Our final contest from the Gift Guide & Giveaway has come to an end, and let me just say that 212 comments is by far the highest number that I’ve ever had on a review. Thank you to everyone who entered– the literary moments that you all shared were amazing, touching, humorous, enlightening and just plain interesting to read!
Here at 5 Minutes for Books, we’re all about creating a community of and for readers, and Words Move Me has a similar mission: “Connecting readers around the literary moments they love.” When you take a few minutes to look around their site, you’ll be surrounded by adorers of books all sharing the highlights of their reading experiences, and I hope you’ll be encouraged to register with the site and begin posting your own as well.
Now, let’s get to the contest. SONY and Words Move Me graciously offered up a SONY Reader Pocket Edition (TM), and our rules stipulated that you needed to share a “literary moment” of your own around a book that you’ve either received or given as a gift, and that Jennifer and I would assemble a top ten list of our favorites based on originality and content. From that top ten, one winner would be chosen at random. Take just a moment to read through our selected top ten:
- #4 – Selfish Mom
A friend had told me once in high school that she was named after two of the girls in Little Women (Amybeth), my favorite book of all time. I asked her a question about the book and was shocked to hear that she had never read it! She said it would have been a nice thing for her mom to buy for her, but never had, and not that much later her mom died.Years later I remembered that, and got her a really nice, hard-cover, leather-bound edition of Little Women. The look on her face when she opened it made me want to cry. I think it’s the best gift I’ve ever given anyone.
- #11 – Thien-Kim
When I graduated college my friend gave me a copy of Paulo Coehlo’s The Alchemist. She told me it changed her life and hope I would get something out of it. I glanced at the back cover and set it aside.Due to my career choice, we moved around quite a bit. I could never let myself give away the book since it was gift from a close friend. It just moved with me from place to place.
About 2 years ago (several years after I received the book), I decided to read it. Other friends had introduced me to the idea that having a positive outlook on life makes it much more pleasant.
The Alchemist’s story totally fit in where I was in my life. That things happen for a reason, but you just have to believe in your goal and keep it in site. If I had read the book when I first received it, I would have thought it was a bunch of baloney. I was not ready for the message. It’s like the book called me to read it when it knew I would be ready.
- #27 – Jennifer Lee Lachman
At age 14 I spent 3 months in a hospital 700 miles away from my home. When my mother wasn’t able to visit she sent me care packages full of books. My favorite was A Ring of Endless Light. I realized that even though the causes of our stresses where different that the emotions were the same. It has helped me many times in life to relate to situations I haven’t experienced.
- #51 – Jennifer Miller
I’ve given the book “Stargirl” as a gift to my sister and two of my best friends. The book is about a young girl labeled as “weird” and strange, so obviously all the “normal” kids at school do nothing but put her down and push her away. But one boy was brave enough to break through and get to be friends with her and she brought out all the best in him. She may have been different from everyone else, but that’s what made her great. I love Stargirl and thank Jerry Spinelli for writing it. I think it can change young girls lives, if only they would all read it.
- #64 – monica @ paper bridges
My literary gift came from my sister years ago when she introduced me that “Anne girl” – Anne of Green Gables.It was 1984. I was 14. She was 12 – still young enough to inscribe inside the front cover:
To Nikki, “84” Luv Toby and Fluffy
I read that now and it strikes me as silly. Our dog and cat, giving me a book! I’m sure it made perfect sense back then, when our pets were natural members of the family, capable of giving gifts (with the help of a 12 year old girl.)
Yet I think Anne and her author would approve. Such imagination, don’t you think?
Anne of Green Gables went on to be one of my all-time favorite books. My copy is treasured to this day, not only because I love Anne so, but because my sister gave it to me with love.
And with a little help from Toby and Fluffy.
- #76 – Nelson Poon
My favorite books are a series of Chinese novels by Mr. Louis Cha, such as The Legend of Condor Heroes, The Return of the Condor Heroes, and The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber (we call it Condor Trilogy).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condor_TrilogyI read them over 30 times. Every time I read I relive the story again. Now I have to go to local libraries in MA because I gave up all books when I moved to here. SAD!!!
When my family and I went to Taiwan last year, we stopped by a bookstore and my sister want to buy me the whole series as a gift. I struggled like 20 minutes but at the end I turned it down because my suitcase was overloaded already. Anyhow, it was an amazing moment and I will remember it for the rest of my life.
I will be really thrilled if all series can be read on ereader!
- #102 – Some Lucky Dog
My favorite literary moments came from the books given to me by my grandmothers. Both of them were avid readers and read to me a lot when I was a little girl. I loved to spend the night with any of my grandparents and my grandmas would always snuggle under the covers with me to read stories. When I was older both of them gave me many of their treasured books and I was able to read my of the classics (Moby Dick, The Grapes of Wrath, Treasure Island, and more)while holding the same pages in my hands that they had. They bring back so many warm memories. I still have all those books on my shelf and someday will pass them on to my grandchildren who I now snuggle under the covers with to read stories.
- #143 – katiea
When I was first dating my now husband, I was struggling to become a published author while still going to college to get a degree. Upon graduating, as his gift to me, he had one of my manuscripts published, bound, and illustrated (complete with fake jacket quotes and everything). I love books and when I opened that present, it took me a second to realize that it was MY book. I cried for probably half an hour. It was the best gift I had ever received. I still haven’t been published but that time, but I ‘m still working hard at it.
- #168 – Rosey
Many years ago, when my husband and I were still just dating, he presented me with a brand new copy of Dickens’ Great Expectations. He too, had a copy in his library and we began reading our books together, even though we were apart, if that makes any sense at all. Discussing the sections of the book we had read independently the night before somehow strengthened the connection that was already strong between us. We have been married quite a few years now, but we still have both both copies sitting on a revered shelf in our library, and we still find ourselves making references to the story from time to time. It really is a great read, and I highly recommend it to anyone who has not yet had the chance to experience it.
- #191 – Jay F.
I have been a long-time subscriber to the Library of America. About 12 years ago, I gave my only sister a copy of the 2 volume set of their “American Poetry – 19th Century”. She has a special needs child, and she tells me that she’s occasionally able to read a poem, or even just a page, in the rare quiet times she gets. I’m glad that she can find some respite in poetry.
Jennifer and I thank you all for sharing those literary moments from your heart, and we’re happy to announce the winner. Congratulations to #64 monica @ paper bridges! If you’re interested in reading and sharing “literary moments,” Words Move Me is a wonderful book lover’s community site.
Dawn could very well be holding a book in her hands at this very moment. Equally as likely, she’s blogging away at my thoughts exactly.