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Posts: 6
Registered: ‎03-14-2009
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Home library

Here is a fun question.....

What books do you think every home library should have? The classics and of course the ones you just can't put down. 

Posts: 3,544
Registered: ‎12-03-2011

Re: Home library

I think pretty much EACH Classic should be there. Because you never know what a person or a kid's interests go towards. So perhaps the 150 to 300 generally agreed on 'classics'.


Also, it'd be good to have


1) Something like Encyclopaedia Britannica or an extensive Science Encyclopaedia.


2) Some classics from various cultures and also some mythology books from various cultures.


3) Some poetry books.


4) Some books on adventure and nature like Antarctic Expeditions and the Kon-Tiki voyage etc.


5) Some books that would classify as 'classics' for the genre but not general classics.


6) Modern Classics. Books that generally get voted as among the Top 100 Books of the 20th century.


7) Some fables and fairy tales like Aesop's Fables and Grimm.

Posts: 1,029
Registered: ‎11-24-2012
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Re: Home library

Oxford English Dictionary
Baron Wulfraed
Distinguished Correspondent
Posts: 114
Registered: ‎02-23-2010

Re: Home library

I agree with 5ivedom but would like to add


1) Some Histories of modern or ancient times


2) Some Autobiographies as well.



Posts: 4
Registered: ‎01-23-2013
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Re: Home library

Eugene Onegin is a must for anyone who has feelings.  :smileyhappy:

Distinguished Bibliophile
Posts: 2,305
Registered: ‎07-25-2011
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Re: Home library

FWIW, the top 100 downloads from Gutenberg are:

1Les MisérablesVictor Hugo
2Adventures of Huckleberry FinnMark Twain
3How to Analyze People on SightElsie Lincoln Benedict and Ralph Paine Benedict
4Pride and PrejudiceJane Austen
5The Kama Sutra of VatsyayanaVatsyayana
6Grimm's Fairy TalesJacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm
7A Christmas CarolCharles Dickens
8The Adventures of Sherlock HolmesSir Arthur Conan Doyle
10Leaves of GrassWalt Whitman
11The Divine Comedy by Dante, IllustratedDante Alighieri
12A Tale of Two CitiesCharles Dickens
13UlyssesJames Joyce
14The PrinceNiccolò Machiavelli
15Alice's Adventures in WonderlandLewis Carroll
16The Adventures of Sherlock HolmesSir Arthur Conan Doyle
17The RepublicPlato
18MetamorphosisFranz Kafka
19FrankensteinMary Wollstonecraft Shelley
20The Importance of Being EarnestOscar Wilde
21Gulliver's TravelsJonathan Swift
22The Adventures of Tom SawyerMark Twain
23Moby Dick, or, the whaleHerman Melville
24Great ExpectationsCharles Dickens
25The Bible, Old and New TestamentsKing James Version
26DraculaBram Stoker
27SiddharthaHermann Hesse
28The Count of Monte CristoAlexandre Dumas
29War and PeaceLeo Tolstoy
30Jane EyreCharlotte Brontë
31Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and RomeE.M. Berens
32The Art of WarSunzi
33Beyond Good and EvilFriedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
34Anna KareninaLeo Tolstoy
35English LiteratureWilliam J. Long
36The Picture of Dorian GrayOscar Wilde
37Steam, Its Generation and UseBabcock & Wilcox Company
38Josefine Mutzenbacher (German)Felix Salten
39The Mysterious Affair at StylesAgatha Christie
40Encyclopedia of NeedleworkThérèse de Dillmont
41Peter PanJ. M. Barrie
42Narrative of the Life of Frederick DouglassFrederick Douglass
43A Princess of MarsEdgar Rice Burroughs
44Treasure IslandRobert Louis Stevenson
45Latin for BeginnersBenjamin L. D'Ooge
46A Study in ScarletSir Arthur Conan Doyle
47A Doll's House : a playHenrik Ibsen
48Oliver TwistCharles Dickens
49The Story of a Stuffed ElephantLaura Lee Hope
50The Complete Works of William ShakespeareWilliam Shakespeare
51EmmaJane Austen
52WaldenHenry David Thoreau
53The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci — CompleteLeonardo da Vinci
54The Wonderful Wizard of OzL. Frank Baum
55The AntichristFriedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
56Wuthering HeightsEmily Brontë
57The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1Edgar Allan Poe
58The Jungle BookRudyard Kipling
59Secret AdversaryAgatha Christie
60Robinson CrusoeDaniel Defoe
61The War of the WorldsH. G. Wells
62The Brothers KaramazovFyodor Dostoyevsky
63Three Men in a BoatJerome K. Jerome
64The Tale of Peter RabbitBeatrix Potter
65David CopperfieldCharles Dickens
66The Pickwick PapersCharles Dickens
67A Modest ProposalJonathan Swift
68The Return of Sherlock HolmesSir Arthur Conan Doyle
69My Secret Life, Volumes I. to III.Anonymous
70Sense and SensibilityJane Austen
71DublinersJames Joyce
72Anne of Green GablesL. M. Montgomery
73Heart of DarknessJoseph Conrad
74Myths and Legends of ChinaE. T. C. Werner
752 B R 0 2 BKurt Vonnegut
76A Classification and Subject Index for Cataloguing and Arranging the Books and Pamphlets of a LibraryMelvil Dewey
77The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 2 Edgar Allan Poe
78The IliadHomer
79Twas the Night before ChristmasClement Clarke Moore
80The Time MachineH. G. Wells
81The Essays of Montaigne — CompleteMichel de Montaigne
82The Romance of LustAnonymous
83Complete Original Short Stories of Guy De MaupassantGuy de Maupassant
84The Practice and Science of DrawingHarold Speed
85Around the World in 80 DaysJules Verne
86Prestuplenie i nakazanie (Crime & Punishment)Fyodor Dostoyevsky
87The Awakening and Selected Short StoriesKate Chopin
88Omens and Superstitions of Southern IndiaEdgar Thurston
89Novelas Cortas (Spanish)Pedro Antonio de Alarcón
90The Hound of the BaskervillesSir Arthur Conan Doyle
91The Legend of Sleepy HollowWashington Irving
92LeviathanThomas Hobbes
93Don Quijote (Spanish)Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
94Les misérables Tome I (French)Victor Hugo
95The Divine Comedy by Dante, Illustrated, Hell, CompleteDante Alighieri
96Don Juan BaronGeorge Gordon Byron Byron
97The Memoirs of Sherlock HolmesSir Arthur Conan Doyle
98PersuasionJane Austen
99Uncle Tom's CabinHarriet Beecher Stowe
100Andersen's Fairy TalesHans Christian Andersen
Posts: 743
Registered: ‎06-29-2010

Re: Home library

[ Edited ]

I can tell you the books on my shelf that have a special permanent place.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (including the sonnets)

Jane Austen (especially Pride & Prejudice and Persuasion)

Jane Eyre



Little Women

Anne of Green Gables


Several vloumes of world history

a couple of books on world religions

Agatha Christie

several dictionaries and a thesauraus

a full shelf of books on writing


Emily Dickinson

Grimm's Fairy Tales

Anderson's Fairy Tales

Dumas Fairy Tales

The Wizard of Oz

Alice in Wonderland

Norton Anthology of American Literature

a volume of art history with full colour photos


Everything, except for the Austen and the Norton Anthology are books I grew up looking at on my parents' shelves and either bought my own copies when I moved out or took with me from mom's shelf.


Edited to add: I forgot I would probably also need to add the complete Lord of the Rings, including The Hobbit and Harry Potter, because those seem to get reread more than any other books in this house.

Posts: 3,544
Registered: ‎12-03-2011
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Re: Home library

Dean and Frantastk - nice lists. I think all/most of those should be included.


Yes, I would second LOTR. That's one of the rare books I've reread.




Frantastk your comment about bringing along your mother's books brings back memories.


My mother's ancestral house had a big living room. And it had shelves (big, huge shelves) floor to cieling on two sides (the only sides where it was possible to have shelves, the third side was a huge door, and fourth side was a full wall window) .And they were chock full of books.


There were so many books. You can imagine how amazing it was for a young kid in love with books to have an almost never-ending supply of books. And they were of all kinds. Even the pull out drawers were full of books.


I wonder if they are still there. It's been 7-8 years since i visited. Perhaps it's time to make a trip and grab some.