June 20, 2018


Hey Nikki,

First off, I’m a big fan of your diaries. And that’s the problem! I read too much! My parents support me but we’re moving back to the States for a year and my parents said I could only take ten books!!!!!!!! (I don’t have to get rid of the other 80 but they’ll be packed away in storage.) I know that there are libraries in the states but some of those books you can’t find in a library!! What should I do??

Bummed Out Bookworm

Hi Bummed Out Bookworm,

Oh WOW. You have to pick ten books to last you for a WHOLE YEAR??? That’s like a bookworm’s nightmare!!!

But before we freak out too hard, I think it is important to keep in mind the library thing. Because we DO have libraries in the states – AMAZING libraries, in fact. And just because you might not find a book on the shelf in a library doesn’t mean they can’t get it for you.

A lot of people don’t know this, but you can ask your library to buy a book for you! Not for you to keep, but at your request, libraries will often purchase books, loan them to you, and then keep them in their collection. There are usually forms on your public library’s website about how to do this, and if there aren’t, you can go in and talk to a librarian about it. Libraries genuinely want to stock books their patrons want to read, so they want to hear from you!

I do understand that having a library book you have to give back isn’t the same as having your own book that you get to keep forever. But it sounds like in your case, you’ll eventually get back to your books in storage. So it’s a temporary problem.

You can also buy books, of course. It could get expensive to buy as many as you’d like, but there are ways to own books for less money. (NOT piracy—do NOT pirate books, my friends! It’s no different than going into a bookstore and shoplifting!) I’m talking about places like thrift stores—at my local Goodwill, kids books are $1.29 each. You could also try garage sales, library sales or used bookstores.

If there are some books you just know you won’t be able to find here, even if you ask a library to special order them for you, then those are probably the ones I’d pick to bring on the trip.

I think I’d also probably try to pick a variety of different kinds of books. Like you could bring ten of the Dork Diaries books. 🙂 But it might be smart to bring your two favorite Dork Diaries, but then also make picks for different moods. Like maybe sometimes you feel in the mood for something sad, or something in a complex fantasy world, or a historical time period, or maybe there’s a non-fiction book you love.

So a) remember it’s not a deserted island and you’ll probably be able to find more than you think and b) try to pick a variety of books.

But friends, if you WERE packing for a deserted island (or a place with no libraries), what are the top three books you’d take with you?