Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention. –Francis Bacon

My “Recent Reading” posts are (I suspect) pretty obviously inspired by Tyler Cowen. My last entry mentioned a re-reading of Atlas Shrugged, which got me thinking about the books people should not merely “read wholly, and with diligence and attention,” but re-read, perhaps several times.

Which books (fiction and non-fiction) fit the bill? Off the top of my head, I’d say Atlas Shrugged, Les Miserables, CS Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters and Mere Christianity, 1984, Animal Farm, The Brothers Karamazov (which I’ve read once but which I know I’ll be re-reading carefully), and obviously a bunch of others I’m forgetting. In economics, I’d put Mises’s Human Action and Hayek’s Individualism and Economic Order at the top of the list. I’m also planning to read and re-read as much of the collected works of Adam Smith as I can over the next year or so.