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203 Years Later, We Still Can't Get Enough of Pride and Prejudice
Posted by Hayley on January 28, 2016

January 28, 1813: Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice was published 203 years ago today. Two centuries later? Fervor hasn't died down. It remains one of the most beloved books in the world, and new adaptations—in book and film form—are coming this year.

What is it about Elizabeth and Darcy's story that is so timeless? To answer that question (or, more accurately, to indulge our Austen addiction), we took a look at some of the most popular books inspired by Pride and Prejudice. (Check out Listopia for a comprehensive list.)

Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife: Pride and Prejudice Continues
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Death Comes to Pemberley
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Mr. Darcy Presents His Bride
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Mr. Darcy's Daughters
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Retellings from a Different Perspective
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An Assembly Such As This
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Mr. Darcy's Diary
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Modern Updates
Bridget Jones' Diary
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Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice
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Prom and Prejudice
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Complete Reimaginings
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
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Darcy's Voyage: A Tale of Uncharted Love on the Open Seas
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Pulse and Prejudice
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So it's a truth universally acknowledged that—even if Darcy is a vampire, Lizzie needs a prom date, or both of them are murder suspects—the world can never have enough Pride and Prejudice. Is that a good thing? We leave it up to you to decide.

Are you looking forward to more Pride and Prejudice remakes and reinterpretations?

Yes! How shall I bear so much happiness?

No! Are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted?

Why do you love Pride and Prejudice? (Or do you, like Mark Twain, just not get the appeal?) Let us know in the comments!

Famous Authors Who Were Not Fans of Other Famous Authors
Posted by Hayley on January 26, 2016

Have you ever felt like some famous writers are a little overrated? Well, you're in good company—other famous writers felt the same way (and were neither polite nor cautious about expressing it). Enjoy our favorite author-on-author insults below!

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by George Bernard Shaw

Not a fan: H.G. Wells
"An idiot child screaming in a hospital."

For Whom the Bell Tolls
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by Ernest Hemingway

Not a fan: Vladimir Nabokov
"As to Hemingway, I read him for the first time in the early 'forties, something about bells, balls and bulls, and loathed it."

Pride and Prejudice
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by Jane Austen

Not a fan: Mark Twain
"Every time I read Pride and Prejudice, I want to dig her up and hit her over the skull with her own shin-bone."

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
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by Mark Twain

Not a fan: William Faulkner
"A hack writer who would not have been considered fourth rate in Europe, who tricked out a few of the old proven sure fire literary skeletons with sufficient local color to intrigue the superficial and the lazy."

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by Herman Melville

Not a fan: D.H. Lawrence
"Nobody can be more clownish, more clumsy and sententiously in bad taste, than Herman Melville, even in a great book like Moby-Dick…. One wearies of the grand serieux. And that's Melville. Oh dear, when the solemn ass brays! brays! brays!"

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by James Joyce

Not a fan: Virgina Woolf
"[Ulysses is] the work of a queasy undergraduate scratching his pimples."

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by Dante Alighieri

Not a fan: Friedrich Nietzsche
"A hyena that wrote poetry on tombs."

The Cantos
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by Ezra Pound

Not a fan: Gertrude Stein
"A village explainer. Excellent if you were a village, but if you were not, not."

On the Road
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by Jack Kerouac

Not a fan: Truman Capote
"That's not writing, that's typing."

The Old Man and the Sea
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by Ernest Hemingway

Not a fan: William Faulkner
"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary."

The Sound and the Fury
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by William Faulkner

Not a fan: Ernest Hemingway
"Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?"

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by Stephenie Meyer

Not a fan: Stephen King
"Both Rowling and Meyer, they’re speaking directly to young people…. The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good."

What's your favorite author-on-author insult? Tell us in the comments!

The Bowie Effect: Discovering New Books Through a Music Legend
Posted by Hayley on January 21, 2016

"Don't you love the Oxford Dictionary?" David Bowie once mused. "When I first read it, I thought it was a really, really long poem about everything."

Bowie, who passed away last week at the age of 69, was always hungry—for art, for knowledge, for music, for being "something more than human." He achieved near-mythical status over the course of his career as a musician, actor, and cultural icon. He was also a bookworm. In 2013, he shared his 100 must-read books with his fans, showcasing his unsurprisingly eclectic reading taste. Modern classics like A Clockwork Orange and The Great Gatsby made the cut, but so did more obscure tales like Infants of the Spring and A Grave for a Dolphin.

In the wake of Bowie's death, the list has gained new life, with fellow book lovers embracing it as a way to connect and to pay tribute. In fact, you can see the effect right here on Goodreads.

The above chart shows the number of users who have recently added, rated, and reviewed The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea by Yukio Mishima, one of the books on Bowie's list. (This information is available for all books on Goodreads. You can find it by clicking the "Stats" link in the top right corner of any book page.) The spike of readers adding the book occurred the day after Bowie died.

Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa's The Leopard, a lush historical fiction novel about the decline of a decadent Sicilian aristocracy, experienced a similar spike on the same day.

Unlike The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea and The Leopard, Vile Bodies is not its author's most well-known work. Evelyn Waugh's 1930 witty society tale is usually overshadowed by Brideshead Revisited and A Handful of Dust. But thanks to an endorsement from Bowie, Vile Bodies received more adds that day than any other Waugh book.

Meanwhile, some books on Bowie's list (like David Kidd's All the Emperor's Horses) had almost nonexistent shelving activity leading into January. The spike here, though small, represents a group of passionate readers who discovered something new, all because of Bowie.

Check out the full list of books—and add them to your Want to Read shelf here: David Bowie's Top 100 Must-Read Books.

(Top image credit: David Bowie's READ poster for the American Libraries)
Preview now available on Goodreads apps
Posted by Libby on January 13, 2016

Our popular Preview feature is now available in our Android and iOS apps! If you want to get a taste of a book before adding it to your To-Read shelf, you no longer need to be on a desktop or home computer. Now you can read sample pages wherever you are with the Goodreads apps.

Preview is simple to use. You’ll find the “Preview” icon on the book page of any of the millions of titles that have a Kindle edition. Tap on the icon and a sample of the book will open up within the Goodreads app.


If you like what you see, you can add the title to your To-Read shelf on Goodreads. And for our Android users, you can buy the full version of the ebook from Amazon or other popular retailers.


Preview is only available for members in the U.S., U.K., and Canada. (You can also access preview from the Goodreads website on your desktop or home computer if you are in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, or India. It is not yet accessible in other countries.)

Download or update the Goodreads iOS or Android app and check out the Preview feature. It's a great way to decide what to read next and get your 2016 Reading Challenge off to a strong start!

Happy Previewing!
20 Things All Book Lovers Wish Someone Would Say to Them
Posted by Hayley on January 12, 2016

Last week we asked on Facebook and Twitter: What do all book lovers wish someone would say to them? In our perfect world, we'd get to hear all of these. In this world…we can dream. Check out our favorite answers and imagine the reading possibilities!

1. "Your job today is to read any book you want. Make sure you spend a good eight hours at it." (@craigtimes)

2. "Sure, I understand you need the rest of the day off to mourn the loss of a beloved character." (Brenna Godfrey)

3. "Every book on your Goodreads Want to Read list (and all you'll add in future) will be sent to you free of charge." (Fatma Teke)

4. "I've read that book as well! Let's discuss the characters, their flaws, plot twists, and what you think will happen in the next book!" (Quiana Jones)

5. "I don't mind cooking dinner today. You stay on the sofa and carry on reading." (@GingerCatBlog)

6. "Would you like to work at my book shop?" (@joreads2015)

7. "I really loved that book you recommended to me." (@imkattay)

8. "I can get you any ARC you'd like." (@bazinga_sucker)

9. "Here is your own personal door to the largest bookstore in the world. In it is every book in every edition for every genre. And you will also get paid paid for each book you read (plus a bonus for reviewing it). If you have any questions, here are the authors' contact info. Oh, and don't worry about the kids—we have complimentary nannies and housekeepers on standby." (Heather VanDyne)

10. "The Winds of Winter release date is ______. (Okay, not all book lovers, but a lot of them.)" (Richard Ketterer)

11. "Hey honey, let's spend the day getting lost in the used bookstore." (Beth Ford)

12. "What book do you recommend?" (@4evachris)

13. "There are now 25 hours in a day, and the extra hour can only be used for reading." (@SweetRobin110)

14. "Describe that series to me in great detail." (Lucy Hutchinson)

15. "Here's a TARDIS bookcase. Buy as many books as you want—they'll all go in." (Bronwen Humphreys)

16. "Yes, of course you can spend the night in the library." (Babette A. Stubits)

17. "You can have the first edition of any book you want." (Cheryl Johnson)

18. "I couldn't help but notice you love books. I've built you a library full of old classics with plenty of room to add new books. Oh, sweetheart, don't worry about repayment. Just read books to your heart's content. " (Erika L. Miller)

19. "All rainy days are hereby declared reading only days." (Kerrie Lang)

20. "I'll be quiet so you can read." (@hrm_1973)

What do you wish you could hear most? Tell us in the comments!

15 Highly Anticipated Books of 2016
Posted by Hayley on January 06, 2016

Tell your Want to Read shelf to brace itself—books are coming. Sure, George R.R. Martin probably won't deliver The Winds of Winter this year, but who needs Seven Kingdoms and an Iron Throne when you've got spectacular tales of soldiers, stalkers, royals, and fugitives hitting shelves in 2016? (Actually we want it all, but we'll try to be patient.) We've rounded up some of the soon-to-be-released books that are getting the most adds here on Goodreads! How many do you want to read?

Young Adult
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Lady Midnight
by Cassandra Clare

Set in the same world of mythology and mystery as The Mortal Instruments, Lady Midnight kicks off The Dark Artifices, a bold new series centered on Shadowhunter Emma Carstairs's deadly quest for revenge.

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Glass Sword
by Victoria Aveyard

In Red Queen, Best Debut Goodreads Author Aveyard introduced us to Mare Barrow, a commoner with the unexpected ability to control lightning. Mare makes her triumphant return in this powerful fantasy sequel.

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The Star-Touched Queen
by Roshani Chokshi

What do you get when you take a classic Hades and Persephone-style romance and infuse it with Indian mythology? This gorgeously written story about a Raja's daughter and the curse that will forever change her life.

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The High Mountains of Portugal
by Yann Martel

Get swept away to Portugal in this haunting story of love and loss—and a century-old quest that unites three very different men. This is the Life of Pi author's first novel since Beatrice and Virgil was published in 2010.

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The Nest
by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

You might think you know dysfunctional families, but just wait until you meet the Plumbs. Shackled with secrets, scandals, and waning ambitions, four adult siblings grapple with the fate of their shared inheritance in this dazzling debut.

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What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours
by Helen Oyeyemi

The author of Boy, Snow, Bird returns with this rapturous collection of short stories. Built around keys, both literal and metaphorical, Oyeyemi plays with the ideas that unlock our minds and our hearts.

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The Association of Small Bombs
by Karan Mahajan

Mansoor Ahmed watched his two childhood friends get killed by a "small" bomb. The memory of it follows him to university in America and back to Delhi, anchoring this gripping novel about the effects of terrorism.

Fantasy/Science Fiction
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The Thorn of Emberlain
by Scott Lynch

Locke Lamora is a bastard, and the popular Gentleman Bastard sequence is the story of his exploits in the Therin Throne Empire. This fourth installment sees the thief go to war on a battlefield of blood and fire.

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A Gathering of Shadows
by V.E. Schwab

In Kell and Lila's world, there are four Londons, each with its own past of magic and mayhem. The heroes of A Darker Shade of Magic are back, ready for adventure—and a newly arisen Black London.

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The City of Mirrors
by Justin Cronin

With cold ferocity, Cronin brings his apocalyptic trilogy to a conclusion. What began with The Passage now ends here, beyond a hundred-year reign of darkness, to the Girl from Nowhere and humanity's last hope.

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End of Watch
by Stephen King

It's the last ride for Bill Hodges, the unlikely hero of King's Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers. This time around the retired cop scrambles to protect his friends—and his city—from a supernaturally evil former foe.

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Hidden Bodies
by Caroline Kepnes

Some anti-heroes are more "anti" than others. Take Joe Goldberg, for instance. He was an obsessive stalker (with a romantic side) in the thriller You, and now he's officially murderous in this suspenseful sequel.

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The Passenger
by Lisa Lutz

After she ditches her husband's body, Tanya changes her identity—and it's not for the first time. She didn't murder him (she says), but her race for survival and exoneration will keep you on your toes in this tense thriller.

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One with You
by Sylvia Day

Eva and Gideon aren't rid of all their demons. But their passion, first ignited in Bared to You, is still as hot as ever in the fifth and final installment of Day's sizzling erotic romance series, Crossfire.

Historical Fiction
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America's First Daughter
by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie

Discover a little known chapter of history through the eyes of Martha "Patsy" Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson's eldest daughter. Privy to secrets and scandals, Patsy shapes a country's legacy—at the expense of her own heart.

Which book are you most excited to read this year? Let us know in the comments!

Want to Read More This Year? Join the 2016 Reading Challenge!
Posted by Jessica on January 01, 2016

Forget about drinking more water or getting in shape! Our favorite New Year's resolution is definitely this: Read More Books. And we're guessing it's yours, too. Make it easier by creating a reading goal and tracking your progress with the 2016 Reading Challenge on Goodreads!

Will it be one book every other month? Or maybe one book a week? A day? It's up to you! Your goal can be any size. To get started, just choose the number of books you'd like to read this year.

Not sure what to read next? Don't worry! Here are a few ways to build your want-to-read list on Goodreads:

- Recommendations: To get recommendations tailored just for you, rate books you've already read. The more books you rate, the better your recommendations will be!
- Giveaways: Did you know you can enter book giveaways for a chance to win free books?
- Lists: You can also browse the thousands of lists on Listopia—where you'll find categories ranging from classic (Best Books of the 21st Century) to niche (Best Alpha Male Alien Meets Human Heroine Romance).
- Goodreads Choice Award winners: Peruse the results of the recently announced 2015 Goodreads Choice Awards, with winners and runners-up in 20 categories!

And it never hurts to have some social support when working toward a goal, so check out the many Goodreads groups that host reading challenges across every topic, theme, and genre imaginable.

In 2015, Goodreads members pledged to read more than 94 million books! What is your 2016 goal? Tell us in the comments!
10 Quotes Readers Fell in Love with This Year
Posted by Hayley on December 29, 2015

An apple a day allegedly may keep the doctor away, but a quote a day can offer much-needed encouragement and inspiration. That's why we handpick a special quote for Goodreads members every day. (Not subscribed to our Quote of the Day email? Sign up here!) Check out which words of wit and wisdom were the most popular this year.

10. "Books are the carriers of civilization...They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind. Books are humanity in print." Barbara W. Tuchman (Quote of the Day for January 30)

9. "You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore." William Faulkner (Quote of the Day for May 7)

8. "Don't wait for a light to appear at the end of the tunnel, stride down there and light the bloody thing yourself." Sara Henderson (Quote of the Day for September 15)

7. "We all have our time machines, don't we. Those that take us back are memories...And those that carry us forward, are dreams." H.G. Wells (Quote of the Day for September 21)

6. "Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it's a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it's a way of making contact with someone else's imagination after a day that's all too real." Nora Ephron (Quote of the Day for May 19)

5. "Sleep is good, he said, and books are better." George R.R. Martin (Quote of the Day for August 6)

4. "Book collecting is an obsession, an occupation, a disease, an addiction, a fascination, an absurdity, a fate. It is not a hobby. Those who do it must do it." Jeanette Winterson (Quote of the Day for August 27)

3. "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." Dr. Seuss (Quote of the Day for March 2)

2. "Woke up this morning with a terrific urge to lie in bed all day and read." Raymond Carver (Quote of the Day for May 25)

1. "One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don't throw it away." Stephen Hawking (Quote of the Day for January 8)

Do you have a favorite inspiring book quote? Share it with us in the comments!

12 Fictional Book Things on Your Christmas Wish List
Posted by Hayley on December 24, 2015

Santa Claus has his work cut out for him this year. We asked on Facebook and Twitter: What fictional book thing do you want for Christmas? Here are your most requested items! (If ol' St. Nick actually does deliver on any of these, please let us know.)

Invisibility Cloak
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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
by J.K. Rowling

Who would give it to you: It's a mystery! An owl flew into your house and dropped the cloak off, but didn't stay long enough to let you know what human sent it.
What you could do with it: Manage mischief.

Babel Fish
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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
by Douglas Adams

Who would give it to you: Your spacey two-headed brother-in-law.
What you could do with it: Stick it in your ear and finally understand what your distant relatives are saying about you. (It's not great.)

Mary Poppins's Umbrella
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Mary Poppins
by P.L. Travers

Who would give it to you: Your magical nanny, of course.
What you could do with it: Skip all that terrible Christmas traffic and fly through the sky via umbrella transportation.

Time Machine
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The Time Machine
by H.G. Wells

Who would give it to you: A cousin whose name you can't remember.
What you could do with it: Travel back in time to buy that forgettable cousin a better present than a Starbucks gift card.

Ella's Enchanted Book
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Ella Enchanted
by Gail Carson Levine

Who would give it to you: Your friendly neighborhood fairy.
What you could do with it: Open it up and magically find exactly what you want and need to read waiting for you.

Clean-Up Machine
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The Cat in the Hat
by Dr. Seuss

Who would give it to you: Your mother. Definitely your mother.
What you could do with it: Hop aboard and start your cleaning adventure.

A Job with SpecOps27
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The Eyre Affair
by Jasper Fforde

Who would give it to you: Your great-grandmother, who just happens to look a lot like you.
What you could do with it: Become a kick-ass Literary Detective, investigating literature-related crimes on a fairly reasonably salary.

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by Anne McCaffrey

Who would give it to you: Your community Weyrleader.
What you could do with it: Fly through the air on your new dragon friend and save the world from Thread (which is something your Weyrleader has been trying to get you into for ages).

The Luggage
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The Color of Magic
by Terry Pratchett

Who would give it to you: A frumpy wizard who runs through your annual holiday party and shoves the hastily wrapped gift at you.
What you could do with it: Literally trample your enemies.

Wardrobe Made from a Narnian Apple Tree
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The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
by C.S. Lewis

Who would give it to you: Your professor.
What you could do with it: First, you'd use it to totally win at hide-and-seek. Then you'd use it to travel to a magical kingdom, overthrow a dictator, and become royalty.

Portrait Session with Basil Hallward
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The Picture of Dorian Gray
by Oscar Wilde

Who would give it to you: Your first cousin, twice removed, who clearly doesn't know you at all.
What you could do with it: Hang it up in your room and proceed to stop aging while your portrait does it for you.

The One Ring to Rule Them All
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The Fellowship of the Ring
by J.R.R. Tolkien

Who would give it to you: Crazy Uncle Sauron.
What you could do with it: Use the ring to turn invisible and peek at all your other presents. Rule the world. Possibly go insane.

What fictional book item would you love to find under your Christmas tree? Tell us in the comments!

(Top image credit: Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers book cover.)

Goodreads and Worldreader
Posted by Elizabeth on December 22, 2015

Last year when we met David Risher of Worldreader, Otis and I were immediately inspired. We had already profiled Worldreader in our newsletter, but we felt that their mission of giving kids ereaders pre-loaded with culturally relevant books made a lot of sense.

One problem facing libraries in Africa is that they end up with a random assortment of books. Does the average 3rd grader in Ghana really want to read out-of-date Encyclopedia Britannicas and adult whodunits? Ideally, a library should be plum full of age-appropriate and culturally relevant books designed to pique and engage young minds. At Worldreader, rather than gathering and shipping thousands of books to seed a library by hand, they send ereaders, which are able to contain many books and are curated to provide maximum impact. Studies have shown that kids learn best through stories, and also when their emotions are triggered. We want to help kids learn.

Worldreader also had significant technical experience that we felt would boost their ability to execute. In addition, once a product is funded, donors can continue to donate to a school to add more books to those existing donated ereaders.

So, this fall Goodreads choose the St. Mary's Girls Boarding Primary School (the only all-girls public school in the Naorak district of Kenya) for our first fundraising effort. If we could raise $10,000 we would be able to provide the school with 50 ereaders, and each of those would be loaded with 100 books. We launched a month-long campaign and asked our fellow employees, friends, and members of the wonderful Goodreads community to donate. Together we were able to hit that $10,000 goal!

This is what their library looked like before:

Now 300 young women will have access to these 50 ereaders, which contain stories such as The Magic Flyswatter, an East African folktale. The school sent us this image and it made us all feel so good. We wanted to share that feeling with all of you since you are just as responsible!

Thanks everyone for your support! Have a wonderful holidays and New Year. And if you ever want to learn about more ways to help promote literacy and education around the world please take a look at our monthly Do Good feature in our newsletter. We are committed to using the awesome power of Goodreads to make the world a better place!

Elizabeth and Otis