December 11th, 2020
Growing up I had three small bookshelves which held probably 30-40 books. I now own 2 full size bookshelves, another bookshelf the length of a wall, books in my wardrobe and another full bookshelf in the garage. All of that amounts to around 300+ books (possibly more. I haven’t counted recently).
I’ve always wondered what I would do if I had to downsize and go back to the amount I had as a kid. Then I decided to make this challenge even harder for myself and go with 20 books for 2020.
I feel like there are actually a lot of books I own that I’m not attatched to at all and just hold on to for the sake of it. But I also know I’m so overly sentimental about way more than just 20 of them, so this will be tough.
These are the 20 books I own and could never, ever let go of.
1.The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
I do technically own two copies of this, so I would choose the blue one as that is my annotated copy. I have scribbled and doodled and highlighted in this copy. It’s very personal and I treat it like a diary. Nobody is allowed to look in it.
I think this book is so special to me because of what it meant to me as a teenager. I first read it when I was 16 and despite the fact it was written 20 years before, it still has such a timeless feel. It’s the book that made me feel seen and understood. I’d never be able to part with it.
2. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
This is a bit more of a random one. It’s a more recent read so it hasn’t got that attatchemen from being a kid/teenager. I think the reason I feel so sentimental about is because of the emotions it brought out in me, which was pretty much every emotion under the sun.
3. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Another pretty recent one. This only came out a couple of months ago, but already means so much to me. This is about a woman who suffers with depression and it takes a sci-fi look at regrets and how that effects out mental health. She’s given the opportunity to see how her life would have turned out had things gone differently. It has a very powerful and positive message.
4. Shadow Forest by Matt Haig
This is a book from my childhood which comes attached with a lot of good memories. I first read it when I was 10 at school and I feel like it was the first time the whole class looked forward to reading. It’s a nice way to remember my final year at Primary school.
5. Simon Vs The Homo Sapians Agenda by Becky Albertalli
I would keep this as it’s a book that never fails to put a smile on my face. I love the characters and their funny interactions with one another. I think I would miss them too much if I had to give this book up. There’s also just such cute moments between Simon and Blue, I feel gushy just thinking about them.
6. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Anna Barrows
This book just never fails to put me in a good mood. It’s a real book lovers treat but it’s also got a lot of importance to it as it does tell the story of Guernsey whilst it was occupied in WWII. But it really captures the resilience of the people who lived their. I just think this book is so wonderfully British.
7. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
It’s so hard for me to just pick one Jane Austen book. I love them all so much! But seeing as I can not go a year without rereading P&P, I’d have to keep this one. I do own three copies of it but I think I’d have to keep my first copy of it which I got for Christmas when I was 14. That one is just a little bit more special than the others.
8. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Such a cosy and heartwarming book. I fell in love with this the first time I read it and I’ve loved it every time I’ve read it since. I reread it recently and I will say I found it a bit morally heavy than I remember. It was a bit too sentimental. But I’ll always remember how I felt the first time I read it and I seriously love the characters.
9. My Sister Jodie by Jacqueline Wilson
Another one I read as a kid. I would call this book the pivotal moment in my reading life. It was the first of many Jacqueline Wilson books and through this I found YA. Most of my Wilson books are in the garage now but this one still has a place on my bookshelf and it always will.
10. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgsen Burnett
This book is special because it reminds me of afternoons with my Nan when I was younger. We used to watch the movie together and the first time I read the book I borrowed her copy. It such an old fashioned childrens classic and I’d probably hate it if I didn’t have that nostalgia attatched to it.
11 + 12. The Hunger Games + Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
I would not survive without the first two books in the Hunger Games trilogy, but I could happily do without book three. Not because I think it’s bad, but because it hurts too much!
13. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
I mean, it’s one of the most famous classics for a reason. It’s a captivating plot that never fails to enamour me. I just don’t think I’d ever be able to part with such an amazing crafted story.
14. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
I’ve only ever read this once, so I don’t know how I would feel if I reread it now. But I remember the first time I read this, I was so sure I was going to struggle with it because of it’s length and because it’s a translated piece of Russian literature. It just felt so inaccessible. But I ended up flying threw it and loving it.
15. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
This is one of those stories that really has something to say and it just achieved so much so well. It’s touching, it’s brave, it’s inspiring. I’ll be rereading this book my whole life.
16. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Another book I just can’t pass a year without reading. It’s got the most emotionally complex characters and wonderful parents. Just thinking about this books makes me so emotional!
17. I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
I have a lot of YA on here and I think that’s because the books we read as teenagers are books that will always stay with us. It’s not the easiest time in life, but books really helped me get through it. This book is also just one of the most beautifully written books I have ever read.
18. My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
This is a quartet so picking just one book is hard, but I think the first book might be my favourite. The whole series follows the friendship of two girls throughout their lives. Book one follows them through adolescence.
19. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Another more recent favourite. I think this book means more to me than others though because it has a book community feel to it. It really feels like everyone I follow has read and loved this book. It also just makes me so emotional, and I do love a book that makes me cry!
20. Harry Potter & The Philosphers Stone
Despite recent events, HP will always mean something to me and I can’t shake that off (I just won’t be buying anything new from her ever again). This was another pivotal moment for me.
Now it’s your turn. What is one book you could never part with. Let me know!