Let’s Get Digital Chaps. 1-10

Ok so even though I am thoroughly enjoying this book by David Gaughran, it's also extrememly daunting and even a little bit scary. I think the author's intention was to encourage self-publishers and give them hope and freedom, but for people like me and employees of big publishing houses…well, his words are actually quite discouraging. 

For what it's worth, I do appreciate some of the things Gaughran talks about in the first couple of chapters because it's safe to say that I've been enlightened. I might have known a little of what's going on here and there, but the extent to which the online world is taking over print publishing is news to me. And bad news at that.

The first chapter outlines some of the problems currently facing the publishing industry, one of them being that they work with just-in-case production. I actually learned a little bit about this in one of my geography classes. It's in contrast to just-in-time production. But if booksellers are having a lot of returns on books because they order too many copies, maybe they should try to get a better system of anticipation down. If the copies start selling, then order more. No need to order a ton before you know how it will sell. 

He also mentioned e-books, a lot. Personally, I'm not a fan. I don't own an e-reader or a tablet. I don't read stories electronically, apart from fanfiction which I no longer read either. I much prefer holding a book in my hands. Kindles and Nooks can break, become outdated, etc., but print books will last a really, really long time. They'll collect dust, but that's okay. However, Gaughran really pushes authors interested in self-publishing to do so via online resources and publish their work as an e-book. He said overall they'd earn more money, have control over the process every step of the way, and have the opportunity of fame/success. He also said that some authors publish certain pieces in print, and others as e-book. They don't just have to remain steadfast to one venue, which I thought was interesting. 

While I was researching Lauren DeStefano after finishing Sever, I discovered that she too has an e-book version of Wither, under the different title of Seeds of Wither, that comes with perks such as extra or deleted content. The rest of her novels are published in print. 

Gaughran says that large publishing houses are afraid of the transition to e-books because they've seen what has happened to the music industry because of the internet. They fear piracy. One technique they've developed of combatting this is later release dates for e-books so that the novels don't get pirated and wrongfully distributed before their release date. This doesn't really make sense to me, because if they were really worried about this, they wouldn't send ARCs (advanced reader copies) out to so many clients. These people could easily scan and upload the books to the internet or share them with their friends before the actual release date. 

I'm not the only one that disagrees with publishing houses on this, because authors such as Neil Gaiman have voiced their opinons as well. To him, as Gaughran says, piracy is just "people lending books" and "free advertising." I totally agree with this. What about libraries?? People take home books to read and bring them back without ever paying for them (unless of course they bring it back late and have to pay the fee…). I know for me, if I read a book I really like from the library, I'll want to go out and purchase my own copy of it to have in my collection. This is the same process with e-books. 

Some other things he talked about were editors, royalties, and agents, all of which opened up my eyes a little. There is still so much I have to learn! One of his chapters, though, is titled "Print is Doomed." Um, no that is not okay! And now you might understand why I'd find this book to be frightening. I love print. A world without print is like some crazy, alternate version of Fahrenheit 451, and that is not cool at all either. 

To be continued…

Book Review: Sever by Lauren Destafano

In conclusion to Lauren Destafano's Chemical Garden trilogy, Sever wraps up the story of Rhine and her family and friends. See my review of the book on Goodreads

** spoiler alert ** I remember falling in love with the first book in this series and wanting more of it right away. I love the premise: an experiment to make the "perfect" human race, people devoid of illness…who doesn't wish for a world without cancer? but then the experiment goes wrong, and now every generation after the first die at age 20 if they're a female and age 25 if they're a male. It's so interesting to me. I love some YA with medical type things infused. 

I won't say that I fell in love with Sever, because that would be a lie. But I did definitely enjoy it. 

In this one we learn all of the secrets, the motives, the backstory, and a small glimpse into the future, as any final book of a series should. We find out some interesting things about Rhine & Rowan's parents that make you question their upbringing. I wasn't expecting to find out that the twins were just an experiment of their parents', not intended to be anything more, but I think it was a good plot twist. 

Another thing that DeStefano did that I liked was how she added another facet to Vaugn's personality. She made him see more human, and him and Rhine were finally able to get along and understand each other on some level. It was a nice to see another side of him other than his monstrous nature. In the end though, he got the fate he deserved. 

I appreciate DeStefano's attempt at a happy ending that isn't too happy. They found a cure, Vsughn is dead, Gabriel is alive, and Cecily will survive. However, she killed off Linden, which is sad and I'm not quite sure why she did that. His death was completely avoidable and definitely came as a shock to me. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this series. I loved the concept and the messages. I would recommend this to anyone who reads YA.

I am happy with the series and how the plot progressed. It's not your typical YA, fluff story, nor is it your typical dystopian read. It was a combination of both that DeStefano executed well. I'd have to say that Wither was my favorite of the three, although all have their perks. The covers are all beautiful as well. 

I would like to say, however, that the author isn't my favorite. This opinion is not based on her writing – because, as I've just mentioned, I love the Chemical Garden trilogy – but on her personality. I started following her on Twitter and her tweets are always complaints and rude comments. Not what I expected from her!

Career Stress!

I've been looking into getting another part-time job recently for over the summer. As far as I know, I'll be working at Domino's again but to be honest I'm getting a little sick of the place. I want to branch out, expand my resume. Ever since the possibility of employment entered my head around the age of 10, I've wanted to work at a bookstore. The one in my town- Walden Books – got shut down because it wasn't doing enough business, but besides that Borders closed anyway (Walden Books was affiliated with Borders). The next closest one would be Barnes n Noble, which is located in a mall that's about 20 minutes away. Kind of a drive, but it would be worth it to me. Not to mention working at a bookstore looks better on a Writing major's resume than does a fast food place. 

I won't be quitting Domino's – I've worked there long enough that I've developed a decent hourly wage and relations with the management to the point where I can pretty much pick and choose my schedule – but I might like to get a second job for the summer. I need the money, especially if my mom gets the new position she applied for. It's a good thing – she'll be making more. However, I have a $2,500 scholarship through her current place of employment that's pretty much the make-or-break for me to attend Syracuse University right now. So yeah, I need to make $$$.

Regardless, thinking about applying for a second job coupled with registering for fall classes has got me to thinking about the major dilemma once more. I don't know what I want to do with my life! I have a several interests – all of which are very different from one another – and I don't know which ones to pursue and which to say goodbye to. I'd love to work for a publishing house – so majoring in Writing with a possible background/minor in Marketing or Communications would be ideal. (What's the difference between having a background in something, and a minor anyways??) However, I've also recently discovered an interest in geography. I'm all into climate change and the like. So do I double major in Geography? Or just minor it? What kind of careers would a Geography degree get me, and are they really something I want to do for the rest of my life? Thirdly, if that's a word which I don't think it is but just go with it, I really like health and medicine. I don't do gore and I don't do math, soo I'm not sure how far that path would lead. Epidemiology is what I'm really interested in though. Perhaps a job working for the CDC? Do you need a PhD in Med. for that? Gah!

So stressful, and my time to declare is running out…

IMM #2 (In My Mailbox)

This week I receieved 2 books in the mail, both ordered from Amazon. Packages help make the bleak dorm life a little more bearable.

So I went online with the intention of purchasing Let's Get Digital: How to Self-Publish and Why You Should by David Gaughran, per recommendation from WRTDIY teacher extraordinaire Jason. He said it'd be useful for my blog, so I went ahead and bought a copy. It definitely looks promising, and not just because it's all smooth and shiny, but because the content looks interesting too. Can't wait to start reading it (if I can find time between studying for final exams and writing 10 page papers! Help?). 

On a side note, while checking out the back cover I noticed that Gaughran has written a few other books as well, one of which definitely caught my eye: Transfection. Skimming the summary told me that it's a short story about a molecular biologist, GMO foods, and conspiracies. Sounds awesome, especially since I'm writing the aforementioned 10 page paper on GMO foods and Monsanto for my Alternative Food Movements class. So relevant. 

But anyway. 

While I was ordering one book, I figured I may as well reduce my carbon footprint and buy another one too. I'd be purchasing this second one eventually – why waste two boxes, two UPS trips, or a possible trip to the bookstore that requires usage of precious gasoline? (It is, afterall, Earth Day!) Makes sense in my head anyway. Plus, this one was recently released and it's one I've been looking forward to: This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith. I absolutely loved Smith's The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads, so naturally I have high hopes for her latest novel. Added bonus – the spine is a bright yellow in the spirit of Spring. 

Okay well that's it for this week, now it's time to go geek out. Let me know in the comments what books you've recieved and/or your opinions on these two if you've read them before. Also, be on the look out for posts about Let's Get Digital. Even though I have a biology lab practical tomorrow to study for, I'll most likely dive right into as soon as I hit "publish." 

Publishing 101: General Terms Defined

So I don't know about you guys, but sometimes in my research I come across terms or publishing lingo that confuse me. So, I thought I'd go ahead and look some of them up. Maybe you'll find it useful as well. 

(1) Imprint: "The designation under which a publisher issues a given list of titles, and by which designation, the books of a publisher are identified" – A Glossary of Publishing Terms

(2) ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies): You see these a lot on the online book community, especially blogs and Youtube. Regular reviewers are often contacted by publishers with copies of new releases that have not yet been released. They are sent to these "clients" (really, just regular people on Youtube) with the hopes that they will review them – positively, I'm assuming. These copies usually don't even have the official cover art, some have typos and errors. Basically unfinished manuscripts. They're pretty hot commodities within the community, especially if it's a much-anticipated title. 

And because I always have trouble distinguishing between the different editing/publishing job positions, here are a few defined. 

(3) Editor: Basically the head-honcho. They oversee the editing process as well as do a lot of planning. They may be in charge of a team or group of other people involved with the publication. 

(4) Editorial Assistant: So this is the position you're likely to get upon applying with minimal experience/skills, because it's the entry level position. It's mostly a lot of secretarial work, but opportunities to edit and write may come up depending on the company for which you work.

(5) Associate Editor: Editing, revising, writing, managing the production process, planning, design, administrative duties, etc.

Publishing 101: Random House

Yet another one of the "Big Six" publishers – Random House – will feature in today's segment. Random House claims to be the largest publisher of general interest fiction and nonfiction. Interesting to note that all of these huge companies publish general books or at least a wide variety of genres under multiple imprints. There don't seem to be any specialized publishing companies that have made it big. I think that also says something about DIY publishing as well. Limited resources equates to limited output. 

Anyway, I was unable to find much about the company's history in my research, but I did find that it was founded in 1927 by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. The current CEO is Markus Dohle and headquarters is located on 1745 Broadway in NYC. They have a very safe, yet respectable mission: to connect readers worldwide to adult and children's fiction and nonfiction authors both familiar and new. 

In 2012 Random House actually merged with another Big Six publishing house – Penguin – to form Penguin Random House. Personally I think that Random Penguin House sounds a lot cooler, but to each their own. This was a very significant move for the world of publishing that caused a storm on the web

Here some populat titles published under Random House that you may be familiar with: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Fifty Shades of Grey, The Da Vinci Code, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Hobbit, The Road, and many others. 

Now for some company information and reviews from Glassdoor.

The overall vibe I was getting from many of the comments is basically summed up in this one review: "great people and benefits, little room for advancement, not progressive, low pay."

Some people did say that Random House paid more than other publishing houses.

It seems that the reviews on all of these companies are fairly similar. Many of them complain of little room for advancement because once the senior members are in place, they stay there. They also mentioned that the leadership isn't trained and neither are thes other employees for upper-level position. As these publsishing houses transition into the digital world of e-books, some employees are being left in the dark because they're not familiar with the new job responsibilities. However, some reviewers said all Random House has to do is send them to a simple training class in order to keep them involved. 

– Associate Editor: $46,126

– Editorial Assistant: $35,869

– Publishing Assistant: $35,138

– Editor: $59,551


Fanfiction & Copyright

This past week in my WRT 200 class we discussed copyright laws and how DIY publishers can run into trouble with them. RiP Remix Manifesto anyone? Girl Talk? But anyway, it inspired me to look into copyright issues – specifically in regards to fanfiction. Fanfiction is one of the most popular forms of fan expression and could also be considered a form of DIY publishing. That's where it gets tricky though, because the content is rarely 100% original – or original enough, that is – to be published on its own. 

Copyright laws aren't really something I've ever paid attention to, but I've noticed little things here and there. When I went through my vigorous fanfiction-reading phase, most – if not all – of the authors put disclaimers at the top or bottom of each chapter they would post. The disclaimers would always say something along the lines of how they don't own the characters, they're just playing with them. I used to think the disclaimers were annoying, but after studying it in class this week I've realized they might be extremely valuable.

One of the topics that came up in class was Fifty Shades of Grey, which was originally a Twilight fanfiction posted to Fanfiction.net. For those of you wandering, I did read it while it was on the site when the characters were still Edward and Bella. That was the only appeal for me – the familiar characters that I loved so much. I have not – and will probably never – read the Fifty Shades published series. I regret to say that my mom owns them all, so if I'm ever feeling particularly daring one day…

Regardless, it's interesting to see how bestsellers can originate from sloppy fanfiction posted on the Internet by fledgling writers and fangirls. It's also interesting that if the story is different enough from the original text – as was the case with Fifty Shades and Twilight – all the author has to do is change the characters' names, appearances, and perhaps the setting in order to avoid copyright infringement. I'm curious to see what Stephenie Meyer's reaction to this was. The only thing I could find though was that she's never read the Fifty Shades series because "smut" is not her genre. Verbal porn might be a more accurate description though, Meyer. 

We also talked breifly in class about how authors of original texts avoid reading fanfiction for very specific purposes. Many fanfics – as they are commonly abbreviated – are continuations of the story; they make predictions. If an author who's working on a sequel to her series stumbles upon a fic, likes it, and decides to use material from it…well, let's just say they could potentially run into a lot of trouble themselves. Granted, authors like Meyer remain steadfast to their claim that they've had the entire story mapped out since the very beginning and would therefore have no need to borrow/steal ideas from fans. 

It makes me wonder though if a lot of other authors have pulled their literature from fansites in order to publish the piece as their own like E. L. James did. I remember coming across quite a few fanfics that were very, very good and had huge fan followings. The authors were consistently encouraged to look into commercially publishing them but I'm not sure if they ever did. Should they be allowed to?

The stark difference between corporate publishing and DIY publishing is evident here, especially when a text transitions from one to the other like Fifty Shades did. As a fanfiction, the author had an intimate (excuse the pun) relationship with the fans – on the site, readers have the option of leaving reviews and even private messaging the author to give feedback, ask questions, and offer suggestions. The site also has a feature for authors to see how many "hits", or views, each story and chapter they've posted gets. They aren't paid. They don't usually have editors – although many of the more popular, serial fics did have what is called "beta readers." 

I myself was a beta-reader once. It's easy; you check the box stating that you're interested in editing others' works and then you select the genres and fandoms that you're willing to edit. The author checks out your profile, and if they like you, you're in. 

It's extremely DIY, and also extremely free. Very much unlike commercial publishing.

Big publishing houses pay the authors, print the text, create cover art, circulate the literature, and provide them with the opportunity of achieving success, fame, and possibly even wealth. However, they often also have strict contracts and deadlines authors must abide to, and the process can be confusing at times. 

When it comes down to it, the choice is ultimately up to the author. What sort of medium they'd like to publish their text through and the consequences of each is entirely their own decision. Personally, I'm conflicted. I love the vibe of fanfiction – well-written ones that is – and the intimate relationships developed. Authors can talk about the writing process and give links to pictures of things and songs mentioned in their stories. But, I have to admit that I'm drawn to commercial publishing. I'd much rather read a print copy of a story than anything posted online. I can only stare at a computer screen for so long before my eyes bug out of my head. And of course, the money and fame must be nice too. 

Publishing 101: HarperCollins

Today's segment is about another one of the largest U.S. publishing companies: HarperCollins, a merger of the separate Harper and Collins. Founded in 1989, the company's history is not impressively long but the two separate publishing houses from which it merged extend much further into the history of published material, dating all the way back to 1817. Harper published Mark Twain, the Bronte sisters, and William Makepeace Thackeray (has anyone else trudged through Vanity Fair?). Collins is best known for publishing H.G. Wells, Agatha Christie, and J.R.R. Tolkein. Many of these authors are esteemed and venerated, but from the reviews of the company I found online, HarperCollins' ethics seemed to have changed…

Before I get to that, however, I'll give a little more background information on the company before I proceed into "hater" reviews. HarperCollins has over 30 imprints, two of which I am familiar with – HarperTeen and Harper Children's Books. Some of my favorite authors and books have come from these imprints, including Neil Gaimon, Lemony Snicket, Meg Cabot, and Lauren Oliver (I'll admit to succumbing to the Divergent hype). They have a decent and very active selection of YA novels, which I can appreciate. Some of their well-known children's books include: Charlotte's Web, Goodnight Moon, and Where the Wild Things Are

HarperCollins' mission, or motto you might say, is a little different than Scholastic's. It has to be though, considering the different audience. Whereas Scholastic is aimed towards children and middle grade readers, HarperCollins publishes for all age-ranges and genres under different imprints. Therefore, they're vision has to be a bit broader. 

According to the company's website, "It's all about the author and the book. More than just the authors and books we publish, but the idea of the book. The idea of an individual's inexhaustible and surprising CREATIVITY, DARING, and SINGULARITY…."

I like it. Of course the book itself is important. I like that this publisher is so broad – some publishers will only put out certain types of books by certain authors to promote a certain message/theme. It doesn't seem like that's the case for HarperCollins.

So now on to those negative reviews I mentioned earlier. Out of all the ones I came across, the majority detailed negative experiences that employees had with the company. Here are a few.

"high profile, stressful, competitive, rewarding"

"cons – hierarchy and lack of opportunities; unreasonable expectations; low pay; lack of collaboration; corporate culture"

"no room for growth; typical cubicle culture"

"The entry-level salary is upsetting and insulting. HC doesn't care about publishing well-written books. $$$$ is the name of the game and it's an uninspiring environment to work in."

"Everybody is at each other's throats, shaking with anxiety, willing to throw anyone under the bus."

Acquisition editors don't know how to edit; the books HarperCollins puts out are compared to literature that anyone can get online for free.

Sounds pleasant doesn't it? I have to admit that I am a bit turned off by the complaints. Especially the supposed obsession with money. It makes sense though; having so many imprints and a non-focused publishing range correlates with the desire for revenue. It would also explain the "low pay" and the fact that college internships are unpaid with no living stipend. However, the reviews about the internship programs at HarperCollins were mostly positive.

Briefly, the summer internship program at HC is comparable to Scholastic's. It's for college juniors and seniors with a "strong interest in a long-term career in publishing." You have to have "excellent communication, organization, and computer skills." As aforementioned, it is unpaid but the students do receive credit for the program, pending that the school accepts it. The program runs from June 10th – August 15th 2013. The interns are required to work Monday-Thursday 9-4 (24 hours/week). Sounds promising to me, although the living situation and lack of pay would inevitably be a problem. 

Facts & Stats:

  • Editorial Assistant: $32,000
  • Production Editor: $36,600
  • Assistant Editor: $39,000
  • HQ: 10 East 53rd St., NYC
  • CEO: Brian Murray

On a side note, I discovered this Youtube video of HarperCollins' employees doing the ever popular Harlem Shake. This means they must have some fun right? Also, loving the business casual. 







Publishing 101: Scholastic Corporation

I'm starting a new segment called Publishing 101. I'll be researching and discussing publishing companies, the process, careers, etc. mostly because it's something I'm very interested in. I hope one day to have the opportunity to be employed by one of these companies – as an editor, hopefully – and so this research is as much for you guys as it is for me. Not only that, but it'll be cool to compare the companies and see the successes and drawbacks of each. 


Today I'll be talking about Scholastic. It's one of the most well-known publishing companies probably because of its tight integration into the United States school system. They claim to be the "largest publisher and distributor of children's books in the wolrd" earning an average annual revenue of about $2 billion. They have services available in 45 different languages and 150 countries. Scholastic prides itself for working closely with teachers and schools – about 90% of all U.S. schools actually – through books, magazines, educational programs, teacher resources, and stores. Their mission? To "encourage the intellectual and personal growth of all children." 



Who didn't love the Scholastic Book Fairs and clubs? I've always thought that the book fairs are an excellent way to get kids excited about reading. The atmosphere of the fairs are awesome – classmates comparing books, students walking around and checking out titles.


I personally really love the mission of this company and what they stand for. Literarcy is essential and I just have total respect for a company with good values such as this. Scholastic has also begun implementing "green" programs to print with recycled materials, which is of course another plus for an environmental advocate such as myself. Scholastic has also managed to keep up in the "digital age" with ebooks and other technologies that has helped the company stay afloat. They're even on Twitter


However, some reviews on Indeed concern me. One reviewer wrote, "mission is noble but mostly lost on those who work there." I can see why truck drivers and warehouse workers might feel disconnected from the company's mission, but higher-ups, editors, writers, and anyone directly involved with the production process should certainly be invested in the promotion of children's literacy. Another criticsm that Scholastic faces is that they sell too many toys and video games instead of focusing more on the books. I don't fault the company for this – it's a smart way for them to increase revenue, get kids interested, and help them learn all at once. The only non-books at the Scholastic Book Fairs I've been to were pens, pencils, cool eraser caps, posters, and other miscellaneous tools to keep in one's desk. The books were definitely the focal point. Nothing wrong with that, in my eyes. 


Some popular Scholastic books that you might be familiar with include: Clifford the Big Red Dog, The Magic School Bus, Goosebumps, Harry Potter, I SPY, The Hunger Games, The Babysitter's Club, Captain Underpants, the Wishbone series, and Ripley's Believe It or Not. You may even recognize a few of them from posts I've done on my blog, evidence that Scholastic has defintely made an impact on my childhood and ultimately my life. I know I can't be the only one. 


Brief History:

  • Scholastic was established in 1920 by Maurice R. Robinson. In 1974 his son, Richard Robinson, took over as president. 
  • The first book published was entiteld Saplings, which was a collection of student writings from the Scholastic Writing Awards, held 3 years prior. 
  • They acquired Grolier, which is the company known for publishing the Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia and The New Book of Knowledge. I've seen Grolier a few times when doing research for school projects online, academic databases. 
  • Headquarters is located at 557 Broadway, NYC. This is a good location, albeit expected. Especially for me considering NYC is only a few hours drive my hometown in New Jersey and just a little farther from my school in central New York. 


  • Reviews from Indeed: "great people bad pay" "Nepotism and favoritism wins over intelligence and skill" "good healthcare and benefits"
  • Executive Editor: $100,300
  • Senior Editor: $64,600
  • Associate Editor: $44,712
  • Assistant Editor: $40,535
  • These salaries are in comparison to the Senior Applications Developer who earns $103,689/year and the Tech. Lead who earns  $103,601/year. 
  • In order to be considered as an associate editor – one who reviews and edits enriched scripts, ~1000/year – you need to have at least 2 years of experience in children's publishing, a background in education, excellent writing and copywriting skills, and you should be proficient with Outlook, Excel, and Word.
  • Editorial Internship: 12 interns; college juniors or seniors, 8 week program from June 17th – August 9th 2013; $12/hour; 35 hours a week; you must submit with your application a cover letter and resume. 



Ah, Nostalgia

I've been thinking a lot about the books I used to read when I was younger. I read a lot when I was a little kid. I owe a very large part of that to my mom. She read a lot too – she still does – and she used to always take me to the library with her. It was always something that me and her did together and had in common. My younger brother would tag along sometimes, but he was never as interested in it. My older brother reads occassionally, but, again, not as much as me and my mom do. It's cool to look back on the books that began it all…the ones that have taught me so much. Not only did I learn valuable writing and comprehension skills, but my vocabulary and spelling were also expanded. If I hadn't started reading so much at a young age, I wonder what I'd be like? What other hobbies I would have developed instead?


The first book I ever read was a Dr. Seuss. I remember staying up late (late for a 5-year-old that is) with my older brother upstairs in our room. We sat at a table with just one lamp to illuminate the book. He was always really patient with me. He went over that book with me again and again until I could go through and read every single word on every single page. Part of me believes I was just memorizing the story at that point instead of actually reading, but I still count it. I remember being so proud of myself and rushing downstairs to show my mom what I could do.


In 3rd grade I received this book from my teacher, who happened to be one of my favorite teachers. I still have it to this day in a special place on my bookshelf. 

Around the time I was in 2nd-4th grade I started to really get into several younger readers and middle grade series. The Scholastic Book Fair days at school were always my favorite. When I got my own library card (instead of just using my mom's) I felt so official and mature, even though my signature was barely legible. I remember checking the library each time I went for books in the series I hadn't read yet and getting really excited when I came across one. I used to read for hours and hours. I'd check out so many books from the library…the stack was always so tall that I could barely carry them up to the front desk. I have so many old favorites, but here are just a few:

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

The Bailey School Kids series

Nancy Drew series

Two of a Kind series by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen

The Boxcar Children series

anything Judy Blume

The Babysitters Club series

Junie B. Jones series

Looking at these pictures brings back a lot of fond memories for me. I'm sitting in my dorm room, but it's like I can smell the distcint scent of library and used books. 


I think it's so important that kids start reading at an early age. Like they always say, it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks. Hobbies and interests get developed early on, and it's crucial that reading becomes one of them. When/if I have children of my own, I will definitely be pushing these titles on them. 


What books were your childhood favorites?