Holiday Read-A-Thon

UPDATE and WINNER (12/10/13)

First, congratulations to Liza Wiemer on a wildly successful Holiday Read-A-Thon! It was an honor to participate.

For my mini-challenge, I asked you to share your book love. See my original post below.

Going in, I knew that my goal to get 500 comments in 3 days was hugely ambitious. And we fell short. But I got such joy out of reading every single one of your comments. Hearing all of you talk about how much you love books and how much reading has impacted your life put a smile on my face all weekend.

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And I wasn’t alone. I was just speaking with my friends at Room to Read and they loved your stories. They called them “truly inspiring.”

In fact, they’d love to read many, many more of them.

I also learned that their generous corporate sponsors are matching every donation 1:1 throughout the month of December.

And there’s more good news. My husband’s employer, an avid supporter of Room to Read, has offered to give another $1 for every one of your comments! So thanks to them, all of the comments on this post are now worth $2.

We could stop at 63 comments. But, nah. Let’s not!

500 comments @ $2 each = $1,000.

When Room to Read’s corporate sponsors match that,
it becomes $2,000.

$2,000!

That’s a LOT of books for a LOT of kids.

Will you keep sharing the book love?

I’ll continue the giveaway by sending another set of books to a second winner at the end of the month (open internationally). If you’ve already commented, you’re automatically entered in the next drawing. Unless, of course, you’re THE WINNER…

 

MINI-CHALLENGE WINNER #1

I’ve randomly picked a winner from the original 3-day challenge. Congratulations to:

SAMI


Sami’s getting a signed set of Time Between Us/Time After Time. You can read all about her Harry Potter and Jane Austen love HERE. Congratulations, Sami!

 

Okay, let’s keep that reading love going. Comment below and help build a school library.

__________________________

ORIGINAL POST (12/6/13)

 

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I’m honored to be part of WhoRuBlog’s 4th Annual Holiday Read-A-Thon.

As part of my role in this year’s event, I’m hosting a mini-challenge.

And friends… I couldn’t be more excited about it.

 

Because books have changed my life. Reading them. Writing them.

I bet they’ve changed yours, too.

But over 60 million primary school-aged children around the world can’t imagine a life with books. And Room to Read is working hard to change that.

Room to Read is transforming the lives of millions children in the developing world by establishing libraries, creating local language children’s literature, constructing schools, and providing education to girls.

 

For my mini-challenge, I’m asking
you to share your love of reading.

And every one of your comments
will help build a school library.

 

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HERE’S THE CHALLENGE:

In the comments below, tell me about the books you love.

Name your favorite book. Talk about why you love mysteries or romances or horror stories. Tell me about a book that changed you. What was your favorite picture book as a kid? What book do you read over and over again? What book do you love to read to your children? Talk about a book that made you cry. Talk about a book that made you see the world differently.

Tell me anything.

Just share the book love.

For every one of your comments (up to 500), I’ll donate $1 to Room to Read.

My goal: 500 comments.  $500.

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And right now, Room to Read’s generous partners are matching all donations 1:1. So your ONE comment will become TWO dollars. If we can pull this off, collectively, your 500 comments will become $1,000.

That’s not enough to build a whole library, but it will help. It’s enough to fill 20 shelves with new books. It’s enough to help create some new readers in our great big world.

And every comment will be entered into a drawing to win a signed, hardbound set of my books, Time Between Us and Time After Time. Winners will be drawn at random, and it’s open to everyone, everywhere.

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WANT TO DO MORE?

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You can also donate directly to Room to Read.

Click HERE to learn more about this wonderful organization and the work they do.

What do you think?

Can we get 500 comments in 3 days?

I think we can.

Please help spread the word!

Tell your friends on Twitter and Facebook to share the book love. Use hashtag #Readathon. 

 

SPEAK UP:

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65 Responses to “Holiday Read-A-Thon”

  1. Three of my favorite all time books: The Awakening by Kate Chopin; Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad; and The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis.

    I love that you’re doing this! <3

  2. It would be completely impossible to choose one book that changed my life. During my childhood, and still, it was nearly a book a day. So I guess I will choose a book that told me, and still reminds me, of what books can do. THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE. If you haven’t read this–it is the story of a girl, and then her siblings, who find that an enchanted wardrobe takes them to a magic land. There are so many other levels to this story, but the one I only recently understood is that books are the magic wardrobe. They will take you far beyond whatever world and time and place you occupy.

  3. My favorite picture book was called Enchanted Beasts. I actually spent hours one day tracking it down online, because I LOVED it and would reread it constantly, but it wasn’t a big name book so it was tricky. Anyway, it had classic mythological tales, like Bucephalus and Pegasus, the lion and the unicorn, etc.

    Favorite books include Northanger Abbey and Pride and Prejudice (which is also my most read book that’s not a picture book, though closely followed by HP1 and The Witch of Blackbird Pond)

    Least favorite book: Heart of Darkness (maybe) *glares at Lenore* I had to read it twice. MY HEART WAS NOT DARK UNTIL THEN. NOW IT IS BLACK AS PITCH.

  4. I LOVE how riled up Christina gets when I mention Heart of Darkness. ;D

  5. Jess says:

    This is a wonderful topic – thank you, Tamara!

    I’ve been a lifelong reader, so I’ve gone through an evolution with the books that I’ve read and have loved.

    When I was little, I went through the whole Baby-Sitter’s Club/Sweet Valley High phase. As I got older, it turned to legal thrillers and I started reading John Grisham in eighth grade.

    In college, I went through a really interesting Latin American literature phase. I read The Motorcycle Diaries for a class, and spent the next two years tracking down every book on Latin American essays I could find. 🙂

    My recent reads are a mix between YA – 0f course! – and general literature. At the risk of sounding like a giant fangirl, I go around recommending Daniel O’Malley’s The Rook to everyone – it’s awesome sci-fi, and *everyone* should check it out. :]

  6. Can I play, too?

    I cry every single time I read “Guess How Much I Love You” to my kids. Even though they’re older now, we still read it aloud every once in a while, and my voice still cracks on the last page.

  7. alyssa says:

    I was a slow bloomer when it came to reading. But a bad home life opened my eyes to the ability that books gave me to become anyone anywhere in the works whenever I wanted.

    Now I read three or four books a day. Normally anything I can get my hands on. Right now I love escaping into works where people find out that they have paranormal abilities. (Probably because I’m still waiting for that day to come in my life)

  8. My favorite book growing up was Anne of Green Gables. I wanted to be Anne so much. I also fell in love with From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankwieler in fourth grade and it’s one of my forever favorites. I re-read it all the time!

  9. Andrea says:

    I book that I have always said I love is “It Happened to Nancy”. It did change my view on my life at time, because I had just started a relationship at that time. Still going strong and a very trusting relationship unlike Nancy situation. I don’t cry because it was more of a wake up call. I am big fan of James Patterson love the suspense in his books. As a teen I was big fan of Roald Dahl and any Olsen twin books. I read a lot when I was a teenager. As a child, it was not until recently like 3 weeks ago that I remembered my favorite book as a child it was “Brown Bear,Brown Bear, What do you see”.

  10. Fatimah says:

    There is no way I can choose a favorite! I love Anna and the French Kiss, Timeless, Divergent…. and so many more! I think that I would have to say Anna is the book I have read over 10 times. I read it over and over and it never gets old. I cried the most at the end of Clockwork Princess, and pretty much every Gayle Forman novel. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is the most unique story I have ever read. I can go on and on. Long story short…. I LOVE BOOKS!!

    Thank you so much for doing this amazing thing!! <3

  11. ashley says:

    My parents have read to me as long as I can remember, because of that I don’t have a story that changed my life, because reading has always been my life. Reading did help me find my future job. I just graduated from graduate school with my degree in library science. I hope to spread that love of books.

  12. Jayne says:

    Tamara, this is such a great cause! Can we comment more than once? 🙂 Here’s my bookish discussion:

    The 2nd library in my town is very small. But it was filled with amazing books! A year ago, new books were coming in lightning quick and the teen were engaged in many literature related activities. But about six months ago, our young adult librarian got a new position at a different library. The only other person to fill in for her was the adult librarian who kind of disregards the needs of teen readers in my community. There haven’t been any new books in a while, and the programs we used to have are now gone. This is really upsetting to me because I have read most of the teen section, and the amount of middle/high schooler who visit the library on a regular basis is very very low. I want more people to be able to read in my town. I want them to enjoy books like I do. That’s why I love this challenge so much. Everyone should be able to enjoy a good book:)

  13. After all this time, my favs are still Lord of the Flies and the Harry Potter series. One is darkness personified, and the other is pure, wonderful fun.

    Love that you’re doing this, Tamara!

  14. Larissa says:

    I remember the first time I really got into reading. I was in kindergarden and a girl in my class came in with a Junie B. Jones chapter book. I decided then that if she could read a chapter book, so could I. I demanded that my mom but me that book, and ahe bought me the book where Junie B. Jones graduated kindergarden. I couldn’t really understand a lot of words but I’ve been obsessed with reading since.

    I really appreciate what you’re doing for those children. Good luck 🙂 I’ll retweet the link!

  15. Kim says:

    What a great challenge! How many times can we comment?

    The book that has affected my life the most has to be the Harry Potter series. My friends and I spent a lot of time reading, acting out, and obsessing over those books. We went to almost every midnight launch party, usually with costumes. So many great memories.

  16. Susan Worley says:

    I’ve had a life long love affair with books! I’ve worked as a bookseller, volunteered as a storyteller at various events locally and I read to my grown kids still yet! My favorite picture book is ‘Tale of the Three Trees’, it always makes me cry! I always give it as part of baby/shower gifts. I also love ‘The Things They Carried’ ; I often give it as a gift to older youths. I’ve collected an enormous amount of books over my 60 years ; I hope they bring kids the joy they’ve given me someday! I’ve never been lonely and I’ve never been bored, thanks to many books! I’ve learned so much from them!

    • Andrea says:

      “Things that Carried” intesting I never was able to read that book. I am curious why do you like this book if you don’t mind me asking?

      • Susan Worley says:

        I took some college classes and The Things They Carried was on the required reading list. I never thought in a thousand years I would like a book about a bunch of soldiers during the Viet Nam War! It grabbed me the 1st page & I couldn’t put it down! It has substance & depths that you would never expect! Give it another try! I asked why we had to read such a boring book about a war I didn’t believe in….and then, I read it! After the class read it & fell in love with it….yes, I wasn’t the only one! Our professor explained Tim O’Brien is a ‘local’ author…he’s from our neck of the woods in Tennessee! That’s the reason it was on the ‘list’! I’m a child of the 70’s and I lost cousins & friends in Viet Nam so I read it kicking & screaming! Please try it again! You won’t be disappointed! It’s well worth reading!

  17. What a wonderful charity! I recently started using my library more and donating books , movies, and DvDs to them 🙂

  18. Aly P says:

    I am a big Nalini Singh fan and I tend to drive everyone crazy with her books. She’s the author I go to when I am in a reading slump, when I feel sad, when I want something that I know I’ll love…

    Great charity. Hope you get those comments 🙂

  19. Sarah Winkler says:

    I wasn’t a huge reader when I was young and only really started reading for fun in high school. I can’t pick a favorite book, but some of my favorite genres include historical fiction, romance, paranormal romance, and YA. I’m a huge fan of Philippa Gregory and Paulina Simons and their historical books are amazing! I’m a huge sucker for Scotish romance novels. I also love to devour paranormal romance and YA paranormal books.

  20. Karen Clarke says:

    Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series is my favorite. It combines time travel, history, mystery and romance. A wonderful combination. I have been reading books since before I started school at 4-1/2 years old. My older sister taught me and I still remember sitting on the bed with her as she helped me. And a trip to the library was always a great time with my mother. I still read an eclectic assortment of novels and literature almost daily. Thanks for doing this Tamara.

  21. Isa says:

    This is amazing! I hope your goal is met! Choosing a favourite book is the impossible question so many people ask, I’ve so got many. Some of my favourites are The Sky is Everywhere, Saving Francesca, The Summoning, Jane Eyre, Wanderlove, the Harry Potter series and the list continues on.
    I started the Harry Potter series in a funny kind of way, my mom brought home the sixth book on the release date and I was like “But mom I don’t read Harry Potter”. I remembered reading it continuously for 3 days and absolutely loving it, then I started the series. I think the first book is one of my most read.

  22. Pamela D says:

    One of my all-time favorite series is the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I have reread these books a million times over the years.

  23. I have multiple favorites, but a recent favorite of mine is The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls.

  24. David says:

    My parents used to assign me books to copy when I had been bad. It destroyed my live off reading. Now my wife is trying to teach me the joys of reading!

  25. Kristen H. says:

    I have a ton of favorites, a few of which are Oliver Twist, Dangerous Angels by Francesca Lia Block and anything written by Tamora Pierce. My current fave is listening to the audiobooks of the Bloody Jack series by L.A. Meyer.

  26. Courtney says:

    Oh Boy…my love of reading. It’s such a vast thing, so much a part of who I am that it’s hard to even look at it as something I “love”…it’s just who I am. I was the cheerleader in high school taking home 30 books at the first of the month in my bag/purse from the school library and then bringing them back as I read them one at a time. Mostly classics and british literature. I don’t think the librarians quite knew what to do with me. My teachers vastly under-estimated me and my potential where English was concerned. And my friends would tease me when I would rather stay home and read that go out on the weekend. But everyone just knew that was me- college I became and English major then moved on to Library School for Graduate School so that I could be surrounded by books all the time. But then something happened…I got into a class for children’s literature. And suddenly I switched my path from a college library setting to a public library setting and being a children’s librarian. My first job out of school was in a somewhat low-income and dangerous area of Charlotte. I LOVED it. I got to share books and love with children who did not have books at home. Kids who saw them as treasures and me as their Miss. Courtney. Even now years later….I look back on that time and hope I made a difference for that made a huge difference for me. I rambled somewhat but like I said…reading is like breathing to me. Bravo for doing this for Room to Read! A book can truly change a child’d world…just like a librarian can by just loving them.

  27. The first book that I really remember crying over was Moonrise, part of the Warriors series by Erin Hunter. I read it while I was still in grade school and it had me bawling for like an hour. The series is about cats and death, mainly, and I love cats, so it was especially hard on me…I remember giving the book away and thinking ‘why would anyone want to give me a book that horrible? That’s so cruel!’ but when I started the series again years later, I fell in love with it and now am a bit tougher, even though it still makes me cry sometimes.

  28. Maggie says:

    Caddie Woodlawn is such a phenomenal coming of age story. I read it in college for children’s lit eight yrs ago and was changed by the father daughter relationship as I never had that in my own life. It’s set in 1860s Wisconsin and is such a fantastic tale!

  29. bn100 says:

    like pride and prejudice

  30. So after I finished all the available Harry Potter books, I went to my school librarian and asked her what I should read next. She gave me Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce. That quartet and the ones that followed were the best things that ever happened to me. I re-read them as often as I can.

  31. Annaiss says:

    I love Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead!

  32. Antonia says:

    On Jelliceo Road is one of my favorite books and Twilight is only one that I can read over and over again!! 🙂

  33. A.J. says:

    Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta is my favorite book ever. It was the first book that ever blew my mind, and I just love it to pieces.

  34. Alexandra says:

    I absolutely love The Fault in our Stars, Divergent and Hunger Games. But if I had to pick a book that I really enjoyed that is not that popular, I would pick Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King. This post deserves more comments! Who wouldn’t want to share the love of reading? Such a great charity.

  35. Gina says:

    I have to say, The Fault in our Stars is my favorite along with Grave Mercy by R.L. LaFevers and Revival by Jena Leigh. I read a lot of books each year and I can barely remember them all, yet these three books stood out to me as a little more memorable than others.

  36. C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia because it was my gateway into the many worlds of fantasy books. When I first read the series, I was blown away by how much the characters evolved from one book to the next and by the vastness of Narnia itself.

    To this day, The Chronicles of Narnia is one series that I have to read each year. While the last book always makes me sad, I love re-visiting it often.

  37. Jaime says:

    So happy to see this! What an amazing idea!!

    Favorite books – ugh this is always hard, because I love so many, but ones that I can always go back to and enjoy include The Sky is Everywhere, The Legend Series, and How to Kill A Rockstar… all amazing reads every time I pick them up!

    Happy Holidays!!
    xo
    jaime

  38. Sami says:

    My favorite book of all time is of course Harry Potter. I’m currently taking a class on Jane Austen, so all of her books are among my favorite list right now, especially Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park. Yesterday I finished reading Allegiant, and I was crying all day.

    Thanks for doing this!

  39. Vendea says:

    Well… I love books. I always loved books. I wanted to study something with books. So I made my Czech blog about books. I wanted to share my love. And now I am attending University where I study Literature. Just wow… Anyway, I want to share my love for the best author ever. And he is… Darren Shan!

    If you look to my goodreads, you’ll find out that I read YA books. Not always but often. And there he is – Master of Horror. I started to read his book when I was 9 years old. I was never scared by books so I picked him. There were vampires in his books. I loved vampires. And right now I own about 25 books by him. Yeah, crazy. I love his style and I love his ability to kill his own characters. I love that terror and horror there. I laugh when I read his books. I adore him and he is good example for me. Well, Mr. Shan, I am addicted to you! Thank you because you are guilty for my passion for reading.

  40. My “reading” habits have really changed this year. I started reading several on the iPad, mainly because I was approved on NetGalley. So that’s one way to access ARCs. I’ve been listening to a lot more audiobooks and not just in the car. Cooking, laundry, exercising are times when I will listen. And of course, I still love a hardcover/softcover book to read. I often have several books going at once because of all these different options. Surprisingly, it’s easy for me to keep track.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!

  41. Lydia says:

    okay my favorite more wel known books would be the Beautiful Creatures series, Divergent trilogy, and the Hunger Games trilogy. One of my favorite reads that isn’t to well know would be the Strange Angels series. half-vampires and half were wolves+ plus romance+ action= amazing. My favorite picture book as a kid was “The Kissing Hand”. I cried reading Allegiant by Veronica Roth.

  42. When I was little my parents… specifically my mom… put an emphasis on my reading and writing. My maternal grandmother is a Christian Romance writing and poet and when I showed the passion and creativity for reading and writing my mom hopped on the band wagon and pushed. I had a tutor early on and read and wrote at an early age. I was WAY ahead when I got to kindergarten… at least in reading and writing, math not so much. We’re lucky I can tell time or can multiply past 10’s lol… but I quickly lost my love. In first grade, I fought with my teacher a lot. She prefered the method of memorization to phonics and I was taught to sound out if I didn’t know a word. It got so bad she put in with the kids that needed more help. My parents were livid! To a point they looked I to private schools and even had an attorney preparing to confront the school board because I lost my love for readi g and writing. Kids started calling me stupid… it was bad. BUT the Special Education and Literacy Specialist went to bat for me because they knew and understood how I was taught. They told all the appropriate head people that how I was taught wasn’t wrong. My kindergarten teacher got involved. A second and third teacher got involved. That year the school board required First and Second grades to take standardized testing because of this… oh I guess I should say this first grade teacher did this to 6 kids total that did not have any issues… Myself and the other kids going through scored off the charts and that first grade teacher resigned with notes from the school board stating she was not a good fit for their school. She apparently did this all three years she was there. But the damage was done and you had to fight with me to get me read outside of what I had too. Then years later… Harry Potter was released. Fter the first book my school librarian bugged the crap out of me to read it and by book 3 I gave in and read it. The world of HP changed everything for me. My librarian began hunting down books for me to read similar or what she felt would grab my interest and my love for reading was reborn. I wish I could remember her name because she helped a lot too, but she was only there a year. So thanks to her and Harry Potter.

  43. Lisa Y says:

    Like you, I love books…a lot. Books can save, transform, transport (not as literally as Bennett), entertain, and be so many different things to so many different people. Two of the earliest books I read that took me somewhere else and kept me going back are Pene du Bois’s Twenty-One Balloons and C.S. Lewis’s Narnia books. The completely stand up on repeated readings and take on new meanings as the reader grows–the best kinds of books. 🙂

  44. Okay, this is hard. I guess, my favorite book will be Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. It’s the book that made me discover the world of YA books and it made me love reading. Because before, I don’t read books but when I read Twilight, it ignited my love for reading.

  45. Betsy Kaplan says:

    INTO THE WILD was an amazing book because it helped me understand my elder son who is very much a free spirit. So it had a major impact on my life! Thanks for giving back to kids!

  46. Sarah says:

    Books that stay with me are: Anne of Green Gables, Interview with the vampire, PS I Love You, Twilight series, Vampire Gardella series, After Hello, The goddess test series, Sarah Dessen books and the list goes on. 🙂

  47. Ariel Tam says:

    It’s so kind of you to be donating to Room to Read! I absolutely love books so it’s always difficult for me to name my favorite ones. My list just goes on and on. Some of my favorite ones of the top of my head would be the Sea of Tranquility, Hopeless, Legend, Divergent, The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, The Eternity Cure, Time Between Us (of course) and many, many more! I mostly focus on three main genres: YA dystopia, NA romance, and YA fantasy/paranormal. Books are my escape from reality, I turn to them when I need a chapter break from life. Without books, I don’t even know what I would do.

  48. My favorite book of 2013 is Just One Day by Gayle Forman. While it is about a teen on the cusp of adulthood who takes a chance that could change her life, it was very eye-opening to me as an adult too. You are never to old to take a chance, challenge yourself, try something different. Just One Day is THAT BOOK that everyone needs to read. I just love it so much.

  49. Cassie says:

    When I was in grade 3 I didn’t have any friends. None at all. I didn’t mind cause I had Harry Potter. Instead of playing with kids that didn’t play with me, I read Harry Potter. Over and over. Every since then I have read every single day. Not just Harry Potter. After reading it 12 times (no joke) I moved on. I’ve read just about every type of book. Romance, Horror, Historical, Sports. I read everything. And not just books. I read the newspaper, and billboards and the back of a DVD cover and just about anything written in English. Now instead of pushing me to read more, my parents are constantly telling me to pull my head out a book and go outside. I play sports but even when I’m on court (I play netball) sometimes I get distracted and think about books. I can’t help it. Haha. I think what your doing it wonderful and I hope you reach your goal.
    P.S. I’m a massive fan! Do you have any other books in the works? I love to keep reading your work!

  50. Let says:

    This is wonderful! Good luck!!! I remember my favorite book as a child was Heckedy Peg by Audrey Wood! Beautiful illustrations and in my opinion so creative! = ) I remember rushing to the section of my school’s library that shelved it and reading it and admiring the pictures. I would check it out over and over. When I was 21, my mother bought me a copy for Christmas. Now I read it to my niece before bed every time she comes over for the weekend. = )

  51. Arial Dawson says:

    Books are such a huge part of my life. I love so many different and exciting books, but Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta always comes to mind when I think of my favorite book. It makes me laugh and cry and has the best characters I have ever read. The setting comes to life to acts like a character itself. It might not be the book for everyone, but it is the perfct book for me.

  52. Lauren McCall says:

    Books are such a wonderful thing. My favorite books growing up were the Series of Unfortunate Events books by Lemony Snicket. They’re what really turned me on to reading and I am so glad that I got the chance to read them.

  53. I love reading contemporary YA novels and my favorite would be The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen. The book really changed me. It made me realize that it’s okay to make mistakes and that I should try things outside of my comfort zone. 🙂

  54. Em says:

    This is a great idea! My favorite book(s) were always the Nancy Drew books! I loved those things to pieces 🙂

  55. Cal says:

    My love for reading started like so many others did, as a kid. A lot of my favorite memories are of my parents reading me picture books and I guess my first real reading on my own memory was when I picked up the First Nancy Drew book. I had most of the series on my shelf that was second to the top and because I was short I couldn’t reach them but I desperately wanted to read them (I was like 8) My dad was reading to my brother so I couldn’t get him to help me so I stacked all this stuff on the ground and managed to get the book WITHOUT killing myself. I guess that’s one of my biggest memories of reading (besides starting The Harry Potter series the year before)
    So sorry for the rambling boring story!
    This is revolt such a cool project! I hope you get 500 comments (and even more!) GOOD LUCK!

  56. Bless you for doing this. I would not be who I am today without the magic of the libraries (school and public) and the bookmobile of my childhood. Thanks to these libraries, I learned at an early age how to tune out the world and enter a new one through the pages of a novel.

    The books to which I return the most? The works of Jane Austen, especially “Persuasion.” I find her writing both entertaining and illuminating, with something new to be revealed every time.

    The other book to which I return again and again: “The Journeys of John and Julia: Genesis.” It is a magical, mulit-layered story about friendship and a world that is beyond imagining. I get something new from it every time I read it.

  57. Ashley G. says:

    One of my favorite books is The Once and Future King by T.H. White. I love the story of King Arthur and what he represents. It’s just a great story.

    Thanks for doing this! It’s awesome of you! 🙂

  58. Jorie says:

    Supporting libraries is one of my passions as is the joy and love of reading! 🙂 What I appreciate the most about reading is that you can enter into it at any stage of your life, even if you have to take a break time after time! My heart flutters with excitement whenever I am on the brink of a ‘new’ book discovery & a ‘new’ author discovery as well! Sometimes you read one book that literally transports you in and out of your own reality and straight into the heart of the story’s timeline! I cherish each step I take into the fictional realms, gaining further insight into the legacies writer’s leave behind as much as human nature! I appreciate well-written character arcs as much as a deeply realised world in which to enchant my imagination! 🙂

    Books I came to know this past year which have left me ruminatively entranced by the characters are as follows: The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate, Z by Therese Anne Fowler, Redheart by Jackie Gamber, The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker, Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole, and The House Girl by Tara Conklin. In absolute no particular order, as I would welcome stepping back into each of the worlds’ these lovely authors gave to us as readers!

    I like to curl into inspirational stories when I need a lift of spirit as much as I like to nestle into Christmas romance stories around the holidays for the uplift of pure joy and love! I like to wander around genres as much as literary themes to explore.

    I hope that your successful in raising the funding for the libraries and that the joy of reading can be passed forward to those who will see their imaginations lit anew by characters and words who fuse those stories into their hearts! Blessings to you for giving the gift of reading! And, I am thankful that my one comment could impact so much in return! 🙂

  59. Rebecca says:

    I have so much love for so many books but one of my favorites is Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. It’s contemporary, my favourite, with a twisty, slow unraveling mystery and it aches and breaks my heart. It’s beautiful and heartbreaking in all the ways and is simply stunning. How good are we talking? I read it last year for the first time and straight after, I read it all over again. It gave me a book hanger. Also? I haven’t been able to review it because words? What words? What is there to say? Melina Marchetta already said it all.

  60. Kim says:

    I have always loved reading, but I’m sure that without the Harry Potter books I wouldn’t be as big a reader as I am now. It made me love reading even more and I still love to reread them as often as I can.
    Another great thing about books is when you can relate to them or with some characters. I used to (and still do!) relate to Lena from The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants so much, every time something that looked like it could have been written about me I just had to cry. The funny thing is, I still cry reading those chapters!
    I love this idea!

  61. Brynn says:

    I love Code Name Verity. It’s an inspiring tale of friendship and it takes place during WW2, a personal interest of mine. But the book that made me cry was Paper Towns by John Green. I was so shocked by how Margo didn’t want to be found and just left (Sorry for the spoilers).

  62. Stephanie says:

    My mother said I taught myself to read when I was three. I can remember adoring books as a kid, spending hours enamored by stories and even more hours making up my own. As I got older and boys and clothes and friends took precedence, I kind of left reading for pleasure behind because required reading for school was enough.

    During college (Reading and Literacy Degree,) the only time I read for pleasure was while at the beach, and back then there were no Goodreads, Amazon ratings, or countless blogs to find great books, so I was reading mostly ridiculous romance novels with no substance.

    It wasn’t until years had passed and I had a husband and two kids who were beyond the What to Expect When You’re Expecting stage, that I remembered books were an option for entertainment.
    Suddenly, my love for books was renewed like an old friend coming to visit. I also discovered that the YA of today was not the YA of my YAhood. It was so much more… And so the love affair has lasted nine strong years. I read whenever I can now- the ten minutes while I wait at the bus stop, while the kids ride their bikes outside, in the car with my kindle hooked up to the bluetooth on text to speech. I have shelves of my favorites, and things I’ve won and been gifted, and so many books on my kindle that it will take me ten life times to read them all. But they are all Young Adult, and every one of them is a magic time machine back to a place I can’t ever go again. I might never see France in person, but Anna and the French Kiss took me there. I won’t ever live on a floating island above the Erath, but Perfect Ruin allowed me to do that. And I might have missed my window on seeing a Pearl Jam concert in 1995, but Bennet Cooper took me there last week. And he was holding my hand when he did it:)

  63. Jamie says:

    The Hobbit does it for me for reasons outside the story. My dad read this to my sister and I at night in the backyard one summer. We loved camping out each night and waiting for the next chapter to unfold. I still have the water worn book from leaving it out overnight and the dew getting to it. Love how stories can bring families together with such special memories!