We are proud to offer to young book lover’s our annual Young Bibliophile Book Collection Essay Contest. This writing contest is designed to stimulate young people to get interested in collecting books or to share what their current book collection means to them. Collections can be of any size of books.

Essay Title: “Why I Value My Book Collection!”

There are three entry categories; divided according to age:

Category #1: Ages  7  to 10  Category #2: Ages 11 to 14 Category #3: Ages 15 to 18

The original entry must be written in English, have between 200 and 500 words. We are not focusing on grammar or spelling. We are looking for enthusiasm, the expression of the “connection” the writer has with their books and especially we want it written in their own words. Get entry form here.

One winner in each category will be selected by the 9 members of the MBS Board of Governors according to their individual knowledge of book collecting. The three winners will each receive $250, a free one year family membership in the Miniature Book Society and a Certificate of Achievement.

Young bibliophiles may submit their entry by postal service or email and must be received by June 1st.   

Via post:     Ms. Gail Faulkner, Secretary of MBS 1155 South Lake Dr #63 Novi, Michigan 48377-1851 email:

Winners will be notified by telephone one month prior to the date of our Annual MBS Conclave, held in the beginning of August.  Each winner’s family will be invited to be our guest at the Conclave’s Sunday Awards Banquet; for further information about our Conclave see here. It will be during the Awards Banquet that the judges will announce the three essay winners, read the essays aloud and present the awards. The winning essays will also be published in the MBS Newsletter and posted on this website.

Entries under the age of 18 must have permission from a parent to participate. If any winner and their family cannot attend the MBS Conclave to receive their awards, alternate arrangements will be made.


Category #2 - Tara Showalter, Ohio, USA.

Why I Value My Book Collection, By Tara Showalter

     Did you know that reading can help lower your levels of stress and help people sleep better?  I get my love of reading from my friends and family, I never would have met my best friend if I never read the Maze Runner because we never spoke until she saw me reading it, I owe reading a lot.  I value my book collection because books make me happy, it is important to have a collection of books, and I love actually having books.

     Books make me happy because they can take me to different places.  They can take me to a world with dragons or a world full of people who have superpowers and the regular people were afraid of them and they started killing them until a war started that lasted 20 years.  Whenever I have free time no matter if it is 2 minutes or 2 days my first thought is “books”.  I read a lot before I go to bed but I always end up reading way too long because I can never put the book down.

      It is important to have a collection of books because you have different options to read and you're not stuck with one book.  If you had a bad day at school or work or just where ever you were just pick up a good book and get lost in it, it might have a good ship (relationship) or an exciting plot or story line. At the end of the day you never know what type of book you will want to read, happy or sad, fiction or nonfiction, so just have them all.

     In my opinion, I prefer to have an actual book not an ebook or audio book. I admit it is nice to just listen to the story and it is very convenient to have an ebook. But I think it is better for your eyes and mind to read an actual paper book.  When I am upset and reading a book for some reason it comforts me when I flip a page and the texture of the paper also comforts me too.

     I value my book collection because my books always make me happy, it is important to have a collection of books, and I love having an actual book.  My love of books and reading came from my grandma and my mom, they have always loved books.  My grandma is a member of of the Miniature Book Society.  Reading can also help improve your vocabulary and writing skills.

by Jim Brogan

As members of the Miniature Book Society, we are collectors.  Some of us collect letterpress books, some collect art books, some all type of books, and some collect keepsakes. A keepsake as defined by Webster’s as "something that you receive and keep to help you remember a person, place, or event: a memento or souvenir." A Conclave keepsake certainly fits that description in all categories.

The first MBS Conclave was held in 1983 and there are more than a few examples of the keepsakes that were exchanged at that conclave. Over the years, the exchange of keepsakes has grown in some years and not been as plentiful in other years.  However, the practice continues to this day and there are always outstanding examples of the creativity of our members with each Conclave event.

I can remember the day that I arrived in San Diego to attend my first MBS Conclave in 2008. Seems like only yesterday that I arrived and opened up the unique bag of things that was given to me as part of the registration process. There were maps and various announcements and schedules of activities and menus, all the things that you expect at a professional conference. However, there were also included, in the collection, several keepsakes, those special things that some of the attendees provided as tokens of appreciation for each attendee. 

With each subsequent Conclave, I always look forward to that special bag of special things, the keepsakes. Some are handmade, some large, some very small, some ornate, some less complex. However, the glue that each keepsake contains reflects the expressions and creativity of each provider and the amount of thought that is included in every one of the keepsakes. These, to me, are priceless. 

I am sure that some of the members are fastidious collectors of the keepsakes from each conclave. There are members who spend a tremendous amount of time providing a keepsake and some require less time and materials. However, they are all treasures, a reflection of the event, the place, and the person who provided the keepsake.