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.