Book Reviews by Today, I Read…

A Continuous Book Review and Vocabulary Assignment

December 18

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BTT: A Special Treat & Generosity

by Ann-Katrina

btt2 I think this may be a quirk, but there are actually two questions posted for Booking Through Thursday, one dealing with treating yourself and the other about treating others. Just to cover my bases, I’ve answered both.


What is the best book you’ve ever bought for yourself?

And why? What made it the best? What made it so special?

island-blue-dolphins Over the years, I have purchased many, many books for myself and at first, I was at a loss. Staring at the endless ocean of books, I racked my mind. Then, when I became quiet, like a butterfly, the answer gently alighted on my mind: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell.

One day while donating some books to a secondhand bookstore, I came across the book in pristine condition. It called to me and I had to answer—the find was kismet.

Memories of third grade story hour flooded me.

This book was the first full length book I’d had read aloud to me. I was enthralled. At my home, my parents didn’t read me bedtime stories and we didn’t have many books. The ones we did have, I’d already read five times over.

When the teacher had finished, I asked her if I could borrow it to read myself and she said yes. Subsequent books followed in our elementary school story hour, and I would also borrow those, but Island of the Blue Dolphins was the one that started it all.

It may sound cheesy, but I actually cried when I got the book home. (Heck, I’m tearing up now.)


Do you give books as gifts?

To everyone? Or only to select people?

How do you feel about receiving books as gifts?

The answer to the first question is it depends, which leads into the next question. I do give books as gifts, but only to select people who I know enjoy reading and will actually value the gift rather than let it languish on a shelf or under the bed.

And the final question depends on the book I receive as a gift. :) Overall, yes, I do enjoy receiving books because they’re like gifts that keep on giving. Of course, if someone were to give me a technical manual for engineering, we might have some problems. But, if the person knows me well enough to know I’d like to receive a book, that person is also likely to know me well enough to know my reading tastes.

Comments on BTT: A Special Treat & Generosity

  1. # Sheri wrote on December 18, 2008 at 2:48 am:

    I remember this book from school. Good choice!

  2. # Sally wrote on December 18, 2008 at 6:26 am:

    That means that neither your 1st nor 2nd grade teachers read aloud to you? How horrible! I’m glad your 3rd grade teacher was a Winner!

  3. # Beth F wrote on December 18, 2008 at 7:42 am:

    I like the challenge of picking the right book for the right person when it comes to gift giving.

  4. # Ms. Bookish wrote on December 18, 2008 at 9:55 am:

    Hmmm. I think I need to get back to the bookstore and return that engineering manual I picked up for you … :)

    I loved your Island of the Blue Dolpins story – that’s how readers are created. It’s a beautiful memory.

  5. # Robin of mytwoblessings wrote on December 18, 2008 at 11:18 am:

    Wow. Love your blog – very unique. I try to match books to the person. Plus I’ll only buy them a book if I know they are a reader.


  6. # Ann-Kat wrote on December 18, 2008 at 2:07 pm:

    @Sheri: Thanks. I remember falling into this story and trying to imagine what it would have been like to be that little girl surviving all alone. For many years, I thought it was just a creative fictional tale only to learn recently that it’s based on true events.

    @Sally: In fairness to my first and second grade teachers, they may have read aloud to us, but those years have been scorched from my memories with only a few remaining tinders here and there.

    The reason why I remember third grade story hour so well is because my teacher would pack up the class and we’d all pile into the adjoining classroom, the two classes would intermingle curled up on the floor–not in desks–then she read to us, in a grown up voice, smooth and even, and at the end of that day’s reading, she asked us questions about what we’d heard. It was also the first full length book without pictures. (Maybe I should add that to the post. LOL)

    It was absolutely thrilling, and memorable. I am certain we never had that experience in my first and second grade class, though we may have been read to. (I do remember my kindergarten teacher reading us Sesame Street, but it was a dozen times less enthralling and the voices she made for the characters were plain annoying.) :D

    @BethF: Thanks for stopping by and commenting. :) Yea, I enjoy the challenge of selecting the book (sometimes), but I prefer when people just tell me what they’d prefer…or at least narrow down the genre. :D

    @Ms. Bookish: Pleasure seeing you around these parts; you always brighten up the blog and thank you. It is certainly one of my most delicate and cherished childhood memories.

    @Robin: Thank you for stopping by and the warm compliments. And you and I are in agreement; it’s always best to match the title to the individual. ;)

  7. # Dawn - She Is Too Fond Of Books wrote on December 19, 2008 at 4:01 pm:

    1. thanks for visiting my blog, come back any time (and good luck with the giveaway for the watercolor from *When Wanderers Cease to Roam*!)

    2. I love the template on your blog — I’ve never seen anything like it before!

    3. BTT – I like to give and get books :) I agree, the gift has to be a good match for the recipient. My full answer is here.

  8. # Ann-Kat wrote on December 19, 2008 at 9:41 pm:

    Hello Dawn,
    Thanks for taking the time to pass by and leave a comment. :)

    I’m very glad I found your blog and you can be certain I’ll become a regular.

    Also, thank you for the compliments; much appreciated.

  9. # 2009: The Challenges - Today, I Read… wrote on January 5, 2009 at 1:07 pm:

    [...] however, with a twist. The twist is that I would only re-read books from my youth. Talking about the best book I’d bought for myself stirred something within me (and why) brought back that spark of joy that came with the books I [...]

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