I covet books like people. Books have been and may always be my trophy lover. I display the best, the brightest, the ones that profoundly and amusingly changed me proudly on bookshelves. I dust them. And rearrange them. And breeze through their pages now and again with awe and admiration.
But I never re-read them.
Until now. This year, I have decided is my year. A year to re-read. A year to go back to the basics and seriously consider these books that have led me on a passion for writing novels. I want to study these favorites in a way only I can now: As someone who has written a novel.
We have all said it and heard a million times -- to be a writer, you must first read. A lot. Well, I have read a lot. But that doesn't mean that I'm always retaining some of the reasons why these books are so great.
Let me be clear. I am not reading the BBC lists or the NBC lists or even the Nobel lists.
I am reading my list. These books that I am re-reading have stayed with me since Page One. Some have moved across state lines and into and out of up to a half dozen or more places I've called home. One has been with me since middle school.
These are not just any books. These are 12 books that led me to write my own. These are the ones that inspired me along the years in my own relationships. They are the books that light me up.
I've decided to do this in four parts. Each week, I will write about a different aspect of these books from a writer's standpoint (setting, narration, character arc and plot).
I'm pretty excited to take on this project. And while it's not 365 books or even 52 books -- and while this is not an exhaustive list of books that I have loved or been awed by -- I am sure that I will learn a lot about writing and reading on this journey. I plan to share a lot with my readers as well!
I am not sure why I never re-read books. Perhaps because the idea of knowing the ending makes it hard to keep my interest. That's why this will be a fun project. I'm reading just for the wisdom I can glean as a writer, as a novelist, as someone who hopes to have one of those shiny, beautiful trophies of her own.
PHOTO CREDIT: RACHELLOVESTOLAUGH