March 7, 2013

For All You Book Nerds!

By Zoie

As an English teacher, I often get asked this question: Why do we read? 

Although I have many ideas and opinions on this topic, there are plenty of others who have shared these same ideas much more eloquently. So, here are some of my favorite quotes about reading, followed by some helpful websites for you reading junkies out there. 

 “A story is a way to say something that can’t be said any other way, and it takes every word in the story to say what the meaning is.” -- Flannery O'Connor 

 "We read to know that we are not alone." --[William Nicholson] 

"If we could read the secret history of our enemies we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility." --Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 

 "Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book." --John Green 

"If I should always read, I should never feel the want of company." --Lord Byron 

 Now, for you fellow book nerds, I'd like to point out some resources that I wish I'd known about earlier: 

1.) Goodreads- It's like Facebook, but substitute friends for books (they're interchangeable...right?). 

2.) Check out awards lists, especially Young Adult Awards lists if you want to avoid some of the craziness that happens in adult books. Many awards/associations like the Printz , ALAN, and YALSA can help you locate good books and will also usually provide book lists of the most popular or amazing (not the same thing, mind you) books from the year. 

3.) Find free books online! Sites like this one can direct you to sites like Project Gutenberg, and others that will give you free access to books. 

4.) Check out alternate versions of books that you're not sure about yet. I like to watch the BBC versions of books, Wuthering Heights (love love love), for example, before I commit myself to reading the book. Lifetime Channel also has converted quite a few books into movies. For example, Speak, The Face on the Milk Carton, and many others can be viewed for free on Youtube. 

Obviously, it won't be as good as the book, but if you're not quite sold on the book, something is better than nothing, right? 

Also, there are a lot of other alternative versions of books out there, other than movies. Meg Cabot does a really....funny/freaky rendition of Heidi and other classic literature with her Madame Alexander dolls. On a more brilliant level, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries videos are a modern rendition of Pride and Prejudice. 

I know that the books will always be more exciting than the movies for English nerds like me, but these are all good ways to get others to share your nerdy love of literature. Lure them in! 

What about you? Why do you read? And what are some of your favorite books? 


 *Sources: ( ( boys reading) Girl- girls laying (


  1. I think I read for understanding. This year especially, I have been reading books that are a little bit out of my comfort zone so I can better understand others who are different from me.

  2. I read to connect with other people. Through their stories, I'm in their lives. I recently read, "These is My Words"...I loved it so much, I couldn't get out of its spell for a week. Also, "The Potato Peel Society..." (can't remember the whole is LONG) was awesome. When I understand other people's struggles, joys, loves, sorrows, I feel more human myself. That sounds weird, I know, but I don't know how else to explain it. Also, I read for a change from the "everyday". I love my life, don't get me wrong, but I always crave a dose of adventure; I can't afford to travel, so I read! :)


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