It's my friend Sassymonkey's birthday today and she's asked us all to help with something.
She's written a post for BlogHer about a very special campaign. It's called "Books Make a Difference: Share a Book That Changed Your Life to Donate a Book to a Child in Need."
All you need to do is leave a comment on her post about a book that made a big impact on your life:
"BlogHer and BookRenter, a company that rents textbooks to college students, have joined forces because we know that books makes a difference.
From May 3-28, together we are working to make a difference in children's lives by generating new books for children who need them most -- via the nonprofit organization First Book.
Want to help? For every answer we receive in the comments to the following question, one book will be donated:
What book has had the greatest impact on your life?"
About her own life-long love of books, Sassymonkey shares the following:
"My older siblings helped teach me to read at a young age (probably so that I'd stop pestering them), and I simply never stopped. When I was a kid, I never had the latest video game or the trendy clothes, but I had a life full of literary riches. Books opened up a whole world of possibilities to me, ones I grabbed at with both hands. I strongly believe that it was because of the possibilities presented to me in these books that I can claim to be only the second person in my family to graduate from high school, and the first to obtain a university degree."
My own relationship to books was equally intense and I have tried to instill a love of books and reading in my own kids. I feel very strongly that every child should have access to a wide variety of books throughout their lives.
Here is my contribution to the comments (you don't have to be so long-winded. It's OK to just leave the title of a book that was important to you):
"I hope I'm not breaking any rules but I just can't narrow it down.Please go on over to BlogHer and add your favourite book to the list. I'd love to hear about it, so do let me know (over at BlogHer or via the comments here) whether I persuaded you to contribute.
The Bobbsey Twins: I was given the first one when I was 6 or 7. I remember being disappointed that it didn't have any pictures but I tore through it. And after that every trip to the "big city" had to include a new one to add to my collection.
Pride and Prejudice: I read it for the first time when I was just 8 years old. I'd already burned my way through most of the kids' books in my local library and had been awarded an adult's library card. I'm not sure why I picked it up or what I got out of it but I loved it - and I've read it many times since (and drooled over the inappropriately shirtless Colin Firth in the BBC mini-series).
Steinbeck: I think I started with the Grapes of Wrath (for a Grade 7 book report. I was a nerd) but I also loved Of Mice And Men and The Winter of Our Discontent (but not The Red Pony - it was ruined for me by being an assigned book in a high school English class). His writing was so beautiful and his stories were so compelling - I remember his characters to this day. And he taught me about the beauty of sad or ambivalent endings.
Sigh. I love books."
And is there anything better than the smell of a new book?