Getty Images

Happy World Book Day! These Are The Books That Changed Our Lives

Books are - quite simply - the best.

A great book is like a roommate you find on Craigslist who comes into your life somewhat unexpectedly but builds a friendship with you so profound that your life is irrevocably changed. (Books don't leave unwashed dishes out and don't invite randos over to your apartment, so there is that small difference.)

To celebrate World Book Day (March 5), our literary-loving collective at MTV News reflected on the books that have stayed in our hearts forever (or in this analogy, our couches) and have in some way, profoundly changed us.

"Wild" by Cheryl Strayed

"My friend slipped me a copy of 'Wild' at the lowest time of my life. As soon as I started reading, I could relate to everything going on -- losing a parent, splitting with a partner I was still in love with, feeling the need to do something much larger than myself. I cried the whole time Cheryl climbed over the Pacific Crest Trail, but when it was over, she had encouraged me to do something great with my life. I moved to the mountains, wrote more and slowly started to live my life the way my dad would've wanted me to. Fully." --Emilee Lindner

"The Catcher In The Rye" by J.D. Salinger

" 'The Catcher In The Rye' taught me that a book isn't meant to be read at a specific age. It should change as the reader does." -- Brenna Ehrlich

"Holden Caulfield is still my favorite cynic. I first read the book in junior high school, and maybe because of all that teen angst, I was drawn to his tendency of thinking that everyone and most things around him were so 'phony.' Also love the way he was always lost in his head, sometimes worrying about completely arbitrary things, while “real life” was passing him by. I liked it so much that I kept my copy from JH (don’t tell) and still read it every couple of years." -- Nadeska Alexis

"Their Eyes Were Watching God" by Zora Neale Hurston

"I first read it as a senior at my performing arts high school, where an elective called 20th Century African American Lit was being offered. I remember being transfixed not only by Zora’s storytelling — like the magical opening line 'Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board.' — but also by the character, Janie, who fled the life that had been arranged for her to make a new one in Florida’s 'muck,' or the Everglades. There, she falls deeply in love with Tea Cake, 10 years her junior. She wears overalls. But most important, she becomes her SELF. -- Rebecca Thomas

"The Five People You Meet in Heaven" by Mitch Albom

"I remember reading it as a kid and thinking about how weird it was that a complete rando you saw in passing could have a huge impact on your life. It's a thought that's stuck around with me for years. I always think about things like, 'If I hadn't done this, then this wouldn't have happened, which means then this wouldn't have happened...' and so on. And then I think, 'What if I had done this other thing instead? Would my life be completely different?' I'm rambling now, but that book definitely taught me something I can't quite put my finger on." -- Deepa Lakshmin

“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

"When I finally read 'The Alchemist' after a friend recommended it, it helped to change my life. The book helped to reinforce things that I’ve already felt. When you want and work towards a goal, the universe conspires to get you there. I think about Coelho’s book every time my dreams seem too big and then I go for it." -- Rob Markman

"A Confederacy of Dunces" by John Kennedy Toole

" 'A Confederacy of Dunces' is my absolute favorite – I read it as a freshman in high school and it completely informed my understanding of satire and the power of literary humor devices. I haven’t uttered a sincere word since!" -- Matthew Donnelly

"One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel García Márquez

"I feel like I didn’t truly fall in love with adult literature until I read 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' early on in college. It has incest, it makes mundane life seem fantastic and the fantastic seem mundane, and it also somehow made a 19-year-old woman of Irish heritage from New Jersey obsessed with Latin American colonialism and magical realism. And THAT’S a remarkable feat." -- Shaunna Murphy

"The Tommyknockers" by Stephen King

"As a kid I stayed at a cabin for a family vacation, and hadn’t brought anything along to read. The room I was staying in had a bunch of books, though, including King’s 'Tommyknockers.' I had never read King, never read horror... And proceeded to devour the book in a day. I read it again that weekend, and it began a lifelong love of both Stephen King’s books, and horror in general! Yay books!" -- Alex Zalben

"It’s Kind of a Funny Story" by Ned Vizzini

" 'It’s Kind of a Funny Story' is the kind of novel that stays with you long after you turn that last page. The book is based on Vizzini’s stint at a mental institution in Brooklyn in 2004 after he attempted suicide. I think what I related to most was the main character Craig’s idea of anchors and tentacles. According to Craig, everything in his life falls into one of these two categories.

Tentacles are things that grab you and try to bring you down, like homework — 'If I don’t do my homework, I won’t get a good grade in my class, if I don’t get a good grade, I won’t graduate, if I don’t graduate, I won’t get a good job, if I don’t get a good job, I won’t make a lot of money, if I don’t make a lot of money, I’ll never find someone to marry me and I won’t have kids, etc.' (Yeah, that inner monologue was pretty much me in high school.)

"Meanwhile, anchors are things that can occupy your mind and make you feel good. There aren’t choices or decisions in anchors, it’s something simple, something that grounds you. For Craig it was riding his bike, or drawing maps. For me, it’s going on long walks and being active. The tentacles will never truly go away, but as long as you have your anchors, you’ll be OK. It’s a simple message, but one that will stay with me forever." -- Crystal Bell

"The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein

" 'The Giving Tree' by Shel Silverstein just gets unconditional love! The tree acts as a mother that provides for the boy in anyway possible even when he acts selfish or neglects her. Reading this to my young nephew now brings me to tears. One underlying lesson also: a tree is a living thing." -- Abby Devora

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

" 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' is a book I can only describe as 'beloveable.' I read it as a teenager, and like the story's protagonist, Charlie, I was grappling with my own sense of self-identity. At a time when I felt like I didn't quite fit in, it encouraged me to move past my own feelings of anxiety and participate in life. It's a book that draws you in and loves you for your weird, beautiful, fragile-yet-indefatigable self. I'm grateful for it." -- Rachel Paoletta

Books, we love you. You can crash on our couch any time.