Like most avid readers I like to read as many new books as I can but then there are some books that I find myself picking up off the shelf year after year. They range in subject matter and length but each time I read them I am engrossed and take away something different that I did not connect with the last read.
1. On the Road by Jack Kerouac – Judging by the underlining and note marked book mark I have read the book at least four times, once with a red pen, once with a pink pen, and twice with a black pen. Just this week I started it again making it the fifth time and I found a coupon tucked into from 2007 which cracked me up but I left it there to be found again one day. I keep going back to it to inspire my desire for adventure and to reclaim a little of that feeling I first read it in college where anything was possible. One side effect of reading it for me is the desire to drink lots of coffee and listen to Bob Dylan and The Doors which I have no problem with!
2. Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis – I have read this book every June since buying it, which I think was in 2005/2006, and it always gets me in the mood for the beach and summer drinks. Funnily enough when I took it off the shelf to do this post I found a Disneyland Annual Pass parking pass also from 2007 so I guess that was a good year of reading for me. If you have never read this book, the movie does not count, and live in Southern California I highly suggest you do at the start of summer it will make you ready for appreciating it.
3. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton – My copy of this book is a very worn paperback I got from The Huntington Library in Pasadena in 1994. My family had gone to tea and then looked at the exhibits then at the age of 9 what I wanted from the gift store was this book, it seemed to capture the mood of how I felt having tea and seeing amazing painting and statues from long ago. My grandma bought it for me and I now must have read it at least 10 times and I cry at the end every time.
4. Elements of Style by Wendy Wasserstein – I bought this book in 2006 after seeing it I think Vogue, I double checked the copyright date in the book when writing this and realized I have a first edition hard cover of it which is pretty cool. The setting of this book is a good mirror to The Age of Innocence as they are both upper class New York but almost a 100 years apart. I keep reading as it is a good escapism book to me and I can see how my ideas of life have changed since my first reading when I thought being upper class New York would be great and now I am happy in my little life in Sweden.
5. Shopgirl by Steve Martin – My great-aunt bought me this book, sadly I cannot remember when the copyright in the book is 2000 and it is a first edition paperback and the movie came out in 2005 so I think it is sometime between those years. The first time I read it I think it took me one night since I was so drawn to the lead character, which I think is why my aunt bought me the book, and I have kept reading it for the same reason. If you have not read it and only seen the movie I highly recommend it since without Jason Schwartzman, as good of an actor as he is, you can really focus on the poignancy of the story.