For as much as I love the written word, you might be surprised to know that there aren’t very many books in my house. Our video game collection fills two whole bookshelves and then some, but books? There’s only enough of them to fill two shelves. That’s shelves, mind you, not bookshelves – As in two boards to set things on inside a bookshelf.
Don’t get me wrong, I love books. I love the look, the feel, even the smell of them. But I’ve always been a big fan of the library and pretty frugal reader. The advent of the Nook my parents gave me for my birthday at the beginning of the year only made me more so. There’s very few books I find worth re-reading (Aside from reference manuals, that is) so there’s obviously very few I find worth keeping.
That said, there are a few that I would always be happy to have in my house… or take with me to a deserted island.
5. The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
The first real book I ever read on my own, I’ve actually never read The Hobbit again since my childhood. Still, it was powerful and moving enough that I’ve never forgotten any of it! With the film due to come out in just a handful of days, the desire to revisit one of my favorite childhood memories is fresh in my mind, and Tolkien never disappoints.
4. The White Dragon, by Anne McCaffrey
Though it comes halfway through the series, The White Dragon has always been one of my favorite Pern books. There’s something very endearing about Ruth, the only different dragon. His attitude makes him something of “The little dragon who could”, and the unique bond between Jaxom and Ruth makes this one worth revisiting any time.
3. Dracula, by Bram Stoker
The undead have always been alluring, but the popularity of vampires never really came about until Dracula was published. Few people realize that Dracula was far from being the first vampire book, and while it was the first to make vampires a mainstream concept, the modern vampire was first illustrated in Der Vampir, a poem written in 1748. Even so, Stoker’s work contains such vivid imagery and graceful storytelling that it remains the authoritative work on the world’s favorite kind of undead.
2. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis
The Chronicles of Narnia tell a lot of different stories, several of them able to stand alone. While it’s not the chronological first in the series, there’s a reason that The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the first book in the set. It presents strong characters and a compelling storyline, giving just enough of a taste of the world to make you want to keep going. The last pages of the first book wrap the story up into a satisfying little package that would have been enough on its own – The fact that there’s more to read afterward is just the icing on the cake.
1. The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
Okay, so it’s technically three books – Six, if you choose to acknowledge that each book is divided into two volumes inside. That said, it’s all part of the same story and each volume can’t really stand on its own, so I still consider it one book. Being my favorite story, it shouldn’t be a surprise that this starts tops the list. If I had to choose just one thing to read, and have it be the only thing I could read for the rest of my life, this would be it.
Which books would you consider something you could never give up?