Books Rock

Passing Along My Love Of Books (Plus A Gift Card Giveaway)

Between the list of books to read from y’all on Facebook and an NPR interview with James Patterson, we needed a family trip to the bookstore.

“I think e-books are terrific in their own right. I love being able to get on a plane and basically carry around seven books and it weigh 10 ounces. But what about your kids? … One of the bad things that’s going on with e-books now is people used to go into the bookstore and they would think about their kids, and they would maybe buy a book for their kids. Now they go on e-books, and we haven’t figured out how to deal with e-books in terms of our children. … So it’s not happening. With my adult books, in the beginning, the first four or five weeks, it’s about 60 percent e-books. With the kid books, it’s like 5 percent, and the tragedy there is less and less adults are getting books for their kids, wherever they get books.” -James Patterson

When I was young, I only wanted money and gift cards for books. Yes, I loved the library but owning a book was something special. I could dog-ear the pages and underline the best passages. It’s how I began collecting words and phrases and quotes. I have carried my library with me from house to house with pride.

Today, my kids see me reading on my phone or computer or kindle, and they are too young to realize that I am reading a book or an article which is the same as a book off the shelf.  They see an electronic device so, without meaning to, I’ve set a precedent that electronics are preferred over books.  I, who as child, left the library at my book limit every time and would be back in only a few weeks for more. I, who fell in love with Scott because our second date was at a book store finding paragraphs in our favorite novels and poetry collections to read out loud to each other. I, who sees a good book as dangerous because I may never eat dinner or go to bed until I have finished. My children’s shelves are full of books we’ve read, but there’s nothing like a new story, a new twist, a new laugh, a new character.

I want to impart this love, this desperation, this obsession with books and stories and knowledge to my children, but I couldn’t even remember the last time I took them to a bookstore.

Well, I fixed that this week:

Books Rock
Be still my heart

I want to pass it forward, too.

I’m giving away two (2) $25 gift cards to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winners’ choice). I’m not telling either of the two winners to not buy ebooks with these gift cards, or they must have children to enter (because that would be weird). I hope they’ll buy at least one paperback book, and maybe my kids will see them reading in a coffee shop. Or not.

NOTE: This giveaway is only open to subscribers. If you aren’t one, you can subscribe by email, RSS, or newsletter. (Remember that Google Reader ended on 7/1 so if that was your preferred way, it doesn’t exist anymore. I listed out some other options in the beginning of this post.)

Mandatory Entry:

Leave a comment on this post about one of your favorite books.

Additional Entries:

Share this post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or any social media site you like (each social media platform up to once a day). Every share is an extra entry if you leave a new comment below with a link to where you shared it so I can verify that you did. Every share must have its own comment because each comment receives a number for the drawing of the winner.

This giveaway ends July 12th at noon EST. I will use to choose my two winners and email them. They will have 48 hours to respond before I have to choose someone else. Read official rules here.

I’ll also announce the two winners on Late Enough along with a compiled list our favorite book list from the comments so everybody wins!

PS. This post is not sponsored by anyone. I just love reading and my freaders.

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

265 thoughts to “Passing Along My Love Of Books (Plus A Gift Card Giveaway)”

  1. I love C.S Lewis’ “The Screwtape Letters” What an original, inventive and imaginative way to talk about living out the Christian faith. I loved being able to draw pictures in my mind from the words on the page when I was young.

  2. I agree with the ereader quandary. My kids have 3 shelves of books at home, but they don’t see me reading the same way. Last week we picked up some new books from the library and I purposefully picked some hard covers for myself. I love passing a book on too. I just lent my favorite childhood collection to my nephew while he is visiting for a few weeks. The stories have been good conversation starters for us.

  3. I loved Eloise and Madeline and Pippi Longstocking as a child. I loved strong eccentric female characters, and if they had red hair, all the better (I was a strawberry blonde).

  4. I love too many books to name. My son says “yay!” when we pull into the library parking lot, because we go several times a week. It makes my heart thrill to see him sit down with a book and ask to be read to (he’s 20 months old).

  5. I love all the Richard Peck novels, especially SEASON OF GIFTS and other two novels featuring Grandma Dowdel.

  6. My husband and I were just talking about this. How do we set the example of reading a book when we are reading on electronic devices? I mean I could be reading a book, on a website, on Facebook…playing a game. It’s not easy to tell that a person is reading a book. We have tons of books in our house. I have moved them several times too! We buy most of our kids books at the thrift store. There is one thrift store we go to that sells kids books six for a dollar! We have gotten “Fancy Nancy” books and “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie” books. It’s like hitting the jackpot. We only get to an actual book store a few times a year. I wonder about how to show kids that we enjoy reading and love books in this modern era of electronic devices. Life is sure more complicated than it used to be.

    One of my favorite book series, as a kid, was “A Wrinkle In Time”.

  7. I have WAY too many favorite books to list just one! I, like you, was the child who took out her limit in books from the local library. My parents house is crammed with books, something I have followed in their footsteps with.

    Gone With the Wind, Harry Potter series, Time Traveler’s Wife, A song for Julia, Just remember to Breathe, The Last hour (Previous three by same author who ROCKS!!) Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series…I could go on FOREVER.

    My husband is big on buying books for our kids…those Scholastic book order forms my kids bring home always result in new books. We read before bed every night and if I threaten to take away books…well THAT is a punishment 🙂

  8. My favorite book as a teen- Izzy Willy Nilly by Cynthia Voigt. Recent favorites I read this summer- Tapestry of Fortunes by Elizabeth Berg and Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Melton. Thanks for the chance!!

  9. My kids love little critter books, which were my favorites as a kid too! Asan adult I LOVE Francine Rivers books!

  10. To Kill a Mockingbird…what a life changer. Though I have many e-books, we still frequent the library for the kiddos. Love this post.

  11. We do a combination of ebooks and real books (real books? paper books) at our house, and my husband has been getting into audiobooks lately. I love paper books the most – but it is nice to have the convenience of an ebook when I want to quickly check something out from the library.

    They are not my most favorite books ever in the world (although I do love them), but right now I am really enjoying reading through all of the Harry Potter books with my daughter.

  12. My favourite book is Dreams of Joy by Lisa See, it is about the Great Leap Forward that took place in China during the 1950’s. It is an amazing story that is based on fact. Many, many people in China died during this time due to starvation. A story you will not forget.

  13. I’m not sure I can pick a favorite, but I love reading biographies (All Over But the Shoutin’, Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress, & The Color of Water); Young Adult (The Dragon Rider, Redwall, & Magyk); Historical Fiction (The Other Bolyn Girl, Cleopatra’s Daughter, The Garden of Last Days, The Red Tent); Fantasy (Wicked series; Magyk series); Steve Berry, Stephen King, Amy Tan, Diana Gabaldon…

    My 4 year old daughter has shelves of her own books that she chooses 2-3 to read every night before bed – her favorites are Beatrix Potter, Corduroy, Little Critter, Dr. Seuss, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (and others in the series)…

    She sees me listening to my headphones with audio books occasionally, and on my ebook reader, but I have a few Beatrix Potter books on there that I read to her so she knows it’s a “book,” but mostly I try to read real books with her and in front of her. Sadly, I can’t remember the last time we went to a bookstore… I guess this weekend would be a fabulous time to go 🙂 Thank you for the reminder!!!

  14. I have loved reading since I was in the first grade. Going to the library was about the most exciting thing I did. I use a Kindle now, and I really miss books, so I still get one now and then. My basic reason is space – I have no room for any more books. I gave many of my books to the library. I miss them. One of my favorite books is actually a series – The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Hope I spelled her name correctly. I loved those books just because they were such an adventure.

  15. I still buy books pretty compulsively, though I cull through them pretty often and give back to the Friends of the Library. So maybe I am only renting them? I still have many bookshelves full — and every time we move, I have to justify which ones make the move and are worthy of display. The others are in boxes in storage. A friend mentioned a book she thought I’d like, and my choices were (a) put it on hold at the library (b) download it to my Kindle, or (c) see if Paperback Swap had it. Which it did. So now I am the proud owner of another book. It’s an addiction. My son, seeing all this, has not inherited my addiction. He reads most things online. It makes me sad — but he is a compulsive reader and has an impressive vocabulary, so I guess it’s ok….

  16. I have never read an ebook, but really need to start. I started to love reading when I got hooked on the “Babysitters Club” series. After that, I started reading Stephen King books. I still do!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  17. I loved the Lion, Witch, and Wardrobe series as a kid, and I still love it!

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

  18. ONE of my favorite books? Oh so many. Let’s go with the one I’m reading right now, I’m I’m absolutely loving: “Of Human Bondage.” I discovered Somerset Maugham, of all places, on our honeymoon. The rooms had lil libraries in there, and I HAD to utilize it. I picked up a book of Maugham short stories and loved them (and loved that I loved them — I don’t tend to enjoy older books; my fav author is Stephen King, for cryin’ out loud).

  19. I have a hundred “favorite” books, but I think the one that was most surprising for me was “Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follet. I don’t normally read historical fiction, and this book is a MONSTER (almost 1000 pages). But the characters are SO good, and the descriptions are so real that when I finally finished, I felt like I’d been on a sabbatical with them in their place of origin. That’s the testament of an amazing read.

  20. My favorite all time book is “To Kill a Mockingbird.” I read it every year. I’m a huge bookworm as well. The only thing I hoard is books. Mo Williems is a huge favorite in our house for my son. We love reading!

  21. I’m a flight attendant, so the EReader has saved me in carrying heavy books with me everytime I leave for 3-4 days across the country. Especially now, since I’m reading ‘Game of Thrones’ and that sucker is HUGE. Soooo glad it fits in a tiny lil’ ol’ Kindle, rather than the massive paperback.

    I first read Mary Roach’s book ‘Stiff’ when I was working at Barnes & Noble and another bookseller recommended it as a funny read. A funny read about cadavers. And cadaver research. And the history of cadavers and cadaver research. I knew I had to check it out for myself. And it was witty and interesting and smart. My brother just had a cornea transplant in November, and I went back to read it again, thankful again for all that gave my brother the chance to see again.

  22. I have quite a few favorite books (book nerd since I learned to read) but one of my top favorites is “A Prayer for Owen Meany” by John Irving. My 5 year old’s favorites are the Berenstain Bear series which makes me happy because I love them, too, and we are reading my books from when I was little.

  23. Beside the Harry Potter series, I really enjoyed A Discovery of Witches By Deborah Harkness, I didn’t like the 2nd book Shadow of Darkness as much

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  24. My favorite book of all time is probably Jane Eyre, but right now I’m reading The Stand. I’m pretty sure it’s going to rock my socks.

  25. Thanks for doing this giveaway! We’re currently building our baby’s library of “real” books, and this could really help. One of my favorite books growing up was Corduroy, and I can’t wait to read it to our little girl while she holds her stuffed Corduroy doll.

  26. I don’t have a favorite book. There are ones I read over & over again, Jean M Auel, Stephen King, Watership Down, Les Miserables, but to pick 1 favorite book is impossible

  27. I’m a newsletter subscriber & right now I’m reading The Power of Habit and liking it… might end up being one of my favorites, we’ll see! 🙂

  28. I hadn’t even realized I might be doing this! I read to my son every night so my favorite book now is Dr. Seuss’ Sleep Book because it is the one we share. He knows most of it by heart now and we recite parts of it togehter. Before that, The Giving Tree held a special place in my heart since I became a mother. I think I have a favorite book for every time of my life. Childhood definitely belonged to Shel Silverstein. Youth was Nancy Drew’s. A single favorite book? Not even possible.

  29. Right now-Heaven Is For Real by Todd Burpo. I read it the week we buried my husband’s grandmother. When I sat with her the day she died I told her to go to her husband-that I knew he was waiting for her. I also miscarried a twin, and I’ve always believed this child was in heaven, watching over his/her brother-and boy has he needed it! I sobbed through most of the book-very intense for me!

  30. How am I supposed to choose a favorite book? That is like picking a favorite child. Actually, depending on the day, choosing a favorite child might be easier because there are only two to pick between.

    I can confidently say that other than The Great Gatsby (which doesn’t count because I read it every year as a teacher and I am not sure I would love it as much had I not read it over 100 times), East of Eden has been my fave for the past 8 years.

  31. I follow you via RSS. It is so hard to choose a favorite book! I love the Harry Potter books, His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman, and anything by Robert J Sawyer

  32. I just got an ereader for the first time but have yet to put any books on it. I am a die hard ‘real’ book lover. As a kid one of my favorites was As The Red Fern Grows. As an adult I would rate The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy as one of my all time favorites.

  33. I just read And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini — it was good, but his other book, The Kite Runner was one of my all time favorites!

  34. In the honor of the children’s theme. I thought I’d share my favorite kids book at the moment which is Goodnight Construction Site. It is really cute and doesn’t get old reading it again and again

  35. Ken Follett’s “Pillars of the Earth”
    Dorothea Benton Frank’s “Sullivan’s Island” and any of her other delightful books.

  36. I hope I never get an e-reader. I love my books. This is why the room in our house that’s technically a formal dining room has become “the library”. We are so not formal dining room people, but we are library people. 🙂 My FIL told me a while ago that he got rid of most of his books and found it to be a really freeing experience, and I think I might have cried a little.

    Gosh, favorite book… _The Picture of Dorian Gray_ by Oscar Wilde. I have always loved the way the story unfolds and the creepy magic of the ending. More recent favorites include _Life of Pi_ by Yann Martel and _The Lacuna_ by Barbara Kingsolver. I always thought Kingsolver was fabulous, but _The Lacuna_ absolutely blew me out of the water. Brilliant narration.

  37. We are in the process of moving, and I haven’t read blogs in too long, but I <3 this.

    Books I love: The Fountainhead for making me think, The Virgin Suicides for the language and emotive mood, Little Women for pure comfort, and The Great Gatsby for everything.

  38. My all time favorite book which also actually changed my life is Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. I read a lot about the Holocaust and it was amazing to me to read what people are capable of – both good and evil. Also I loved learning about logotherapy of which the main principles are:
    1. Life has meaning under all circumstances, even the most miserable ones.
    2. Our main motivation for living is our will to find meaning in life.
    3. We have freedom to find meaning in what we do, and what we experience, or at least in the stand we take when faced with a situation of unchangeable suffering.

    And I have it both paper form and ebook 🙂

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