Three I Can’t Live Without

I found this post that Miss Holly wrote in response to Cheryl’s.  I just had to jump on in…

If your book collection were on fire and you could only save three books from burning, which three would you save and why?

While I’m answering this, I’m going to assume that I’ve already rescued my family.  Yes, I love books, but I wouldn’t put them over my husband and kids – at least not most of the time 😉  Picking the three books that I would save from this fire was actually easier than I had expected.  At this point in my life, they hold the most meaning to me.  What are they?  Here goes in the reverse order in which I would save them:


3) The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory.   I treasure this novel for a couple of reasons: it was the book that ignited my love for historical fiction in general and Henry VIII in particular and I got my copy signed by Philippa at the National Book Festival in September.


2) Ulysses by James Joyce.  I could not be without this book, although I rarely pick it up.  I am proud of the fact that I read this novel and can say that it was an enjoyable experience because of the wonderful professor who taught it.  My copy has my hand-written notes throughout and would probably fall apart with much more handling.  My heirs will probably pitch it first thing after I’m gone, so I might have to demand that it be put in my casket with me.  How’s that for sacramental?


1) Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.  I have four or five copies of GWTW, but this recent copy would be the one that I salvage.  I like the size of this version and I like the way it smells (yes, I’m one of those).  The first time I read it, I checked it out of my high school library.   Then, I bought a mass market paperback version that now has tape all over the spine.  I have two older hard cover versions as well.  I would save this book over all others because I could never get bored with it.  I love all of the characters and I get something new out of it every time.  In the 20+ years since I read it the first time, no other novel has taken it’s place.  God bless you, Margaret Mitchell!

What three books could you not live without?


  • At 2009.02.03 11:56, caite said:

    Gosh, this is not a question I could answer off the top of my head. It’s like someone said you could only save 3 of your 12 kids…except that in this case I have hundreds and hundreds of ‘kids’.

    I will have to study my bookshelves and think about that. I need to be prepared!!

    caite’s last blog post..I think I will muse this Monday.

    Caite, there’s a woman in Arkansas who just might reach the 100 mark. HA! I know what you mean about books being like that. I have a really beautiful hard copy of War and Peace that I would hate to lose, but I’ve not read it yet. It would be a leap of faith to select that one over the other three. What we all should do is invest in fire proof rooms in our houses to store our books. Then, we’d never have to live without a single one.

    • At 2009.02.03 12:04, Kathy said:

      When I read your title, I assumed it meant your husband and daughters, so I’m glad you started your post out by mentioning them. I’m not sure what books I would save – I’ll have to think about that question.

      I’ll be curious to see what you come up with, Kathy. I went with what my gut reaction was and I’m still thinking those would be the right choices for me.

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      • At 2009.02.03 14:38, Rebecca @ The Book Lady's Blog said:

        This is such an impossible question! My answers probably vary from day to day, but today, I’m saying The Hobbit (my dad read it to me as a bedtime story when I was 8, and I’ve loved it ever since); A Prayer for Owen Meany (because John Irving rocks my world); and something chunky, like Anna Karenina.

        Rebecca @ The Book Lady’s Blog’s last blog post..Teaser Tuesdays: The Help

        I wonder if there is something wrong with me. I loved the LOTRs movies, but I just can’t get into the novels. I tried starting with The Hobbit. Maybe I need to be in the right frame of mind. I also need to read Owen Meany. I have only read The Cider House Rules, but I think he’s an incredible author. Anna Karenina. Yes. Maybe we can get together after the fire and share.

        • At 2009.02.03 20:17, Darlene said:

          This is a hard one. I’d have to think on it a bit but I do know I’d likely take two of the same you have: The Other Boleyn Girl and Gone With the Wind. Oh, I bet the other would be Henry VIII by Margaret George.

          Darlene’s last blog post..Book Review: The Only True Genius in the Family by Jennie Nash

          If I had a fourth spot, Henry VIII by MG would have made my list. How funny is that? We’re so alike.

          • At 2009.02.04 02:09, Nicole said:

            My three are all chunky books…I would save The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, Complete Novels of Jane Austen and The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon…all because they are all-time favourites. I would also like to rescue my computer because I catalogue all the books I own with Bookpedia. 🙂

            Nicole’s last blog post..My Blog POV

            I have The Historian and I need to read it. I won it from one of Devourer of Book’s first contests. And, that is a sneaky way to get all of your Jane Austin in one swoop. Very sneaky! I’ve not heard of The Shadow of the Wind before. I’ll look that up. As far as the computer goes, you’re stretching it. But, since I could save my family, I suppose you can save your computer… LOL!

            • At 2009.02.04 02:42, Arleigh said:

              Your new website is beautiful!

              I also have a signed copy of The Other Boleyn Girl, though not signed to me… my hubby bought it off the internet for me.

              Anything else in my collection is very replaceable, though I’d hate to see any of my collection of 50 Jean Plaidy books go up in flame. I’ve been collecting them for 5 years.

              Arleigh’s last blog post..new in paperback: The Serpent’s Tale

              Okay, Arleigh, what you need to do is buy a fireproof safe for your Jean Plaidy books. That way, you’ll actually be able to save 53 books. LOL!

              • At 2009.02.04 05:28, Alyce said:

                I’ve always meant to read Gone With the Wind. I love the movies, so I’m sure I’d probably love the book too. I was reading through the other comments, and in regards to LOTR books, I have never been able to make it through them either.

                Alyce’s last blog post..Blog Awards Recap

                Alyce, you really should read Gone with the Wind. Matt is hosting a reading of it during the month of March. I’m reading it again, JOIN US! 🙂

                • At 2009.02.04 13:37, Holly said:

                  I am so happy that someone else has taken this question to heart. When I saw it posed, I knew it would make an interesting post. I’ve been dying to Gone With The Wind. I love the movie, so it’s on my list of books to read for the 999 Challenge.

                  Happy reading!

                  Holly’s last blog post..I Can’t Live If Living Is Without You

                  Holly, I meant to comment on your blog that I added on to it. It was fun!

                  • At 2009.02.04 21:44, Stephanie said:

                    Ohh, a signed copy of The Other Boleyn Girl? You are so lucky! I have a signed copy of a book of poems by Maya Angelou which I would hate to lose.

                    Stephanie’s last blog post..On the bookshelves (or books I want on my shelves)

                    I would hate to lose a book signed by Maya Angelou, too. That’s definitely a keeper.

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                    • At 2009.02.04 22:21, Lisa said:

                      While I love a lot of books, I’m not attached to MY copy of any of them. This isn’t to say I don’t have keepers, but I think they are all replaceable. I do have a pretty hardback copy of The Little Prince that I might grab, and a well loved copy of Doggies by Sandra Boynton.

                      Lisa’s last blog post..Did you know?

                      But there’s the rub. In this fire, all other copies in existence of your books would be lost forever. So, if you didn’t rescue The Little Prince, there would be no more Little Prince anywhere. You have to work with me here. 🙂

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                      • At 2009.02.05 04:57, Lorin said:

                        I tagged you for a meme.

                        ps: just 3? how could I choose?

                        (Required, will not be published)

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