How Did Reading Change Your Life?

Tanya Egan Gibson is a Bay Area writer whose debut novel How to Buy a Love of Reading, will be released on May 14, 2009. There is an interesting feature on Ms. Egan’s website,, where she’s inviting people to submit stories under 500 words about how reading has changed their lives — or even “saved” them.

Ms. Egan says “Reading the stories I’ve received so far from both strangers and friends, I’ve been intrigued by a common thread among many of them: books offer us *hope.*

In one, a girl discovers through books Egypt and Rome and the African Plains–unimagined places that exist beyond her “sleepy town”–and grows up to photograph those places.  In another, a teenager discovers her place in the world when she meets other readers. A group of mountain climbers, stranded with their food supply dwindling, break THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING into sections to share while they wait for a plane to drop them provisions. A woman who feels “lost” rediscovers her path.  Hunter Thompson’s irreverence inspires a man to become a writer.  And reading teaches a child that you can be extraordinary, that you can make *magic.*

To be a reader, I think, is to believe in possibility.  That just beyond the black and white page exists a Technicolor world.  That other people share your fears and your dreams.  And that anything can change–even you.”

Has the ability to read changed your life? Please share your story at


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