Future Challenge – What Are Your Most Precious Books?

Challenge #20

I’ve been away for a bit, and so there was no challenge last week, but I brought back some treasures with me…  books that belonged to my mother.

If you love to read (and my guess is that most of you do), you probably have a few favorites – books that you would have tried to save if the house were on fire, before e-readers put them in the cloud for you.

What books do you rely on? Do you have a Bible or other religious scripture at your bedside? Is there some book you keep close, because you just love reading it again and again?

This week’s challenge is to think about what books you would take with you to your next home, if you only had space for a limited number. And, maybe, which would you give away?

As part of my retirement theme,  I offer this weekly Thursday “Future Challenge” to get people of all ages thinking in general about their futures and/or retirement. Each challenge goes with a post of my own on the same general topic. Hopefully we’ll start some interesting discussions!

If you’d like to share what you think, or post on it, that’s great – and I’d love it if you’d share those thoughts in a post or comment (please tag posts TRS Future Challenge and link to this post) so others can also see them.

If you choose not to share them, that’s fine too – but with any luck, you’ll still gain some insight on where you’re headed (or would like to be), and how you can get the most out of your own journey.

For my own take on this week’s challenge, see my post The Portable Magic of Books.

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12 Responses to Future Challenge – What Are Your Most Precious Books?

  1. purpleviolas says:

    Hi your question had me really thinking and i came to the conclusion in this post http://wp.me/p2BDQm-16d Thanks for challenging me an almost retiring ager to think about it


  2. Pazlo says:

    Great post here! Just guessing— I’ll bet a lot of blogger-types are also reader-types and book-collecting types. It doesn’t surprise me to hear people speaking in terms I can relate to. “My collection”, “Which ones can I not be without.”, etc.

    My most prized book is a 1950’s edition of Audubon’s (as in John Audubon) Birds of America.
    (Sorry to anyone that knows the rule, I can’t underline the title)
    I’m an avid birdwatcher and member of the Audubon Society. I also play guitar and sing (my mother also bought me my first real guitar). Also, though she never got to see much of the hobby, I took up flying radio-controlled airplanes just a year or so before she died.

    When she gave me the book, she inscribed it with this note:

    “May your voice be as sweet as the Nightingale’s, may you soar with eagles, and may you always look to the blue sky and find happiness.”

    I don’t sing as much as I used to, but she heard me sing plenty. I “look to the blue sky and find happiness” in many different ways. In my zen, looking to the sky and nature in general brings me peace, solitude and happiness. Looking to the sky watching birds. Looking to the sky for ideal conditions to fly my model planes.

    A few years back, after my mom had died, I had a wonderful memorable experience that tied this all together. Flying along the scenic Schoharie Creek where there are cliff faces along the escarpment, the lazy circles of my little plane, four hundred feet above, drew a curious spectator flying at the same altitude, making mirrored circles. It’s pretty common to see a Turkey Vulture do this, since the plane is about the same size.

    I was amazed and delighted, and knew I’d finally and completely fulfilled my mother’s admonition, when I looked to see the bird flying “with” me was a bald eagle.

    Be at peace,



    • What wonderful memories – and what a perfect book to treasure! I grew up near Audubon, PA and remember Audubon’s paintings and books well. Thanks so much for sharing your story. 😉


  3. This was one of my biggest dilemmas when moving to a little primitive island in Nicaragua. What do I do with my lifetime collection of books? I saved all of Cory’s children ‘s books, some of my favorite cookbooks, and all of my old first edition books, as well as books autographed by authors. The rest, I donated to second hand book stores. I confess that I am now a digital hoarder. I have over 1,800 books on my Kindle. The only paperback books I buy are travel guides. I tried using my Kindle for some travel guides, but it was very inconvenient when I was traveling and wanted to flip through the book to a certain city or hotel. I feel as if I have given away a lifetime of friends in donating my books. But, they are in my heart forever and that’s what counts.


    • And just think of the lives that have been enriched by what you donated! I don’t have nearly that many books on my Kindle yet,.. and I suppose I should get through all of what I have before I add more! Thanks so much for stopping inand sharing this!


  4. lexiesnana says:

    I have my Grandmother’s prayer book beside my bed and that is my favorite book of all. She had pictures of all her grandkids taped in it and she had thirteen kids so you can imagine how many pictures are in it. I think of her looking at each picture every night praying for her grandbabies. Yup by far my most prized book.


    • Precious! I have two Bibles that were gifts – one pocket size and one full-size, that are my long-time companions. I love the idea of the photos in the prayer book – I can imagine your grandmother gazing at each face as she prayed for that person. Lovely! 🙂


  5. my favorite books move with me and i have not regretted the weight in my luggage during those ‘transfers’ from one country to the next! there are too many to list, and there really isn’t a favorite; what i reach for when i’m wistful for a comforting read depends on my mood!


  6. sharechair says:

    ooo….. good one. Ok. Pretending now that there is NO cloud, and I can only take what I can grab……
    My first must-take is: It’s Easier Than You Think by Sylvia Boorstein. I always read a chapter every night before I sleep. I must have read the whole book at least a dozen times by now. It’s short, and full of wisdom. Calming. Sensible. Delightful.
    PIllars of the Earth and World Without End are my two favorite fiction books and I could easily read them again.
    Give aways? Easy … because I’ve already given them away.


    • Good for you! I think it will be easy to divest most of my mysteries, because I can so easily get them again. Some of the biographies and my favorite dog-eared novels may have to stay with me though. And both my sister and I still have our 4th grade presentation Bibles from the church we attended in childhood. Mine will always go with me – it’s seen me through a lot! Thanks for your visit and comments! 😉


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