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35 Books You Need To Start Your Personal Library

“A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life.”–Henry Ward BeecherLet’s imagine that each family has its own library and devotes a lot of time to reading its books. It can be infinite as the one that Borges imagined, sumptuous like the Beast’s library in Disney’s film, or small like professor Jules’ […]

“A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life.”
–Henry Ward Beecher

Let’s imagine that each family has its own library and devotes a lot of time to reading its books. It can be infinite as the one that Borges imagined, sumptuous like the Beast’s library in Disney’s film, or small like professor Jules’ in Stranger than Fiction, a snug library that covers the four walls of his office. Or simply something discrete, like a couple of shelves housing your favorite tomes.  The point of starting a collection of books is that you can map out your own experiences. With each book you’ll be reminded of the time and places you were in while you were reading. 


create personal library bookcase
Opening a book for the first time provides unparalleled enjoyment, and the more you explore, the more difficult it becomes to let go. Once you finish a book, you never stop learning from it, your mind is like a sponge that soaks up all the information and the little gems that you overlooked upon the first reading and suddenly gain new importance the second time around.  Books can give us answers to those question we haven’t even come to ask, and so, we can learn a lot from writers and thinkers.

Maybe this is enough to give you an idea of what you need in order to create your own collection. Notice that these are just recommendations, but if you want your bookshelves to be teeming with potential, you must have all kinds of books from different genres. A library is a reflection of yourself and a sanctuary for your mind, so be sure to take good care of it!


Blow-Up and Other Stories (2007) –Julio Cortázar
The Story of My Teeth (2015) – Valeria Luiselli
The Seven Good Years (2015) – Etgar Keret
The Complete Greek Tragedies (431 B.C.) –Euripides
The Greek Myths (1984) –Robert Graves

Create personal library complete greek myths

“Zeus, who weighs the lives of men and informs the Fates of his decisions can, it is said, change his mind and intervene to save whom he pleases, when the thread of life, spun on Clotho’s spindle, and measured by the rod of Lachesis, is about to be snipped by Atropos’s shears. Indeed, men claim that they themselves can, to some degree, control their own fates by avoiding unnecessary dangers.”

Siddhartha (1922) –Herman Hesse
After the Quak
e (2013) –Haruki Murakami
The Metamorphoses (8 A.D.) –Ovid
Symposium (380 a.C.) –Plato
White Nights (1848) –Fyodor Dostoyevski

create personal library white nights
“Either the sunbeams suddenly peeping out from the clouds for a moment were hidden again behind a veil of rain, and everything had grown dingy again before my eyes; or perhaps the whole vista of my future flashed before me so sad and forbidding, and I saw myself just as I was now.”


The Neverending Story (1979) –Michael Ende
1984 (1949) –George Orwell
How Music Works (2012) –David Byrne
Faust (1808) –Johann von Goethe
News from the Empire (1987) –Fernando del Paso

Create personal library News From the Empire
“With your tongue and your eyes, you and I will rewrite history again. What they don’t want, what no one wants, is to see you alive again, to see us be young again, while all of them were buried long time ago.”

The Road (2006) –Cormac McCarthy
The Changeling (2000) –Kenzaburo Oe
Love in Times of Cholera (1985) –Gabriel García Márquez
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870) –Jules Verne
For whom the Bells Toll (1940) –Ernest Hemingway

create personal library for whom the bells toll

“This was the greatest gift that he had, the talent that fitted him for war; that ability not to ignore but to despise whatever bad ending there could be. This quality was destroyed by too much responsibility for others or the necessity of undertaking something ill planned or badly conceived.”


White Teeth (2000) –Zadie Smith
City of Glass
(1985) –Paul Auster
A Room of One’s Own (1929) –Virginia Woolf
Just Kids (2010)– Patti Smith 
Fahrenheit 451 (1953) –Ray Bradbury

create personal library

“The books are to remind us what asses and fools we are. They’re Caesar’s praetorian guard, whispering as the parade roars down the avenue, ‘Remember, Caesar, thou art mortal.’ Most of us can’t rush around, talking to everyone, know all the cities of the world, we haven’t time, money or that many friends. The things you’re looking for, Montag, are in the world, but the only way the average chap will ever see ninety-nine per cent of them is in a book. Don’t ask for guarantees. And don’t look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were headed for shore.”


The Book of Disquiet (1984) –Fernando Pessoa
The Metamorphosis (1915) –Franz Kafka
The Song of The Nibelungs (S. XIII) –Author Unknown
World War Z (2006) –Max Brooks
The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1984) –Milan Kundera

create personal library kundera
“Love begins at the point when a woman enters her first word into our poetic memory.”


The Story of Art (1950) –Ernst Gombrich
The Age of Extremes: The Short Twentieth Century (1994) –Eric Hobsbawm
History of Rome (1854) –Theodor Mommsen
Things Fall Apart (1958) –Chinua Achebe
On the Road  (1957) –Jack Kerouac

creating personal library kerouack

Isn’t it true that you start your life a sweet child, believing in everything under your father’s roof? Then comes the day of the Laodiceans, when you know you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, and with the visage of a gruesome, grieving ghost you go shuddering through nightmare life.


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Translated by Andrea Valle
Comunicólogo y gestor cultural. Mi pasión son los viajes, el cine, la música y la literatura. El arte esta en todos lados.

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