Anniversary Video: Reading Brings Us Together

By NYPL Staff
May 22, 2020
Anniversary Video Partipants

On May 23, 1895, The New York Public Library was founded. To honor our 125th anniversary, we asked 125 people to tell us about a book they love or a book that inspired them. This video follows the release of our new anniversary list, 125 Kids Books We Love, featuring children’s titles that inspire those both young and young at heart to #LoveReading. Explore the list here.

Join a wide array of booklovers—from acclaimed authors to actors, musicians, and our own expert librarians—to celebrate the power of reading to bring us together, even when we’re apart. Check out what they had to say below and find out how you can join in on the fun.


Find out what else these cultural luminaries had to say about the power of reading here. We'll be adding more videos throughout our anniversary, so check back for updates.

We want to hear from you! Join the festivities by adding your own video telling us about a book that inspired you to #LoveReading. Post your video to social media with the hashtag #LoveReading and tag @nypl, and we'll share some of our favorites.

What book made you #LoveReading?

Find a selection of these titles on the Library's free e-reader, SimplyE. Download SimplyE for iPhone/iPad or Android!

Abi Daré: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

Al Roker: The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle

Alan Cumming: The Trick Is to Keep Breathing by Janice Galloway

Alison Stewart: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

Amor Towles: Moby Dick by Herman Melville

André Aciman: In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust

Angela Yee: Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Anna Chlumsky: Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

Annette Gordon-Reed: Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin

Anthony Doerr: The Odyssey by Homer

Arden Myrin: Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson

Ayelet Waldman: The Queen's Gambit by Walter Tevis

Bill T. Jones: Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Bobby Berk: Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

Brian Lehrer: Don't Know Much About History by Kenneth C. Davis

Bruce Coville: Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

Carl Heastie: The Beautiful Ones by Prince

Carla Hayden: Bright April by Marguerite de Angeli

Carole Radziwill: Manhattan, when I was young by Mary Cantwell

Chelsea Clinton: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

Chuck Schumer: The Island at the Center of the World by Russell Shorto

Claire Danes: Anagrams by Lorrie Moore

Clemantine Wamariya: Haben by Haben Girma

Colum McCann: Ulysses by James Joyce

Corey Johnson: Here is New York by E.B. White

Cynthia Nixon: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Dagmara Domińczyk: All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor

Darren Walker: The Soul of America by Jon Meacham

Deborah Roberts: Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats

Desus Nice: Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite by Paul Arden

Elizabeth Levy: Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry

Elizabeth Strout: For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

Ellie Kemper: The Easter Parade by Richard Yates

Ethan Hawke: The Animal Family by Randall Jarrell

Francis Ford Coppola: Glimpses of the Moon by Edith Wharton

Frederick Wiseman: Dickinson: Selected Poems and Commentaries by Helen Vendler

Gale Brewer: Evicted by Matthew Desmond

Hillary Clinton: The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Hugh Dancy: Women in Love by D.H. Lawrence

James Oddo: Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger

Jason Robert Brown: American Composers on American Music by Henry Cowell

Jeffrey Siger: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Jelani Cobb: Black Reconstruction in America by W.E.B. Du Bois

Jenna Ushkowitz: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Jennifer Egan: The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

Jenny Xie: Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life by Yiyun Li

Jess Kidd: After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie by Jean Rhys

Jill Kargman: Born to Be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey by Mark Dery

Jonathan Lethem : Ubik by Philip K. Dick

Karan Mahajan: This Is Not That Dawn by Yashpal

Kevin Young: The Weary Blues by Langston Hughes

Logan Browning: Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

Mahogany L. Browne: Black Girl in Paris by Shay Youngblood

Martha Plimpton: Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

Maurice Carlos Ruffin: The Wind's Twelve Quarters by Ursula K. Le Guin

Michael John LaChiusa: My Life with Jacqueline Kennedy by Mary Barelli Gallagher

Michael Stipe: Our Lady of the Flowers by Jean Genet

Miriam Shor: A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf

Monique Truong: The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston

Nicole Dennis-Benn: Beloved by Toni Morrison

Ocean Vuong: The Enigma of Arrival by V.S. Naipaul

Padma Lakshmi: The Art of Eating by M.F.K. Fisher

Patrick Wilson: The Lullaby of Polish Girls by Dagmara Domińczyk

Roger Clark: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Rubén Díaz Jr.: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Sloane Crosley: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Stacy Schiff: Amy & Isabelle by Elizabeth Strout

Sunny Hostin: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Susan Minot: Mrs. Bridge by Evan S. Connell

The Kid Mero: The Pearl by John Steinbeck

Tim Gunn: The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann

Vincent Piazza: Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger