Recently I came across an article with this assignment: “Select a small shelf of books that represent you – the books that have changed your life, that have made you who you are today, your favorite favorites.” The idea intrigued me. What would be on my shelf if I was allowed 10 books – books that influenced my thinking, my being, my writing, my teaching?
After much thought, here’s my list (though I expect it might change in time):
- The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
- The Giver by Lois Lowry
- A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
- A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
- The Nero Wolfe series by Rex Stout
- Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
- Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
- Radical Reflections by Mem Fox
- The Big Picture by Dennis Littky
- The Element by Sir Ken Robinson
I often think of the author when I am reading, but rarely do I think of the man who made the book form possible: Johannes Gutenberg. When he invented the printing press in approximately 1440, for the first time the mass production of books was possible. I take for granted the physical pages in my hands. I take for granted the distribution of words and ideas. Today though, I pay homage to Gutenberg for influencing how we create and distribute our words. I pay homage to a little thing we call a book.
Consider this, what’s on your shelf?
Visit www.idealbookshelf.com to see the origin of this challenge.