Which book have you read the most times?

by | Mar 18, 2015 | Books | 60 comments

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

60 Comments

  1. Paul Duffau

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

    Reply
  2. Andrea

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

    Reply
  3. Derrick

    Cat's Cradle!

    Reply
  4. Atthys Gage

    The Long Goodbye. Plus several other Chandlers.

    Reply
  5. Stephanie Cain

    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. 🙂 )

    Reply
  6. abc

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

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

    Reply
  7. Anma Natsu

    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. 🙂

    Reply
  8. Lenora Good

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

    Reply
  9. LinWash

    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.

    Reply
  10. Ellen T. McKnight

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

    Reply
  11. Nicole L Rivera

    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 🙂

    Reply
  12. Cherie Reich

    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. 🙂

    Reply
  13. Annie

    Atlas Shrugged and Stranger in a Strange Land.

    Reply
  14. Ted Cross

    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.

    Reply
  15. Abbigail Kriebs

    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.

    Reply
  16. saucyruthie

    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…

    Reply
  17. Carol Coven Grannick

    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.

    Reply
  18. GSMarlene

    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!)

    Reply
  19. Cinthia Ritchie

    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.

    Reply
  20. Kevin

    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.)

    Reply
  21. Anonymous

    To Kill A Mockingbird

    Reply
  22. Anonymous

    The Stand, by Stephen King.

    Reply
  23. Justin McKean

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

    Reply
  24. Steve Eells

    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.

    Reply
  25. Bryan Russell

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

    Reply
  26. Unknown

    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.

    Reply
  27. Anonymous

    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.

    Reply
  28. Petrea Burchard

    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.

    Reply
  29. Emily S.

    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 🙂

    Reply
  30. Min

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

    Reply
  31. Gretchen

    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…

    Reply
  32. wordboy

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

    Reply
  33. Tura Lura

    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.

    Reply
  34. Jeanne

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

    Reply
  35. Liz Mallory

    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…

    Reply
  36. Liz Mallory

    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…

    Reply
  37. Kellie Larsen Murphy

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

    Reply
  38. Dale Day

    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.

    Reply
  39. Tammy

    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.

    Reply
  40. Anonymous

    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.

    Reply
  41. Delaney

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

    Reply
  42. Mark

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

    Reply
  43. Nathan Bransford

    Delaney-

    The Story Book by William-Adolphe Bouguereau

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

    Reply
  44. dear lady

    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.

    Reply
  45. Lisa Shafer

    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. 🙂

    Reply
  46. Her Grace, the Duchess of Kneale

    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.

    Reply
  47. Linda Lee Greene

    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.

    Reply
  48. Anonymous

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

    Reply
  49. Anonymous

    Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut.

    Reply
  50. Pimion

    And Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

    Reply
  51. Marion

    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!)

    Reply
  52. inklings Anon

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

    Reply
  53. Bill Camp

    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.

    Reply
  54. Anonymous

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

    Reply

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