Books make the best birthday gifts

On my 8th birthday my grandmother got me something I'll never forget: my first Sweet Valley Twins book.

As a twin myself, it was the perfect choice. That single gift started as long love affair with the series, and with reading in general. In the local bookstore where I bought the rest of my Sweet Valley books I also discovered The Baby-sitters Club (they were displayed next to each other, naturally) and other series that would go on to leave indelible marks on my childhood.

Books, I've found, make the best birthday gifts. Other books I've been gifted over the years include large, heavy hardcovers I was hesitant to splurge on myself (like The Selected Letters of Willa Cather), beautiful first editions of Edith Wharton titles (my favorite author!), and new releases I hadn't realized were in stores yet. Books can be such a surprise! The gift of a book, in many ways, tell us as much about the gifter as it does the gifted.

These days I give books as gifts as often as I can, particularly to the children in my life. My niece loves Branches books, my nephew loves Clifford. My daughter is into scary tales and my son likes anything with rounded corners that he can stick in his mouth. (He's a baby.)

What books have you been gifted over the years?