I am an avid reader. I love books. I believe that literacy is one of the most important gifts we can give our youth. First Book is a charity that provides children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books.

First Book is now inviting readers from around the world to share the name of the first book from their childhood that made reading fun. What book got you hooked? The First Book site includes favorites from Stephen Colbert, Edward Norton, Emma Thompson, Ira Glass, Scarlet Johansson, Neil Patrick Harris, John Krasinski, and more.

It’s difficult for me to name just one book that hooked me. Books were such an important part of my childhood, I can’t remember life without them. But if I had to name just one, it would probably be Millions of Cats. Or Small Pig. Or Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book, which is still one of my favorites. How can a fellow choose just one?

Fortunately, I don’t have to choose just one link to share today. Here are some excellent articles sent in by readers like you:

Kira wrote to urge GRS readers to give their opinions on the credit card reform bill being proposed by the Federal Reserve Board. She writes that “the proposed rules would curtail abusive credit card practices, the same practices that, along with predatory lending in the housing market have contributed to so many folks being in financial hell right now.” Examples include:

  • Stop companies from hiking interest rates on existing balances (unless you pay 30 days late).
  • Stop them from applying your monthly payment to low-interest debt first.
  • Give you time between the bill and the due date so you can always pay on time.
  • Stop interest charges on debts paid off the previous month.

If you would like your voice to be heard, visit the Credit Card Reform web site by Monday and leave a comment. (This site is from Consumers Union, the same people who publish Consumer Reports.)

Meanwhile, Trent at The Simple Dollar has some thoughts on the difference between broke and being poor. “Being poor means that you don’t have the resources available to you to improve your financial situation,” he writes. “Being broke means that you do have resources available to you to help improve your financial situation.” It’s easier to fix being broke than to fix being poor. Poverty is a societal concern, once that hasn’t been solved for centuries. Personal finance blogs are not going to solve the problem, either.

At MSN Money, Emma Johnson has some thoughts about when you should splurge and when you should skimp. Part of being frugal is getting value for your dollar. It can be difficult to know when that means buying the cheapest option, or when it means buying the most expensive option. This is a great article on the balance between value and quality. (See two past GRS articles on this subject: “Choosing quality over price” and “Frugality doesn’t have to mean sacrificing quality”.)

Finally, the Mighty Bargain Hunter wishes he had a 75-year emergency fund. Well, not really. But he does wish there were a way to prepare for all contingencies. Many of MBH’s recent posts have been tinged by fear for the future (he recently read The Long Emergency, a book that can scare a person). Because he can’t plan for everything, MBH prepares for what he can and just accepts the rest.

This article is about Spare Change