For 18 years I was the librarian at a home for abused and neglected kids. It was a small library, somewhere between 10 and 15 thousand books. It was just for the use of the kids and staff. When I started I didn't know a thing about cataloging books and took a "crash course" from the librarians at the local public library. Years later it occurred to me I'd been a life-long librarian because I was shelving and keeping books long before I became a pseudo-librarian. So I was thinking the other day about books that I've hung on to.
From my childhood there are many:
The Cat in the Hat
The Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde
The World of Pooh and The World of Christopher Robin
Little Brother and Little Sister: a 1917 edition of Grimm Fairy Tales with illustrations by Arthur Rackham
Stories That Never Grow Old with tales like "The Bremen Town Musicians," "The Boy Who Cried Wolf," "How the Finch Got Her Colors," "The Pied Piper of Hamelin," and "The Little Engine that Could." It was edited by Watty Piper and illustrated by George and Doris Hauman
The Princess and Curdie by George MacDonald
Pinocchio edited by Watty Piper and illustrated by Tony Sarg
Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith
Andersen's Fairy Tales illustrated by Arthur Szyk
The Patchwork Girl of Oz by L. Frank Baum
These are just a few of the books that were on my bookshelf as a child and which I still have. Somehow they survived the tropics and my traveling around. They are worn. Some have their bindings reinforced with tape, others I recovered completely with fabric. In some my name is scrawled in a my awkward child's hand. In some those blank white pages at the front and back of the books are graced with pictures I drew. Isn't that what those blank pages are for? In other I colored the black and white illustrations.
As an adult I have hung on to way more books than I could possibly list. But here are a few that I reread once ever 5, 10 or 15 years.
Islandia by Austin Tappan Wright
The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
The Book of the Dun Cow by Walter Wangerin, Jr.
Green Mansions by W. H. Hudson
Books that inspire:
Light and the Path by M. C. (Mabel Collins)
The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
I Say Sunrise by Talbot Mundy
Do you have any books from your childhood? Are there any you reread from time to time?