Readers Share the First Book They Read on Their Own

Posted by Cybil on January 20, 2017

We recently asked our fellow readers: What's the first book you remember reading all by yourself?

More than 1,800 of you shared those memories with us on Facebook. Below are some of your 'first' books—many of them the beloved childhood classics.

First Book

First Book

Join the conversation: Tell us about the first book you read and why that memory stays with you.

Some of Your First Books:
Charlotte's Web

Kristy's Great Idea

Little House in the Big Woods

The Secret of the Old Clock

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Welcome to Dead House

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Little Women

Harriet the Spy

Freckle Juice

The Call of the Wild

The Hobbit

Inspired? Check out this list of books that made you fall in love with reading.

Comments Showing 1-50 of 99 (99 new)

message 1: by Norma (new)

Norma Ortiz mine was Tom Sawyer! I think I was 8 -9 years old and that made me love lecture :) I'm 25 now and I still have that book, to give it to my daughter someday

message 2: by Marta (new)

Marta An abridged version of 'Little Women' when I was about 7 or 8. Took me about a month to finish :)As Mulherzinhas

message 3: by Pandemo (new)

Pandemo The Album of Horses by Marguerite Henry The first time I tried it, I knew the word THE and marked each time it occurred all throughout the story. Not surprisingly, I grew up to own a horse farm.

message 4: by Paul (new)

Paul Edwards The Iron Giant - Ted Hughes of course. Aged about 6. Still love that book.

Daily Daydreamer Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl when I was 10 years old :')

message 6: by Akansha (new)

Akansha Children's Book - Famous Five series when i was a kid.
Non Fiction Book - Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
Fiction - The Inherited Bride by Maisey Yates

message 7: by ✿ K.B (new)

✿ K.B ✿ The first book I remember reading was Peter Pan. I remember I got this book from my teacher and it made me happy. She had many fairytale books at home and whenever I visited she would give me some to read.. but I don't remember much of that. She finally gifted my Peter Pan and I read it over and over and over. Reading it was like I visited the Neverland again and again, where I was happy and away from reality. And I think this book and story made me love books. I have the book with still now in a fair condition, because I read it so much while growing up.

message 8: by Joy M. (new)

Joy M. Newton My first book I have ever read on my own was The Secret Garden, I truly realized I could travel to another world when I opened a book. This book allowed me to realize my true love of all books

message 9: by Martha (new)

Martha Groeber My first book was "Go, Dog, Go!" when I was about 4. My older sister was in first grade and every day she would come home from school and teach me what she had learned. I was so proud when I read that book cover to cover by myself. Then I begged my mother for a library card. The librarian thought I was too young (!) but said if I could write my name small enough to fit on the card, I could get one. I practiced over and over until I could do this. I still remember how proud and excited I was to have my very own library card!

message 10: by booksforbrit (new)

booksforbrit My first book I read on my own was "White Fang" by Jack London.
I am not sure why this memory sticks with me, but my aunt bought me this book along with BFG by Ronald Dahl and I couldnt wait to get home and read it.

message 11: by Phoenix2 (new)

Phoenix2 My first book was some short of short stories about wild animals and bears, though I can't remember its name...

message 12: by Karma (last edited Jan 20, 2017 10:16AM) (new)

Karma C the first book i ever read on my own was christine by Stephen King first grade...i had an accident when i was a kid and i had to relearn how to do every when i did finally start reading i wanted to read something by Stephen king because my dad would read me Carrie at nights

message 13: by Kim (new)

Kim I don't remember the exact one but I do remember reading a series of horse-related books, Chelsea and Chesapeake Bay; Little House series,; Charlotte's Web, and Little Women. My first adult book reads in grammar school were A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and Uncle Tom's Cabin was an assigned summer read, 1976, I think.

message 14: by Sierra (new)

Sierra The Hobbit was my first, too!

message 15: by Meredith (new)

Meredith My first classic book was Treasure Island.

message 16: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Martha wrote: "My first book was "Go, Dog, Go!" when I was about 4. My older sister was in first grade and every day she would come home from school and teach me what she had learned. I was so proud when I read t..."

What a coincidence!! My first book read by myself was also "Go, Dog, Go!"!! I remember reading that one so well, with my Dad - a special memory, since he died when I was only 9. Dr. Seuss and P.D. Eastman books were some of my favorites because I read them with him.

message 17: by Elise (new)

Elise I don't think I could remember that. Does Dr. Seuss count? All I know is I could read since I was three years old. First chapter book I read on my own (outside of school) that I can remember was probably Sideways Stories from Wayside School. It was my favorite when I was a kid. I loved it.

message 18: by Kerri (new)

Kerri This is one of my favorite personal anecdotes, actually! The first book I read completely on my own was Green Eggs and Ham. I was so excited that I'd finally read an entire book with no help that I decided I would read it to my kindergarten class the next day at show and tell. I raised my hand but another girl went up before me. She said she was going to read to us...and lo and behold, her book of choice was Green Eggs and Ham. I hid my own book under my chair after that and never got to show off my skills to the class. Still makes me a bit sad 23 years later! haha

message 19: by Martha (new)

Martha Groeber Sarah wrote: "Martha wrote: "My first book was "Go, Dog, Go!" when I was about 4. My older sister was in first grade and every day she would come home from school and teach me what she had learned. I was so prou..."

What a sweet memory! My mother volunteered in our school library. I would go in after school and read all the Dr. Seuss/P.D. Eastman books over and over while she worked.

message 20: by Jane (new)

Jane Jago Children of the New Forest by Frederick Marryat. I was about four.... I read it because my father had read it to me and I wanted to read it for myself

message 21: by Heathermomo (new)

Heathermomo I remember loving a book at my first school library that was a beautiful picture book with the carol "Once in Royal David's City" when I was 4 or 5.
The first real book that made an impression on me (and led me to read the entire series) was The Princess of the Chalet School by Elinor M Brent Dyer. It was given to me to when I was at home ill when I was 7 I loved the Chalet School books, and was so disappointed when I realised the author had died before I discovered the books.

message 22: by Bookwench69 (last edited Jan 20, 2017 01:00PM) (new)

Bookwench69 DeenieMine was Deenie by Judy Blume. I think I was 8 or 9 and I sprawled on the couch for the afternoon and read it in one go.

message 23: by Alina (new)

Alina Mine was 'Heidy' by Johanna Spyri. I loved reading about her adventures and how independent she was.

message 24: by This Kooky Wildflower Loves a Little Tea and Books (last edited Jan 20, 2017 01:58PM) (new)

This Kooky Wildflower Loves a Little Tea and Books Are You My Mother? 1980 preschool. Good times.

message 25: by April (new)

April Rudolph Up until I was in 6th grade, I hated reading. I would watch movies based on books in order to write my book reports. One of my sisters, caught me doing it with the movie, Shiloh, and told me of the huge discrepancies between the two. She had read the book. Grumbling, I told my mom I needed to go to the library to get a book for school. As I walked up and down the YA section, Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz caught my eye. That book is the reason I love reading today. I only thought fantastic worlds like that could only be found in movies. Oh how wrong I was. After reading about Dorothy's amazing adventures, you could not get me to stop reading. Thank you, L. Frank Baum!

message 26: by Tim (new)

Tim Mine was The Call of the Wild, from my grandma in 1968 with my name scrawled inside, still on my bookshelf :-)
I see from the photo here I'm not alone having this as my first one.

message 27: by Shima (new)

Shima I'd only learned half of the alphabet so I had to guess what the words were based on those letters I knew. To this day I don't know how I managed it. I'd never forget the feeling I had when I reached the last page.

Olivia "So many books--so little time."" The first books I remember reading on my own were Dr. Seuss books. They included On Beyond Zebra!, and Dr. Seuss' Sleep Book.

message 29: by Shannon (new)

Shannon Mine was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow's.
I learned:
1) the books weren't based on the films
2) it was the seventh and not the sixth.
3) it wasn't the first book to come out before the film
(I was young)

message 30: by Selena (new)

Selena I'm not sure which was my first book to read on my own, but I know I really liked reading Goodnight Moon and Madeline.

I was a super early reader. ^^;;; I seriously learned to read through sheer stubbornness.

message 31: by MacBudgie (new)

MacBudgie The first book I remember reading was The Wee Free Men when I was young. I can't remember how old I was, but I know it would have been eight at the very oldest.
It was so very different from all the other books and I just fell in love with it, so although there probably were other books before it, I remember this one.

message 32: by Elizabeth ♛Smart Girls Love Trashy Books♛ (last edited Jan 20, 2017 05:30PM) (new)

Elizabeth ♛Smart Girls Love Trashy Books♛ I remember I read a lot of nonfiction. One of my favorite things to read as a kid, like we're talking about five/six years old, was a book I got from the public library about the human body with giant pull-out diagrams and stuff that you had to tilt and move the book to read. My favorite part was a HUUUGE diagram that followed a slice of pizza as it was broken down in the digestive system, from the mouth to the anus.

I also remember a book about tornadoes I loved as a kid, I have a fond memory of reading it in my playroom to the light of the moon in the dark while eating Swiss cheese. Of course a lot of information in that book is outdated by today's standards.

In terms of series, I really liked American Girl, Nancy Drew, Babysitter's Club, and Junie B. Jones.

According to Mom, I taught myself how to read, and I'll take her word for it.

message 33: by Reeter (new)

Reeter I can't tell you the exact book, but it was probably a mystery of some sort. I loved mysteries as a kid, and read pretty much every mystery series from Nancy Drew to the Boxcar Children.

message 34: by leo (new)

leo Mine was Alice the Brave. I was in fifth grade, I think, when I first read it. c:

message 35: by Anam (new)

Anam I think it has to be one of the books from the Famous Five series by Enid Blyton when I was 5-6. It got me hooked on Enid Blyton for 5 years after that.

message 36: by Pushkar (new)

Pushkar Deshmukh Marta wrote: "An abridged version of 'Little Women' when I was about 7 or 8. Took me about a month to finish :)As Mulherzinhas" ha ha... A month... That's cute :)

message 37: by Sophie (new)

Sophie Mi planta de naranja-lima by Jose Mauro de Vasconcelos. I was about 10 at the time so I didn´t quite understand the deepness of the plot.
I keep a beautiful memory though ´cause It was the 1st book my mom gave me. I must re-read it as a grown woman.

message 38: by Mary (new)

Mary I read Dr Seuss and Enid Blyton but I think my first children's book was called Milly Molly Mandy. I too was reading at 3 so it's a bit hard to remember. My first "grown up book" was Black Beauty by Anna Sewell at about 6 or 7. I remember it was quite hard and I went back to books like What Katy Did for a while.

message 39: by Keanes (new)

Keanes Wren by Marie Killilea. This post made me remember the title, but I couldn't remember the author. I bought it at the school book fair in third grade....1972? It wasn't until I was halfway through the book that I realized she was disabled. I bought it because she and I share the same first name. I do remember being so proud when I finished and realized I had just finished a chapter book by myself.

message 40: by Rinji (new)

Rinji I believe my first read on my own, that I remember, was Sarah, Plain and Tall. Still love that book.

message 41: by [deleted user] (new)

Mine was Four Mice Deep in the Jungle! It was the book that introduced me to the Geronimo Stilton series, which I loved when I was younger

message 42: by Julia (new)

Julia I don't actually remember, because I was a precocious reader (the only reason I passed kindergarten, I swear, I was a terror). I have a vivid memory of this book about an Irish Setter, because he died after he saved a little boy from a fire. I was traumatized. Even as a kid I liked dogs better than kids... oops.

message 43: by [deleted user] (new)

I really can't remember the first book I read on my own. However I got my love of books and reading from my parents and I still have the first books I was given packed away. Wonderful memories.

message 44: by Megan (new)

Megan Well, I first read The Gruffalo by myself when I was three, but I'm not sure that counts. Then I read The Worst Witch books. But I really fell in love with reading when I read The Faraway Tree. My mum brought me the trilogy, and I read it in two weeks when I was six.

message 45: by ⚣Michaelle⚣ (last edited Jan 21, 2017 02:27AM) (new)

⚣Michaelle⚣ The first book I read by myself was The Eye Book by Dr. Seuss,.

It was the first one I ever bought for myself as well (found it at an auction with my dad)! I was almost 4 and I loved it because "pink underpants" made me giggle relentlessly. It was also the book I taught my sister to read first!

The second one was Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff.

I'm sure there were more along those lines but after that I only remember the Hardy Boys & Nancy Drew mysteries books...but I was reading those by the end of 1st grade. Sure, I don't think I always understood them then, but I read them!

message 46: by Mila (new)

Mila one of the first book that i remember reading is matilda and also most of roald dahl books :)

message 47: by Lanie (new)

Lanie Good god, no way I could remember the very first book I ever read on my own! Probably picture books like Dr. Suess. Then I think I moved on to reading "magic treehouse" "junie b. Jones" then "goosebumps" all the super repetitive kiddie crap.

But the first "real" book I remember best was "Gregor the Overlander". I read it in 5th grade & I distinctly remember trying to read it in the car at night even though I couldn't see.

But Harry Potter is the reason I love fantasy so much. :)

message 48: by Wash your hands. (new)

Wash your hands. Hehe lots of people not being honest here, first book everyone read on their own had someone like Rodger red hat or spot the dog as a starring role. :D

Might I suggest "What was the book which sparked your love of reading?" For a future blog list :)

message 49: by Isabelle (last edited Jan 21, 2017 05:36AM) (new)

Isabelle Domingues I think mine was "Bento", by André Vianco when I was about 12. Never finished the series though.

message 50: by Agnese (new)

Agnese The first book I read on my own was Little women. I remember that I liked it so much that the pages of the book came away!And then my grandmother bought me the VHS of the film with Winona Ryder and Susan Sarandon. I loved it (and still love it)!After Little Women, Roald Dahl, Bianca Pitzorno, Gianni Rodari and Harry Potter were the books of my childhood.

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