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Part 1: I WANT TO READ ALL THE BOOKS Process (The Idea)

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Part 1 (Idea)Part 2 (Writing)Part 3 (Illustration)Cover Process

(Last updated February 15, 2024)

I’ve loved reading for as long as I can remember. My parents used to take me and my siblings to the public library once a week, and let us choose whatever books we wanted; they never tried to censor what we could and couldn’t read. I felt so independent and adventurous, wandering around different areas in the library, deciding which books I’d borrow that week.

I remember having a fantasy that someday (SOMEDAY) I would be able to read all the books. And of course, once I had read all the books, I would know everything! I also remember the disappointment when I realized that while I would never be able to read ALL the books, at least I’d have fun trying.

I volunteered in our school library, helping to put away books. Secretly, I revelled in have first dibs at the books that came into the library! Plus the tactile pleasure of helping to process brand-new books, learning how to add the clear plastic protector, library card pockets, etc. I loved that secret world.

Fast forward to where I am now, as a grown-up reader.

As an adult, I keep finding new books I want to read. I have many piles of books at home that are waiting to be read as well as too-many-to-count ebooks and audiobooks on various devices.

I started posting “I want to read all the books” art on social media, and created several animated gifs as well! You can find more of my animated gifs in my GIPHY library.

One of the times I posted one of my “I want to read all the books” images, Brenda Bowen suggested that this would make a great picture book. I was lucky enough to hang out with Brenda years ago at an SCBWI Writer’s Day in Los Angeles:

And here’s our exchange on Twitter:

Thanks to Brenda for the inspiration! I’m going to send her a copy of the book when it comes out, of course.

Continued in Part 2: Writing The Book


Debbie is currently available for virtual visits. Her presentations and workshops can be adjusted to suit all age levels, from kindergarten to college students to educators and other professionals.