On the 4th day of reading…

On the 4th day of reading my library gave to me:
four Christmas favourites.

What better gift to give and receive than a book?

Are you a bibliophile with a favourite book to read for the holidays, or with a tale of the most memorable book you ever received as a Christmas gift?

Please share it with us in the comments.

Meanwhile, here are four stories from City Libraries’ staff about books they’ve received in four different genres:
mills & boon

Romance:

Ronnie, from Upper Coomera Branch Library, says “My best Christmas book present was from my Great-Aunt Hilda when I was 13 years old, my very first Mills & Boon The Leopard in the Snow by Anne Mather, (yes, I will confess to reading more than one M&B).  A memorable Brisbane Christmas spent wondering what was going on, as I was introduced to love and courtship, especially when I got to the sauna scene.”

Did you know there’s a whole sub-genre of Romance novels that are written specially for Christmas?  Have a look at the Christmas romances available as ebooks on Overdrive if you feel like enjoying a love story with all the Christmas trimmings.

mordorFantasy:

Lisa, from Library Admin, told me that, in her family, they always received a lot of books for Christmas, but they were mostly the read and give away kind of thing – not the keepers. What she would have liked to receive was books like The Hobbit, and Lord of the Rings, that can be read and re-read and handed on to your kids. I know my single volume copy of Tolkien’s classic fantasy trilogy is yellowed and wretched and missing its back cover, having been read to disreputable shreds.  I did not, though, receive fantasy books for Christmas until after I’d left home and was living with someone who understood the allure of walking into Mordor. Before that …

jekyllClassic horror:

I’ll be honest and say I did not have a very positive relationship with my grandmother. The Christmas when I was eight she gave me a copy of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. Possibly because I liked the Child’s Garden of Verses by the same author. Possible because she thrived on spite. We’ll never know. The upside to this unconventional choice of gift was that it helped develop my morbid taste for the macabre and the malevolent. Oh, wait, did I say upside? ‘Tis the season to be jolly, after all.

Did you know that telling ghost stories was a tradition of Victorian era Christmas Eves? The most famous is, of course, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, which was first published in December 1843.

forgetful bearsMy Christmas traditions include watching Tim Burton’s A Nightmare Before Christmas and reading Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas out loud. Good times. Others have their own seasonal favourites:

Karen, our Online Branch Librarian, shared hers: “The Forgetful Bears Help Santa by Larry Weinberg was given to me as a child. I liked the way the bears forget everything, including who Santa is and what he does. But they help out in their forgetful way and successfully subvert gender stereotypes by forgetting that boy’s toys are usually given to boys and girl’s toys to girls. It all works out fine. I’ve read it to my nephews for Christmas.”

We’ve been chatting about our childhood favourites, reminiscing about receiving presents of Enid Blyton books, mysteries with the Hardy boys and Nancy Drew, Roald Dahl books, beautiful copies of classics like The Wind in the Willows and The Secret Garden, comic annuals and more.

Tell us about your favourite Christmas books in the comments, or drop in to our open book club discussions at Helensvale Branch Library, 9.30am – 10.30am today, and Robina Branch Library, 10am – 11am on 10 December, to talk about your holiday and Christmas favourites and the best books you received as gifts.