Books you could never not own!

August 8, 2011

I have been sorting through my bookshelves recently, trying to trim down the number of books that I own. Mostly because the number of books I own was dramatically more than the number of shelves that I own and the floor was beginning to get a bit cluttered.

Mostly I was removing books that I knew I would never read again but while I was doing this I realised that there was a small selection of books that I would always have a copy of on my bookshelves, no matter how small they get.

The first of these is ‘On the Beach’ by Nevil Shute. It is the story of a post atomic society, dying from nuclear radiation. I read as a teenager and haven’t read it again since. It was the first book that I read that made me cry, and I always mean to re-read it, but I can still remember too much about the story to read it again. I think the reason I keep it is to remind myself that books can be moving as well as entertaining.

The second is ‘Lord of the Rings’ by J.R.R Tolkien. This is my most well travelled book. If I am going somewhere for a couple of weeks and I only have space for one book, it is always this one. Mostly because I always find something new in the language or descriptions or story that I didn’t pay attention to last time I read it. It is one of those books that I can dip in and out of and feel like I am catching up with old familiar friends.

The third is the complete Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, although strictly speaking it isn’t one book, more of a collection of books and I have two different versions of the stories. One is the Annotated Sherlock Holmes – large hardback books, full of footnotes and annotations, beautifully illustrated throughout. They are lovely to read for the background information, but I do find it distracts me away from the story slightly (and they are slightly too large to carry around anywhere). So for reading the actual stories I have a smaller paperback version which doesn’t look as good but at least will fit in my handbag. Again these are books I dip in and out of when I feel like it. Again it is that feeling of catching up with friends when I read them. Often I can remember what is going to happen – but it is the journey that is important.

There are a lot more books that I own that I wouldn’t want to get rid of, but these are three of the books that have stuck on my shelves since I was a teenager and I would never part with them.



  1. Hi, thanks for visiting my blog – thought I’d come see yours! Right with you there on the treasured books!

    • Hi, thanks for the comment- yes there are some books which need to be treasured – although everyone’s choices for what they are will be different!

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