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13 Spooky Books Guaranteed to Send Chills Up Your Spine
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on October 27, 2015

To celebrate Horror Week on Goodreads, we asked you on Facebook and Twitter: What's the scariest book you've ever read? Take a look at the top answers and add them to your want-to-read shelf—if you dare.

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The Shining
by Stephen King
"Wendy? Darling? Light, of my life. I'm not gonna hurt ya. I'm just going to bash your brains in."

Check into the Overlook Hotel, a building with a sinister life of its own—and an evil only beginning to shine.


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In Cold Blood
by Truman Capote
"I thought that Mr. Clutter was a very nice gentleman. I thought so right up to the moment that I cut his throat."

Have the stomach for some real-life horror? Then dive deep into this true crime tale of murder and savagery in Holcomb, Kansas.


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Bird Box
by Josh Malerman
"You can smell it, too. Death. Dying. Decay. The sky is falling, the sky is dying, the sky is dead."

If you see it, you'll go mad. With only a blindfold to protect them, a mother and her children navigate a wasteland of violence and death.


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The Woman in Black
by Susan Hill
"I have sat here at my desk, day after day, night after night, a blank sheet of paper before me, unable to lift my pen, trembling and weeping too."

Professional duty—or personal sanity? Solicitor Arthur Kipps grapples with the paranormal in the ghostly grounds of Eel Marsh House.


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The Road
by Cormac McCarthy
"There is no God and we are his prophets."

The post-apocalypse has never looked so bleak. The sky is dark, the air cracks stones, and cannibals stalk the land. Enter this dystopia with caution.


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The Silence of the Lambs
by Thomas Harris
"When the Fox hears the Rabbit scream he comes a-runnin', but not to help."

If you've got the appetite for more cannibals, then meet Dr. Hannibal Lecter, the devious mastermind with a taste for cruelty and flesh.


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The Handmaid's Tale
by Margaret Atwood
"Who can remember pain, once it's over? All that remains of it is a shadow, not in the mind even, in the flesh. Pain marks you, but too deep to see."

Offred used to have a husband, a child, a life of her own… Now she's a Handmaid, forced to subjugation in this chilling work of speculative fiction.


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The Amityville Horror
by Jay Anson
"They talked of feeling the presence of some energy inside, some unnatural evil that grew stronger each day they remained."

Controversial for its alleged truthfulness, this creepy tale follows the Lutz family and their ill-advised decision to move into the DeFeo murder house.


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House of Leaves
by Mark Z. Danielewski
"You'll finish [the book] and that will be that, until a moment will come, maybe in a month, maybe a year… And then the nightmares will begin."

Their house is bigger on the inside—a quirk that turns frightful when the children disappear, voices echo in the hall, and a growing darkness beckons.


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Intensity
by Dean Koontz
"But victimhood was seductive, a release from responsibility and caring. Fear would be transmuted into weary resignation."

Dare to come face-to-face with a self-proclaimed "homicidal adventurer"? Then come along for sociopath Edgler's descent into madness.


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It
by Stephen King
"Come on back and we'll see if you remember the simplest thing of all—how it is to be children, secure in belief and thus afraid of the dark."

If you're not scared of clowns yet, allow us to introduce (or re-introduce) you to Pennywise. Good luck going to sleep tonight!


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Rebecca
by Daphne du Maurier
"We all of us have our particular devil who rides us and torments us, and we must give battle in the end."

Ease up on the gore and sink into this haunting gothic tale, a classic brimming with suspense, dread—and a lingering evil.


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Helter Skelter
by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry
"I may have implied on several occasions to several different people that I may have been Jesus Christ, but I haven't decided yet what I am or who I am…"

Infamous and horrific, this is the firsthand account of the case against serial killer Charles Manson. It has sold more copies than any other true crime book ever written.



Did we miss your favorite scary read? Then share it with us in the comments! And be sure to catch up on all the spooky Horror Week festivities here.

Trick or Treat—It's Horror Week!
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on October 23, 2015


Horror Week on Goodreads is your chance to spook yourself silly. We are indulging in the macabre as we countdown to Halloween, highlighting spine-tingling books, author exclusives, groups, Listopia lists, giveaways, and quizzes that will keep you awake after the lights go out.

Here’s the complete schedule of what to look forward to:

Monday: Ask your favorite horror writers a question! We've got Justin Cronin, Kendare Blake, Clive Barker, Lois Duncan, Alan Moore, and many more authors taking questions from readers. Check out some of the other authors taking questions specifically during Horror Week!

Tuesday: What's the scariest book you've ever read? We asked and you answered! The top answers will give you nightmares.

Wednesday: You won’t believe this treat—we dug up excerpts from Stephen King, R.L. Stine, Isaac Marion, and Glen Hirshberg’s upcoming books, which we will share exclusively on this blog.

Thursday: Share your two-sentence Horror Story with us all week on Twitter using #HorrorWeek! We’ll select our favorites to post on this blog on Thursday.

Friday: Alan Moore is watching your questions come through on his Ask the Author throughout the week, and he'll answer his five favorite on Friday. Ask him your question here.

To get into the spirit, we asked some of our favorite horror writers to tell us a two-sentence horror story. Which one gives you the creeps?









Can you think of a scarier one? Share it with us in the comments!

Ranking the Survivability of Michael Crichton's Thrillers
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on October 23, 2015


Anyone can read a Michael Crichton tale—but live through it? That's another matter entirely. On the anniversary of his birth, we take a look at a regular person's chance of making it to the epilogue in some of Crichton's most famous books. How many could you survive?


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Airframe
What could kill you:
Mysterious and violent turbulence on a plane
Likely fate:
Your inflight beverage stains your clothes, and you get a few bruises.
Chance of survival:
Very High
Unless…
You pick a "lucky" seat.


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Sphere
What could kill you:
A big sphere on the bottom of the ocean floor
Likely fate:
Before you can explore the titular sphere, you get seasick and are promptly returned to the surface.
Chance of survival:
High


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Prey
What could kill you:
A swarm of nanorobots
Likely fate:
You get a scary skin rash, which you do your best to investigate, but then an actual scientist hands you a cure. Later, you take an extra-long shower.
Chance of survival:
Medium


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Congo
What could kill you:
Murderous gorillas
Likely fate:
You get a gorilla-induced concussion and slip in and out of a coma.
Chance of survival:
Medium
Unless…
You're in the prologue. (Hint: Avoid prologues at all costs!)


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The Lost World
What could kill you:
Dinosaurs
Likely fate:
By avoiding any "heroic" acts and hiding in an RV, you stay alive. Unfortunately, your group forgets about you, leaves you behind, and you end up spending the rest of your life on Isla Sorna.
Chance of survival:
Medium


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Timeline
What could kill you:
An ill-tempered knight who doesn't like the look of your face
Likely fate:
You're imprisoned and then executed as a spy.
Chance of survival:
Low
Unless…
You look French and speak 14th century French!


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Jurassic Park
What could kill you:
Dinosaurs
Likely fate:
You cleverly dodge an escaped Tyrannosaurus Rex, but miss the second rex. (Maybe because you only saw the movie?) If it's any consolation, the rex thinks you're mighty tasty.
Chance of survival:
Low


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The Andromeda Strain
What could kill you:
A deadly extraterrestrial microorganism
Likely fate:
Surprise! Instead of getting killed by the microorganism, you're fatally struck by the fallen satellite that's carrying the extraterrestrial microorganism. Tough luck.
Chance of survival:
Very Low



What would be your fate in a Crichton thriller? Tell us in the comments!

Will I Like This? New Book Page on Goodreads iOS App Has the Answer
Posted by Libby on October 20, 2015

Own an iPhone or iPad? Now it's even easier to decide if you'll like a book (or not) with the redesigned book pages on the Goodreads iOS app!

Updated design

Get ready for a gorgeous new design that makes the book cover the star of the page. Each page now has a simple, clean look that makes it easier than ever to shelve, rate and review your latest book.

Book Cover Hero iOS


Jump right into the next book

Binge watching has nothing on binge reading! What's the first thing you want to do when you finish an amazing story? Find more by your new favorite author, of course! Now, when you go to the book page to rate the book you've just read, we help you keep your book binge going by showing you the next books in the series, more books by the same author, and similar books that Goodreads members also enjoyed.

iOS Series


Find out what people are saying

Whether you're trying to decide what to pick up next or you've just finished a book and can't wait to hear what others thought, reading reviews is the perfect way to dive deeper into the reading experience. Want to hear both sides of the story? We've made it easy to see reviews broken down by the star ratings it has received from the Goodreads community—or just from your friends. With a tap of the star rating, you can see all of the one star reviews for that book you worry may not live up to its hype, and even better, you can dive into all the five star reviews for that 800 page epic that's been sitting on your to-read shelf. Reading inspiration at its best!

iOS Reviews


Editions Matter

Keeping track of which edition of a book you've read is important. Did you read the first edition of A Game of Thrones in 1997, the TV tie-in edition when the series came out, or the Kindle e-book? The right edition with the right cover and page count matters so we've included the ability to switch editions directly via the book page in the app. The choice is yours.

iOS Editions


These are just a few of the enhancements you'll find on the book page. Download the updated app from the iTunes App Store today and let us know what you're most excited about!
Here Are the Finalists for the 2015 National Book Awards
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on October 15, 2015

We're deep into fancy book award season, folks! This week the National Book Foundation announced their shortlist for one of the most prestigious literary prizes in the United States. Take a look at the finalists! We want to know which ones you've read and which ones you want to read.

FICTION
Refund
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The Turner House
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Fates and Furies
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Fortune Smiles
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A Little Life
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NONFICTION
Between the World and Me
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Hold Still
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The Soul of an Octopus
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If Oceans Were Ink
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Ordinary Light
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POETRY
Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude
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How to Be Drawn
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Voyage of the Sable Venus and Other Poems
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Bright Dead Things
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Elegy for a Broken Machine
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YOUNG PEOPLE'S LITERATURE
The Thing About Jellyfish
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Bone Gap
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Most Dangerous
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The Secret History
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Nimona
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What do you think of this year's crop of finalists for the National Book Awards? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Five Things You Need to Know About Nobel Prize Winner Svetlana Alexievich
Posted by Jade on October 08, 2015


Kabul, 1988



Svetlana Alexievich was doing the ironing when she got the call: Congratulations, you are the 2015 winner of the Nobel Prize in literature. Her response was a single word: "Fantastic."

According to Sara Danius, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, Alexievich, a Belarusian author known for her deeply humanist books, is "mapping the Soviet and post-Soviet individual. But it's not really a history of events. It's a history of emotions." Alexievich has written about Chernobyl in Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster), the Afghanistan War in Zinky Boys, and women in World War II in War's Unwomanly Face.

Here's some more you need to know about Svetlana Alexievich:

- She's part of an elite club: Alexievich is the 14th woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature—it has been awarded 107 times. Half of those wins have been in the past 25 years. (In 2013 Alice Munro won.)

- Her early years were a struggle: In 1983 Alexievich completed her bestseller, War's Unwomanly Face, which gathers the voices of 200 Soviet women who went to war in 1941. It was destroyed by the Communist Party for "de-glorification of the heroic Soviet woman." Two years later, Gorbachev took office and the political climate changed. The book was finally published and has since sold more than 2 million copies.

- She speaks for the people: Each of her books is a distillation of interviews with 500 to 700 different people. "I don’t ask people about socialism, I ask about love, jealousy, childhood, old age,” Alexievich writes. “Music, dances, hairstyles. The myriad sundry details of a vanished way of life. This is the only way to chase the catastrophe into the framework of the mundane and attempt to tell a story."

- The Nobel Prize is not just about glory!: The prize money of 8 million Swedish krona ($971,000) has given her "freedom", says Alexievich, who will be working on two new books.

- She has heroes: Alexievich cites Ales Adamovich as a primary influence. The Belarusian author wrote what he called "collective" novels. Nurse and author Sofia Fedorchenko's accounts of soldiers' experiences during the First World War were also an important influence.


12 Most Beloved A.A. Milne Quotes to Take You Back to the Hundred Acre Wood
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on October 14, 2015


A.A. Milne's first volume of Winnie-the-Pooh stories was published 89 years ago today. To celebrate the anniversary of our favorite hungry hero, we've uncovered the top Pooh quotes* on Goodreads. If you've got a rumbly in your tumbly for sweet Hundred Acre Wood wisdom, then you've come to the right place.


1. "Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. 'Pooh!' he whispered. 'Yes, Piglet?' 'Nothing,' said Piglet, taking Pooh's paw. 'I just wanted to be sure of you.'"


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2. "Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."

3. "Some people care too much. I think it's called love."

4. "You can't stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes."

5. "Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.."

6. "It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?"

7. "I think we dream so we don't have to be apart for so long. If we're in each other's dreams, we can be together all the time."

8. "I knew when I met you an adventure was going to happen."

9. "Sometimes,' said Pooh, 'the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."

10. "Promise me you'll never forget me because if I thought you would, I'd never leave."

11. "'How do you spell love?'
'You don't spell it…you feel it.'"

12. "People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day."


What's your favorite Winnie-the-Pooh quote? Share it with us in the comments!
*While all the Pooh quotes above are attributed to A.A. Milne by Goodreads members, a few did originate from the Disney version.

7 Little Known Facts About the Mad Hatter
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on October 06, 2015


October 6, 1986: On this day, a group of "computer folk who had nothing better to do" marked the first annual celebration of Mad Hatter Day. (The date isn't an arbitrary one. October 6 is taken from the "In this style 10/6" note on the Mad Hatter's hat.) The holiday is an excuse to celebrate silliness, and it's been growing steadily for the past 29 years.

Before you embark on a day of tomfoolery and tea parties, check out these fascinating facts about the man under the hat.


1. The real Mad Hatter was probably a man named Theophilus Carter.
A seller of furniture not hats, he impressed his eccentricity upon Carroll in Oxford. While some reports suggest Carter was unaware of his influence on the Wonderland character, Reverend W. Gordon Baillie had this to say: "All Oxford called him 'the Mad Hatter,' and surely his friends, or enemies, must have chaffed him about it." Interestingly enough, Carter also earned himself a different kind of fame—he's rumored to have invented the Alarm Clock Bed, a rather terrifying contraption that woke sleepers by dumping them into a tub of cold water. Madness!


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2. Lewis Carroll never referred to the character as the Mad Hatter.
Well, that's curiouser and curiouser. In both Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, Carroll only refers to him as the Hatter—or Hatta.

3. The phrase "mad as a hatter" was around long before Carroll started writing.
Colloquially used to describe an eccentric person, the phrase originated in the 19th century, back when mercury was used to manufacture felt hats. The hatters who visited these factories often developed mercury poisoning (referred to then as the hatters' shakes), which could lead to slurred speech, memory loss, tremors, and excessive timidity. While Carroll's hatter is certainly mad, based on his general behavior, it's doubtful he was actually suffering from the hatters' shakes.

4. Carroll was surrounded by hatters growing up.
The author grew up in Stockport in Greater Manchester where, believe it or not, the main trade was hat making. (The English do love their hats.)

5. There is a Batman supervillain named the Mad Hatter.
Eighty-three years after Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was published, the Mad Hatter comic book character made his debut in Batman #49. The supervillain keeps his Wonderland counterpart's costume and personality, but in the world of Batman, he is a scientist who uses mind-controlling devices to manipulate his victims. A lot of his gadgets are stored in his hat.

6. If you stare into the mirror at the Mad Hatter's shop in Disneyland, you'll get a visit from the Cheshire Cat.
Planning a trip to Disneyland anytime soon? Then be sure to make a date with the Hatter—and the Cheshire Cat. At the Mad Hatter's shop, located in Fantasyland, look into the large oval-shaped mirror on the wall. After a few minutes, the Cheshire Cat will make a fleeting appearance.

7. The March Hare was just as mad.
We're all mad here. When Alice asks the Cheshire Cat about the people who live in Wonderland, she gets this response: "In that direction lives a Hatter, and in that direction, lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: They're both mad."


How will you mark Mad Hatter Day? Let us know in the comments!

16 Favorite Books to Read During the Fall
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on October 02, 2015


Now that it's October, we're in the mood for books that pair well with crackling fires, big sweaters, and hot drinks. We asked you on Facebook and Twitter: What's the perfect book to cuddle up with during the fall? Your top answers are below.


The October Country
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Wuthering Heights
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The Secret History
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Red Scarf Girl
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The Name of the Wind
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Possession
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The Historian
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A Discovery of Witches
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The Night Circus
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The Thirteenth Tale
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An Ember in the Ashes
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Nocturnes
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Halloween Party
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Night Pleasures
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Rebecca
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The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
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Did your favorite fall read not make the list? Then share it with us in the comments! And be sure to check out more seasonal reads over on Listopia: Best Books to Read in Autumn.
25 Things That Would Happen If Book Lovers Ruled the World
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on September 29, 2015



What would the world look like if book lovers were in charge? We asked you on Facebook and Twitter, and after reading your answers, we're ready to live in that world today. Check out the top responses—we think you'll want to live there, too.

If book lovers ruled the world…

1. "Every rainy day would be Stay Home and Read a Book Day." (A J MacDonald Jr)

2. "We would measure life by chapters, not minutes. Example: I'll be there after a cup of coffee and two chapters." (Rebecca Brewster)

3. "There would be a library on every corner…In other words, a library inside every Starbucks." (Renee Bradshaw)

4. "We would get a free ebook version when buying a hardcover or paperback book." (Tammy Hennig)

5. "Reality television would be replaced by story hour(s), and the grammar police would be real." (Team Linda Gray)

6. "Libraries and public schools would be properly funded." (Darcy Marwick)

7. "Book release days would be national holidays!" (Melissa Fetterman)

8. "You'd get a book, not money, under your pillow from the Tooth Fairy." (CruzMissile)

9. "Book groups would replace political parties." (Book Discussion Scheme)

10. "There would be a book hour in addition to a lunch hour at work every day." (Cindy Bell)

11. "Libraries would never have missing or misplaced volumes." (Katherine May)

12. "Everyone—no matter their gender, nationality, level of poverty, etc.—would be able to learn to read and have access to reading materials." (Bobbi Harman)

13. "Tea sales would skyrocket." (Alena Dolph)

14. "There would be a special lane on walking tracks just for readers." (Misbah Ahmad)

15. "We'd be too busy reading for wars." (Amanda Todd Sexton)

16. "Libraries would be open 24 hours a day." (Chelsea Renee)

17. "There would be more support for English courses and degree programs." (Grace Exner)

18. "The number of television channels would drop drastically." (Toufiq Rahman)

19. "Reading would be an actual job! Paid to read!" (Akshay Kumar Bajpai)

20. "A tree would be planted for every book published." (Becky Engstrom)

21. "We would have a peaceful and quiet world—apart from occasional squeals of delight, horror, long sighs, whimpers, etc." (Chloe Lewis)

22. "This would be a valid excuse to get the day off: I was up late finishing my book." (Joshua Dilts)

23. "There would be less ignorance and more tolerance." (Alicia Aleman)

24. "Hogwarts would be a real school, Middle-earth would be our world history, and everything would be Wonderland nonsense." (Aja Vinet)

25. "Bookstores would have shopping carts." (Julia Andersen)


What do you think would be different about a world run by book lovers? Tell us in the comments!