Money spent on a good book is never wasted, and for that matter, neither is the time. When you’re feeling a bit hermity, what could be better than visiting some old friends in a far away place? And all for the $10 you spent five years ago. Books are an investment in happiness, and in my opinion, you can never have too many of them.
Some books are only good one time around. The plot is simple enough to fully embrace the first time, or they depend on suspense to provide entertainment. But other books beg to be read again and again. Worlds that are rich and deep, plots that are complex with too many characters to count, or words that are just so beautiful, you want to bathe in them again and again. Here are 10 books I love re-reading!
- Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling— I’ve actually lost count of the amount of times I’ve read through the entire series. I never ever get tired of it. When I’m stressed or anxious, Harry Potter always calms me down and makes me happy. I laugh and cry each and every time.
- Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein— An excellent combination of rich worlds and rich languages. I love a book or series that starts out with a map. You know you’re dealing with someone who takes world building seriously. I promise you didn’t catch everything the first time.
- Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin— I actually don’t super love the writing and think that Martin could have benefited from an aggressive editor, and yet I still can’t stop myself from re-reading. These stories are so deep with so many plot twists and hidden agendas, I don’t think I’ll ever figure it all out. And that’s unacceptable.
- Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke— This book is completely mesmerizing. Every time I open it up, I feel like I’ve been put under a spell. It’s not exactly an action packed adventure, but it’s so exquisitely written, I can’t put it down. Even the second time around.
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald— I’ve been re-reading this book since I was 18, and it never stops being completely beautiful and completely heartbreaking. It takes my breath away every single time. If you think this novel is just about booze and fringe dresses, you’re seriously missing something.
- Watership Down by Richard Adams— I’ve been trying to get my husband to read this book for years. Yes, I know it’s about rabbits, but it’s an incredible adventure. This is on my current re-read list, and I’m going to give it another turn soon.
- The Red Tent by Anita Diamant— I love a strong female lead, so to read the story of strong women in a time when women were almost completely powerless is definitely fascinating. The language is also quite lovely.
- Night by Elie Wiesel— This is a book I taught every semester while I was an English teacher, and often I read much of the book out loud to the class. How someone can write so beautifully about something so brutal and tragic is nearly incomprehensible, but I am deeply moved each time I read this book.
- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston— Another strong woman in a powerless situation manages to take control of her happiness, if only for a moment. If you’re into audio books, I highly recommend the version of this novel read by Ruby Dee. It’s just too much to love.
- A Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman— This is the only non-fiction book on my list, but this collection of essays is an amazing mash up of science and poetry. You can open it to almost any page and find yourself reading something completely fascinating. It never gets old.
These are just the first ten books that came to mind. What are your favorite books to read again and again?