Tell us which book has made the biggest impact

Julia Donaldson is concerned that children's lack of access to books will send literacy standards into decline
Julia Donaldson is concerned that children's lack of access to books will send literacy standards into decline

Do you know which book has changed your life?

Falkirk’s readers are being asked to share stories which will be shared with others around the country as part of a national conversation initiated by Waterstones that will discuss the books that have had a formative effect on the nation, influencing our lives.

To get the conversation started in Falkirk the booksellers at Waterstones on the High Street have chosen, reviewed, and displayed those which have really made a difference.

A book that holds a huge significance for me personally is the one that led directly to my marriage. She was a student, I had to get hold of her textbooks. One of them, ‘The Norton Anthology of American Poetry’ arrived badly damaged, and the resulting apologies, phone calls, and banter ended up with a date. The rest is history. Unfortunately the book is now out of print – I hope that reflects only on our age and not our marriage!

It’s been really interesting discovering the books that have influenced the lives of all the booksellers that work here and we’re now really keen to hear about the books that have changed the lives of our customers. Come along and share your stories, and who knows, perhaps your book could end up changing someone else’s life as well!

For further inspiration Waterstones asked well-known figures to reveal the books that made them, and the stories behind their choices. Former Tony Blair spin doctor Alastair Campbell revealed a hitherto unsung love of the French language, sparked by Flaubert’s ‘Madame Bovary’. He said, “I had an aptitude for it at school and liked it as a subject but something about ‘Madame Bovary’ sparked something deeper, about the power and beauty of language and storytelling.”

Other books chosen include ‘Little Women’ selected by Caitlin Moran, ‘The Wind in the Willows’ selected by Terry Pratchett, ‘Wuthering Heights’ selected by Kate Mosse, ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ selected by Neil Gaiman and ‘David Copperfield’ selected by Alan Johnson MP. You can find out more about these choices and submit your story of the book that changed your life at You can also submit your choice at the shop.