Neil Gaiman: What Book Made You #LoveReading?

By NYPL Staff
February 13, 2020

Libraries are havens: havens of knowledge, havens of quiet and peace, places you can read, or write, or just find the books you need to read. When I was a small boy with a reading habit that outstripped my pocket money, I would get my parents to drop me off at the local library on their way to work, and I would read my way through the children's library, and later, make an attempt to read all the friendly looking books in the adult library. And on the way I encountered scores, possibly hundreds, of authors I would never otherwise have known about. Authors who helped make me into who I am, authors who are still with me today. Those libraries and those books made me into me. I would encounter the books I needed on the shelves, or find them in catalogs, or the librarians, intrigued by the boy haunting their places, would offer advice and suggestions, or sometimes simply put books down in front of me.

Now, celebrating 125 years of changing lives and delighting people, of giving them new horizons and letting them look out through other eyes (as well as giving them a wonderful place to sit and research and write), The New York Public Library has put together a list of 125 books that they love—the librarians and the people in the library. That's the criteria. You may not love them, but they do. And that's exciting. The thing that gets people reading is love. The thing that makes people pick up books they might not otherwise try, is love. It's personal recommendations, the kind that are truly meant. So here are 125 books that they love. And somewhere on this list you will find books you've never read, but have always meant to, or have never even heard of. There are 125 chances here to change your own life, or to change someone else's, curated by the people from one of the finest libraries in the world.

Read with joy. Read with love.
Read! And don't stop there. Share the book that made you love reading.

—Neil Gaiman

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