Nathan Bransford, Author


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Which book have you read the most times?


We all have a book we return to again and again.

Some people re-read A Christmas Carol every December, some have tattered, falling-apart copies of Harry Potter.

I've read Moby-Dick, The Great Gatsby, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and The Elfstones of Shannara three times each, but nothing compares to the countless number of times I read Rifles for Watie growing up, which I found endlessly fascinating as a pre-teen.

What about you?

Art: The Story Book by William-Adolphe Bouguereau






59 comments:

Paul Duffau said...

Dorsai! by Gordon Dickson. Closely followed by Ender's Game.

Andrea said...

Jurassic Park, eleven times while I was a teenager. The Phantom Tollbooth once every eight years.

Derrick said...

Cat's Cradle!

Atthys Gage said...

The Long Goodbye. Plus several other Chandlers.

Stephanie Cain said...

It's a toss-up between a kids mystery called The Secret of Saturday Cove by Barbee Oliver Carleton (which I read a gazillion times as a kid and have reread as an adult a few times) and the Lord of the Rings books, which in addition to rereading every couple of years, I listen to on audiobook almost every night. (I have mild tinnitus, so having some sort of white noise makes it easier to sleep. :) )

abc said...

I'm quite impressed by your multiple readings of Moby Dick!

Franny and Zooey. I don't know how many times.

Anma Natsu said...

Black Beauty, which I've read at least 20-25 times (almost every year from the time I was old enough to read it until maybe the last 5 years or so).

Lad a Dog by Albert Payson Terhune would be a close second, if not tied, as I've also tended to read it annually for most of my life. :-)

Lenora Good said...

Dune by Frank Herbert. That's my "thumb sucking" book when I'm really stressed. Read it at least 7 times.

LinWash said...

Lord of the Rings (Tolkien), Sabriel (Garth Nix), Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion (Austen), The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Shaffer/Barrows), Saving Francesca (Marchetta), Paladin of Souls (Bujold). I've read some of these over ten times.

Ellen T. McKnight said...

I reread Lord of the Rings every time I needed to escape into another world. I lost count of how many times.

Nicole L Rivera said...

I've read the whole Harry Potter series 7 times so far. Not sure how many time I re-read the individual books, but I've read Order 8 times. Not because it's my favorite, but because I was homesick on study abroad. I stumbled across a bookstore in Florence with a British set of the books. Order was the most recent released, so I reread that one.
I've also reread Hunger Games 3 times, Pride & Prejudice 3 times, Twilight 4 times, and a bunch of other books twice. I'm an avid re-reader :)

Gwendolyn Hooks said...

Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Cruise

Cherie Reich said...

I've read Harry Potter multiple times, except the last one only once. Every few years I go through and read a bunch of Michael Crichton's books, particularly Jurassic Park and Lost World. Of course, with the new movie coming out, it's time to reread them before June. :)

Annie said...

Atlas Shrugged and Stranger in a Strange Land.

Ted Cross said...

Funny you should mention Rifles for Watie. I read that about eight or ten times in junior high, and recently I bought it for my own sons.

I've read all the Tolkien books multiple times, A Song of Ice and Fire perhaps five times, Sword of Shannara three times. The Iron Tower trilogy and Silver Call duology about three times as well.

Abbigail Kriebs said...

Anne of Green Gables, over and over again. So much so that it has inspired a trip to Prince Edward Island and eventually the novel I am currently writing. And anytime I need a light, fun afternoon read, I pick up The Phantom Tollbooth.

saucyruthie said...

What a touchstone question! The right book at the right time can spark a resonance that is life-long. There are many I re-read, and that is currently the question I am using to weed my personal collection. Some books will never be weeded, for I will always have time for them no matter how little time I have left: James Lee Burke, Tin Roof Blowdown. Patrick Rothfuss, Name of the Wind. Lois McMaster Bujold, Shards of Honor. Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles. Hmmm, I feel a re-read coming on...

Carol Coven Grannick said...

There are at least a dozen (more!) middle grade novels I probably read once a year. At the top of the list, I believe, are Richard Peck's A LONG WAY FROM CHICAGO, A YEAR DOWN YONDER, and FAIR WEATHER, and Mildred Taylor's ROLL OF THUNDER, HEAR MY CRY and LET THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN. I am left completely overcome with the joy of reading magnificent work, and inspired to continue my own reach for excellence.

Magdalena Munro said...

Beyond Good and Evil by Nietzsche...

GSMarlene said...

Madeline L'Engle's Wrinkle in Time series, S.E Hinton's Outsiders, and I've read Roger Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber many, many times. I so want to live in that world (and be a princess of Amber of course!)

Cinthia Ritchie said...

Margaret Atwood's "Wilderness Tips," a series of short stories that kick ass in style, humor and pacing. I've read each story at least fifteen times, though probably more. I love opening the book to a random page and simply diving in.

Kevin said...

As a child, I read The "Mouse and the Motorcycle" until the cover came off. It was a library book and Mrs. Kohen made me pay for the book. Then I learned I could buy my own copy. I had never been to a book store; I had no idea they existed! (hey, I was seven.) So began my enamored passion for collecting books.
I am currently collecting and reading any Richard Castle books I can find. I love them because the author isn't even a real person. (Or is he? Hmm.)

Anonymous said...

To Kill A Mockingbird

Anonymous said...

The Stand, by Stephen King.

Justin McKean said...

I read Dune and American Gods annually. Two vitally important books in my life.

Steve Eells said...

There are a galaxy of great books and only one lifetime to read them. You pose an excellent question, Nathan. I read Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" every year. That book has a depth that no film can reach. I recently reread King's "Cujo." It is magnificent horror.

Bryan Russell said...

The Hobbit. Twenty-five times? After twenty, I'm guessing it ceases to matter.

Unknown said...

The Sword in the Stone by T.H. White, which I carried with me all through junior high school in the 60s, really carried it to school every day whether I was reading it or not, but I usually was, and Jane Eyre, ditto at a slightly later age. Jane Eyre and Nancy Drew got me through college, but in 1970 I discovered Dorothy L. Sayers and Gaudy Night became my vade mecum. So many books. So many.

Layla Morgan Wilde ( Cat Wisdom 101) said...

Autobiography of a Yogi. A classic I'd take on a desert island.

Anonymous said...

I wish I had a cooler answer, but I read Pride and Prejudice almost every year. I've reread Catcher in the Rye and Jitterbug Perfume, but I don't return to them the way I do Pride.

Petrea Burchard said...

Ray Bradbury: Dandelion Wine. Something Wicked This Way Comes. I don't read them often. I leave years and years between readings so it can feel like a discovery again.

Emily S. said...

I have too many favorites that I reread, and probably should move on to new books more often. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine is by far my favorite reread, having reread it at least 20-25 times. I reread Riding Freedom and Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan at least a dozen times each growing up. I also love The Homeless Bird by Gloria Whelan and A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck (probably 12-15 times for each of those as well).

Stepping away from children's literature, I love to reread The Named by Marianne Curley whenever I'm craving historical fantasy - stumbled across it sometime in middle school and has been one of my favorites ever since. And like many others, I reread the entire Harry Potter series every summer :)

Min said...

To Kill a Mockingbird. Every five or six years I get back to it. Harry Potter is catching up though!

Gretchen said...

The Harry Potter series SO MANY TIMES!! Lately I have been listening to them on audio book, and I almost feel guilty, like it's a drug, like I can't stop. So soothing to a stressed out mind, having Jim Dale read to me...

wordboy said...

Friday by Robert A. Heinlein. I've lost count of how many times I've read the novel.

Tura Lura said...

I read "Witch of Blackbird Pond" at least twice a year when I was younger. I've been wanting to read it again, but I've no idea where my copy ended up.

As an adult, I've read "The Hobbit" repeatedly (not to mention listening to the audiobook over and over). And Harry Potter of course.

Jeanne said...

I read "GoDog, Go!" to all the babies in the family.

Liz Mallory said...

Such a good question! For me there's several:

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, a queer YA by Benjamin Alire Saenz
The Finishing School series, an awesome streampunk by Gail Carriger, and
The Pyramid Waltz series, a diverse fantasy by Barbara Wright

If I were stuck on an island and could only have a handful of books...

Liz Mallory said...

Such a good question! For me there's several:

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, a queer YA by Benjamin Alire Saenz
The Finishing School series, an awesome streampunk by Gail Carriger, and
The Pyramid Waltz series, a diverse fantasy by Barbara Wright

If I were stuck on an island and could only have a handful of books...

Kellie Larsen Murphy said...

I've lost count of how many times I've read Rebecca. There's just something I love about that book.

Dale Day said...

I return, time and again, to books in the L. Frank Baum Wizard of Oz series as he was an incredible author with a clear, descriptive style that showed one the world he created.

Tammy said...

As a pre-teen, I read and reread Shadow Castle. As an adult, I've read Lamb by Christopher Moore at least five times. It's my go-to book for a good laugh.

Anonymous said...

I still read The Outsiders at least once a year, even as I'm getting close to forty. My kids are about ready to read it, and I can't wait. December by Phil Rickman gets read every couple of years. And Walking the Rez Road by Jim Northrup is a staple.

Delaney said...

What is this art? Who is the artist? Thanks.

Mark said...

Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield. Changed my life. I've read it every other year for about 15 years....

Nathan Bransford said...

Delaney-

The Story Book by William-Adolphe Bouguereau

(I always list the art/artist at the bottom of the post.)

dear lady said...

Pymaniac here. I always have a Barbara Pym going. They're always fresh to me and make me laugh. Plus I think you can learn everything about novel writing from Pym.

And I'm also often rereading Jane Austen.

Lisa Shafer said...

Because I have taught 9th grade English to multiple classes for over 2 decades, I've read Romeo and Juliet about 75 times. And yes, I've got it about 95% memorized. :)

Her Grace, the Duchess of Kneale said...

Mine is an obscure book I love very much: "The Girl with the Silver Eyes" by Willo Davis Roberts.

Love it to bits, possibly because the heroine Katie's situation sang to my soul.

Linda Lee Greene said...

The Bay of Noon by Shirley Hazzard and The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen are my favorite books. I read pages of both of them regularly, and often cover-to-cover.

Anonymous said...

The Once and Future King three or four times. The Alexandria Quartet three times, and Magic Mountain three times.

Anonymous said...

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut.

Pimion said...

And Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Marion said...

All Creatures Great and Small as well as the other 5 books by James Herriot (I have them as a combined edition hence I don't know the names of them all. Shame on me!)

inklings Anon said...

so when nate wins, who wants to critique his query letter or otherwise agreed upon thing

arcilia tovar said...

Promises by Catherine Gaskin.

arcilia tovar said...

My sister loves that book also!

Bill Camp said...

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein I read once on my own and two or three times for college classes. I also read King Kong by Delos Lovelace in third grade (first full novel I ever read), and found it again a few years ago when the Peter Jackson movie popularized it, and I've read it two more times again.

Anonymous said...

Stephen King's The Stand, Cornelia Funke's Inkheart, Bronte's Wuthering Heights, Shakespeare's Hamlet

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