I am fortunate to have grown up with a mother who enforced in me the pleasure of reading the classics. My youth was filled with the stories of Charles Dickens and Jane Austen, and the earlier the editions the better. Even as a young girl I appreciated vintage and antique books; their colors, the uneven type, the smell of the yellowed pages.
I always imagined that when I got married and moved in to my first home, I'd have floor to ceiling bookshelves to display the pretty colored spines of my old books. So when I cam across Penguin's collection of clothbound classics (which includes some of my most beloved, like Tess of the d'Urbervilles) I immediately put them all on the top of my every wishlist (Christmas, New Years, Birthday, Groundhog Day). Each one is prettier than the next.
I imagine these would make any lady on your Christmas list smitten. The cat's pyjamas for sure.