Books that Motivate

By:  Vic Eldred  •  2 weeks ago  •  20 comments

Books that Motivate
A book is not just paper and ink, it's a world full of dreams, imaginations, knowledge, awakening, emboldening and a lot, lot more invaluable treasures. Gift your child a book - introduce them to the joy of reading.” ― Jyoti Arora, Dream's Sake

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When I was only 11 or 12 years old I was given a book as a birthday gift. I can't recall my initial reaction, but it was that book that sparked my interest in history and reading in general. It was written specifically for young readers by Bruce Catton the historian and founding editor of American Heritage. 

Bruce Catton

The book was a straightforward account of the Civil War illustrated with the relevant photos from the period. What was most memorable were the exquisite battle maps. Every major battle had a few pages devoted to distinctive maps containing all the roads, landforms, and landmarks with troop formations and foot notes. Not many years ago I read somewhere that Sid Meier, the producer of several computer strategy games including the classic Civilization, used the miniatures from those maps as his inspiration for his design. Evidently, he also had the book as a child.

My copy of the book remained at my family home long after I had gone out on my own. Eventually my sister inherited the house and discarded a lot of what she considered junk when she decided to sell it. Don't ask me why the book suddenly popped into my head, but for some reason I was remembering the first books I had read as a child. I thought I might check to see if the book was still being published. What I found was that book which was once so common during the 1960's is now kind of a collector's item. I'm seeing all kinds of prices for used copies of the book.

Who knew?


jrGroupDiscuss - desc
Vic Eldred
1  author  Vic Eldred    2 weeks ago

Does anyone remember their first book?

How about a book that influenced us?

2  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago

If I had to choose one book to recommend to people it would be The Story Of Philosophy by Will Durant. 

Durant is one of the most prolific authors on history and philosophy of all time. Probably the most prolific. Along with his wife Ariel he wrote the most exhaustive world history ever written. It is over 14 THOUSAND pages long in 11 volumes. 

Here is a YouTube video of an audiobook reading of the section of Durant's history relating to Queen Elizabeth I. It is over two hours long.

Anyone interested in such things should check out Will Durant on You Tube. There are numerous videos on there that are readings of Durant's writing on historical world figures, and are both entertaining from a literary sense as well as an informational sense. 

The Story Of Philosophy is a much smaller book, a one volume of maybe 400 pages that summarizes much of what he wrote in the world history, but concentrating on explaining western history through the lives and concepts of western philosophy and the people who created it. I go back and read or listen to parts of it from time to time and have found it to be a great book. 


3  JBB    2 weeks ago


4  Kathleen    2 weeks ago

My first book as a child was Charlotte’s Web. I just loved it. 

The book that influenced me was a  crochet book, it made me expand my skills and love for the hobby. 

4.1  Texan1211  replied to  Kathleen @4    2 weeks ago

Two books I remember well from my youth are "Johnny Tremaine" and "100 Best True Stories of WWII"

Greg Jones
5  Greg Jones    2 weeks ago



Master motivators all

Greg Jones
5.1  Greg Jones  replied to  Greg Jones @5    2 weeks ago

As for the first books I remember reading...



Perrie Halpern R.A.
5.2  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Greg Jones @5    2 weeks ago

You forgot "How to make friends and influence people".

Greg Jones
5.2.1  Greg Jones  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @5.2    2 weeks ago

Yes I did!  Actually, the first very first book I read was "The Pokey Little Puppy"

Perrie Halpern R.A.
6  Perrie Halpern R.A.    2 weeks ago

The first book that I chose to read as a child was this book:


Those Who Love : A Biographical Novel of Abigail and John Adams

by   Irving Stone
I was 10 when I read it. My 5th grade teacher instilled in us a love of the founding fathers, but I loved one above the rest, and that was John Adams. A more principled man in our history, you will never find, and the same could be said for his wife, Abigail. No statue stands for him at the capital, but without him, there would be no America.
7  Sunshine    2 weeks ago

The Hobbit is the first book I can remember loving.

7.1  Ender  replied to  Sunshine @7    2 weeks ago

That was one of my first too.

7.2  Kathleen  replied to  Sunshine @7    2 weeks ago

If I knew that was around, I would have loved that one.

8  Dragon    2 weeks ago

A book from my youth, which I still have and read many times over the years, Beautiful Joe. Written in1893, it is a fictionalized true story about a dog, who suffered cruelty before being rescued. It is written from the dog's perspective. The book begun my lifelong fight against animal cruelty.

8.1  Kavika   replied to  Dragon @8    2 weeks ago

Call of the Wild and the result was to fight animal cruelty for the rest of my life. I currently volunteer at the local shelter working with bully breeds getting them socialized so they can be adopted.

8.1.1  Thomas  replied to  Kavika @8.1    2 weeks ago

Read that one many times.

8.1.2  Dragon  replied to  Kavika @8.1    2 weeks ago

I too volunteer at a shelter, mainly with large dogs. I have volunteered with various shelters and animal rescue groups for several decades, plus do some fostering from time to time. 

8.1.3  Kavika   replied to  Dragon @8.1.2    2 weeks ago

Excellent, thanks for what you're doing Dragon.

9  Ender    2 weeks ago

Can anyone tell what my first book was? Haha

Ender's Game. I was a young teenager. I remember thinking about how people rush into war and destruction instead of understanding and communication.

10  Thomas    2 weeks ago

When I was six years old, my first book I ever read was "We Feed a Deer." It was the first book in the Open Court series that they were just starting to teach at my school then.  I did not take to reading (or much else, I do not think) right away, and at the end of the year my mother, a teacher at the school, looked at my performance. Do it over. My second year was different in that I became a voracious reader. I read everything. If there were words printed on it, I read it. I read it again. Books, newspapers, magazines, candy wrappers, cereal boxes... everything.

I think that one of the first books that I can remember reading was "The Wind in the Willows" by Kenneth Grahame. I even re-read it occasionally now. Simply a wonderful read.

Another of the books that I can remember from my childhood is "Jud". I cannot remember the author's name and cannot find it online. The protagonist is a young boy whose engineer father uproots his family from suburbia to move to the site of a dam under construction in somewhere appalachia and follows him through a series of attitude changing and formative events. 


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