Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Make Me Smile

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Stamps in the shapes of letters, numbers, and punctuation marks.

I’m stretching the definition of the term book a bit for today’s prompt. You see, it’s impossible for me to narrow this list down to fictional stories.

Which tales make me smile has evolved throughout the course of my life. My answer at age 5 would be completely different than what I’d answer at age 20 or today. And who knows what will entice me when I’m 80!

What has never and will never change is my love of words, the meanings of words, and knowledge in general, so that’s what I’m tweaking this post to focus on.

The New Oxford American Dictionary by Oxford University Press

Roget’s International Thesaurus  by Peter Mark Roget, Robert L. Chapman

Urban Dictionary

The Complete Rhyming Dictionary by Clement Wood, Ronald J. Bogus



Most people probably wouldn’t sit down and read these sources like like they were novels, but I’ve been doing that since I first learned how to read.

Yes, the encyclopedias at my grandparents’ home were decades out of date by the time I discovered them, but I still adored reading about what the world was like in the early 1960s when they bought them!

Knowledge is power. I see everything from the Internet to antique books tucked away in the corner of someone else’s house as marvellous opportunities to learn about things you might have never otherwise discovered.

102 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Make Me Smile

  1. What a great list! I used to devour the old encyclopedias in our basement and at my grandparents (different editions). Not to mention my love or dictionaries. I love that you took this topic in an unexpected direction.

  2. Love what you did here. I used to read our encyclopedia like a novel. Then again I used to also read Trivial Pursuit cards for fun too.

  3. I used to love reading our family encyclopedias! I mean, we used them for school projects too, but we’d also just pick one at random and read about whatever was on the page the book fell open to, also.

  4. I like your spin on the topic! I honestly had a hard time going back and thinking of books from a few years ago that made me smile. Since I started using Goodreads and other apps more to “remember” for me, my memory has changed.

  5. I used to love the old encyclopedias! My mum bought them in the early 2000s when my older sister was in middle school.They taught me a lot about the world before we had regular internet or TV.

  6. I totally understand what you’re saying, Lydia. I own more than one thesaurus. I still use the dictionary to make sure I understand the meaning of words. Thanks for your unique take on this meme.

  7. I remember reading through old World Book encyclopedias as a kid, we had some around the house and also some cool books on dinosaurs (probably incredibly dated by todays standards, of course, but they were fascinating)!

  8. As a child and teen I always kept a dictionary with me when I was reading, so that I could look up words I didn’t know. I can’t stand not knowing what something means. I love the dictionary feature on my kindle.
    I love a thesaurus for when I’m writing reviews, my mind always supplies simple words instead of eloquent ones.

  9. I think it’s good to read dictionaries and encyclopedias for knowledge. But for me, information slips out of my head way too fast for me to learn much. I used to think if I read the whole dictionary, it would make me smarter but of course it didn’t but at least, it helped me understand that words have more than one meanings.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. Have a lovely day.

  10. Fun interpretation of the TTT topic today! I love words and have read dictionary definitions for pleasure but I have no memory for facts so I leave them in the encyclopedia where I can retrieve them as needed!

  11. My answer at age 5 would be completely different than what I’d answer at age 20 or today. And who knows what will entice me when I’m 80!

    I actually think that’s one of the joys of TTT! I can look back at some of my old answers and be reminded of things I loved at the time. Sometimes that’s stood the test of time and sometimes not, but it’s pretty much always interesting!

  12. When I was a child, my neighbours had a complete set of Encyclopaedia Britannica and I thought they were amazing! I used to read the ones at the local library like they were novels – go and choose like Q or Z and sit down and read it through!

  13. I’m so interested in your list being all books that we might typically think are “boring” or easily dismiss. My thesaurus was my best friend when I was a teenager and during early writing, so it makes me smile from nostalgia, for sure! Same for the rhyming dictionary!

    I know that while Wikipedia may not be a good “source” for official things, but I have learned so many things from Wikipedia!

  14. Oh, I did the same with my dad’s handful (not a complete collection) of 1950s World Books! We still have them; they have some beautiful illustrations. Plus I think that a lot of nonfiction, if it can survive long enough past its initial time period of simply being out of date where no one wants or needs it, starts to regain value as a time capsule/historical artifact.

    I wasn’t nearly as dedicated to the dictionary or thesaurus, though. What a neat hobby for a kid to have.

  15. What a neat take on this weeks topic. I used to read definitions a lot too. We had a game where someone would pick an uncommon word and everyone would write a made up or real definition of it and then we’d try and guess the correct definition. Lots of fun. Thanks for visiting my TTT! 🙂

  16. interesting list! I love words, too. and I love to seek words out, especially in English. and I read some Japanese novels too in translation. and I always investigate the Japanese words in it. I try to learn the Japanese Language, too, but it´s difficult

  17. Really interesting take on the topic! I do remember reading a children’s dictionary when I was a kid – maybe that’s why we all love words so much 🙂

  18. I’ve thought of that whole “learn a word a day” thing for the dictionary before, but I, personally, don’t have an interest in it. I do like that you look to more academic-type resources for pieces that make you smile and such. Urban Dictionary is hilarious at times, so I can see why it’s on the list.

  19. Oh my goodness, I LOVE your take on this theme! What a great point you made. I used to love reading Encyclopedias when I was younger but it’s been years. I would love to find a set and start doing that again. Awesome post!

  20. Clever spin! And what would we do without those books…! I have a display shelf in my library at school filled with encyclopedias and Brittanicas. The kids love browsing through them!

  21. Wonderful twist on this weeks topic!!

    I have some very fond memories of being younger and me and my siblings would play games with Encyclopedias. (Our favourite was, “One person has the book and flips to a random page and quizzes everyone on whatever topic was on the page.” XD hours flew by considering how dense the Encyclopedia was!)

    Happy Reading!!! <3

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