Which book has been on your shelves the longest?

My bookshelves have been through some massive overhauls. I’ve gone through stages where I’ve sold every book I own (for travel reasons) only to start all over again a year or two later.

At the moment I’m committed to building my own little library, and I don’t think I’d ever sell my books again.

So today I’m wonderingā€¦ which book has been on your shelves the longest? Which book has survived all your clean outs, trips to the second hand bookstore, book swaps, and garage sales?

For me, it’s Harry Potter. My books are battered and the pages are yellow, but I love my original copies.

What book have you had on your shelves the longest?

About Jodie @ Words Read & Written

Book blogger & aspiring author.
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36 Responses to Which book has been on your shelves the longest?

  1. Anne B. Cole says:

    Nancy Drew The Secret of the Old Clock and other titles—some have copy dates of 1930:)

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  2. Cassandra says:

    I still have several of my old children’s books. Many of them are Swedish, so you probably wouldn’t have heard of them. I’ll just mention one: The Wind on the Moon. I tend to hold on to my books, unless I absolutely hate them so there are plenty of books that have been around for ages.

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  3. JosephEBird says:

    The Good Earth by Pearl Buck

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  4. Paul J Gies says:

    Definitely “The Lord of the Rings.”

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  5. Jon C says:

    I think it would probably be Dragon Fall by Lee J Hindle. It was a YA novel that won a young writer’s competition back in the early 80s, and the one that made me realize maybe I could try this writing gig thing too. šŸ™‚

    Oh, and the novelization of Yellow Submarine, which I found at a church sale when I was 10, right about the time I got into the Beatles!

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  6. Emma says:

    The Harry Potter series has been there since they came out but I think the jungle book and wind in the willows have been there longer. I don’t often get rid of books unless I know I will never read them again.

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  7. Allison says:

    I have never managed to get rid of many of my books, despite a few bookshelf overhauls. So I know that there are a few books that I’ve had since I was little, picture books and the like. But a few — Charlotte Sometimes, Zen and the Art of Writing, and Little Woman — have always found a space on my shelves.

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  8. ChristineR says:

    A 1935 edition of the King James Holy Bible, purchased from a secondhand shop when I was a teenager, the first Bible I ever remember in our home. It has a tooled black leather cover, and (unfortunately) I removed the marbled endpapers because of the handwriting on them – damaging the binding. It has survived 7 house moves and always finds it way on to the shelf, when other books have remained packed away in boxes for decades! So, it has been with me over 45 years.

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  9. I’ll wander around and see what I find. My dad’s 1926 edition of Britannica–I don’t remember it ever not being in our house. A few of my oldest SciFi books–The Year After Tomorrow, by Del Rey, et al. Some of my early books on chess by Chernev. A dictionary given to my mother by her father well before I was born. The greatest treasures I’ve uncovered tonight are Winnie the Pooh and a book of poems by A A Milne, with my name and “Christmas 1944,” carefully inscribed on bookplates in my dad’s finest penmanship.

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  10. Dayton Ward says:

    Probably the paperback edition of I Am Legend I’ve had since I stumbled across it at a school library when I was in 6th or 7th grade.

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  11. Geraint says:

    Lord of the Rings. Not the same copy, but I’ve read this every year since I was 11. That’s too many years to count now (almost). Okay, fine, 33 years.

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  12. Erica Judd says:

    I still have the first book I learned to read, in 1980 – The Big Honey Hunt. I have almost all my childhood books, and a lot of my mother’s as well. I don’t move often… šŸ˜‰

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  13. Bernadette says:

    It would have to be Harry Potter for me too! šŸ™‚

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  14. Lost Horizon by James Hilton. Bought it in a second hand shop years ago for 25 pence and it’s given me so much pleasure over the years despite such a small investment.

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  15. The copy of Edna St. Vincent Millay’s collected poems that I inherited from my mother, who got it from her mother.

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  16. Tina Susedik says:

    Bobbsey Twins and The Box Car Children. I’ve had them since I was eight years old – and I’m a grandma now.

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  17. Heather says:

    Technically “Katie the Kitten,” a goldenbook that I’ve had since I was two yrs old and pulled out of storage for my baby :). Other contenders are “A Wrinkle in Time” and “Anne of Green Gables.”

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  18. Laurie says:

    My book on Greek Mythology, it is over 40 years old and still in excellent condition even though I have read it at least a thousand times. šŸ˜€

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  19. Shari says:

    I would say definitely Sylvia Plath’s journals because that’s what inspired me to write and publish in the first place.

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  20. Dustin says:

    The first books I ever bought were Stephen King’s earlier work, such as The Shining and Pet Semetary, but my very first was Misery. I still own them today, they’re very near and dear to my heart. On a side note, I have had to replace my original PB copes of The Stand and IT.

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  21. Devin says:

    Crispin by Avi and Doctor Illuminatus by Martin Booth

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  22. joey says:

    Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends, maybe. If not, it’s Socks, by Beverly Cleary.

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  23. 80smetalman says:

    For me, it’s been the four book I read out of fear of being accused of plagiarism when I wrote my book. Those are: “We Need to Talk About Kevin” by Lionel Shriver
    “19 Minutes” by Jodi Picoult
    “Endgame” by Nancy Garden
    “Rupture” by Simon Lelic

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  24. a chaos fairy says:

    The secret garden

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  25. Carol Mann says:

    William Faulkner’s Light in August.

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  26. Carol Mann says:

    William Faulkner’s Light in August.

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  27. Katie Lyn says:

    I have had several obscure titles of books on my shelf since I was about 15 (I’m in my 30’s now) Things from library book sales that I cannot and will not part with. And five Emilie Loring’s that are my pride and joy. I keep most of my books so parting is so hard. I have been better over the years, but my oldest books are those above.

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  28. Scott says:

    The Eye of the World, the first book in Robert Jordan’s ‘Wheel of Time’ series. Had my copy since ’93 or so.

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  29. Pierr says:

    “Winnie the Pooh” by A. A. Milne – a 1945 edition given to me at my birth, May 2, 1952.

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  30. Shayna says:

    The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

    I read The Outsiders the summer before 7th grade, and for some reason it really stuck with me. I’ve read it more times that I can count. My copy is totally falling apart, but I won’t give it up.

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  31. Michael says:

    I never throw out any of my books in hopes that one day I’ll have a spare room in my future house to designate as my library šŸ™‚ Right now, my room’s pretty full, though. Like you, I’ve had the Harry Potter series for a long time too, but The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket probably beats those books. I got it from a book fair in elementary school and I’ve read it so many times that the cover is torn…

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  32. Crystal says:

    I would have to say that I still own some Berenstain Bears and Babysitters Club books from childhood šŸ™‚

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  33. Jonna says:

    I’m fairly certain it’s the set of Little House on the Prairie books I was given as a Christmas gift the year I was in second grade. I’ve kept them with me all these years, loved every word.

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  34. Mike Mattice says:

    “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis. These 7 books are a delight no matter how many times I read them. They are not merely children’s books. There is a lot more depth to them.

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