34 Readers Reveal the Books that Hook

by K. Kris Loomis, October 14, 2017 in Inspiration

Why do some people read so much? You’ve seen them. The ones who read on the bus or while standing in line at the grocery store. In the doctor’s office or at their kid’s soccer game. These people wouldn’t be caught dead without a book within arms reach. I know about these people, you see, because I’m one of them.

I am a bibliophile. I love books. I love holding them. I love reading them. Heck, I even like the way they smell. When the Kindle first came out I thought I’d died and gone to readers’ heaven. I just can’t imagine a world without books.

Why do I love reading so much? For me, it all began with a spider named Charlotte and a pig called Wilbur. This classic tale by E. B. White grabbed me and slung me around like a roller coaster, making me laugh and cry and squeal (in a very high pitched little girl voice, much to my father’s chagrin). Charlotte’s Web introduced me to the cycle of life and the meaning of friendship. Through this book, I learned that words have power. And I’ve been an avid reader ever since.

What other books out there have that much power, enough to turn someone into a lifelong reader?  I decided to ask some friends and fellow writers to fill in the following blanks so I could find out!


The first book that made me fall in love with reading was ___________________ by __________________.

This book hooked me because _____________________________.


I received answers from all over the world. Some found that one special book as a child, some later in life. I have provided links from writers/authors/bloggers, so go check them out! And get a notebook. You’ll want to add some of these books to your TBR (to be read) list!

 

The first book that made me fall in love with reading was What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge. This book hooked me because it was about a big family and I was an only child at the time. I love the Carr family and Katy’s ‘scapes’!

Tess Wheeler, Whitley Bay, England

 

The first book that made me fall in love with reading was Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. This book hooked me because I cared immensely about the main character and his dogs. I barely stopped to eat til I was done reading! 

 Kirsten Oliphant, createifwriting.com

 

The first book that made me fall in love with reading was The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. This book hooked me because it encouraged me to seek magic between the pages and in my life.

 Danielle Nolan, Gladstone, Queensland

 

The first book that made me fall in love with reading was Not Without My Daughter by Betty Mahmoody with William Hoffer. This book hooked me because it’s a true story and it also works as a thriller.

 Aniket Nikhade, Nagpur, Maharashtra, INDIA

 

The first book that made me fall in love with reading was The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warren. This book hooked me because my mother recommended the series to me and each one inspired me to “be something” when I grew up (what 7 year old dreams of becoming an archeologist???).

 Wendy Brim Staton, TheArtofWhyNot.com

 

The first book that made me fall in love with reading was Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. This book hooked me because it’s told from the horse’s point of view and I loved animals so much when I was growing up that having that glimpse into the life of an animal was so magical to me. I swore my stuffed animals partied in my room when I was at school. 

Michelle Cornish, michellecornish.com

 

The first book that made me fall in love with reading was The Famous Five Series by Enid Blyton. This book hooked me because for me, as a child, these books were very exciting and Enid Blyton was THE children’s author for my generation.

Andrew Westcott, UK

 

The first book that made me fall in love with reading was Are You My Mother by PD Eastman. This book hooked me because it was one of the books my mom read to me and I later read on my own. PD Eastman is still one of my favourite children’s authors!

Steph Beth Nickel, St. Thomas, ON Canada

 

The first book that made me fall in love with reading was The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene. This book hooked me because Nancy Drew was such a strong and powerful protagonist with gripping adventures with roadster and friends. Basically, I wanted to be her and and solve mysteries and set things to right.

Louise Foerster, Medium.com/@louisefoerster

 

The first book that made me fall in love with reading was The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseni. This book hooked me because there was a quote in this book, “There are a lot of children in Afghanistan, but little childhood.” It has captured the pain of losing everything beautifully.

Dwitipriya Bose, Medium.com/@dwitipriyabose

 

The first book that made me fall in love with reading was Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield. This book hooked me because I wanted to be a ballet dancer and the book explored feelings of childhood loneliness.

Trudi Young Taylor, trudiyoungtaylor.com

 

The first book that made me fall in love with reading was Kokoro by Natsume Soseki. This book hooked me because it made me dig into the darker side of my own mind and emotions.

James Huntington, iamjameskenichi.com

 

The first book that made me fall in love with reading was Five Children by Edith Nesbit. This book hooked me because it brought faries into every day lives.

Christine Costa, Surrey, England

 

The first book that made me fall in love with reading was Matilda by Roald Dahl. This book hooked me because it was the perfect combination of believable characters, with Dahl’s penchant for just enough magic/fantastical elements to keep a young reader engaged. I still have the copy of that book, even though I wore the cover off of it!

Matt Brady, heymattbrady.com

 

The first book that made me fall in love with reading was Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. This book hooked me because I love the character descriptions and the distinct personalities of each sister. I read and reread that book at least 10 times during elementary school!

Merri Dennis, wptechcafe.com

 

The first book that made me fall in love with reading was the Nancy Drew Series by Carolyn Keene. This book hooked me because there were endless books in the series, there was a female heroine who I thought was so smart, and I loved great mysteries. I remember visiting used bookstores in my neighborhood in Brooklyn looking for more Nancy Drew books.

Elisa Waingort, elisawaingort.com

 

The first book that made me fall in love with reading was Black Boy by Richard Wright. This book hooked me because unlike the “appropriate” books for my age group, this was gritty, disturbing, triumphant. It was real. I always loved to read; this book made me want to write.

Kay Bolden, kaybolden.com

 

The first book that made me fall in love with reading was The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer. This book hooked me because it was so very clever, and it spoke to me as an often bored child.

Keith Welch, scriggler.com

 

The first book that made me fall in love with reading was Banner in the Sky  by James Ramsey Ullman. This book hooked me because it transported me from the plains of West Texas to the Swiss Alps.

Tad Frizzell, tadfrizzell.com

 

The first book that made me fall in love with reading was Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. This book hooked me because I was a burgeoning artist of 9 years old, and couldn’t believe that books could be so colorful and paint such a picture of humanity.

Karen Zukas, Boston, MA

 

The first book that made me fall in love with reading was Winter Holiday by Arthur Ransome. This book hooked me because I was five or six and on a winter holiday – so it just clicked! 

David Ford, everopenstorybook.com

 

The first book that made me fall in love with reading was Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey. This book hooked me because it sucked me in, forcing me to read every book in the series, plus side stories. I like the strong female main characters who won’t put up with the shit from the men.

Roland Denzel, EatMoveLive52.com

 

The first book that made me fall in love with reading was “Stand Back, ” Said the Elephant, “I’m Going to Sneeze!” by Patricia Thomas. This book hooked me because the story was so creative and funny. My mom read this to my sisters and me when we were little. She would do really funny voices for this book and we were all drawn in to the fun story.

Christine Griffin, swordfightsandstarrynights.com

 

The first book that made me fall in love with reading was The Fog by James Herbert. This book hooked me because it was eerie, shocking and horrific, and I loved it.

Lisa Wilton, Belfast, Ireland

 

The first book that made me fall in love with reading was Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. This book hooked me because of the way she crafted her magical world and almost made it seem as if it was real. I’ve been hooked by reading and writing ever since.

Ajinkya Goyal, medium.com/@ajinkya.goyal

 

The first book that made me fall in love with reading was Bonnie McSmithers You’re Driving Me Dithers by Sue Ann Alderson. This book hooked me because my mother and I would laugh reading it together. Warm memories. 

Liz Bailey, Saskatchewan, Canada

 

The first book that made me fall in love with reading was We the Living by Ayn Rand. This book hooked me because I love the Russian Revolution story on its impact on the middle-class.

Brad Graber, bradgraber.com

 

The first book that made me fall in love with reading was The Pleasures of God by John Piper. This book hooked me because it showed me it was possible to be both passionate and intellectual/questioning in my faith. 

Joe Greene, thepossibilityof.com

 

The first book that made me fall in love with reading was Foundation by Isaac Asimov. This book hooked me by the view that the future could be predicted mathematically and determined with certainty. I went on to read the whole Foundation series and continue the reading beyond to different genres.

Arulnathan John, medium.com/@arulnathan.john

 

The first book that made me fall in love with reading was The Healing Woods by Martha Reben. This book hooked me because when I read this book at about 10 years old, the story hooked me into becoming a more committed and attuned reader. I discovered books could tell me things about life, about myself and about how to survive that I couldn’t learn any other way. I still look for those answers in stories. 

Kate Campbell, kcamp300.wordpress.com

 

The first book that made me fall in love with reading was Big Red by Jim Kjelgaard. This book hooked me because I got lost in another world that was wonderful and beautiful. I’ve read hundreds of books since then! I still read at least 50 books every year and I wish I had time to read more!

Jim Wolstenholm, jimthefollower.com

 

The first book that made me fall in love with reading was Watership Down by Richard Adams. This book hooked me because I was unprepared (in a good way) for the way it would explore dark, mature adult emotions in a profound way which for a kid is pretty cool. Plus it was very exciting–I remember not being able to put it down.

Kate Findley, katefindley.authorreach.com

 

The first book that made me fall in love with reading was The Happy Hollisters by Andrew E. Svenson under the pseudonym Jerry West. This book hooked me because kids like me were working together with their siblings and having an adventure while solving a mystery. I was pretty young, probably around 7-8 years old, when I discovered the set of books in my library’s basement. I read almost every book in the series.

Melody Lee, Springfield, MO

 

The first book that made me fall in love with reading was The Tale of the Body Thief by Anne Rice. This book hooked me because Lestat was the first character I had ever fallen in love with. Rice’s creation of character and world were complete and enveloping. This was also the point where I realized that reading a book prior to seeing a movie was a must for me – even if I ran the risk of hating an otherwise popular film. I can’t begin to tell you what a disappointment the film adaptation of Interview with a Vampire was…

April Kekuewa Burns, seethebutterfly.com

 

The first book that made me fall in love with reading was the Nancy Drew Series by Carolyne Keene. These books first hooked me because she took me on adventures.

Dancy Bluhm, Oregon, USA

 

Now, it’s your turn! I’d love to know what book kindled the reading fire under you. Tell me in the comments below, and happy reading, everyone!

 


K. Kris Loomis is the author of After Namaste: Off-the-Mat Musings of a Modern Yogini as well as several other nonfiction books about yoga and meditation, a travelogue about her time spent living in Ecuador, and a collection of short stories.

When Kris isn’t at her standing desk writing, she’s usually off playing chess, folding an origami crane, or practicing a Beethoven sonata on the piano. She lives in South Carolina with her husband and two cats.

You can find out more about Kris by visiting her author website or connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!

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10 Responses to “34 Readers Reveal the Books that Hook”

  1. Sally says:

    Wow, what a great list of books! I know my daughter would say “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,’ but ironically, I don’t have a clue about the title or who the author was of that first book that started my love affair with reading- it just took me away from the sandy scrub pine forest of Florida to a world overseas where there were winding underground passages, faeries, Celts, and Mary Queen of Scots. It was amazing. I dove into the book world headlong and probably never really emerged lol.

    • That’s a great memory of the power of the page to transport us, well, anywhere! Diary of a Wimpy Kid was my nephew’s favorite first, too. Thanks so much for reading, Sally 🙂

  2. David Ford says:

    What a good range of people and what they read – nice to know that there are so many readers out there!

  3. What a great list for starting a home library! You received some really wonderful responses, and I love the various reasons people fell in love with reading. That is just another testament to the power of words! Thank you so much for including me in your list, too!

  4. Tanya says:

    Heck, I even like the way they smell. Me too! I’m like Joh-luc Picard on the Starship. I will have bound books even when the world turns to digital only!

    black beauty, billy and blaze, children’s bible stories, Narnia, a wrinkle in time, a separate peace, the chosen, Shakespeare, Chaucer, Robin Hood

    so many such a long list!

    • Great list…A Separate Peace was an early favorite of mine, too. And I loved how Star Trek used bound books when the characters read for pleasure! Thanks for reading, Tanya 🙂

  5. Matt Brady says:

    It’s amazing how diverse and wide-ranging the books are that hooked folks. Excellent article!

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