How to Buy a Love of Reading

By Tanya Egan Gibson
(Plume Books, Paperback, 9780452296091, 392pp.)

Publication Date: July 27, 2010

List Price: $17.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.
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Read Tanya Egan Gibson's posts on the Penguin Blog.
A playful, witty, and remarkably accomplished debut novel about how reading can save your life
Asked to name her favorite book, sixteen-year-old Carley Wells answers, "Never met one I liked." Her parents are horrified and decide to commission a book to be written just for her. They will be the Medicis of Long Island and buy their daughter The Love of Reading. At first, Carley's sole interest in the project is to distract Hunter, the young bibliophile she adores. But as Hunter's behavior becomes increasingly erratic, Carley begins to understand the importance of stories-and how they are powerful enough to destroy a person. Or save her.
Tanya Egan Gibson's debut novel is an irresistible work of metafiction that dazzlingly embeds a book within the book, and boasts an unforgettably fresh narrator whose journey towards embracing literature will make you fall in love with reading all over again.

Conversation Starters from


  1. At the beginning of the novel, we are shown a handout Carley filled out for her English teacher (p. 16). Later, we’re also shown a “Manifesto” she writes for Bree (p. 121). How did these documents color your initial impressions of her? Did your interpretation or understanding of her responses change once you read the entire book?

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