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By The Time You Read This

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  2,017 ratings  ·  267 reviews
This is a manual for my daughter Lois. Here are the rules:
1. You must only read each new entry on your birthday, there is one for every year until you are thirty.
2. This is a private manual between you and me.
3. No peeping at the next entry unless it's your birthday!

When Lois Bates is handed the manual, she can barely bring herself to read it as the pain of losing her
321 pages
Published 2008 by Harper
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Average rating 3.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,017 ratings  ·  267 reviews

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Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tear_jerker, vulkan
Only those who lose a loved one knows how difficult it is and almost unbearable.
Little girl of 5 years remained without a father, but fortunately, he leaves her, 'manual' with the stories that accompany it during her growing up, which it partly alleviates the fact that he is not next to it.
This is a touching love story of father and daughter even though they are not physically together.
Melissa Lee-Tammeus
Jan 24, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: borrowed
I really wanted to like this book. The truth of the matter is I attempted to read it 3 nights in a row and got through half of it. And then I decided I was wasting my time as I was not vested at all. It is supposed to be about a father who dies of cancer and writes a manual to his growing daughter that she is to read sections of every year on her birthday. Sounds fantastic, right? The problem is how do you write a fast paced chick lit book about every year from elementary school to being thirty ...more
Apr 16, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
When I started reading this, I thought it would really touch me. And when I read the first journal entries from Lois' dad, I had to fight some tears. But that's it. No more feelings from there on. I dunno what really happened but when I reached page 100 or so I became seriously bored. This book is predictable and nothing really happens. It's like your reading the story of any girl you could know or something like that. Nothing special. Not even the journal entries from her dad. Which, let's be h ...more
Jan 11, 2011 rated it liked it
This novel brought tears to my eyes on many occassions. Character development is very well done and the book overall is very well written. This novel forces you to reconsider the relationships you have, not only with your father but with all your family and friends. A thought provoking read making the reader think of the bigger picture, trying to make the right decisions and choices in life. This is a realistic representation of any young woman facing challenges throught her life, whether that b ...more
Lola Jaye
Sep 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
It's a great read! How do I know...? Okay, I wrote it! Hope you enjoy too... LJ ...more
Claire Bateman
Oct 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I enjoyed this book. I bought it for a £1 years ago at Asda. Who knew it would be a diamond in the rough. It's premise is unique, as will its style. And it hits home with many situations. If only every person could have a manual growing up (excluding the tragic circumstances) This book has given me a new style of books I'd like to start reading more of.
Claire Tregilgas
Nov 14, 2009 rated it it was ok
I did not like the character of Lois at all. She was very cold and impersonal. She was so wrapped up in herself she didnt see the family she had left, only the one who had died.
Oct 06, 2009 rated it liked it
Lola Jaye's by the time you read this, is about Lois Bates, a girl of 12 at the beginning who receives a manual for life written by her dead father on her birthday. She greatly misses her father, and reads The Manual on each subsequent birthday until she reaches 30. Lois becomes successful at her chosen career while navigating a friendship/love affair with her best friend's brother. I could relate a lot to Lois, as I am also very success-oriented, and found her refreshing among so many books wri ...more
Jan 04, 2010 rated it liked it
When Lois is 12, she is given a manual that was written for her by her dead father. Inside the manual, her father guides her through life by the way of letters written for her to read on every birthday until she's 30. But while she is clinging to her father and his manual so hard, how will Lois ever learn the lessons he writes about?

This was a comfortable read, something you can just sit back and relax with because it's not very taxing. The story itself is interesting enough, there are a few twi
Oct 26, 2009 rated it liked it
Lois lost her father when she was only five years old. When her mom remarries when she is 13 her father's sister shows up and gives her "The Manual" which her father wrote in the months before he died. In it he includes general information and a special note to her for each birthday until she reaches the age of 30. As the years pass by Lois learns a lot about herself and her friends. When she turns 30 she learns some things that really surprise her. The book was interesting and was worth reading ...more
Feb 05, 2010 rated it did not like it
I saw this book and just had to have it! I even carried it around with me like a blanket, because I didn't want to leave it. I just wanted to open it up and start reading, but I was reading another book at the time. When that book was finished, I quickly grabbed this book and started reading what I for sure thought would be a tear-jerker, wantint to call me dad every minute, and learn life lessons for where I am in life......NOTHING happened. I cannot even finish reading it because I am so disap ...more
Feb 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Lois's father, Kevin, died when she was five. Seven years later, she receives a book from Auntie Philomena on the day her mother remarries. The book, The Manual , is by her father and is chock-full of his advice for Lois, to be read one chapter per year, on her birthday. A list of seven rules includes a warning for Lois to not skip ahead, and she takes her dad's advice to heart, savoring the entries, the vast majority of which consist largely of standard self-help fare. I cried when i read this ...more
Although the idea of this book is intriguing--a father writing advice to his then 5-year-old daughter to be read on various birthdays after his death. His entries are touching and often humorous, but the book's story feels contrived and a little too pat with some surprising twists that don't quite ring true to the story or its characters. ...more
Lydia Presley
Sep 04, 2009 rated it it was ok
I WANTED to like this book. The concept really had potential, but instead of touching me, it ended up being completely annoying and I was tempted to skip the latter half of the book - especially the letters from Kevin to Lois.
Mina Van der Woodsen
Mar 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
it was a good book,i took one star only because it made me sad.Anyway i love it.:)
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took a while for this book to grow on me....but when it did my heart swelled and my eyes were shiny at certain parts.
It showed me that if a person passes on....there are still ways for your relationship to grow and matter what
This book focuses on the Life of Lois Bates from a little girl to the age of 30.
She loses her father at age 5...but he leaves a life manual filled with fatherly advice...encouragement and love....
A very well written book in my opinion!
Jun 09, 2017 rated it did not like it
I really wanted to like this book, but if I'm being completely honest it was boring. I read about 70 pages, and stopped because I felt it was extremely predictable. ( Something happens in her life, and then a specific entry correlates with the event right after). I find this to be a bit unrealistic. I guess that's why I wasn't too much into this book ...more
Jul 24, 2010 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 16, 2018 rated it liked it
cute story that was engaging and made you think about your life at each age
Dec 15, 2020 rated it it was ok
i really wanted to like this book -- the concept of a narrative that follows a character through years of their life fascinates me, but unfortunately this book just did not pull it off. the protagonist felt unlikeable and static, and despite her many flaws was never in any way challenged to grow or overcome them -- any time she encountered a situation that could have spurred her development, she simply refused to engage and just walked away, leaving her characterisation the exact same at age 30 ...more
Chrissy Dee
Aug 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Synopsis: Lois’ father passed away when she was 5 years old. On her 12th birthday, she receives the best birthday present: The Manual, written by her father for her to read on her birthday each year until she is 30 years old. Although her father could not be there physically for her, his words help to guide her throughout the ups and downs of growing up and adulthood.

Thoughts: I honestly have mixed feelings about this book. The subject hit close to home as my dad passed away when I was 12 years
Oct 24, 2019 rated it liked it
The plot is simple enough and very sweet. The letters Lois got from her father years after he passed away were incredibly kind and I got pretty teary at the very beginning. The rest didn’t feel so emotional, but I did really enjoy watching her life play out and see her face her fears. It also had a really sweet, full circle kind of ending that I really enjoyed. I read it so quickly more because it was an easy read rather than an un-put-down-able read, though. The character development was pretty ...more
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-read-2020
I’ve re-read this book several times over the last few years and have always finished it with a feeling of sadness of it being over, but also happiness that I was able to read such a book. I really identify and connect with Lois as a character, as well as the other charismatic supporting characters within the story. The story does a good job reflecting life, with its realistic ups and difficult downs. This is a story that has just always connected with me and I know it’ll continue to be a book t ...more
Lindsay Hayes
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was super cute and such a real telling of how life changes. I expected for this story to be almost "fairytale" like, but this got to the real stuff that can make life tough. Struggles with relationships, careers, and just how to live the best life you can.

The idea of her dad writing her a manual for her life is such a heart warming concept that I think we all would appreciate at some point.
Judi Burns
Nov 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a story written by Lois’s dead father to her when she was only five years old. While Lois’s memories of her father are few, he gives himself to her each year with a new chapter of live for her to read on each of her birthdays.
This book give her hope in a world that is missing importance to her.
I enjoyed By The Time You Read This by Lola Jaye and look forward to reading more of her work.
Jan 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This was an easy book to read and the first book I read this year. Once I was a little over half way through the book, it was game over. I could not stop reading and stayed up until late to read more. I liked the idea of this book. I’m glad I read this at 25.

It was a cool concept to see the 30 year life span too. I thought it was tastefully done and different than other books that I have read.
Rachel pearson
May 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's more a 3.5 star book. My first book by this author , love the concept on the book. Loved the twist of the " the manual " being between father & daughter as in many cases stories regarding this subject matter ate always mother & daughter.

It was a fast read loved the characters overall a good book .
May 05, 2017 rated it liked it
I haven't lost a parent, so I don't know what that's like, but this book was just okay for me. A lot of what the main character says and feels felt overly dramatic to me, but maybe it was all normal for her situation?!?

Loved the idea and glad it had a happy ending, just didn't love the book.
Carine Rose
This book was really good and touching. It was definitely a page turner. It may leave you emotional. I think this is also a good idea for parents to do towards their kids. I was happy in the end although I did cry a bit.
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing, absolutely amazing

I read this book as a teenager and loved it! I rediscovered it as an adult and I love it even more! It’s such a lovely book about growing up and being yourself! Highly recommended by me!
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Lola Jaye

Lola Jaye is a Penguin/Random House author who has penned four novels and a self-help book.

She was born and raised in London, England and has lived in Nigeria and the United States. She has a Degree in Psychology and a Masters in Psychotherapy and Counseling.

Lola's novels have also been translated into several languages including Korean, German and Serbian. She contributed to the sequel

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