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How to Buy a Love of Reading

3.28  ·  Rating details ·  1,169 ratings  ·  327 reviews
Fall in love with reading all over again.

To Carley Wells, words are the enemy. Her tutor's innumerable SAT flashcards. Her personal trainer's "fifty-seven pounds overweight" assessment. And the endless reading assignments from her English teacher, Mr. Nagel. When Nagel reports to her parents that she has answered "What is your favorite book" with "Never met one I liked,"
Hardcover, 392 pages
Published May 14th 2009 by Dutton Adult
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Average rating 3.28  · 
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 ·  1,169 ratings  ·  327 reviews

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John Philipp
Jul 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I am not a book reviewer -- never write them and only on rare occasions read them. I think my reluctance to embrace the book review genre is that, for the most part, the reviewers seem too interested in impressing the reader with their skill at word manipulation and incisive analytical skills.

Yet, in thinking about this book, it occurred to me that the type of book review I could learn from would be the same style I use when trying to understand software, or a website, or, God forbid, a governm
Alisha Marie
Aug 14, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Book lover that I am, I fully expected to love How to Buy a Love of Reading. I think every reader has come across a person who has said "My time is very valuable and I don't waste it reading." To which us book lovers respond with "Well, you know, I read because I have a brain and it needs nourishment, which is why I'm leaving now since you're clearly not going to provide any." Snarky? Maybe. Do I care? Not really considering the douche offended me first by implying that his time is way more impo ...more
Jun 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
When I looked at the jacket cover for this book, the phrase "Never met a book I liked," caught my attention. However, my initial assumption that this would be a light-hearted, satirically funny book turned out to be very wrong. The book was certainly full of satire interwoven in the dialog and behavior of the characters, with a particular focus on the class-conscious, nouveau riche parents and their high-school age children. But the real weight of the story and what resonated long after I put th ...more
Mar 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I lay awake after finishing this book, after having a good cry, after having been spending every possible moment with it for a week, writing reviews in my head....

"Stunning. Surprising. Sumptuous. Smart. Sad."

I devoured every paragraph like Carley and Amber devoured the "brioche-swaddled pears and seafood-stuffed dumplings and a mound of beluga and countless tiny meat pies and a silk wedge of Fromage d'Affinois with peppery crackers and slices of duckling nested on sweet potato pancakes with can
Jan 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: this may be for young adults, or it may not--it's a great book either way
Gibson had me at the title, I have to say. And the premise is very interesting:after 15 year old Carly admits on a school questionnaire that she's "never met a book I liked", her very rich, very status conscious parents decide to commission a book just for Carly. They actually hire an author to move into their house(well, mansion, complete with it's own bra museum) and write a book that Carly would actually like to read. That starts a lot of balls rolling in their little, monied town. The true s ...more
Nov 26, 2017 rated it did not like it
Ugh. DNFing hard. I’d rather read Harry Potter fanfiction.
Aug 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book really surprised me. When I first started reading it, I really didn't like it. It opens up with scenes at various rich parties with various rich kids and their ridiculous parents. It was opulent and whiny and gross. I thought the same of Carley, the main character, a fat rich girl who cares about nothing except her best friend (and unrequited love) Hunter Cay. To be frank, Carley pretty much disgusted me. She was cloying, overly dramatic, prone to blindness where Hunter was concerned. ...more
Lisa Vegan
I liked this book. While the book wasn’t ruined because of it, I was distressed to read a spoiler, an important one, in a Goodreads member’s review, while I was in the midst of reading the book. At one moment toward the end of the book, my heart was in my throat, but that moment would have been so much more powerful if I’d not known what I knew because of that review.

The story is both hilarious and terribly sad, funny although I never really laughed, and melancholy though I didn’t cry, though I
Mar 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
I really enjoyed this book despite what I think is fairly deceptive flap copy. I expected a much more tongue-in-cheek narrative that this book offers- the satire is fairly light in my opinion. Despite that, the story itself is compelling, and Carley (who I disliked in the beginning) develops into a character with wonderful depth. Her struggle to survive while trying to save her best friend is unexpectedly poignant, and I enjoyed watching Carley slowly come to recognize her own worth outside of H ...more
Lois Duncan
May 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
A blurb on the back cover calls this book "ironic commntary and gorgeous prose" which it probably is. But it is also one of the most depressing books I've ever read. There wasn't a character in it who, by any stretch of the imagination, could be called "normal." They all belonged in insane asylums or detox centers.

In other words, not for those who was a "fun read."
Oct 05, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011
If only this book was about what the blurb says it's about. Sad to say, that isn't the story here. Not sure why they do that. Who writes those blurbs? The author? Shouldn't they know the plot of their own books? I'm confused.
This book isn't about Carley trying to save Hunter by getting him interested in Bree's book. Hunter couldn't care less about much more then his next drink or Vicodin and he has absolutley no interest in the book. Plus, Carley already knows she's capable of creating stories,
Kate Dykes
Feb 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
It was only after deciding that this is not necessarily a book for teenagers, despite it being mostly about teenagers and despite having found it in the YA section, that I could come to terms with the fact that I really liked this book. I probably wouldn't have liked it as much a few years ago when I only liked reading books that were mostly happy. If you're looking for happy, don't read this. It's mostly people being jerks to each other, which grated on my nerves. But it was well-written, well- ...more
Sep 22, 2010 rated it it was ok
I had higher hopes for a book about books. I nearly put it down, never to pick it up again, a couple of times during the first half of the book. It took a turn for the better at the mid-point, but I was still a bit disappointed in most of the characters. It's fiction, but, still, I wanted to like them. But, it's hard to like characters who are caricatures of over-the-top, nouveau rich like those seen on "Real Housewives" and "My Super Sweet 16". The adults in the story were more concerned with i ...more
Margaret Schoen
Mar 08, 2010 rated it it was ok
Not nearly as clever as the author thinks it is. The story pulls from "The Great Gatsby" (apparently intentionally) and "Less Than Zero" (apparently uinintentionally). A rich, social-climbing Long Island couple, upset that their schlumpy daughter has no interest in books or school, commissions an arty author from the wrong side of Brooklyn to write a book that catering specifically to the daughter's interests.

But that's really a subplot to the daughter's unrequited love with the handsome, drunk
Oct 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kelli by: Xe Sands
When the answers on her English questionnaire draw criticism from her teacher regarding her disinterest in academics, the parents of fifteen year-old Carley Wells take drastic measures and hire a failed meta-novelist to move in to their mansion and write a story for Carley’s sixteenth birthday. They optimistically hope this will engender a love of reading in their daughter as well as providing Gretchen Wells with a chance to outdo her socialite friends and neighbors. While Carley’s father, Franc ...more
Nov 01, 2010 rated it it was ok
It will always be debatable, whether the “greats” of yesterday (Homer to Emerson to Fitzgerald) would still have written about deep things, had that been alive, today. Or, as some might propose, would Homer be a cheesy romance writer, Emerson a gossip columnist and Fitzgerald a head writer for The O.C.? There is, simply, no way to tell, lacking that windbag pundit Wells’ time machine, but the real point is that what we deem deep, looking back, may very well have been, to their then-modern-day cr ...more
Margaret Murray
Jan 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves The Great Gatsby
I saw the display for Tanya Egan Gibson's How to Buy a Love of Reading across the aisle at the Northern California Storytellers' Festival where I was signing my books. Gibson’s title and book cover intrigued me. The novel looked somehow different, singular, intriguing. It had flair, flamboyance.
When I asked Tanya Egan Gibson if we could trade books, she agreed. Now that I've finished How to Buy a Love of Reading, I realize my hunch was correct. This coming-of-age novel is both exciting and ye
Sep 30, 2009 rated it liked it
The title of this book grabbed my attention as I walked through the library. I was in a bit of a rush - picking up books on hold, grabbing a new round of books for my daughters and parked in the 20 minute parking - but the cover's rows of books coupled with the title to pull me in. I stopped, picked it up, and read the front and back comments by other authors. Thinking it sounded worth a try, I put it in my bag and moved on. Having only the cover and comments from other authors to go on, I was a ...more
Jul 23, 2009 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 16, 2011 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is easily one of the most well-written books I've ever read. Gibson is a master of creating a core of real, flawed characters whose relationships and demons seem to mirror each other as they interact.

The premise of the book is that a status-seeking mother (and father) want to create a party for their daughter's Sweet Sixteen party. They decide to buy her an author that will create the perfect story for her (and of course, the theme of the story will match the theme of the party).

We meet Ca
Apr 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Usually when I go to the library every Saturday, I just pick up the books I requested the Sunday before. But last week, the five I picked up seemed short, and since I didn't bring a list with me, I perused the aisles to find another one. (Despite having a pile of 'to read' books that I actually own, I seem to have a fear of running out of things to read. Hence the normal library pick-up being five or six books.)

Anyways, the spine of this one caught my eye. I mean, there's an owl, there's books -
Jan 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
How to buy a love of reading? Start by buying this book. I was lucky enough to read a galley of this wonderful book that will be out in May. Egan Gibson reminds me why I love to read- because I love to fall in love with characters and want to rip the heads off of others and sometimes those roles shift, because I love when an author can so artfully navigate the blurry line between the classes, a clear nod to Fitzgerald and, for me, Ethan Canin, but with a voice that is so instinctively, purely he ...more
Select reviews of How to Buy a Love of Reading that caught my eye appear below in condescending order, and below that, ratings that may prove 17% of goodreaders have IQs over 140, and conversely make me wonder: “If I don’t give this book five stars will my IQ actually plummet?”

hmmm. for me it's really a 3.5 but on GR we have to "like it" or "really like it" - I am not going to walk up to someone today and say "hey, you gotta read this, I really like it" but I can write that I am glad I read it,
Tisha (IG: Bluestocking629)
I shall call this book my "green bean". When I was younger at a friend's house her mom served me lasagna and green beans. I liked lasagna - I hated green beans. Not wanting to let her know that I instead devoured the green beans (before I even started the lasagna). That's what I was doing with this book. I was determined to not have another "did not finish". So I devoured this book even though I am a huge non-fan .

And boy am I sorry I did.

I think when the author wrote this book she cited or use
Mar 03, 2018 marked it as to-read
Recommendation on IG (@ofclumsywords) - 2/13/2018
Bella Martinez
This was so gritty, so real, and it brought me to tears multiple times. I adore Carley...what a loveable character she is! This book will stay with me forever.
Cadence Woodland
Dec 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Another really good debut novel this year...bad for my aspiring writer self esteem but wonderful to read! I've unexpectedly picked up a bunch of debut novels this year and am discovering a whole new host of authors to love. Never a bad thing!
Sep 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
I have to admit, I almost quit on this book. The first half just wasn't that engaging to me. I couldn't really make myself care about the rich-but-sad teenage protagonists, Carley Wells and Hunter Cay, and the plot felt a bit contrived. But I'm really glad I stuck with it, because it reached a tipping point about halfway in where the story really gained momentum.

As it turns out, no one in this book is as he or she seems, least of all Carley. From the title and flap copy, I expected a flip story
Sep 24, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
From the title and the book description, I thought this was going to be a cute, sweet read. It had the makings of it, at least, and maybe it was my mistake to assume that. I think I would have enjoyed it if it wasn't a light read either, but the issue I had with the book was that, I wasn't sure what it was.

The book switched between multiple points of view, from both adults and teens, which is fine, except I didn't think some of the POVs were that relevant to the story. The characters, while some
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Tanya Egan Gibson's debut novel, How To Buy a Love of Reading, was published by Dutton in May 2009. An alumna of Squaw Valley Community of Writers, she is mother to a four-year-old who produces countless construction-paper "books" that she insists Mommy "get published" and a one-year-old who teethes copies of HTBALOR, and wife to the most patient man in the universe."

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