The Books Meme – A Compilation

As I mentioned the other day, there’s a popular meme which started on Facebook and has spread well beyond it in which people list books that have stayed with them. I find this meme fascinating, and I’d encourage everyone to take part.

I’m going to use this post to compile together interesting book lists, especially from people in my immediate online circles, together with links to some related articles.

Interpretations of the Meme

Not everyone interprets the meme in the same way. There are subtly different ways of looking at this, which could lead to different lists. For example I didn’t include books which had once meant a lot to me, but have since fallen off the radar. Nor did I list what I thought were the best books or the books that I’d enjoyed the most. My interpretation was more along the lines of “had something about it that means it remained with me over a lifetime”. And I’m old enough that I could have loved something for a decade, and yet it’s had time now to fall off that kind of a list.

Other people have slightly different interpretations, but that doesn’t greatly matter. I’m not interested in rule-lawyering about it, more interested in knowing what books have mattered to people, and how.

The List of Lists

Book Meme Blog Posts

Lists Added as Blog Comments

I’ll keep these lists updated as I find more posts.


9 thoughts on “The Books Meme – A Compilation

  1. Thanks for listing mine :). I found it difficult to choose because many books have had an impact on my life but I wouldn’t necessarily consider to them to be great books. Like I have fond memories of many kids books because they shaped my interests and taught me how to read; I’ve probably read many better books since, but they still stay with me.


    • I was thinking about that as well. It’s mostly books that I first read when I was quite young that made the list. Everything’s more vivid to you then, you feel things more deeply, and because you haven’t seen it all before, things can be a real revelation to you then, and stay with you forever.

      I mentioned B-Flight in my list. It was probably the first thing I ever read that could be considered a love story and it probably went a long way to shaping my early ideas about girls, relationships and growing up. (Roughly it goes like this…. Boy (Will) falls for girl (Vicky)… girl spurns boy after embarrassing athletic failure… boy runs away from pain and failure by lying about age and joining the RAF… wartime experiences of all kinds ensue,.. pilot training, victories, losses, deaths… Will gets wounded and sent home… in the meantime Vicky has become a nurse in military hospital… they’ve both grown up a lot… they see how they were both so young and foolish in what happened before… finally get together.)

      One thing I notice about many of the books on my list is that the reason why I read them in the first place is not the reason why they stayed with me. I went for B-flight because it was about flying and it was a war story, but it stayed with me because of the love story. Because I wasn’t into reading love stories, a good one came as a complete revelation and made a lasting impression that reading yet another war story wouldn’t have done.


      • I think that might be the case. I tried to include a few more recent books as well as the older ones. The title ‘books that have stayed with me’ is a bit misleading because it suggests that they are books that I read many years before. I instead chose to interpret it as books that I enjoyed a lot, even if they were recent and haven’t yet had the time to grow on me in that way.

        When you’re younger you still haven’t experienced enough to know for sure what you like and don’t like. I use to pick up a lot of random books because I hadn’t settled on a genre yet. That helped me to learn about myself as well.


  2. Pingback: Mark & Recall: 10/05/2014 | Murf Versus

  3. Pingback: Books That Have Stayed With Me – Thinking Play

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