Image by Yerson Retamal from Pixabay

Books are life. Recently studies have been published that reading for fun, reading for knowledge, just interest in reading in general is down, and that is a tragedy.

We've become too obsessed with our binge watching and ADHD mindset that we've lost focus on one of life's greatest joys... literature.

There are some stories and books that should be a mandatory read for life. There should be age benchmarks that require knowledge of certain books in order to progress. I know, how "1984" of me. ;)

Redditor u/bugtanks33d wanted to hear about what literature we should all be familiar with sooner than later by asking:

What's a book everyone should read at least once in their lives?

One of my favorite books is "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." It was a key element in unlocking what I could see with my imagination. No adolescent should go beyond sixth grade without knowing it. What else?



"It almost totally eliminates the financial/time commitment that many will cite for not picking them up. I listen to books on double speed all the damn time. I am working my way through "A Tale of Two Cities" now."

- pgottscht8iukjnfr


wondering simon cowell GIF by X Factor Global Giphy

"Man's search for meaning - Viktor Frankl."

- ionhazmat

Oh Milo

"The Phantom Tollbooth."

- chadtewks

"Maybe one of my favorite literary moments…"

"Milo: "Many of the things I'm supposed to know seem so useless that I can't see the purpose of learning them at all."

"Princess of Sweet Rhyme: "...what you learn today, for no reason at all, will help you discover the wonderful secrets of tomorrow."

- wort_hog


"Johnny's Got His Gun. It's so intense, but it's so good. Metallica's song One is based off this book. Guy has his arms and legs blown off, goes blind and deaf, and is left to live like that. I only read it once, but it's forever engrained into my memory. It hits you like a freight train."

- _AskMyMom__


"Surprised I haven't seen it here already so I'll add it... The Brother's Karamazov by Dostoyevsky. In Slaughterhouse 5 Vonnegut said it could teach everything that we needed to know about life, except that wasn't enough anymore."

- ghostofcrilly

"If the only thing that book did was make you marvel at how people centuries and oceans removed from you in time and place, could experience the exact same emotions about life as you did, it would be worth the read. There's so much more to it, but Dostoyevsky had such a knack for digging deep into universal human experience. And it's just a hell of a good story too."

- Reneeisme


diva read GIF Giphy

"Speaking as somebody who isn't religious, the literary value of the Bible (and the Hebrew Bible) is severely underrated."

I took a class on it in college, with a prof who'd once allegedly gotten into a bar fight over Beowulf. We would sometimes spend half a class discussing a single verse or two because there's so much stuff going on under the hood."

- dmillson

I know so many of those. And sadly, I'm already behind in my studies. I love books and I'm always on the path to find more to consume. Let me ready my already lengthy list.


War Shockwave GIF Giphy

"All Quiet on the Western Front. Everyone should have to reckon with the reality of what war actually means."

- BigHern

Thanks Teach...

"Night, by Elie Wiezel. It is absolutely heartwrecking , and I hated every moment of reading it, which is exactly the effect it is supposed to have."

- gedehamse

"Came here looking for this one. I had to read it back in high school and it blew me away how moved I was by it. Stories like his need to be remembered for all time, no matter how hard it is to get through (emotionally-speaking; it's actually quite an easy and short read). I'm so grateful that my English teacher assigned it."

- ZoltanBattery


"The Westing Game."

- schroedingersnewcat

"A Librarian here, such a terrific book. I have gotten so many kids to read it by hooking them with the fact that the reader can play the game and has all of the clues. And good luck as it is fiendishly clever."

- Duedsml23

All the Good Crazy

"The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. Such a great book."

- I_paintball

"Oh my god yes. I love this book for being the sex, drugs and rock and roll of the classics world. It is lengthy but has revenge, treasure, plots and schemes and drugs. There is nothing stuffy about this classic."

- skundrik

The "Good"

"The Giver- that book made my 9-10 year old mind really think about what was important in society. It was the first time the idea of "good" things having a negative consequence was presented to me. I think what makes it work is that we are learning how this whole society really works along side a character who has lived in it his whole life."

"As the facade of the utopian society begins to fall away to show devastating consequences of the "perfect life and society" the reader not only feels their shock but the main character's shock. This was a book I read in school 4 times- once in 5th grade and once in 10th for English and then in both high school and college sociology classes. This book written for 9-13 year olds made for great discussions."

- hisamsmith

Good and Bad of Life

read ford GIF Giphy

"The Grapes of Wrath and/or Of Mice and Men. Both are heartbreaking, but not for the sake of being heartbreaking - instead they provide a glimpse of how freaking hard life can be, but also how beautiful it can be."

- spicy_quicksand

That is a lot of good advice. And a lot of great storytelling and advice giving. Did anyone miss anything that should be there? And make sure you read anything by Harlan Coben, he's a fav.

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Photo by Jonathan Roger on Unsplash

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