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Topic: What were THE books that got you started?

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Subject: What were THE books that got you started?
Date Posted: 11/14/2007 5:04 AM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 954
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You know the ones, you got them some time in your life, and between the pages reading just clicked from being a semi interesting pass time to a passion.

For me, I was eleven, and got paid $5 a book to go read anything over 250 pages and stop bouncing around the kitchen and telling people it was ten days 'till christmas at any possible time.

I only managed two, Redwall and Escape to Witch Mountain, which got me started off thinking it wasn't so bad, then I got Dulcinea by Shalanna Collins as a christmas present and I was hooked for life.

I have a clear memory of spending the entire day with my nose pressed up to it, from breakfast, chores -trying to fold up paper bags one handed- I completely gave up on dinner, and spent a good part of the evening pacing back and forth through the kitchen, still reading, when I got tired of sitting=P


When was it for you?

Last Edited on: 11/14/07 5:04 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/14/2007 8:30 AM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 24
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I've always been a voracious reader. For me it was the Boxcar Children series in first grade and then Anne McCaffrey books in fourth grade. I also got paid to read when I was in fourth grade, but the teacher had to change the requirements for me because I read so much!

Date Posted: 11/14/2007 9:25 AM ET
Member Since: 9/16/2005
Posts: 463
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I remember when I realized I could read in first grade.  We were plugging away at our readers.  My friend Melinda suddenly looked up and said out loud,  "I can read!"  Then I realized that's what I was doing, so I said out loud,  "I can too!" 

But I think I started to fall in love with reading about 3rd grade.  My Mom would buy me an Archie Comics Digest at the grocery store almost every week and I'd devour them...eventually it led to me reading more and more, and reading other books too.  In fourth grade I remember reading biographies from a series the library had-I'd read them over and over...but only the women's bios!  I read Jane Addams, Louisa May Alcott, Clara Barton, Pocahontas, Mary Mapes Dodge, Lucretia Mott-SO many more...just loved them.  Also loved the Little House books...discovered Judy Blume in 5th grade...so many reading memories!  ALL my old friends say their clearest memories of me was always with a book! 

Date Posted: 11/14/2007 10:50 AM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2005
Posts: 714
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I think mine was The Little House on the Prairie. I got it from Scholastic book club and I was hooked. I also remember The Cricket in Times Square.

Date Posted: 11/14/2007 12:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2005
Posts: 809
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I've had a passion for reading ever since I can remember, so I suppose what got me started was the Raggedy Ann picture book my aunt gave me for Christmas when I was two. My mom says I was fascinated by it and spent a huge amount of time turning the pages and flipping the book upside down and then right side up again.

My favorite books when I was young were the Little House books. I read my copies until they started to fall apart.

When I was in 5th grade I got a bookmark at the library listing all of the Newbery Award winners, and I decided to read them all and mark them off on the bookmark as I read them. I don't think I ever finished because my hometown library did not have all of the books, but I bet I read three-quarters of the list. One of the Newberys I read was "Bridge to Terebithia," which is still one of my favorite books.

Last Edited on: 11/14/07 1:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/14/2007 2:18 PM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2007
Posts: 3
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I was very young and my grandmother read VC Andrews.  She gave me her first book to read Flowers in the Attic and I couldn't wait to read more.  I would be at the store waiting for the newest VC Andrews book the day it arrived.  Now that I am a mother I have all these books so my daughters can read them. I hope they enjoy them as much as I have.


Date Posted: 11/14/2007 2:58 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2007
Posts: 12,943
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I've always loved reading, from Mike Mulligan and Harriet the Spy and the Mushroom Planet series to some book I can't recall which I remember choosing from our town's new library ALL BY MYSELF which was freakin' sweet! -- some YA fluff about stock car racing, man o man do I wish I could get my hands on a copy now to re-read and be abashed by.

But I digress.

The books which I feel taught me as an "adult" what writing was all about and started me on an insatiable quest for more of it are Toni Morrison's SONG OF SOLOMON and Thomas McGuane's 92 IN THE SHADE.

Last Edited on: 11/14/07 2:58 PM ET - Total times edited: 1

Date Posted: 11/14/2007 3:06 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 1,241
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My favorite book as a very small child was "A Hole is to Dig." It's one of my first memories. I also remember my mother reading "Heidi" and "Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates" to me. The first books I remember reading on my own were the Borrowers series. I loved those books and was the first one at the bookmobile every Wednesday.

Date Posted: 11/14/2007 4:11 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2007
Posts: 6,604
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"Are you there God? It's Me Margaret" by Judy Blume.  I was hooked from there on.  I devoured all her books.  Deenie, Blubber, Then Again, Maybe I Won't...  Good stuff. 

After that, it was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.  I clearly remember my (fifth?) grade teacher reading this book aloud to us every day with her wicked bad New England accent.  And I loved every word of it.  I got the series for my nephew who hated reading and to this day he tells the story of how his Auntie Laurie got him into reading.  He's now majoring in English and Computer Science at PC.  :-))))))

Last Edited on: 11/14/07 4:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/14/2007 4:59 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,279
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I spent my summers reading on our front porch as a child, more as a way to pass time than anything, but when I was about ten I came across a box of Edgar Rice Burroughs books in our attic, particularly the John Carter of Mars series and from that moment on I was a READER.

Date Posted: 11/14/2007 4:59 PM ET
Member Since: 11/6/2007
Posts: 3
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For me, the book that clicked was Where the Red Fern Grows.  I can remember being a 4th grader and sobbing into my hands at the kitchen table when my father came home.  He thought something horrible must have happened and when he, very alarmed, asked me what had happened, I could barely choke out:  "it's the booooook" whith tears streaming down my face.  He was perplexed, and I was hooked.  By sixth grade I was reading Gone With the Wind, and V.C. Andrews.  Reading is such a joy - and a part of my life.  I am always looking for new reads.

Date Posted: 11/14/2007 5:12 PM ET
Member Since: 11/8/2007
Posts: 247
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I always loved to read but I think Judy Blume's books really sealed the deal for me. After that I read C.S. Lewis and Madeline L'Engle and never looked back!

Date Posted: 11/14/2007 5:58 PM ET
Member Since: 6/14/2006
Posts: 6
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I would have to say for me the two books that own my first memories of reading and loving books are "Stand Back Said the Elephant I am going to Sneeze" by Patricia Thomas and "Flat Stanley" by Jeff Brown.  I can remember reading them at my Nan's house in TN at every holiday.  In fact, every school year I begin the year by reading Stand Back to my story-time classes in the media center.  The series that really moved me into chapter books, was The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis.  I read them in 4th grade and have been devouring books ever since.  To the point that I went back to school, got my masters and became a librarian. ; )



Date Posted: 11/14/2007 6:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/22/2007
Posts: 603
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I can't remember a specific book but I do remember I've always had books in my life. From my grandparents bookshelves to my mom's book club books. I would read anything I could get my hands on. In third grade I was reading at a 10th grade level. The very first books I ever remember reading were the Dick and Jane learning to read books in early grade school. The earliest ones I can truly say I remember outside of school, are the books that Jack London wrote about animals. I remember reading Old Yeller and how I cried. And one of the favorites of mine was one my mom got thru her book club called "The Searchers", later John Wayne was in a movie made about the story. Some of the books I have posted here on PaperBackSwap are books I've had since junior high. It's only been about the last 10 years that I've even managed to think about giving away or trading books that I've read. I have boxes and boxes of books around here. Some of them I'll keep forever, but anymore once I've read a book I want to pass it along to someone else to enjoy as much as I did. And I can honestly say there are very very few books that I haven't enjoyed.

Date Posted: 11/14/2007 10:38 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,608
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I can't remember a time when I wasn't reading.  I remember when I was three or four we had this wonderful set of books for kids.  There was about 20 volumes and each one hand 10 or so stories in it.  I love those books!

Date Posted: 11/15/2007 1:39 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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The Pokey Little Puppy. I made everyone read it to me over and over until I memorized it then from there I pretty much taught myself to read. Ive been a reader since.

Date Posted: 11/15/2007 11:47 AM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 2,243
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I really can't remember ever NOT reading. But the first book that really made an impression was Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary. I remember gettting to pick it out at a bookstore during a trip with my grandma. It made an impression in two ways. One, it was the first "big kid" book that I'd ever read all by myself. The other was the subject. I was the older sister with a tag along younger sibling... I felt Beezus' pain! :)

Date Posted: 11/15/2007 4:28 PM ET
Member Since: 9/6/2007
Posts: 405
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I've read for as long as I can remember.  But, I think the Encyclopedia Brown books really got me going as a kid - probably started my love for good mysteries.  Reading The Stand in junior high was my first big leap into adult books.  I've always had a thank you in my heart to Mr. King for starting an insatiable neverending passion for the written word.

Date Posted: 11/16/2007 6:38 PM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2007
Posts: 918
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Hmmm.... I loved Little House on the Prairie and Boxcar Children.

Last Edited on: 11/16/07 6:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/16/2007 9:52 PM ET
Member Since: 5/7/2006
Posts: 5,295
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Sweet Valley Twins. Go Jessica and Elizabeth! =)

Date Posted: 11/16/2007 11:46 PM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2007
Posts: 2
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Hooked on Books...Some of my early favorites were:

The Witch on Blackbird Pond

The Golden Bow

Anything by Helen MacInnes (spy thrillers) Decision at Delphi, Above Suspicion, North from Rome...and the list goes on.

Anything by Mary Stewart - "touch not the cat" was a fave! Read it til it fell apart.

Madeliene L'engle was also a favorite Ray Bradbury - I sing the body electric, the martian chronicles, Farenheit 415.

My first romance novel was Devil's Desire - author escapes me. I loved the historical background and the exotic locations. It really fired my imagination. It had some bodice ripping, but mostly it was good plot (spies, Napolean traitors, pirates...etc)

I lived a block away from a New York Public Library. It was one of the few places as a child that I was allowed to venture alone. Reading meant freedom from supervision (at least in my mind). I would find a librarian and talk with them about the books I liked. Often they started in the children's section, but found that my  reading level was well past that. It was a good thing I had them to guide me through the adult section! As a result, I was introduced to various types of books: science fiction, historical novels, Spy thrillers, even some non-fiction. The limit that I was allowed to check out each week was about 13 books - because I could carry that many home!

I have always read books for pleasure - regardless of school load or other events in my life.  I believe that these early books helped me develop a love of History and travel. I majored in History in College and have traveled as the budget allows.

Reading opened so many doors for me.

Date Posted: 11/17/2007 12:27 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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3rd grade - boxcar children! I'd always liked books and reading but those had me hooked and I still read them at 40! trixie beldens came soon after...

Date Posted: 11/17/2007 10:32 AM ET
Member Since: 5/17/2007
Posts: 22
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For me I think what got me started reading was in 3rd and 4th grade I had awesome teachers that would read to us great childrens books like "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "The Last of the Really Great Wangdoodles"t. So it really helped to have teachers that appreciated books. But the first real chapter book I ever read was "Mandy" by Julie Andrews in 3rd grade. Then in 5th grade I was put in the high reading class and we got to read almost every day in that class for a certain amount of time, and if you wanted to get an A you had to read at least 15 chapter books a quarter. Needless to say, I always got an A... Haha. But ever since, I have been crazy about reading!

Date Posted: 11/17/2007 11:13 PM ET
Member Since: 6/11/2007
Posts: 4,868
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I started reading at age 2.  My parents say my first obsession was with The Cat in the Hat - the very same copy that my daughter now loves.  :-)

I ALWAYS had my nose buried in a book since I can remember. 

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Are You There God?  It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume, and Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell were books that I remember making a mark on me while I was in elementary school.  I enjoyed "The Babysitters Club" series, Sweet Valley High, and Nancy Drew.

Date Posted: 11/18/2007 12:31 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 7,886
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I have always loved to read.  My first books were "The Nancy Drew Mysteries".  I then read Zane Grey westerns.  From there, here I am, many, many books later.  Books are my hobby.