11 Books to Glide You Through Spring

After the long, dark, cold winter, spring peers around the corner and beckons us to wake up and reset our lives. It gives us hope for better days. Flowers begin to break through the solid ground and light the world with color. The Earth is renewing itself, and the cycle of life is once again fulfilled. The following books embody the theme of renewal after darkness, breaking through the hard times with the hope of better days. They will help you glide through the spring of life.

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim

The Enchanted April begins in wet, rainy February in England and ends in Italy in spring. It follows four dissatisfied women who dream of change and a holiday in an Italian castle. The women find more than wisteria and solitude as the magic of spring in the Italian countryside awakes their very souls. The question is whether the enchantment will continue when their husbands and lovers pop up to join their adventure.

The Enchanted April was published in 1922, but it isn’t an out-of-date story. It was a best seller in England and the United States. It became a Book-of-the-Month-Club hit. The magic of the story cast its spell on many readers who immediately took off on holiday to Portofino, Italy after reading. It has also been made into a movie and a Broadway play.

Laddie by Gene Stratton-Porter

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Laddie was originally written in 1913. It is a book about families, relationships, nature, and a time when life was simpler. It is based on the author’s own life, and is the story of “little sister” who is the youngest of eleven children. Little sister is born to a wholesome and well-educated Mid-West family that is busy with farm life. She is often lonely and unwanted, but her brother Laddie adores her. Laddie creates a love of nature in her, and nature is where she is happiest. While it is written in third person and little sister’s perspective, it does include intrigue and suspense.

Gene Stratton-Porter was an American author, early naturalist, nature photographer, and one of the first women to form a movie studio and production company, Gene Stratton-Porter Productions, Inc. She wrote several best-selling novels and received columns in national magazines, such as McCall’s. Her works were translated into several languages, including Braille.

Stratton-Porter was estimated to have had 50 million readers around the world. She used her position and income as a well-known author to support the conservation of Limberlost Swamp and other wetlands in the state of Indiana. All Stratton-Porter’s books are focused on nature and bring a breath of fresh air. They are perfect for a spring time refresh.

Our Spoons Came From Woolworths by Barbara Comyns

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Our Spoons Came From Woolworths is an eye-catching title that begs one to read it. Written in first person, it becomes a quiet life chat between you and the author, perhaps over a cup of tea. The most intimate parts of a woman’s emotional life are shared as if between friends.

It is not autobiographical. Comyns does tell real-life scenarios, including that of childbirth in 1930 at a public hospital. There are so few depictions of childbirth in books that it is almost mesmerizing to read. So why is it in my spring book category? Spring comes after the winter, and this book is all about the cycles of life and life decisions. Finally, it comes around to the new life and hope of a better life.

The story begins with two young bohemian lovers (in London 1930) who marry against the family’s wishes. Sophia, the wife, winds you through life in poverty. The loyalty of Sophia to Charles – a selfish young artist – will anger and enrage at times, but overall the intimate details of Sophia’s mind and heart are will keep one reading.

It’s a story of choices, consequences, and overcoming life’s difficulties. In the end, spring will come as Sophia grows inexperience. The endearing parts of her personality will leave you wanting a second chat over tea- even if Great Warty (Sophia’s pet newt) comes along.

Rose In Bloom by Louisa May Alcott

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Rose In Bloom is the sequel to Eight Cousins with Rose Campbell and the male cousins at the courting age. In true Louisa May Alcott style, her feminine heroine is not a sappy mindless girl just waiting to be married off. In this story, Rose, an heiress to a large fortune, has her own ideas about love, marriage, money, and family. She is an independent young woman who believes all are equal. Luckily, she is wise about people and sees through the games people will play to get a hold of her fortune, including her aunts.

The aunts want to see the money kept in the family, so they want Rose to marry one of her cousins. This turns into quite the challenge, and true colors are revealed. In the end, love conquers all and three weddings are scheduled.

Why is it in my spring reading list? Well, spring is all about new beginnings and love. This is a story about both. Each character is at a new beginning in their life, and romance is bound to happen. The symbolism of “Rose” also stands out as a topic of spring. The rose represents beauty, strength, independence, and protection (thorns). All these are possessed by Rose Campbell. It is a delightful coming of age story in a long-gone era of romance.

 A Room with A View by E.M. Forster

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Spring weather is so unpredictable – rainy and cold one day and sunny and warm the next. It’s unlike the social norms of early 1900s England where the norms are predictable and understood by all.

A Room With A View begins with two English women, Lucy and her chaperone Charlotte, traveling to Florence, Italy. Lucy is middle-class, and her life is all mapped out for her including her betrothal to Cecil. However, the interesting people she meets in Italy and their adventures together begin to stir questions about the uptight British ways. Her experiences at the Pension Bertolini might be brief, but just like spring they seem to bring the unexpected at every turn.

Lucy and a fellow guest at Pension Bertolini, George, witness a murder in the streets of Italy, and it changes their lives. This event sets in motion an eventual romantic experience between the two, and Charlotte whisks Lucy back to England to avoid further encounters.

However, when fate steps in George ends up in England – in the same neighborhood as Lucy. She is pushed to discover her own heart rather than the planned marriage laid before her. Will Lucy break past the social norms of the day? What will be the consequences of such unexpected actions?

A Room With A View takes you on a journey through three countries: Italy, Greece, and England. It ranges from the upper-middle-class Edwardian norms to the looser Italian and Greek philosophies of the day. Comedy, murder, romance are all wrapped up into one book that, like spring, brings the unexpected at every turn.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Secret Garden is one of the most well-known English children’s classics. It is loved by old and young alike. It is the story of renewal, growth, and turbulent family relationships. It was written in 1911 but has endured the test of time.

It begins as Mary, a new orphan born in India to a British family, is shipped back to England to live with her recluse uncle at Misselthwaite Manor in Yorkshire. The contrast between India and England is enough to depress anyone, but Mary has much more to overcome than the weather. She is a spoiled, rude, stubborn child, and no one has time for her tantrums. As the story continues, she begins to change. She softens as she focuses on the difficulties of others.

Eventually, she finds a walled garden which is always kept locked. If this isn’t mysterious enough, there are the constant sounds of sobbing within the vast mansion. No servants will engage in her queries, and she is left to unravel both mysteries herself. Like spring itself, the unexpected cultivates ground which had been neglected but is alive with possibilities.

This charming tale is full of innocence and childhood ideals, yet it tackles complicated family relationships, loss, and overcoming life’s difficulties. It is truly about the hope of spring in the middle of the dark winter.

The Darling Buds of May by H.E. Bates

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The title of this book is taken from William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18: Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? / Thou art more lovely and more temperate: / Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, / And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.

Published in 1958, The Darling Buds of May is the first of five Larkin novels. Sticking with the spring theme, this is another book about the unexpected and transformation of its characters. The book is set in Kent and is about the Larkin family’s different way of living. They like to live the “good life,” but they don’t believe in the normal grind of life. They sell odds and ends, strawberries, and farm animals to make a living. The key concept of the book is Pa’s disbelief in taxes.

When Mr. Charlton, a timid tax clerk comes on the scene, schemes are hatched to move him away from their finances. He also seems to provide an escape from a sticky situation their daughter created.

The Larkin way isn’t pure and exactly wholesome, but it is a celebration of family, food, and getting back to nature. The book introduces the reader to the Brigadier, Miss Pilchester, and Angela Snow – all important characters in the story. The ending sets the stage for the rest of the book series with a celebration and wedding announcement.

“Bates, speaking of how he was inspired to create the Larkins, recalled the real junkyard that he often passed near his home in Kent; and he remembered seeing a family — a father, mother and many children, sucking at ice-creams and eating crisps in a ramshackle lorry that had been recently painted a violent electric blue”. (Wikipedia)

Elizabeth and Her German Garden by Elizabeth von Arnim

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Elizabeth and Her German Garden is a semi-autobiographical novel of the author’s life. Elizabeth von Arnim (1866–1941) was born Mary Annette Beauchamp. By marriage, she became Gräfin (Countess) von Arnim-Schlagenthin and by a second marriage, Countess Russell. The novel, which is written in the late 1800s in Germany, gives a glimpse of the life of a countess.

Elizabeth didn’t care for city life or the limelight. She much preferred the country. The story is a year-long diary of her efforts to reclaim a neglected estate garden. The process of rebirth and renewal of the grounds is captivating as she captures the horticulture and plants of the day. Her garden is her solace, strength, and refuge from life.

Elizabeth refers to her husband throughout the book as “the Man of Wrath,” and her children are called after the month they were born – April, May, and June. Even though the story is really about her passion for gardening, the book is full of details of life and the constraints on women of the time. 

The story is full of humor, friendship, nature, and the culture of the period. It is both endearing and sweet. It isn’t necessary to be a gardener to enjoy the humor and wit of the story. It will leave one wishing for the solitude of a garden though. (A little side note for Downton Abbey fans, Molesley gave Anna a copy of the book in the second episode of season two.)

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

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As a flower must fight to push through the solid ground in the spring, the main character, Victoria Jones, must push past the hard world in which she was raised. As she slowly learns to let others in, we see the layers of beauty in her open to reveal the inner vessel of her human soul. This is a story of redemption, forgiveness, and hope beyond all hope.

Victoria has been raised in the foster care system and is being “emancipated” on her 18th birthday. This freedom leaves her with no one and nowhere to go. She reaches back and remembers the language of flowers taught her by a foster mother. She uses the old-fashioned meaning of flowers to bless the lives of others while refusing happiness for herself.

This story will break your heart several times, yet a sense of hope prevails at every turn. It is a true testimony of those who break past the abuse of childhood and reach for a higher ground – looking always to help others. The biggest question throughout the book is “will Victoria allow herself to be loved?”

“In The Language of Flowers, Victoria learns about this language as a young girl from her prospective adoptive mother Elizabeth. Elizabeth tells her that years ago, people communicated through flowers; and if a man gave a young lady a bouquet of flowers, she would race home and try to decode it like a secret message. So he would have to choose his flowers carefully.” (Vanessa Diffenbaugh) The author includes a chart with the meaning of flowers should the reader want to share a flower with a friend.

Absent in the Spring by Agatha Christie

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This isn’t your average Agatha Christie book. Christie reveals part of herself in this book and will leave you wanting to know more about the author. Be prepared to be uncomfortable while reading this book. It will lead to self-reflection. The main character is living a busy but trivial life. On the return home from visiting her daughter in Iraq, Joan Scudamore finds herself stranded and alone in a rest house. The train tracks have flooded, and she has nothing but time to reflect on her life.

Joan discovers herself for the first time, and it isn’t a pleasant journey. The book is masterly written weaving present and past in a grand narrative. Spring is a time for planning and reflecting, and this story will leave you analyzing your own life. The veil of truth will be lifted and Joan will return a better person more personally enriched. Are you ready for the journey?

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

Prepare yourself for an epic story of living off the land and away from the typical American diet. This is the Kingsolver family’s goal as they move from Arizona to rural Appalachia. They decide to make a one-year goal to live with only what they produce or locally grown food.

Kingsolver is an incredible storyteller even as her family muddles through the task of learning the difficulties of a “simpler” way of life. It is a plea to Americans everywhere to become aware of the drawbacks of the commercial food industry and the myriad of health issues caused by the food we eat.

The topic might seem dry and/or preachy, but let me assure you – you will laugh out loud. Her descriptions of new career choices for unmotivated children will leave you reeling (turkey sperm wrangler, for example). Be warned: there are graphic scenes of heritage turkeys mating – “history in the making” as she describes it.

It’s altogether an enjoyable and educational read. Nothing is lost in the personal narrative of her family’s daily life. Join them through the joys of the first spring harvest of rhubarb to the final apple and potato harvest. Are you ready to take the one year challenge?

9 Book Quotes to Celebrate Spring

Spring is early this year. March 20, 2020 was the earliest spring equinox in 124 years thanks to leap year mathematical magic. Spring equinox marks a day when the Earth is not tilted toward or away from the sun. What is the result? 12 hours of daylight – a completely equal day and night for most of the Earth.

The Earth is awakening under the new daylight and flowers and plants are putting on their best faces to greet us. With everything happening so quickly in our world; and yet, the slowing down of our daily lives and routines, spring is a perfect time to shake off the winter doldrums and take a walk (social distancing rules apply), lie in the fresh spring grass and read a book, or just let the scents of nature stimulate your imagination. Here are some great quotes to put you in the spring mood.

“That is one good thing about this world…there are always sure to be more springs.”

L.M Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

“What a strange thing! to be alive beneath cherry blossoms.”

 Kobayashi Issa

 “In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”

Margaret AtwoodBluebeard’s Egg

“What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again.”

Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay

“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.”

Pablo Neruda

“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.”

Hal Borland

“Spring is the time of plans and projects.”

Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”

Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

“A little Madness in the Spring Is wholesome even for the King.”

Emily Dickinson

March Birthdays – Authors, Illustrators

March is the signal spring is about to begin. March is named after the Roman god of war, Mars. He was the ancestor of the Roman people through his sons Remus and Romulus. The earliest Roman calendar has it written Martius. It marked the season of festivals and warfare. In the Saxon culture, it was named Lentmonat, marking the lengthening of the days. Whatever the history, there are many things to look forward to in March like St. Patrick’s Day, spring equinox, and Daylight Savings. Here at Discover Books, we would like to pay tribute to the talented authors and illustrators who are lucky enough to have their birthdays in March.

Emily Dickinson paid tribute to the month in her famous poem “Dear March-Come In” which is in the public domain.

Without further ado, the list of authors and illustrators with March birthdays:

Happy Birthday to all those authors and illustrators who illuminate the world with their talents. Help their stories live on by purchasing books at Discoverbooks.com.

Giving Back

“Discover Books Donates 1,000 Children’s Books to Cecil County Public Library’s Reading Program”

Elkton, MD – Baltimore, MD – January 27, 2020

1000 Books Before Kindergarten is the Cecil County Public Library’s program to develop a life-long love of reading in children. Reading to young children stimulates their brains and helps them develop an active imagination, all of which helps them thrive academically.  According to a study done by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Reading & Literacy Discovery Center, reading to children in the first five years of life gives them an advantage when they get to school.

To help with Cecil County Public Library’s effort to emphasize the importance of reading, a local company, Discover Books is donating 1,000 early age children’s books to Cecil County Public Library.  This donation valued at over $3,000 will be presented to the library’s Executive Director, Morgan Miller by Discover Books’ CEO, Gary Broache.

Mayor Rob Alt, Jacob Young, Emmy award-winning actor and ambassador for Discover Books, Dave Reymann, CFO of Discover Books, and Gary Broache, CEO of Discover Books will lead the ceremony on Monday, January 27, 2020, at 11 am. Cecil County Public Library – Elkton, MD 21921

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“This donation represents our mission to provide gently used, affordable books to consumers, and donations to our literacy partners,” said Broache. “Moreover, it fulfills Discover Books’ goal of helping children and families gain access to books.”

Discover Books began in 2003. Making books affordable and accessible to all is Discover Books’ highest priority. The company accomplishes this through resell, redistribution, and recycling books into other paper products.

Discover Books has a warehouse in Baltimore, MD where company trucks pick up surplus books from thrift stores, bookstores, libraries, and blue book collection boxes throughout the mid-Atlantic area.  “We are committed to our mission and greatly appreciate the loyalty of all our partners,” said Broache. “We are thrilled to be working with the award-winning Cecil County Public Library.”

Visit www.discoverbooks.com for more information and affordable books.

Discover Books, a for-profit company, is one of the largest online used booksellers and sources of literary donations to charitable organizations in North America.  Discover Books collects used books through thrift stores, library partnerships, residential pick-up operations, and book collection boxes across the U.S.  The company resells, donates, or responsibly recycles used books to achieve its mission.  To date, Discover Books has donated more than 12 million books to those in need and has diverted over 700 million pounds of books from landfills.

About CCPL – In 2015, Cecil County Public Library was awarded the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences National Medal, the highest recognition a library can earn.  

https://www.cecil.ebranch.info/kids/1000-books-before-kindergarten

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Reading & Literacy Discovery Center study on early childhood reading. https://www.ksl.com/article/46705121/this-is-your-childs-brain-on-books-scans-show-benefit-of-reading-vs-screen-time?fbclid=IwAR2KiyapwCSLk2uSqf3_BokgYaFxOJIV9mELCNuZTNJ0PxB219vJQDRebooks.com

The Gift of Reading

What does reading do for us? Why is there such an emphasis on reading? Reading envelopes us in words, ideas, mental images that build our intelligence and imagination. It is the foundation for knowledge and education. It opens up all possibilities and hope. Math, science, art are all propped up on the foundation of reading.

So, what happens if you can’t see? In this high-tech world, does it matter? Charlotte Cushman addresses this very issue in her article Celebrate Braille Literacy Month. Cushman’s answer is quite telling and obvious. “Is it important for a sighted child to learn to read because audible books exist?” Point taken. Everyone deserves an opportunity to read the words for themselves. This allows their minds to wrestle with the tone, voice, and emotions of the characters, which helps build empathy as well as imagination.

Photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash

January is Braille Literacy Month. It is in honor of Louis Braille who was born January 4th, 1809. Who was Louis Braille? He was one of four children of Monique Braille and Simon-Rene Braille. His father was a saddler and Louis would play in his father’s workshop often. When he was three, he had an accident. He was playing with an awl trying to put it through a piece of leather and the tool slipped and hit him in one eye. They couldn’t save the eye. Within a few years, an infection in that eye spread to the good eye and Louis was completely blind. He was five years old.

Braille was lucky enough to attend one of the first schools for the blind in Paris. In 1821, Braille learned of a French Army Captain who had developed a system of communication called night writing. It was done on thick paper with dots and dashes. It allowed soldiers to feel the paper to know the message-no light necessary.

Braille learned the system but felt it was too complicated. By 15, he condensed Barbier’s 12 dots into 6 and found a way to use a 6-dot cell in a fingertip size area. By 1829, he published his system which included symbols for mathematics and music. Braille was offered a professorship where he taught history, geometry, and algebra. He was an accomplished musician as well. He died young at 43 years of age in 1852.

The system wasn’t accepted by academia at first and the blind were forced to learn it on their own. It was a few years after his death that his system was accepted by the Royal Academy and the French government. He became a national hero. (They even exhumed his body to move it to have it buried in the Pantheon in Paris with other national heroes.)

Learning sign language is encouraged at most schools, but it is rare to find a public school encouraging students to learn braille unless they are blind. DiscoverBooks.com invites you this month to discover a new skill, a new idea, or even a new way to serve. Discover more about Louis Braille’s story or decide to learn to read Braille.

Save 10% off your entire order by using coupon code BRAILLE10 at checkout. This coupon is good until 1/31/2020.

Where Did Walt Disney Get His Ideas?

Where did Walt Disney get his ideas? Books of course! He was a creative genius who brought hundreds of stories to life through his animated art. The majority of his movies were based or loosely based on books and historical stories. Great books make great movies. Animation made the stories and characters come alive. He enchanted us all. Disney magic revived stories and fairy tales that might have been forgotten. Disney was drawn by each story’s magic and created his version of it to strike a chord with the inner child in everyone.


Disney’s whole career was about creating magic for his “guests”. Whether it was a movie, t.v show, or theme park, he focused on the magic within the story. He wasn’t just about sitting in front of a screen. He wanted families to spend quality time together. Therefore, every movie produced created a Disney book. His published books were the mechanism to bring about great family read along. Do you remember your first Disney book?

We carry a huge selection of Disney Books at discoverbooks.com where you can Let the Stories Live On.

Disney’s first book, which was The Adventures of Mickey Mouse, was published in 1931. (We carry the 50th Birthday Edition.) Disney continues to publish books to inspire the kid in all of us. Find your childhood favorite and Let the Stories Live On at discoverbooks.com

How many of these books have you read? Did the movie motivate you to read the book or vice versa? How many more books became Disney movies? Can you name them? Find these and many more at discoverbooks.com. The list below is just a sampling of the 100’s of Disney books we have available on our site. Doing a site search will bring up more options. Happy Searching! Let the Stories Live On.

Discover books offers 5- packs of Disney’s Little Golden Books for $5.20. These are perfect gifts for your class or neighborhood children.

Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula

Who is Bela Lugosi?

Bela Lugosi celebrates his 137th birthday or he would have if he wasn’t dead (Bela Lugosi is Dead Bauhaus-1980 English rock band album)( not to be confused with the German School of Art Bauhaus). He was a Hungarian – American actor, who brought Bram Stoker’s Dracula alive on screen in 1931. He had begun his acting career in Hungary, then Germany, and finally America. His heavy Eastern European accent landed him the role of Count Dracula. Unfortunately, his accent kept him typecast for most of his career.

“Listen to them, the children of the night. What music they make!

Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Bela Lugosi’s performance was legendary and put his name on the Hollywood Star Walk. He made Count Dracula real for the audience and further influenced the gothic literature movement. A rush to produce more gothic movies in Hollywood had begun. Bela Lugosi’s story is worth living on. Find these books at: https://www.discoverbooks.com/searchresults.asp?Search=bela+lugosi

“How good and thoughtful he is; the world seems full of good men–even if there are monsters in it.” Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Before Bela Lugosi, there was the Irish author Bram Stoker. He is the mastermind behind the gothic vampire Dracula. Stoker lived in England and was personal assistant to English actor Henry Irving. Stoker was the business manager of the Lyceum Theatre in London. He enjoyed the company of many famous authors because of his connection with Irving, including Oscar Wilde, Walt Whitman, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Bram Stoker

“There are darknesses in life and there are lights, and you are one of the lights, the light of all lights.” Bram Stoker’s Dracula

The book Dracula is considered one of the greatest vampire novels of all times. It brings the story of Jonathan Harker’s journey to Eastern Europe to life. Harker is an English lawyer who travels to oversee a real estate transaction with Count Dracula at his castle. Harker soon realizes he is in a state of confinement at the castle. Young female vampires come on the scene and. . . No Spoilers here. Buy a copy today. There are wonderful quotes throughout the book. There is a reason it is considered a classic.

The most interesting fact is Stoker never visited Eastern Europe. EVER! Stoker met  Ármin Vámbéry, a Slovak-Jewish writer and listened intensely to his stories of the Carpathian Mountains. It is believed Count Dracula came from these tales. How did he write about a place he never saw? He read and studied. He combed through countless (like the play on words) Eastern European folktales looking for vampire stories. (Later some speculated the story was based on Vlad III Dracula, but the original notes don’t support that idea.) The original has been imitated many times now with even comic books using Count Dracula, but the original by Bram Stoker is a must-read classic for all genre readers.

“Remember my friend, that knowledge is stronger than memory, and we should not trust the weaker” Bram Stoker’s Dracula

“Do you not think that there are things which you cannot understand, and yet which are; that some people see things that others cannot? But there are things old and new which must not be contemplate by men´s eyes, because they know -or think they know- some things which other men have told them. Ah, it is the fault of our science that it wants to explain all; and if it explain not, then it says there is nothing to explain.” Bram Stoker’s Dracula

“Welcome to my house! Enter freely. Go safely, and leave something of the happiness you bring.” Bram Stoker’s Dracula

“Ah, it is the fault of our science that it wants to explain all; and if it explain not, then it says there is nothing to explain.” Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Shop Now to Enjoy on Halloween https://www.discoverbooks.com/searchresults.asp?Search=dracula

This Halloween – Books Not Candy

Halloween. The day where children dress up in costumes and go door to door asking for treats.  The day where the average child consumes around 3 cups or 7,000 calories of candy. Did that catch your attention?  Just for comparison sake, that is the same as eating 13 Big Macs. Consider how many days they continue to consume this much candy. 

Discover Books wants to help Books Not Candy. We sell children’s book bundles ranging from $5.20 to $11.00. We know for most people, giving out 100’s of books isn’t feasible, but giving 10-20 books is a start.  We have bundle packs of Goosebumps, Dr. Seuss, Clifford, Disney Golden Books, Pinkalicious, Magic Tree House, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Beverly Cleary, and Captain Underpants. Start a new trendBOOKS NOT CANDY.  Together we can not only help reduce the amount of sugar children eat but also give a child the gift of LITERACY.  Order now to ensure delivery for Halloween.

DAILY SUGAR CONSUMPTION 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the Union of Concerned Scientists notes “that American children between the ages of 2 and 19 consumed 124 grams of sugar, or 29 teaspoons, every day. Teenage boys in particular (age 12-19) consume an average of 161 grams—or nearly three-quarters of a cup—of sugar daily.”  The American Heart Association recommends for children 2 to 18 is 25 grams of sugar. This daily number combined with the increased intake on Halloween is cause for alarm. Even small steps are helpful.

DAILY READING HABITS

The average 8-12 year old spends 6-9 hours on media and technology a day. That is longer than they spend in school. Even more discouraging is the fact, they spend on average less than 10 minutes a day reading. Reading exposes one to different points of view, different cultures, ideas, and engages the mind and imagination in a way technology can’t match. Encourage your children, yourself, and those in your circle of influence to spend 30 minutes each day disconnected from gadgets reading a real book. 

The benefits of switching 30 minutes of technology time to true reading time are unfathomable. One benefit is the gift of focus or attention. When scrolling through endless content online, we aren’t necessarily engaged or focused. When we read, it trains our brains to be present even as our minds create the pictures in our heads. It takes focus to see the words, create the concepts, and process the meaning of the story. In short, we are exercising our brains. 

INVITATION TO ACT

We invite you again to begin a new tradition this Halloween – Books Not Candy. We’d love to hear your stories as you share the gift of literacy this HALLOWEEN. LET THE STORIES LIVE ON.

Fall Into a New Habit

The fall equinox is the marking point where light and darkness, day and night are equally balanced. One could say, “It’s all downhill from here,” as the daylight fades minute by minute for the next 3 months. 

Perhaps, there is a better way to look at it. Using the equinox, as a mile marker in the year to FALL into NEW HABITS. With the evenings becoming longer, take advantage of it. Find time for you. Find time for family.

RELAX for 30 minutes each night without the aid of an electronic device. Completely shut down the world of electronics, don’t check your phone, email, or stream your favorite episode. There are many reasons to disconnect and read. Yale University School of Public Health had this to say: “Reading can make you think and laugh; it can inspire and teach. … When researchers at Yale University School of Public Health analyzed data from more than 3,600 adults age 50 and older, they found that those who read books for 3½ hours a week—or 30 minutes a day—lived about two years longer than their non-reading peers.” Who doesn’t want to live longer? (https://www.healthination.com/health/benefits-of-reading) Read this article for more health benefits.

ENGAGE with the story. Put yourself in it. Take notes. Ask questions. What does the author want you to know? What is the author hiding? Where is this leading? The more one engages, the more one discovers. The characters, plot, climax, denouement all reveal bits of the beliefs or dreams hidden within the story by the author for you to discover. Engage in the process of discovery. 

ACQUAINT yourself with the characters, location, idea of the book. Meeting new people, places, and ideas stimulates the mind as we work through the difficulties of reality. Can’t escape on a vacation? Take a book in hand and acclimate yourself  into a new world, new time, with new people. Your mind paints the scenery, faces, costumes, landscape that it encounters in the stories you read. This escape reduces stress and anxiety. Take time to RELAX and ENGAGE daily. 

DISCOVER new stories, people, customs, lands, and ideas. The gift of discovery is one of the greatest gifts given to humanity. Thinking through complex issues and ideas helps us grow. When they are contained within a story, they provide an opportunity to problem solve and succeed without the consequences of reality. It is a gift to read and discover and see through new lenses.  

Understanding new ideas, people, and the complex world around us requires one to RELAX, ENGAGE, ACQUAINT, and DISCOVER for yourself. This fall balance your life by taking time to  R.E.A.D.  Find a story at Discoverbooks.com.

This fall start a new habit. Help those you love to start a new habit. Take 15-30 minutes daily and become one with a new story. Let us help you by offering 15% off all books USE COUPON CODE FALL2019 at checkout  AND remember SHIPPING is on us too! FREE SHIPPING ALWAYS. 

Books to Film

September brings cooler nights and shorter days. Have you noticed the change? This September, the big screen brings several books to the movies. Whether you enjoy the change from book to film is a personal battle.

Most of the time, the book delves deeper into the characters, details, plot because they aren’t limited by time, only pages. Images come alive in your mind and intertwine with your experiences. You and the author share a sacred moment as you journey mind to mind through the pages.

“But the moon was so large and clear through the uncurtained window that it made me think instead of a story my mother had told me, about driving to horse shows with her mother and father in the back seat of their old Buick when she was little. “It was a lot of traveling—ten hours sometimes through hard country. Ferris wheels, rodeo rings with sawdust, everything smelled like popcorn and horse manure. One night we were in San Antonio, and I was having a bit of a melt-down—wanting my own room, you know, my dog, my own bed—and Daddy lifted me up on the fairgrounds and told me to look at the moon. ‘When you feel homesick,’ he said, ‘just look up. Because the moon is the same wherever you go.’ So after he died, and I had to go to Aunt Bess—I mean, even now, in the city, when I see a full moon, it’s like he’s telling me not to look back or feel sad about things, that home is wherever I am.” She kissed me on the nose. “Or where you are, puppy. The center of my earth is you.” Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch

The words paint a clear vision in one’s mind, and you can relate to the character. The words take you to your father, mother, room, etc. In film form this interaction might take a minute or less. Perhaps, it won’t make the final cut. Either way, the film isn’t the same. It isn’t your father entering your mind; it’s the actor. The book takes you to your safe place, while the movie creates a new image of a safe place.

The movie just hit theaters this week, so there is time to still read the book. Discover Donna Tartt’s talent for creating dramatic images by reading one of her novels today.

Cinematography is powerful, no doubt. It leaves one breathless at times and a picture is worth a thousand words. The problem is – it isn’t your picture. It is the director’s picture and/or interpretation. That’s the biggest difference between reading and watching. Reading allows you to be involved in the creation of the picture. The author lays the details out for you, but your mind fashions the image.

Downton Abbey fans have been waiting anxiously for the arrival of the new film which hits theaters September 20, 2019. However, what most fans don’t know is Downton Abbey was inspired by a book by Gail MacColl and Carol Wallace written in 1989. The book is called To Marry an English Lord. According to Wallace, the film begins where the book ends. It is, if you will, the back story of Cora and Lord Crawley’s introduction, courtship, and marriage. As you wait patiently (okay not so patiently) for September 20, enjoy the rest of the story of Cora and Robert Crawley by reading the book.

Stephen King is a master at creating suspenseful and supernatural scenes to scare the toughest of reader. King brings our worst what-if scenarios into a realistic plot. That’s what is so terrifying. You have a fear, he makes it realistic. King’s IT was first published in 1986 and the first film came out in a mini-series form in 1990. It became a film in 2017 with the final part of the story hitting the big screen September 9th, 2019. If you haven’t read IT, or you need a refresher, grab a copy while the movie is still in theaters.

“Calling it a simple schoolgirl crush was like saying a Rolls-Royce was a vehicle with four wheels, something like a hay-wagon. She did not giggle wildly and blush when she saw him, nor did she chalk his name on trees or write it on the walls of the Kissing Bridge. She simply lived with his face in her heart all the time, a kind of sweet, hurtful ache. She would have died for him..”
― Stephen King, It