What’s on your shelf?

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.


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