Audience holding books

 Photo: Harpo Studios

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Celebrities aren't the only ones who have surprises in store for Oprah. The United Center audience brought along some of their "favorite things" to present to the guest of honor. Every person in attendance bought at least one children's book, which will be used to stock empty library shelves at KIPP Believe College Prep in New Orleans. This school lost all its books during Hurricane Katrina, and when a tornado came through two years later and ripped out an entire wall, the repairs used up the school's library funds, leaving no money for books.

Of course, literacy is an issue close to Oprah's heart. Back in 1986, Tom Hanks says, no one would have guessed that a daytime talk show could inspire people to read, but The Oprah Show did just that. It's been estimated that Oprah's Book Club has helped sell 30 million books.

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FROM: Surprise, Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular - Part 1
Published on May 23, 2011
Please note that Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities have no affiliation with and do not endorse those entities or websites referenced above, which are provided solely as a courtesy. Please conduct your own independent investigation (including an investigation as to whether any contributions are tax deductible) before donating to any charity, project or organization. This information is provided for your reference only.

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