“And Then I Never Stopped”—21 Wonderful Books That Made You Readers

openbook“What was the book that turned you into a reader?”

Last Friday, we asked you that question on our Facebook page. We loved your answers so much that we wanted to share some of our favorites with everyone. If you didn’t get a chance to weigh in, add the book that turned you into a reader in the comments. Thanks for making us smile, and keep the reading going!

“Not one book in particular, but when I was growing up we went to a small locally owned general store every Saturday. Once a week I was allowed to get a Little Golden Book. I wish that I had kept them all for my daughter.” —Nicole S.

The Secret GardenI even named my son after one of the characters:-)” —Erin E.

Charlotte’s Web. Changed my life!” —Thou Y.

“The Dick and Jane books. Run Jane Run. Run Dick Run. They did a lot of running but I was learning to read.” —Melissa H.

The Giving Tree was book I worked on for years to learn to read the right way, and with four different types of dyslexia and dygraphia, that’s not easy. I first was able to read it all the way through my freshman year of high school.” —Margaret C.

The Cat in the Hat! And I just read it to my grandchildren this past weekend, 54 years later.” —Don P.

“My love of reading is from no particular book, but from a teacher I had in the fourth grade, Mrs. Darren. I struggled with reading, then this teacher took the time to teach me how to read and my love for reading grew and grew. I started to read everything I could read and to this day I still do.” —Diane C.

“When we were little, my mom bought these books from a salesman, I think there were ten of them. One had poems, one had history, another one had short stories. I loved them!” —Patricia M.

“I kind of feel stupid, ’cause I’m 46 years old, but it was Twilight’s New Moon. Never really liked reading til then.” — Christine V.

“I taught myself how to read (and write) with the Curious George books.” —Kate C.

Grimm’s. My mom got me a copy at a yard sale and I carried it with me everywhere. best 25 cents every spent!” —Dana P.

Follow the River when I was 11. I wasn’t allowed to watch anything rated over PG so when I found that I could be “bad” without my parents knowing, I got really into reading.” —Stevi W.

“The back of a cereal box. Took off from there.” —Marisela F.

“I can’t remember, it was so many years ago, but thank God I can read and see, one of the many blessings in my life. I get to experience so many worlds, cultures and events through books, I love to get lost in books.” —Kathleen M.

“Stephen King’s On WritingHe said if you want to be a great writer, you have to read a lot. He still reads a lot. I would love to write, so I must read…read…read.” —Teyana B.

The Monster At the End of This Book. My poor mother probably still has it memorized.” —Christy R.

“Listening to my Daddy read a large assortment of Little Golden Books! I was two and possessed with the idea of reading to myself. Thanks, Daddy!” —RuthAnn S.

“My mother read books like Goodnight Moon to me when I was still a baby, and I remember sitting on her lap for hours as a child, listening to the sound of wonderful stories about enchanting places. I couldn’t wait to learn to read, and I started reading when I was four, and I had a library card when I was five.” —DeAnn R.

“When I was a kid, we had a fabulous librarian who took time to help children. I’ve been a life long reader due to her. Thank YOU, librarians everywhere!” —Maryann N.

A Tale of Two Citieshad to read it in high school—kept saying I hated it till I got past the first chapter and then I couldn’t put it down. I have an e-reader at work, a tablet at home, and hundreds of real live lick-your-finger-to-turn-the-page books.” —Sharon C.

Put Me in the Zoo was the very first book I read myself, and from that point on I was unstoppable.” —Anne P.

  What’s your favorite response on this list?

  • Htom_Sirveaux

    Ray Bradbury’s “The Illustrated Man”. If not for the Dean Ellis cover of the Bantam edition back in 1969, my world would likely not be what it is today.

  • Maraphina

    “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton.

  • Catherine Kilpatrick

    Rober Louis Stevenson’s “A Child’s Garden Of Verses,” given to me by my grandparents for Christmas. I still own it!

    • Sherry Hoon

      Love this book. I give it to every new baby.

  • Heather Harrigan

    I always really enjoyed books, but the one that masse me an addict was “Half Magic” by Edward Eager. Thanks to my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Petersen!

  • Filipe Knaak Sodré

    “Five Weeks in a Balloon”, Jules Vernes. 6-7 years old. Most amazing thing I could imagine.

  • Jenn Burwell

    I have always loved reading but if I had to say what started it, it was probably a very smart beginning teacher who put hay bales in the back of her 2nd grade classroom along with about 2 shelves of books. The rule was if you finished your assignment to the best of your ability and there was time left, you were allowed to go sit on the hay and read. Wow! What a ingenious way to incorporate reading into our lives! So when I had the chance for my son to have this amazing lady as his Kindergarten teacher, I jumped at it. Thank you, Miss Liesinger!

  • Robert Hunt

    I know these weren’t the first books I ever read, but “Green Eggs and Ham” and Margaret Wise Brown’s “The Golden Egg Book” are the first I remember owning…

  • nycisbliss

    I always loved it when my mom read me storybooks as a child. I learned to read well pretty early on, and I picked up books about dinosaurs, Charlotte’s Web, The Wizard of Oz, and some others. For some reason I seem to recall getting out of reading for a couple of years, and then Harry Potter brought me back. Those books are easily what influenced me to go to library school and what drive me to do this with my life on a daily basis.

  • Cheryll Merritt

    Fairy tales – Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, etc. – read to me by my parents. I had them memorized after the second or third reading and would correct my parents when they changed a word or tried to skip a page. I would tell them “that’s NOT how it goes”. I bet they were glad when I took over reading for myself!!

  • George Osorio

    Shogun by James Clavell. I read this my freshmen year in high school, and I just loved it from that point on!

    • Gary Wyatt

      I too loved that book in high school!

      • George Osorio

        Yes, it was a most interesting text!!!

  • MN Girl

    Harry Potter and Sorcerer’s Stone! After I read that for the first time I haven’t stopped reading.

  • Jeff Kulas

    I’d say it was The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien that really got me reading. I followed that with CS Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia.

  • Laura Keefer

    The first book I ever read on my own was ‘The Foot Book’ by Dr. Seuss. I was four. The memory is quite vivid too. Once I realized that I could actually read, I was hooked. I read everything.

  • Becca

    Great Expectations, I was 11! Been reading ever since! Thanks Mom!

  • Juliana Lee

    I know I was read to as a young child, by parents, teachers, and librarians. But the 2 books I remember reading for myself and wanting to go back to the library for more were The Story of Ping and all the ‘Betsy’ books.

  • littlelibrarian

    Harry Potter! I was told at my private grade school that I wasn’t allowed to read them. But they changed my life.
    Although, the first book I remember reading and loving was a babysitter’s club book, my first chapter book. It was the summer before first grade. I was so proud. Now, when I finish a book, I still get that same feeling!

  • Sonia
    • Lee Ann Daugherty

      Still my all-time favorite re-read.

  • Kurt Poole

    There were so many. Brighty of the Grand Canyon, Farm ABCs, 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, Winkin Blinkin and Nod, and of course the Dick and Jane books…Later it was Outsiders and Living Proof by Hank Jr…. Wonderful trip down memory lane and a refresher on why I love books..

  • Laura Boggs

    Not the first books I read but the ones that kept me coming back to the library as a child until I finished the series were the Encyclopedia Brown series of books I loved them.

  • Jessica Chandos

    I loved reading since I before I could. My parents read me every Dr. Seuss book I could get my hands on. When they told me that memorizing them wasn’t reading I got so upset that I grabbed the first book off my shelf and started learning to read. It was the Bob Books. But the book that made reading real to me was “Time Cat,” it transported me back in time and I experienced a life more exciting and adventurous than my own. I haven’t stopped seeking that to this day.

  • Denny Rockwell Evans

    “Oh! The Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss. My 1st and ALL-TIME favorite book! Still like to go back and read every once in a while. Let’s me retreat to my childhood!

  • Kayla Ruble

    The Outsiders :) then the rest of the books S. E Hinton wrote, still have the same copies from elementary school.

  • Tinea Mayse Ortega

    I was always a light reader but, in 9th grade, I read “Rebecca” and was spellbound. Remember sitting up at midnight with a flashlight in the bathroom floor reading this book hoping I wouldn’t get caught! :)

  • Jessica Cureton

    “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’engle. My 6th grade teacher told us to pick from a list of Newbery award/medal books and I pick that one. I hated reading until I started that book. I couldn’t put it down. I’ve been reading ever since.

  • Mildred Rosam

    I started reading before kindergarten – my Mom got me started with the Easy Readers – my favorite was Barney the Beagle. I think my favorite books were the Doctor Doolittle books – quite different from the movies, believe me!

  • CAC

    The Hobbit, given to me by Mrs. Scorza in second grade. Followed up with Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM, which my daughter and I are reading together.

  • http://armchairauthor.wordpress.com/ LesYeuxHiboux

    A book called “Pretzel” about a very long wiener dog who saves the day. My first book report, and the first book I checked out from the library and was able to read all by myself.

  • No1hpfan94

    Harry Potter! I was a fairly big reader before but afterwards BOOM! Huge Reader!

  • Nancy Chaddick

    I grew up with books all over the house; my favorite at a little kid was the Bible Story book Mom and Dad read to myself and my older brother; when I learned to read – with Dick and Jane then we just took off from there. All the Orange covered biographies, the Hardy boys and Nancy Drew, Heidi and Treasure Island; and now, at the age of 67 I manage to read about 100 books a year (not counting the numerous books I read to the grandchildren!)

  • redstilettos

    Nancy Drew books.

  • JerseyGator

    Although always a reader, in fourth grade I ordered “The Phantom Tollbooth” through the Scholastic Books sheet. That’s the first book I remember reading wide-eyed, finishing and then turning around and reading it again immediately. It also started me down my path of nerdiness…I love any sort of fantasy, sci-fi, supernatural or paranormal story!

    • Lee Ann Daugherty

      Ooh, I loved those Scholastic book sheets. That was one of the few times I practiced my math skills was looking through that and trying to get as many books as I could with the money my mom allotted.

  • Paul T. Gaston

    Forever The Lightning Thief

  • Tina Farrow Dallas Galli

    I would have to say it was Jane-Emily! What a wonderful book!

    • Lee Ann Daugherty

      Love this book. They reprinted it a couple of years ago and I snapped up a copy.

  • Kathern

    Harold and the Purple Crayon

  • Vicki Hurst

    I actually hated to read until I was a junior in high school and my teacher let me read The Three Musketeers for the required book reports we had to do. I have loved to read ever since. I guess I learned from that that you can read what you like not just what you have to. (BTW I am a librarian now.)

  • Viola

    Three books, from three different stages of reading.
    1) Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
    2) Ramona the Pest
    3) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

    I remember Azkaban being revolutionary for me because it was the first book that ever shocked me. It had an ending that, at eight, I never saw coming. Books were exciting.

  • D3bgrRL

    “Caps for Sale” for Esphyr Slobodkina. A neighbor had it on her son’s bookshelf and I got to read it whenever we visited.

  • CGStarr

    I can’t remember when I didn’t read. Perhaps a little off topic, but one of the greatest joys of my life was reading to someone else – when my ex-wife couldn’t get to sleep, I would read “Winnie the Pooh” to her. The effect was as calming as the lullabies my late father used to sing to me when I was very young.

  • Linda Karau

    Dracula ! I remember being a 6 th grader I think, and it was a summer reading assignment for entering grade 7. My friend and I would each read a chapter and then we would “Play-Act” in some way what had happened. I think I “nibbled” on one of her brothers’ neck, and he was not a happy camper about it! It was a great !!! summer now that I think of it!!!! And I still love a good vampire series!!!

  • Lee Ann Daugherty

    I don’t remember the first book I read, but my mother would try to read us to sleep for an afternoon nap. She also took me to the library’s storytime once my brother and sister started school. She joined one of those book clubs for me & 2 of my favorite picture books were Little Toot and Sam, Bangs, & Moonshine. I now do the storytime at my B&N and I’ve shared both of those titles with a new generation.

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