PaperBackSwap Blog

PaperBackSwap’s 14th Birthday Contest


Today, PaperBackSwap turns 14! Happy Birthday to us! And what is a Birthday Party without games?!

Since playing pin the tail on the donkey, or musical chairs isn’t easy to do online, we have come up with a game everyone can play.
We call it Favorites at 14.

Here is how it works:

In the comments here on the Blog, tell us one of your favorite books, title and author, from when you were 14, or thereabouts. And tell us why you liked the book.

It is that simple. On Friday, September 7, 2018, we will choose a winner at random.

The winner will receive their choice of 6 PaperBackSwap Credits, one year of Standard Membership or a one year subscription to Box-O-Books.

Contest is only open to current PBS members whose accounts are in good standing.


Good luck to everyone!



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418 Responses to “PaperBackSwap’s 14th Birthday Contest”

  1. Jay M. (jay-jay) , says:

    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee was by my special read when I was 14 and has remained my favorite book throughout my life. It covers everything – family, friendship, honor, social justice, abuse, bravery, good and evil, etc., etc.

  2. Genevieve C. says:

    One of my favorite books around 14 years old, was Dragonflight (The Dragonriders of Pern series) by Anne McCaffrey. I have always loved dragons and the idea of being bonded to a dragon for life was a dream come true in reading her books.

  3. Pamela says:

    I was an avid reader and worked in a library at 14. I was rarely without a book or two or three. My mother would send me outside to get fresh air and I would just bring my books with me and curl up in a tree to read. I remember being deep in the John Jakes Kent Family Chronicles at that age. They were some of the first historical fiction I found and I loved how long they were and that they were part of a series. I remember also being impressed by the curse words 🙂

  4. Bethany M. (psuchick402) says:

    “Gossip Girl” by Cecily von Ziegesar. I liked it because it was catty and very geared toward teenage girls.

  5. Debra J. (homemakerdeb) says:

    Through Gates of Splendor, by Elisabeth Elliot, was/is one of the best books I’ve read. It’s the true account of five men who set out to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a stone-age tribe in Ecuador and were brutally killed by the tribesmen. It tells of how the wives of the men who lost their lives were able to forgive, love, and go back and finish the work their husbands had started.

  6. Steven B. (bobdog) says:

    Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me by Richard Farina. I remember it being depressing as he*l but a great read nonetheless.

  7. Back then a read of lot of books by Jim Kjelgaard. I think I read his entire “Big Red” series. “Big Red”, “Outlaw Red”, etc.

    Also read “The Black Stallion”. Mostly books like that if it wasn’t assigned by the teacher for school.

  8. Mina M. (minam) says:

    When I was about 14, I discovered P.G Wodehouse. I loved all his books and would laugh out loud while reading them. If someone asked me why, and I tried to explain, they looked at me as though I were touched in the head.

  9. The Count of Monte Cristo…cause revenge is best served freakin’ cold!

  10. Jill H. (GrannyJill) says:

    As a 14 year old I was an avid reader, but I reread Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank Gilbreth, Jr. many times, because I was part of a large family too. I loved the hilarity and inventiveness of the whole family.

  11. Susan D. (mom2nine) says:

    The Family Nobody Wanted by Helen Doss. It is about a couple who adopted a dozen mixed race children, considered unadoptable during that time period. The children being considered unwanted didn’t make any more sense at 14 then it does now

  12. Kendra M. (kendra-reader) says:

    “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote. Based on a true story, it was fascinating and creepy at the same time. I still enjoy mysteries to this day, and it is probably partially due to reading this book at that time.

  13. Bonnie K. (evergreencottage) says:

    The Sue Barton Student Nurse series was my favorite at 14 years old. I had wanted to be a nurse since I was a little girl and this series was just the ticket to feed my interest in nursing.

  14. Dawn M. (dawnangel1966) says:

    Flower’s in the Attic. It was so different and racy. So full of excitement and scary too. I even named my son Cory after the twin that died in the book.

  15. LYDIA K. says:

    Z for Zachariah. I read this my freshman year of high school. It’s about a girl who survives a nuclear war. To be honest, I’m not sure why the book stuck with me but it always has.

    One other one (I know only one but…) is Ride The Wind. This is the story of a white girl taken by Comanche Indians. She ends up being adopted by a Native American family and become a part of their way of life. It’s both tragic and beautiful.

  16. Diana P. (dps) says:

    Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte’ drew me into a world I knew nothing about and fell in love with. That book turned me into an voracious reader then and continues some fifty years later. I average 100+ a year of every genre.

  17. Gary C. says:

    The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. It was just so bizarre and Adams’ writing style so aloof it seemed like he was talking directly to the reader. It seemed like he was inventing his own writing style. A very strong 2nd place contender would be Another Fine Myth by Robert Asprin. Just so much fun!

  18. Julia C. (bibliosopherj) says:

    One of my favorites around that time was The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, I always have love adventure books,I like it instantly becuse it was different from my usual reads,my favorite quote is “One sees clearly only with the heart. The essential is invisible to the eye.”

  19. Greg C. says:

    My favorite book was The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, It was a story about a being you wouldn’t expect to be a hero.

  20. Lorraine J. K. (swindy48) says:

    Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte’ was a favorite of mine and still is. It’s interesting to see what captivated me at 16 years and what I see now that I’m a senior citizen. I loved the mystique of the book when I was young, the setting of the moors and the fog, the characters and I found it to be romantic in my young mind. That set me on a road of an unending quest to find better books and I have been with a book in my hand since that time. I also raised a daughter who is more voracious than me with reading. She rec’d her 1st book when she was 6 months old. I made sure a book was placed in her hands very early in life.

  21. Amber M. says:

    I remember staying up all night at my friend April’s house reading A Wrinkle in Time so I was so happy to see the new movie. My niece and I love reading the book before the movie so I got her a swap copy and movie tickets for her bday.

  22. Sheila B. (Sheila216) says:

    The Hidden Staircase by Carolyn Keene. Actually any Nancy Drew mystery was fine because I enjoyed solving it by the end of the first chapter. I celebrated if I was right!

  23. Sarah K. says:

    I think I was around 14 when I read Old Yeller, and I loved it. It’s still one of my favorites. I loved how the story showed Travis and Yeller working together as a team and coming to trust each other.

  24. Michelle Chadd says:

    I loved Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I read everything by Charlotte Bronte, but this was my favorite and it was the only book I read more than once. A tragic love story that ends well always gets me.

  25. Judy , says:

    I loved Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. it felt very grownup and Iloved the house Manderly and its gothic mysterys. I have since read many many books and different genres from sci fi to romance mysterys etc etc. very few books I don’t like.

  26. Rosanna R. (calirosieposie) says:

    I loved ‘Island of the Blue Dolphins’ by Scott O’Dell. My mom read it aloud to my siblings and I several times, and it stands out as a clear favorite.

  27. (oolalatte) says:

    The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. I loved the adventure story and the artwork. Still one of my favorites, but now I have a completely different understanding of it and how it pertains to life, rather than just an adventure story. Beautiful!

  28. Betty C. (base982) says:

    I first read GONE WITH THE WIND when I was 9 or10. Even tho I didn’t understand some things, I fell in love with the story. I actually reread GONE WITH THE WIND every 2/3 yrs and each time at a different age, I begin to understand life as it was then and how it still resonates today. Other than that I would devour any Stephen King book I could get my hands on. The STAND is my all time favorite, even tho I can’t remember the first time I read it.

  29. Melanie R. (glomper) says:

    Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews. My best friend at the time loaned it to me, and I really enjoyed it, but I know now that it is really just a trashy novel!

  30. Melanie (MELNELYNN) says:

    In 1989, when I was 14, I was reading the Sweet Valley High books by Francine Pascal. I was a quiet/shy studious teen and was able to relate to Elizabeth. It was nice to “live” in their world when mine became overwhelming.

  31. Heather says:

    I was discovering and devouring horror when I was a young teen. The Shadow Over Innsmouth And Other Stories Of Horror HP Lovecraft, was a book I remember reading that honestly frightened me. I loved that feeling! I’ve been a horror fan ever since.

  32. azreader123 says:

    I read a lot of scary stories but the ones I truly remember and enjoyed reading over and over, and even getting my kids to read were the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books. Always enjoyed those especially with the start of fall I would gear up with books similar to these and read them to get in the spirit of the season. 🙂

  33. Wendy Pitts says:

    I loved anything by Victoria Holt, I’ve always gravitated towards mysteries.

  34. Tina B. (bookshelftreasures) says:

    I was reading Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. I loved it. I left it in the book rack along with my school books outside the school cafeteria. It was stolen, I thought by a friend who was mad at me. I found out later she didn’t steal it. I eventually did get another copy and finished reading it. Years later my then husband bought me a hard cover copy which I still have.

  35. Pam N. (PamN) says:

    I loved Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. It’s a classic and I thought the relationship between the sisters was fascinating especially since I only had one sister. I also loved Jo’s headstrong personality.

  36. Christina C. (caz426) says:

    I red Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel at around that age. Thus begun my love for reading about ancient or prehistoric man. I began to love learning about different cultures, beliefs and religions. I also loved reading about how hard survival in ancient times was. This was also the first time I read a “grown up” book with some mature subject manner and I felt grown up.

  37. Evelyn M. (evelyn7) says:

    I read Lord of the Rings and 1984 Have always LOVED BOOKS Like the thought provo
    king kind of read.

  38. Tisha C. (tjoel2) , says:

    I read my first Stephen King book when I was 14! Eyes of the Dragon. I’ve been a King fan ever since. 🙂

  39. LYNDA CARRAHER says:

    Gosh, at 14 I was all about horses, as are many girls. I think my favorites at the time were the “Black Stallion” series by Walter Farley.

    Though I’ve never revisited them as an adult, I have re-read Mary O’Hara’s Wyoming trilogy– “My Friend Flicka”, “Thunderhead”, and “Green Grass of Wyoming”. It’s astonishing to see the very grown-up themes and ideas O’Hara slid into books that were targeted and marketed to young readers. I revisit them every few years and always enjoy them thoroughly.

  40. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S.Lewis brought me to a magical place and gave me a break from reality. I had never been a reader or good at it until that book. Thanks for this chance to win!

  41. Nancy W. (BrownEyesBlue) says:

    There was a book I remember reading when I was 14. I don’t remember the name but I remember it was about a boy from I believe was from Japan trying to make his way in the United States after his family moved. Unfortunately I have never been able to remember the title. I’ve looked for it numerous times with no luck.

  42. Laura M. (blackirish) says:

    “A Fine Balance” by Rohinton Mistry. I read it years and years ago, but have never forgotten the misfortunes of the main characters. It’s an incredible illustration of life is not fair.

  43. Jeaannetta S. (Imjetta) says:

    Mrs. Mike by Benedict and Nancy Freedman. There was something in the story of life in the rugged wilds of Canada that spoke to my soul. I feel a deep connection to Katherine Mary.

  44. Lorissa S. (lorissa) says:

    I loved all Nancy Drew books, but I specifically remember the Flowers In The Attic series by VC Andrews. It was so taboo and racy. All my friends read them.

  45. Marcia P. says:

    When I was 14 To Kill A Mockingbird was first published (am showing my age!)and I think I did a book report on it. It made me contemplate some serious issues back then but also had some humor and warmth and I loved Scout. It’s a classic.

  46. Karen K. (havanagal) says:

    My favorite book at about age 14 was Betty Zane written by Zane Grey. I may have loved that book as my favorite uncle and granddad read many Zane Grey books. I so admired them and then wanted to be as brave as Betty Zane with I grew up. She was a woman to aspire to being like.

  47. (mdobrev) says:

    The Secret of the Unicorn Queen by Josepha Sherman. What can I say, I desperately wanted to fall through a portal into a world where magic and unicorns were real.

  48. TIna F. (catatude) says:

    Loved the Nancy Drew books. A good adventure.

  49. Robbie W. (robbiemoo) says:

    At 14, it was totally inappropriate for me to read The Godfather…but I did. I don’t recall ever being without a book to read, from Nancy Drew as a small child to We Band of Angels, a WWII nonfiction story. I’ve always got a book! My father would always complain that I “had my nose stuck in a book” and I did! My father grew up in the South during the Depression and only had a 6th grade education. After WWII, he went to trade school and was very successful. However, his reading lacked seriously. I remember getting him Louis L’Amour books to help him learn to read better…and it worked! Before he died, he had read every single Louis L’Amour book. Reading is my life. I’m forever grateful to having found Paperback Swap as it’s helped my book budget immensely. Happy Reading everyone!

  50. Amber S. (unnecessaryhat) says:

    I was in middle school then, and my favorite book at that time was Indian Captive : The Story of Mary Jemison by Lois Lenski. I went through a phase where I read a lot about the American west and Native Americans. Looking back, I think what I liked about it was that it was a story about a young woman in a new and scary situation. To her, the Indians seem scary and warlike, but then once she’s living among them, she learns they’re good people, but with very different customs than what she’s used to. Starting at a new school, I also felt like a fish out of water, and to be honest – middle school girls can seem like a hostile tribe!

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