I don’t normally re-read books. Sometimes I do go back to them and flip through them and skim some of the chapters, but I rarely do a full read-over.
But for the coming year, before I dive into reading a bunch of new books, there are a few that I do want to read over. Not just skim through or flip through, but actually read. Word for word.
1. The Sound and the Fury – William Faulkner. Most fiction books aren’t worth reading twice unless they’re really that amazing. With most of Faulkner’s books, you end up reading them more than once anyway just to figure out what’s going on. The Sound and the Fury is one of my favorite books, and it never ceases to inspire me.
2. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen R. Covey. It’s almost a cliche to have this book on the list, but it does deserve all the hype it gets. If anything, it’s become more relevant in recent years because technology has eroded the boundaries between work life, home life, spiritual life, and social life.
3. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway – Susan Jeffers. Fear is one of the great barriers to true happiness, so if you want to make the most out of life, you have to face your fears. Lately, I’ve fallen back into many old thought patterns that have not served me well, so reading this book again should be a good reminder to suck it up and quit being afraid.
4. Prayer Primer – Thomas Dubay. Books about religion or spirituality or whatever kind of belief you subscribe to are always worth a re-read from time to time. Part of having a religious faith is actually putting that faith into practice and learning how to grow in your faith, and this book is a highly recommended learning tool.
5. Sanctuary – William Faulkner. I was hesitant about putting two books by the same author on this list, but Sanctuary is incredibly inspiring to me. It’s not as difficult to understand as The Sound and the Fury, but each re-reading illuminates more about the book and its characters. It’s like opening the flaps of an Advent calendar.
6. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers – Renni Brown and Dave King. This book isn’t about big-picture editing; it’s about cleaning up your prose at the paragraph level. It’s almost like a modern classic, and it’s highly recommended for its tips on polishing your work.
What books do you like to re-read?