In my personal library, I have a shelf- the Sacred Shelf of 10. This is the shelf that holds the books that are my ten favorite at any given time. There can only be ten. When I find a book that I highly enjoy, I consider putting it on the sacred shelf. But, if one goes on, then one comes off- no exceptions (this is what I think they ought to do in the Baseball Hall of Fame, but that’s a discussion for another time).
The rule of ten makes me consider, really, truly consider which of my books deserve to be on this shelf. Why the scrutiny? These ten are the only books I’ll go back and reread (while they remain on the shelf). There’s too little time and too many books to reread more than that. The books on my shelf are chosen because I simply enjoy reading them, not because they do or do not have redeeming literary value. They may or may not have won an award, other than the award of sitting on the Sacred Shelf of 10.
Here they are, in no particular order:
* Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
* The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
* Booked to Die by John Dunning
* The Meaning of Night: A Confession by Michael Cox
* Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
* Sophie’s World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy by Jostein Gaarder
* Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
* The Bookman’s Wake by John Dunning
* An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears
* On Writing by Stephen King
Those are the books on the sacred shelf in my library. Some have been on the list for a while, some have only recently been added. Now, I can hear some screams of dismay and several of you saying, “huh?” But regardless, those are my favorites. Now the question is- what is on your Sacred Shelf of 10?