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Topic: What's the first book you read that "got you into reading"...

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Subject: What's the first book you read that "got you into reading"...
Date Posted: 2/5/2008 8:17 AM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2007
Posts: 5,259
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...and made you a "reader for life"?

This may date me, but I was about 13 and read The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, which I took from my brother who had to read it for school.  It was the first book I ever read that I could not put down.  Ever since (35 years later!!) , I am still on my mission to find books that grab me in the same way. 

What was the book that first grabbed you?

Date Posted: 2/5/2008 9:24 AM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2008
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I was in 3rd grade and read "Little House on the Prairie".  I always loved to read, but after I read that one I became an avid reader!!!

Date Posted: 2/5/2008 9:36 AM ET
Member Since: 10/24/2007
Posts: 1,313
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It's a tie between Charlotte's Web and the Ramona Quimby books - both read to me in class.  I got hooked on reading and haven't looked back.  I think it was around 2nd grade.

Date Posted: 2/5/2008 9:58 AM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2005
Posts: 641
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...and made you a "reader for life"?

This may date me, but I was about 13 and read The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, which I took from my brother who had to read it for school.  It was the first book I ever read that I could not put down.  Ever since (35 years later!!) , I am still on my mission to find books that grab me in the same way. 

It was the same for me.  I had always read books, but I think this was the first one that really turned me into a book nut.  And to think she wrote it when she was only 16. 

Date Posted: 2/5/2008 12:28 PM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2006
Posts: 626
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The book didn't grab me.  I had to grab a book or stay after school in fifth grade.  It was the law that you will always have a book in your desk.  Should she ever say take a book out and read and you don't have one you will be punished.  We were then shipped to the library.  I just grabbed whatever, I was so frightened.  It was Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and that is when I learned that books are better then the movie.  That was around 37 years ago.

Date Posted: 2/5/2008 9:19 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2008
Posts: 53
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I loved the Ramona Quimby books!! 

I remember reading all kinds of books as a child and checking books out at the library. But one of my teachers read "The Book of Three" by Lloyd Alexander to us and I was hooked. I read the entire series and to this day they are some of my favorite books from my childhood. That book opened up an entire new genre to me: fantasy.

Date Posted: 2/5/2008 10:02 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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I've always liked books but 'the boxcar children' sucked me in and kept me reading in 3rd grade!

Date Posted: 2/6/2008 10:43 AM ET
Member Since: 7/17/2007
Posts: 258
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The first book that really hooked me was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  It was read to us in the 1st grade.  However, the books that kept me coming back to reading again and again were "The Babysitter Club Books."  In fact I still have most of mine from when I was a child!

Date Posted: 2/6/2008 10:47 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2007
Posts: 1
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I can't seem to remember not being able to read.  There always seemed to be a book near me, but JRR Tolkein's The Hobbit showed me how books can take you to a whole other world without ever leaving home.

Last Edited on: 10/5/10 9:38 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/6/2008 4:40 PM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2005
Posts: 5,201
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For me it was "Johnny Tremain" by Esther Forbes.  At my elementary school they used to show a movie in the school gym on Saturdays for 10 cents admission.  (This is when the movies came on big reels of film - pre-VHS!)  One winter Saturday they showed Johnny Tremain and when I found out it was based on a book I checked it out of the school library.  I was hooked and read it over many more times, and like my mother before me became a lifelong bookworm.  In fact I once got an "Unsatisfactory" mark on my report card in the section for "getting along with classmates" and at the parent-teacher conference the teacher explained to my mom that it wasn't that I didn't actually get along, but that I sat on the school porch and read during recess instead of playing with the other kids.  Mom replied with something along the lines of "So?  What's your point?"

Date Posted: 2/6/2008 9:01 PM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2006
Posts: 64
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What seems like a zillion years ago I came across an old book in our apartment, full of stories that featured dogs.  One story was "Beautiful Joe," the first story I had ever read that made me weep.  It is a marvelous story (and probably was the catalyst for a life-long love of historical fiction!).  Amazingly, Amazon has it in book form (it was more a novella than a short story) ...




Date Posted: 2/6/2008 10:16 PM ET
Member Since: 8/22/2005
Posts: 151
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I didn't discover my love of reading until my late teens...before that, I only read when I had to.  The first book that showed me reading could be fun and not just a chore was Harvest Home by Thomas Tyron and the second was Lightning, by Dean Koontz...I'm still a Koontz fan.  :-)

Date Posted: 2/6/2008 11:27 PM ET
Member Since: 11/27/2006
Posts: 4,840
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Wow.  Let me think....

Well I loved the "Betsy" books by Carolyn Haywood (?) when I was a girl.  Devoured them.  Would read them now, probably LOL!

The first book I can really remember falling in love with though was The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.  My teacher read it to us in 2nd grade and I was utterly mesmerized.   And now......I'm reading it to my 4 y/o son. :)   I still read all 7 of the Narnia books about once a year, although I read them in the "old" order as Lewis wrote them.  I don't like how they have started to be sold in sets in chronological order according to the story.  Half of the beauty of the books was all the threads weaving together perfectly by the last book!  I don't think modern publishers give kids nowadays enough credit.

L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 2/7/2008 2:21 AM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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Green Eggs and Ham when I was 4.  We had a library bus called "The Bookmobile"  that came to our school - Mom would take me over there to check out books.  I was hooked, and never stopped reading.  The next book I remember vividly was Ribsy.  I still love that book!

Last Edited on: 2/8/08 12:30 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/7/2008 11:46 AM ET
Member Since: 1/7/2008
Posts: 797
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My mom read me a chapter out of the Trumpet of the Swan and Charlotte's Web every night when I was 3 or 4 (before I started school).  I've been addicted ever since

I have just been told that apparently I was even younger because it was in our first house and we moved when I was three!  I was special :)

Last Edited on: 2/28/08 10:27 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/7/2008 7:14 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2008
Posts: 5,297
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Just so you know, they still use The Outsiders in middle schools today. I teach 7th grade reading and it's a mandatory 8th grade book that all Language Arts teachers have to put into their plans for the year. So it doesn't date you. Saying it dates you is what dated you, haha :)

Date Posted: 2/7/2008 7:35 PM ET
Member Since: 10/9/2007
Posts: 812
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Another vote for the Ramona Quimby books--HI-Larious to a first grader.

Then Where the Red Fern Grows and Judy Blume--especially Are You There God, It's me Margaret and Starring Sally J Friedman as Herself.

Then Judy Blume's Forever and anything smutty that I could get my hands on and hide from my Mom!

Date Posted: 2/7/2008 9:23 PM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2007
Posts: 1,235
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The Little House on the Prairie books for me too...I read my first one in 1st grade....but I loved all books. I also used to get in trouble in school for reading through class...I never seemed to hear the teacher call the class to order. lol

Date Posted: 2/7/2008 9:52 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 930
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Some books I remember reading as a child...

The Children at Greene Knowe series.

The Crazy Mixed Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler

Half Magic

Date Posted: 2/8/2008 7:27 AM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2007
Posts: 3,326
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The first books I remember getting totally hooked on were by Walter Farley. The Island Stallion and The Black Stallion.  They were Random House hard backs with a "test your knowledge" pocket inside the cover. There were 4 or 5 pieces of cardstock in that pocket with questions to answer about what you read.

I know I had books read to me, and had read many other books before those two, but those were the ones that stuck in my head.  The first book I remember receiving as a gift was Heidi Grows Up that was given to me before I was old enough to read. I still have those three books.

Date Posted: 2/8/2008 10:22 AM ET
Member Since: 3/29/2006
Posts: 174
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I was in second grade when "Santa" gave me Nancy Drew's: The Secret of the Old Clock and The Hidden Staircase for Christmas.  Since then, I've been a voracious reader and still love a good mystery!

Date Posted: 2/8/2008 2:25 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2005
Posts: 809
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I have always loved to read, but when I was in elementary school, the Little House books were my absolute favorites. I read them until they fell apart.

Encyclopedia Brown got me hooked on mysteries. I remember going straight from those to Agatha Christie.

The book that inspired me to fit more reading into my life as an adult (and launched my obsession with historical fiction in general and the Tudors in particular) was The Autobiography of Henry VIII by Margaret George, which I first read about 11 years ago.

Date Posted: 2/9/2008 10:36 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2008
Posts: 8
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As a kid, I read all the Little House books, Judy Bloom, EB White, etc, but the one that turned reading into enjoyment was Carrie, By Stephen King.  I was in the seventh grade and the assignment was to choose any book we wanted for a book report.  My mom took me to the book store and I spent about 2 hours looking for the perfect book.  Carrie was the first "adult" book I ever read and I picked it out myself! (a big deal for a seventh grader!  lol)

Date Posted: 2/9/2008 8:54 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2007
Posts: 240
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My First was Gone With the Wind when i was 15-16 years old. I was bored reading school books in school so I started reading library books since.

Have read thousands, upon thousands of books since then.

Subject: Reader for Life
Date Posted: 2/9/2008 11:22 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2007
Posts: 13
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I remember my first book which was the Dick and Jane books in the first grade.  Uh OH! now that  is really dating me.  I found a set of those books and fabric in my quilt store and couldn't pass it up.  They have come back atleast in the quilt stores.

The first book I remember reading that made me a avid reader for life was Black Beauty.  Oh how I loved that book!  I loved the movie too, but not as much as the book.