Books With Different Initial Intentions: Meant to Be Read by 1 Person

There are books that you love because it gives you a good story, and sometimes there are also books that you adore even further because of the stories behind the making of the book. In this case, I’ll be writing about books that were originally written and meant to be read by 1 person, but somehow ended up getting published and read by many people around the world. Below are some of the books from the top of my head.

Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland

1 Person - Alice Adventure Underground
First page of the original Alice Adventure story. (Image source:

The book is filled with many random, seemingly unrelated encounters with various different characters. It doesn’t follow a clear storyline format. Turns out, this was because the original story was told on different occasions by the author to entertain 3 little girls while they were on a summer trip. And each time the author tried to close the story, the girls will be begging for him to keep continuing it.

1 Person - Alice Liddell
The original Alice Liddell, whom which the main character was named after. (Image Source: The Atlantic)

In the end, one of the girls, Alice (whom the main character was named after) wanted to preserve it and written in a book. Lewis Carroll handwritten the first manuscript and also personally hand-illustrated it for Alice. Later on, another publisher got hold of it and suggested for Lewis to properly publish a book for the story, which he later edited and remove/add on certain scenes. And then, the current Alice in Wonderland existed!

Further Readings if you are interested:

Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series

1 Person - Percy Jackson
The unexpectedly long series that stems from the author’s son’s dyslexia (Image Source: Movie Pilot)

Up till this day, one of the most magical moments in any book that I’ve read is that second when Percy Jackson, who his whole life have felt pretty useless at school because he was dyslexic and he couldn’t read, could automatically decipher ancient Greek language in the museum display. He wasn’t dyslexic because he’s useless, but because of his descendance to the Greek gods have hard-wired his brain to understand ancient Greek better than the modern English text. And what about the ADHD that he was labeled with, not being able to concentrate in class? That was actually because his body is naturally alerted for survival in battles and is always in need of some action, since lots of people would want to kill Greek gods.

Rick Riordan initially made this bedtime story to uplift his son who was having dyslexia and ADHD. The story of Percy Jackson was this possibility that all of his son’s flaws are being flipped into what makes him extra special. That’s also probably one of the reasons why Percy was very young in this book, it was to mirror his son’s age.

1 Person - Rick Riordan & Haley
Rick Riordan and his son Haley back in 2010 (Image Source: The Guardian)

Nowadays, his son has grown up to be a voracious reader, passionate enough to even write his own stories that he claimed was longer than anything that Rick Riordan himself has ever written. It just warms my heart to know that Rick’s technique worked and it at the very least benefited his own son by leaps and bounds.

Further Readings if you are interested:

Alex Scarrow’s Time Riders series

1 Person - Time Riders
Time Riders started to help curb his son’s addiction to video games. (Image Source: Meli Melodie)

If you’re unfamiliar with the story, feel free to scan through my recent review of the Time Riders series, a collection of books that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Alex Scarrow was a computer games designer before he became an author. Hence, it’s no wonder that his son was very exposed to video games and was going through the zombie routine of “eat, sleep, and slave” over his Xbox games.

1 Person - Alex Scarrow
Alex Scarrow’s colourful previous jobs that was way far from being a book author. (Image Source: Northern Ireland Book Award)

So Alex started the Time Riders series with a clear goal in mind, to make it as addictive as possible that his son would pick the book up more often than his Xbox controller. Applying all of the computer games storytelling technique that he knew of, it paid off as his son became one his earliest readers of the Time Riders manuscript and started picking up other books on his own, making reading a habit for his entertainment, while their Xbox game console apparently became a snazzy doorstopper in their house.

Further Readings if you are interested:

The Guardian – How to Swap Games Consoles for Books (and Get Kids Reading) (click here to read Alex Scarrow’s story about his son)


These are just some of the books that I know of. Do you know of any other books that were meant to be read by 1 person, but ended up enriching the life of many other readers? Let me know, I’d love to read more about them.

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