I was babysitting a 15-month old little boy a few days ago, and we went to the local bookstore to hang out for awhile. The little guy loves books, so I was thrilled to spend some time in the kids’ section with him, checking out children’s lit for awhile (it’s not typically the part of the store to which I gravitate).
We read a couple cardboard Dr. Seuss and Thomas the Tank engine books (the traditional favorites with little boys), and then we found the pop up book section. He was in book heaven. He found one with Jungle animals, and the pages with a tower of monkeys and a huge tiger seemed to please him the most (especially when I made sound effects for him). But the biggest hit was the trip to the airport book, which told the story of a family’s airplane experience, with full, moving pop-ups and sound effects. His favorite page was the last one, with the airplane taking off and the engines roaring. He echoed the sound effects on that one.
After we’d finished reading that book, I closed it and put it on the shelf. But he walked right to the shelf and took it back off and handed it back to me. So, I read it again. And put I back on the shelf. Same routine. This went on about 10 times. I tried the jungle animal one again, but no, he as obsessed with reading the airplane book.
I thought this was pretty funny. But I realized, there are books that I read over and over and over. So, maybe I don’t read them back to back, but year after year, I get them off the shelf, only to experience them again, even if I know passages word for word.
So, in honor of my 15-month-old friend, I’m listing the books that I love to read over and over again.
#1 The Bible
This one gets the award for most read, on a daily basis as a matter of fact. Not only is it one of the longest books that I read, it’s also one of the oldest. I’m sure I’ve read it more times than any other book, too. I’m always finding new things to learn from it.
#2 Pride and Prejudice
I’ve talked about this one a few times before. Let me just say that Elizabeth and Darcy never get old. I tend to reread other Austen books as well, but this one gets first place among her works.
#3 The Pilgrim’s Progress
I love this simple allegory with deep eternal significance. I still cry after Vanity Fair.
#4 Paradise Lost
Milton’s epic poem means different things to me in different times of my life, as all good poetry should. Its beauty is unparalleled. His mastery of the English language is second to none. Not exactly a “beach read” (even though I’ve tried), but well worth the effort. I admit that I rarely read all the way through (it’s the longest poem in the English language, folks), but I’ll often read a section or two when I get a specific craving.
#5 The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
Although I always start with this book, I typically end up reading all of them in the series. I usually read them in order, the order in which were published (not the chronological order). I’m astounded how a children’s story can mean so much to me as an adult. That’s the mark of a good writer.
What are your “repeat reads?”