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The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  4,948 Ratings  ·  1,272 Reviews
When Alice Ozma was in 4th grade, she and her father decided to see if he could read aloud to her for 100 consecutive nights. On the hundreth night, they shared pancakes to celebrate, but it soon became evident that neither wanted to let go of their storytelling ritual. So they decided to continue what they called "The Streak." Alice's father read aloud to her every night ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published May 3rd 2011 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 2011)
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Christy Alice and her family hail from southern New Jersey, near Philadelphia.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Ann
Aug 20, 2011 Ann rated it it was ok
I loved the concept but intensely disliked the book. I am amazed people thought it was well-written, because it felt like a little kid trying to write an adult book. I found the language stilted and conversations unrealistic. In spite of spending every night reading together, I never felt any warmth or affection between them.

There were some hints about a very troubled childhood, including a suicide attempt and abandonment by her mother. But, that is barely mentioned. In fact, the father is so c
...more
Nicole
May 23, 2011 Nicole rated it did not like it
This should have been a great book. A librarian dad and his daughter promise to read together every night and do so for nearly 9 years. The problem is these are two very odd people that I didn't enjoy spending time with. Dad oscillates between being clueless (he didn't notice that his wife left him on Thanksgiving because he was too busy raking leaves) and buddy-buddy with his daughter. (When he arrived home from his father's viewing at the funeral home, he complained to his eleven-year-old ...more
Kathrina
Jun 16, 2011 Kathrina rated it liked it
Shelves: memoirs-bios
Here's an aphorism that needs to be debunked: Being a frequent reader does not make you a better person; all that this book proves is that being a frequent reader makes you more well-read. You will still suffer the same dysfunctions the non-reading public suffers, but maybe you can quote Dorothy Parker every once in a while for solace.
I'm on the bus with the need to read with and to your kids, and a lesson in endurance and loyalty to the cause goes down nice and easy. But author Ozma spent so m
...more
Laura
Oct 21, 2011 Laura rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book. Some of the chapters were laugh-out-loud funny. A couple times, as I was reading while Ellie nursed, I looked down to find that she had stopped nursing and was laughing along with me! :)

As a lover of books and reading, this book hit [almost] all the right notes for me. Her last few chapters (after The Streak ended) were not as compelling. But other than that, a great book.

As a teacher, I read out loud to my students a few times a year. I usually read them "Pippi Longst
...more
Andres
May 15, 2011 Andres rated it it was ok
Full disclosure: I didn't actually finish this book. I made it through 9 chapters (85 pages). Then I skimmed forward through the rest of the book and found more of the same, which caused me to close this book and accept defeat: I was done in by an excess amount of earnest precious- and precociousness.

The problem here is that the title and subtitle promise one thing but the book delivers something else. If you've seen other of my reviews of books about books, it's clear I love this genre. This bo
...more
Raven
Oct 30, 2011 Raven rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-classics
I adored this book. It's as simple as that. When I taught Freshman Writing at a local university, one of the required assignments was a personal essay. This was, without fail, the hardest assignment of the semester and a challenge to teach. Alice Ozma, in my opinion, has perfected the art of the personal essay. Her tone is endearing, fun, and clear. I appreciated that I felt like this was just her normal writing--she wasn't putting on airs or trying to write something she isn't. This charming ...more
Ciara
Jul 13, 2011 Ciara rated it liked it
a cute memoir by a young woman whose father read to her almost every night until she went away to college. when she was nine years old, they decided to try to make sure they read every day for 1000 days, which expanded to nine years. the author's father was a librarian in an elementary school, so he had a passion for children's literature & together, they read a mix of classics & newer books that he was screening for the library's collection. there are some funny stories about the ...more
Michael
May 31, 2011 Michael rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
Most of us will agree there's something magical about reading. It's why when a lot of us who are bibliophiles hear that reading is declining more and more each year, we are a bit saddened by this news. Many of us may wonder what we can do about it and how we can inspire the next generation to continue the love of reading we have.

Alice Ozma and her father James have one idea. When Alice was in the fourth grade, the two made a vow to read together each night for 100 days. After that success and ov
...more
Kathy
This book really touched me! It brought me back to when I was a kid and my father was the one who read to me all the time and took me to the library. Books were very important to him and he was often reading as many as 7 or 8 at a time. I got my love of reading and books from him and I couldn't be more grateful!

The Reading Promise is the story of a single father and his daughter who read together every night (or day, if that's how things happened to work out that day) from the time she was 9 ti
...more
Gregandemy
May 22, 2011 Gregandemy rated it it was amazing
I love reading and it started in my childhood from my parent's sharing their love of books with me. I can't wait to read Ozma's story.
3/22/11: Read this book in one day. I LOVED it. (I'm a little prejudiced as I share her love of reading). I thoroughly enjoyed learning of the books she read and how they affected her life, but it was how she told her story that made the book so enjoyable. I loved reading her memories of childhood and of her relationship with her father whom she read with. It wa
...more
Tammy Dotts
Jun 08, 2011 Tammy Dotts rated it it was ok
http://tammydotts.wordpress.com/2011/...

Once upon a time, a little girl and her father wanted to know if they could read aloud for 100 nights in a row. When they reached that milestone, they decided to keep going. Eventually, when the little girl went to college, the nightly reading stopped after 3,218 nights.
The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared by Alice Ozma uses those nights of reading as the frame for an episodic memoir that covers life in the Bronzina household from when Oz
...more
Mike
Mar 04, 2012 Mike rated it liked it
The concept of "The Streak," and anything that promotes reading to kids is great. Reading to your own kids is surely a marvelous thing. I'm glad that Alice Ozma has been able to tell this story. She seems to have turned out pretty well despite her extremely messed up childhood.

However, no matter how many times she tells the reader what a great dad she had, I still don't believe her. I'm glad that she and her father found a way to connect through books. It's a shame he didn't have any other way o
...more
Emily Rosenbaum
Nov 11, 2011 Emily Rosenbaum rated it it was amazing
From my book review blog:

My three-year-old, Lilah, promises me several times a day, “I’ll always be your baby.” I believe her. I’ve read Love You Forever; I know that when she’s 37 I’ll still be crawling across the floor to her at night.
My five-year-old, Benjamin, recently told me that, of course, I’d be able to take care of his kids when he grows up. After all, we’ll be living in the same house. I believe him, too; he will take pity on me in my dotage and bring me into his home. That kid walk
...more
Tita
Feb 24, 2012 Tita rated it it was ok
Cute concept, poorly written. It's a memoir. I was expecting an account of childhood stories/books, etc. The author's life isn't interesting enough for me to get invested. The most important event in her life is that she and her father were so devoted to their reading together, that their "reading promise" spanned years. Yes, I find that a huge accomplishment, to set out to reach a long term goal and meet it. However, do I feel it's enough to carry an entire book? Not so much.

I find the writing
...more
Amy
Well, two stars might be a little harsh, but I was just disappointed in how this book turned out. I LOVED the idea of it. A daughter writing about how her father read to her every night (without skipping any) from about age 9 until she left for college. I was excited because I'm one of those nerdy people who like reading "books about books", and since I have children of my own I feel very strongly about the importance of reading aloud to your children.

However, there was very little about the ac
...more
Claire
One of my favorite books this year. Alice Ozma and her dad, Jim Brozina decide that Jim will read to Alice (Kristen at this point, don't be confused- all becomes clear) each night-no matter what. This becomes The Streak and is unbroken for at least nine years. Proms, sleep-aways, Hell, and high water all notwithstanding.
That is a premise of the book, the joy is in the unmitigated love with which Alice relates the years of The Streak, selecting moments in time to share with us. Utterly charming,
...more
Barbara
Jun 07, 2014 Barbara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The Reading Promise" by Alice Ozma is the memoir of a very special activity shared by her and her father, Jim Brozina. Alice's father read to her every single night, without fail, for nine years. From the time Alice was in 4th grade until the day she left for college. They called it, " The Streak." In the memoir, Alice recounts the books they read, and the difficulties they encounter trying to keep the streak alive during nine years of reading. She also relates other difficult situations that ...more
Emily
Nov 13, 2012 Emily rated it really liked it
Recommended to Emily by: Peter D. Sieruta
A memoir by a young woman whose claim to distinction is that her father read aloud to her, for a minimum of ten minutes, for 3,218 consecutive days.

The Reading Promise was a book I was politely interested in when I first heard of it, in the way one is when one is clearly the target audience for someone's literary efforts. I dutifully put it on my to-read list, and yet felt hardly any urge to rush out and track down a copy. Basically, I thought it would boil down to banal and obvious sentiments a
...more
Teagan D
Jan 26, 2013 Teagan D rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I have to agree with another reviewer's words, "I loved the concept but disliked the book." The beginning had me hooked and the end was touching and inspiring, but I struggled to keep reading through the middle. I'm not sure yet why, but I think it has something to do with liking the story but not liking the writing. There was this unshakable feeling that the author was exaggerating or elaborating but trying to pass it off as 100% nonfiction; I'm not usually a prude when it comes t blending fact ...more
Lanae Schaal
Jun 08, 2011 Lanae Schaal rated it liked it
I picked this book up at the airport to distract me during my four hour layover. It served that purpose quite well. The title of the book is misleading though not specious. The author clearly has an ardor for books and feels that they were a catalyst to the development of the strong bond that she and her father share. We are introduced to the books through opening chapter quotes that allude to the content of that section. However, the focus of the chapters is to retell some important transition ...more
Lesley
Jun 17, 2012 Lesley rated it really liked it
Great message glad to see that this book is touching many lives. We should all be so lucky as to have a school librarian, teacher, parentso committed to reading to children.
Anna
Apr 19, 2012 Anna rated it it was amazing
In a time when fatherlessness is growing at an alarming rate... In a time when technology and standards based testing threaten to steal the joy out of reading for children all over America, this book is a ray of hope. Alice Ozma, named by her father after two of his favorite literary heroines, writes this series of vignettes to chronicle "The Streak," a promise she and her father made and kept to read together every night for 100 days. When the reached 100, they stretched their goal to 1000 ...more
Jo
Sep 07, 2011 Jo rated it liked it
Alice Ozma's "The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared" is essentially, charming. Although, as Ozma admits in a blog post she recently wrote, the book might be a bit misleading to a reader expecting a book solely about the books Ozma read growing up. The novel does make note of the books her father read to her as a child, but it is more so based around Ozma and her father's relationship, and the ups and downs of growing up, whatever age you might be. My biggest criticism is the ...more
Hamsini
Aug 28, 2015 Hamsini rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ever since reading '84, Charing cross' last year I've been looking for more 'books about books'. I hit jackpot with this one. Absolutely loved the underlying themes of parental love, single parenting, a voracious love and a healthy appetite for books and all things literature. I did wish some places had slightly tighter editing but I could not but fall in love with the structure and the not-quite mature author writing.
Sam
Jul 20, 2016 Sam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Es un libro narrado en primera persona por la misma autora (Alice Ozma) en donde te cuenta muchisimas anécdotas y recuerdos que tuvo con su padre durante su infancia y lo que lleva de vida.

"Los libros que leímos juntos" es un libro sobre libros y la importancia de la lectura.

Nos recuerda que un lector, a parte de que jamás jamás jamás debe de dejar de leer, también debe de tratar de que no se pierda esa costumbre en las nuevas generaciones.
Robert
Aug 15, 2011 Robert rated it really liked it
It's a Small World

On 8 July I attended a Toastmasters meeting an hour away from home. I was early and we had a ton of guests that evening. Most of the regular crowd was running late. I began speaking with some of the new folks. One of the guys upon hearing I live in Millville mentioned a book he had just read from a girl from Millville. I think he was incredulous that I was unaware of the book. He joined our group that evening. On my way in at the next meeting, he approached me and gave me his c
...more
Christopher Rush
Sep 28, 2012 Christopher Rush rated it it was ok
"It was ok." Indeed. Once in a rare while, one will come across a book and realize, not too long into reading it, "this would have been a great essay." We don't find any mention of "reading promise" until the last page of the work - it was a Streak, not really a Promise. In the midst of what seems like a rather disappointing life, a father and daughter start reading books aloud (he to her) for almost a decade. The premise of the book is, of course, its appeal, but it's not really about "the ...more
Suzi
Apr 18, 2012 Suzi rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviewed
Couldn't finish this one ... what I thought was going to be an inspiring story of a father and daughter who shared a love for books, turned out to be a portrait of an uncomfortably immature girl and her socially awkward father, who submerge themselves into books to avoid dealing with real life. It seemed to me that Alice might be trying to salvage some sort of parent/child connection in what is obviously an extremely dysfunctional family, but her attempt left me feeling that her childhood ...more
Richard
Apr 30, 2012 Richard rated it really liked it
Alice and her father decided at age 8 that he was going to read to her at least 10 minutes a day for 90 days. When they reached the 90 days they decided to keep going and keep up 'The Streak' as they called it, until her first day of College, 3,218 nights later. At first, I was disappointed in the book because it seemed more of a memoir of a girl in a divorced family, but then I began to realize that during those 10 or more minutes each night Alice had the undivided attention of her father as ...more
Vanessa
Apr 26, 2013 Vanessa rated it it was amazing
This book was released in the Spring of 2011 so it's a relatively newish read. I also like how it's available in hardcover only because this reminds me of some of the most classic library books and as Alice's dad, Jim, said (something along the lines to it) in the book "Paperback just doesn't last as long."


I think this would make the perfect Father's Day present for a small child to give to his or her father. I can see it now that they can start a Reading Promise on their own whether it's to re
...more
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“I think the root of embarrassment is feeling totally misunderstood, wanting to explain yourself over and over but knowing that you won't make much sense to anyone even if you do.” 15 likes
“If a child sees something in a parent that the child aspires to, he or she will copy that parent and be content. If a children feel that a parent is living a life that shows compassion and understanding, patience and love, that child will not have to reach a stage of rebellion against that parent. Why rebel against someone who has listened to you and wants to help you fufill your dreams? A parent who has proven time and again that growth and happiness of his or her children is priority number one does not have to worry about where these children are heading in life. They will be sensitive and productive members of society for as long as they live.” 10 likes
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