the evidence suggests.

  • July 4, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    The first book that I can remember being given was The Tale of Peter Rabbit. I loved everything about it, the shape and size and the beautiful pictures. I think memorizing the words as my mother read it aloud helped me learn to read. I’ve loved receiving and giving books ever since so please enter me in your draw.

    I’m giving away a copy of Vita Sackville-West’s ‘The Edwardians’ if you or any of your visitors would like to enter:

  • July 5, 2008 at 12:03 am

    The best book I’ve been given as a gift is “What My Mother Doesn’t Know” by Sonja Sones. A YA book, but very good.

  • July 5, 2008 at 8:55 am

    This may be cheesy but I’ll have to say Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone given to me by my sister a few years ago. I was quite a fan of HP at that time! :D

  • July 5, 2008 at 11:04 am

    This is not strictly a draw entry, as I’ve just won a book courtesy of oxford-reader so that would be greedy, but I thought I’d join in the fun!

    The first book(s) I remember getting as a present was the Secret Seven series from my Mum for my (I think) sixth birthday. I loved them and read them to pieces so they could be counted “best” in that they started a books-for-birthday trend that hasn’t stopped yet. The best books-to-hoard? Possibly the double combo of a limited, signed edition of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline along with a signed HB Long, Dark Teatime of the Soul by Douglas Adams from my husband last Christmas. He’s a good fellow!

  • July 5, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    Most of the books I own were bought by me! But my favorite gift was from Les, at
    It is, Hollyhocks, Lambs, and Other Passions: A Memoir of Thornhill Farm by Dee Hardie.

  • July 5, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    My fave gift would be Earthly Pleasures by Karen Neches :)


    bunnybox9 at gmail . com

  • July 5, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    The Secret Garden, from Mum, about 50 years ago.
    Please include me – thanks.

  • July 5, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    My favorite book i have been given is by Mary Alice Monroe called Swimming Lessons out side of my yearly “Ideals” books my mom give me at Christmas they are very special to me! I would like to be added in your contest.

  • July 6, 2008 at 12:49 am

    hi! i think if I remember it right, best book i have ever given as a gift would be this book of poetry called Anonymous which was penned by cadets of a military training school in my country. :) i gave it to my friend who was missing her loved one.

    if you’re sending international, do toss my name in the hat, please :)


  • July 6, 2008 at 4:59 am

    The best book I’ve ever been given is Frank Herbert’s Dune. My best friend in high school gave it to me as a birthday present. I finished it one day and have read it twice since then and finished it within three days. I do love that book.

  • July 6, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    The best book I’ve ever received as a gift was Miss Minerva. Not because it is such a wonderfully written novel, but because it is the original book my husband’s grandmother used to read to him from when he was a small child. Priceless!

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