Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ve Read That I’d Like In My Personal Library

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

My list is a short one this week. There simply aren’t that many books out there that I’d reread often enough to want to have in my personal library.

1. Old Reference Books

I discussed my love of reading dictionaries, thesauruses, and encyclopedias here before. These books can be a tantalizing glimpse into the past. Some of the words they use are no longer common, and others have seen their meanings change dramatically. I really like comparing the way things were back then to what is (and isn’t) acceptable to write about today. 

Book cover of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. It shows Jane sitting pensively against a plain background. 2. Any First Edition Copy of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

I actually had a first edition of this book and one of the sequels in the series in my personal library when I was a kid. I don’t know what happened to them, but someday it would be cool to touch them again. 

3. Beowulf.

This is one of my all-time favourite legends. When I first read it, our professor did an excellent job of explaining what we knew about the culture that created it as well as making note of all of the references that have been lost to the mists of time. 

4. Everything N.K. Jemison Writes

I discovered her work much later than most people, and I still have a long ways to go in catching up on her stories. So far I’m loving them and would gladly add all of her books to my personal library. 

5. Spanish Children’s Books

Studying Spanish is one of my hobbies. I’ve really come to enjoy attempting to read Spanish children’s books as I try to apply all of the words I’ve memorized to something more practical than translating short sentences how many apples someone ate on Duolingo. Ha!

6. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

When I was in high school, I reread this book multiple times a year. It’s been a long time since I reread it, and I’m thinking that’s something I should do again soon. 

110 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ve Read That I’d Like In My Personal Library

    • Aww, thanks. Do you read old reference books? It’s amazing to see how people used to talk about women and minority groups. We’ve come a long way (and still obviously have a long way to go).

  1. Classics are such a good book to have in your personal library! I’ve seen multiple cover art of classics and they’re so gorgeous – especially Alice in Wonderland!
    I LOVE reading dictionaries and thesauri (or is it thesauruses?)! In school I used to carry around a mini-dictionary in my blazer pocket and take it out when I was bored in conversations 😄

    • I totally agree with you on the classic question. Lots of them have endured for some very good reasons!

      And it’s awesome that you enjoy reading dictionaries and thesauir/thesauruses, too. You must be amazing at Scrabble and other vocabulary games. 🙂

  2. There are a number of textbooks and reference books from my college and graduate school days I wanted to keep, but at the time couldn’t afford and traded them in on the next semesters books.

  3. I’ve heard great things about N.K. Jemison. I really need to read one of her books soon. Also hope you find a 1st edition of Alice. I know people love that book but I want to smack her in the head. Funny thing though…I do enjoy Alice retellings.

  4. This is a great list! I’ve somehow managed to acquire two copies of Jane Eyre since I studied it when I was 17, but I definitely think the Oxford World’s Classics version is worth getting a hold of out of all the editions available!

  5. That’s cool that you had a first edition of Alice in Wonderland. Maybe you still have it (or your parents do) and you’ll find it again someday.

    I went straight from Duolingo to reading Divergent in Spanish. It’s a pretty big leap, but more interesting (at least to me it was).

    • Thank you. Yes, it’s very possible that it’s packed away somewhere at my parent’s house. My place is smaller than theirs, so I couldn’t bring everything with me when I moved out.

  6. I absolutely love Jane Eyre. One of my all-time favorite classics. I have a physical copy, but it’s an old paperback and in really bad shape. One day I want to get a really nice hardcover version, maybe splurge and get a leather bound copy. Just because. 🙂

  7. I think that’s the trouble I had with this prompt, too, is I try to only keep the books I intend on re-reading, and I’m not a big re-reader to start with. Old reference books are great! I have an old encyclopedia set that I refuse to get rid of because nostalgia.

    I used to collect Spanish and French books for the same reason! Now, my Spanish isn’t all that great, so most of my foreign language books are French at this point and I donated my Spanish books because there’s a large Spanish-speaking population here and Spanish books are freaking hard to find around here!

  8. I’ve only truly read Jane Eyre from your list, and I’m not particularly fond of it. *grimace* Definitely agreed on Alice in Wonderland! I read it a long time back but I remember loving it.

    Thanks for visiting my blog!

  9. In regards to old reference books, I have a book called “The Disappearing Dictionary” on all kinds of regional UK slang that is no longer commonly used! It’s a fun browse. I also would like to own all of N.K. Jemisin’s books, since those are all worth a reread, I think. I sued to own The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, but I gave it away so I could buy an edition I liked better (it was a mass market paperback).

  10. If I could afford it, I’d have so many first editions of books.

    I own Jane Eyre, but just a mass market paperback version. I’ve had my eye on the Clothbound Classics version by Penguin for awhile, one of these days I might upgrade. Reader, I love that book so much.

  11. That’s a cool list! I love going to charity shops and finding different versions of older books that I have. I’ve hardly read any of the ‘old classics’, so I’m hoping to build my collection of those!

    Danielle |

  12. It’s funny, when I first tried writing my post for this week, I couldn’t think of anything really. I tend to buy my books as they release and read them that way. But then I realized I am still looking desperately for different copies of my favorite author’s books and thought, that works for sure!! Lol.

    A first edition Alice in Wonderland would be awesome! Any first edition from way back when would be cool! Alice was a fave of mine as my 4th grade teacher had this old battered copy of it in his classroom library and for whatever reason I took to it! I knew the Disney movie of course, but really enjoyed seeing this original version of the tale, plus the second book was included! I remember wanting to borrow the book from him when I was in 5th grade, but he said he had to find it…it might have been lost and I was like oh no!! Then a few days later I came to my classroom and saw it on my desk with a note that I could keep it! I still have that copy too and never got a newer one because it’s too nostalgic! Though I do want to get the interactive edition of Alice in Wonderland that Harper Design is publishing! I enjoy those interactive/pop up like books!

    Thanks for visiting my TTT post!

    • What a kind thing for your teacher to do. I loved that story.

      And, yeah, that was a good strategy for coming up with ideas for this week’s TTT. You had a nice post.

  13. I used to have the encyclopedias from my childhood, both the World Books and a smattering of other ones my parents picked up. they were super interesting to look at even as I got older and updated versions came out. I’d love to still have them.

  14. Oooh, I like the spin you took with the Alice in Wonderland 1st edition. I hadn’t thought outside the box with this week’s theme. I have a few books that I’d love another copy of if it was a first edition.

    • I hope you will! That’s the sort of book that somehow manages to have something new to say every time I reread it. It’s such a thought-provoking story.

  15. I’m sorry, I don’t understand your opening paragraph. However, I love your list! Please allow me to write you a small novel of excitement.

    1. Old reference books are indeed awesome for that very purpose. The prevailing attitude is usually outdated = literal garbage, so while I understand that perspective, those that survive a few decades can be really cool for their historical value. My dad has several 1950s World Book encyclopedias — not every letter, but enough that as a kid, I was fascinated looking through them, appreciating the color illustrations (I still do). The text on other countries and customs gets more fascinating every decade.

    2. First editions of classics are awesome #BookGoals. (Jane Eyre would be amazing. What a good book. I actually have 2 copies, a Signet paperback and an oversized hardcover in a slipcase that my boyfriend gave me when his grandmother passed. Neither of which I’ve actually read, post-reading-a-library-copy…but I still love having the option and the different covers.)

    3. Children’s books are a wonderful way to practice other languages. The story context is nice, and the language is fairly straightforward. I have the French version of The Little Prince as well as a random Calvin & Hobbes collection I found at a garage sale.

    • Sorry to hear you didn’t understand my first paragraph. I was meaning to say that I personally only want to buy books I expect to read over and over again.

      I’m glad that you also enjoy old reference books, first editions, and children’s books. They’re all such useful books to have! Your dad’s world book encyclopedias sound very interesting as well.

  16. You always hit the nail on the head w/these kind of topics. I’m a thesaurus fiend and try to acquire the old library copies where I work, but sadly they dont order new ones anymore😢
    Have you seen The Lost Words book about the nature words removed from the dictionary? Its beautiful.
    Also, finally got my hands on a sweet old Jane Eyre

    • Thank you very much. What a lovely compliment.

      No, I’d never heard of the The Lost Words. I’ll keep an eye out for it, though. It sounds incredible.

      I hope you like Jane Eyre and find some old thesauruses soon. It’s sad that your library doesn’t order thesauruses anymore.

  17. Alice in Wonderland is a good choice. I have a very old copy and it’s one of the first books I ever remember reading independently — I actually found it quite disturbing at the time but I’d never part with it.

  18. Yessss, Beowulf is also my fav legend/classic! I’ve read it twice now for school and I just found out one of my classes is reading it this semester. I should really get a copy for myself also…lol tho I do already own a Beowulf Litograph t-shirt! 😂

    And eek, I still need to read a N.K. Jemisin book! I’ve been eyeing a box set of one of her trilogies on Amazon lately…

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