Fall Into Reading This Season

Fall into reading this holiday season and prioritize you.

In the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it’s easy to forget to take those few minutes for yourself, or the simple things fall to the wayside — like reading.

In partnership with The BookHouse, we’re challenging you to prioritize reading this holiday season. Whether that’s heading to a local bookstore or joining Cedar Rapids Moms’ new book club (Overbooked:: Cedar Rapids Moms’ Edition), we hope you’re able to find time to pick up a book and — just read. 

Here are five different ways you can add reading back into your day:

  1. Buy a new book
  2. Gift a book to a friend
  3. Visit a local bookstore
  4. Write a book review
  5. Organize your bookshelves

Why We Love Reading:

Alyssa Burks


“I love reading because it transports me to another reality, it releases stress and gives me an escape.”

Elise Handke


“I love reading non-fiction because I love to learn and fiction for the entertainment! Love me some mystery and suspense novels.”

Elizabeth Kreher


“I love reading because it allows me to transport to another world, life or story outside of my own. I would never want to get caught up in a thriller storyline in real life, but love to drown myself in a thriller book. Escaping on a romantic trip to Italy—yes, please—but don’t have the funds to do it myself right now, so I’ll read about it!”

Hear from The BookStore:

“One reason I have become a book lover is because books not only allow us to lose ourselves in them but allow us to learn and grow as individuals. We can both read about experiences other than our own and relatable experiences.”

– Sarah Mersch, Owner, The BookHouse

The BookHouse is a locally independently owned business specializing in books for children, teachers, librarians, and nonprofits since 1883. Originally known as the O.G. Waffle Book Company, founded by Oren Gates Waffle, the BookHouse is one of the oldest bookstores and book supply companies in Iowa.

Based out of Iowa, The BookHouse, is one of the oldest bookstores and book supply companies in Iowa. Founded by Oren Gates Waffle,  the BookHouse started in 1883 as the O.G. Waffle Book Company, who was a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse. During his summers, he started the company by selling books to libraries, schools, and individuals door to door; he also published his own book, Gem for the Fireside.

Oren ran the O.G. Waffle Book Company solo until 1931 when his son, Norman joined him. Eventually, Norman took over and ran the business until 1985. In 1985, the business was sold — meaning the business stayed in the family for over 100 years!

Once sold, the name changed to The BookHouse, which was quite appropriate as it was located in the original home of the Waffle family. Since then, the business has changed ownership a few more times but continues to provide the experience the readers have grown to love. That original building is currently for sale and The BookHouse is operating as a warehouse and online-only store temporarily.


In August of 2021, Sarah became the owner of The BookHouse, and has kept it an independently owned business specializing in books for children, teachers, librarians, and nonprofits. While The BookHouse primarily focuses on readers from preschool to 12th grade, The BookHouse offers provides books, ebooks, and audiobooks to community members of all ages, as well as wholesale books to businesses in the Eastern Iowa area.

This fall, The BookHouse is distributing special-edition copies of bestselling author Christina Soontornvat’s latest book, The Last Mapmaker, to underserved young readers throughout the community. The American Booksellers Association (ABA), Candlewick Press, and General Motors are working together with indie bookstores like The BookHouse to distribute 20,000 copies of The Last Mapmaker as part of the “STEM Reads” (#STEMReads) book giveaway. The program, funded by General Motors, aims to encourage young readers to explore their interests in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through consuming science fiction and fantasy writing.

{Cedar Rapids Moms’ Perk}: The BookHouse is also offering 20% off to the Cedar Rapids Moms community now through December 15th by using code CRMOMS. If you are an educator, you can also receive a continued discount by contacting The BookHouse. 

To follow along with The BookHouse, visit their website www.theiowabookhouse.com and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

You can also read about the CR Moms Reading Nook and some other book recommendations/


The Magical Yet

Angela Diterlizzi

The Big Umbrella

Amy June Bates

Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom

Sangu Mandanna

Percy Jackson & the Olympians Boxed Set Series

Rick Riordan

Firekeeper's Daughter

Angeline Boulley

The Paris Library

Janet Skeslien Charles

The Lost Apothecary

Sarah Penner

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