By way of a mea culpa I will give you a list 10 books from my bookshelves that I would not want to be without.
1. Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck: Reading this book in high school made me want to become a writer...and I did.
2. My Life and Hard Times by James Thurber: You can't beat Thurber's humor and his whimsical drawings only add to the charm.
3. The Elements of Style by Struck and White: I must have three or four editions of the lovely little book. I find it comforting to read. Only a Word Nerd would, I fear.
4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: Hot summer days make me think of the scene in which Atticus shoots the rabid dog. And October brings on thoughts of Scout's narrow escape. The writing in this book is so wondrous it makes my heart hurt.
5. Simple Pleasures edited by Ivo Dawnay: Fifty-plus essays on Little Things That Make Life Worth Living published by Great Britain's National Trust. Examples: Grooming the Dog; Window Gazing; Gossip; Looking Up.
6. The Assassin's Cloak edited by Irene Taylor and Alan Taylor: Its subtitle - An Anthology of the World's Greatest Diarists pretty much says it all. Mostly British diarists which I love.
7. Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman: I cannot pass up a book of good essays and I reread this one often. It never grows stale.
8. One Man's Meat by E. B. White: Actually everything by E.B. White belongs on this list. I adore him.
9. Endangered Pleasures: In Defense of Naps, Bacon, Martinis, Profanity, and Other Indulgences by Barbara Holland: This woman has attitude. I stumbled across the book long ago at the library, read it and laughed out loud. When my mother died, I found a copy in her collection inscribed - To a good friend, October 2000. It is priceless.
10. The Lifetime Reading Plan: The Classical Guide to World Literature by Clifton Fadiman: Clifton is Anne Fadiman's father. This is such a valuable book about books and has been with me through many moves. I cherish it. Although I have the version published in 1960, it has gone through many revisions and expansions the latest being 1999, the year Mr. Fadiman died at the age of 95.
What books, pray tell, would be on your National Book Lover's Day list?