“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”
– George RR Martin
Why do people read?
Harper Lee might have had an answer to this question. Ayn Rand might have had a different one. One thing for sure is that there are thousands of answers. But quite clearly, it is not the question that matters here. It is not the answer too. It’s the thought and the fact behind the question that matters. The simple fact that we all read. Every emotion ever felt could be felt by reading a book. It is a way of living another life. There is no better way to kindle your imagination.
Read everything from political columns to fictional novels. Read all the greatest books. Read about the greatest authors. Read about our world, how it became the world of today. About the people who breathed the same air thousands of years ago. About places that no longer exist. About wars fought and tragic romances. About magic, mysteries, myths and dragons.
To start off, here are 15 books you should read before turning 15. The list is in no particular order.
- Charlie and The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Have you ever won a Golden Ticket to Willy Wonka’s fabulous chocolate factory? Don’t worry if you haven’t. Read this book and experience everything you need to. This masterpiece from Roald Dahl is a treasure every child should find out.
- Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
A book that has never been out of print. Loved by both adults and children, Alice in Wonderland is a fantasy novel like no other.
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis
Before Simba, before Mufasa, there was another Lion King. The brave, generous, powerful Aslan who ruled over the magical world of Narnia. The film adaptation of this novel has created an even larger fan base for CS Lewis’ Narnians.
- The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
No other 15-year-old might have made an impact on the world stage like Anne Frank. A victim of the Holocaust, Anne’s diary is considered as one of the most influential works of the 20th century.
- Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
More than fifty million copies of the novel have been sold by now. Black Beauty not just teaches about animal welfare. It is a book that deals with a purpose to influence humanity for a better world.
- Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Befriend Pip, feel what it is like to be rejected, what it is like to live in poverty and finally to feel the triumph of good over evil.
- The BFG by Roald Dahl
Another masterpiece from the master Roald Dahl. A sweet giant is all you need to make your life a joyous one.
- The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
The youngest and the first English writer to win the Nobel Prize, Rudyard Kipling’s most popular work is arguably the Jungle Book. Set in India’s wilderness, Jungle Book tells the tale of Mowgli- a boy raised by a pack of wolves.
- Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
The book marked the entry of pirates, hidden gold, and secret maps to the literary world. Its influence is unparalleled. From comic novels to movies, Treasure Island’s touch can be felt everywhere.
- Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
A celebrated American writer, Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn marked an important point in American literature. The book is considered as one the greatest American novels.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling
The book every millennial grew up with. JK Rowling’s creative imagination is astonishing. Each book in the series deserves great appreciation. However, the first one is always a special one.
- Matilda by Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl’s Matilda is another gem of a children’s book. Humour plays an important role in most of Dahl’s works and it plays here magic.
- The Railway Children by E Nesbit
Edith Nesbit initially serialised the story in The London Magazine. A year later in 1906, the book was published. Fascinating and vivid, the book has recently served as the plot for many screen adaptations.
- Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens’ second novel which holds high cultural regard. This orphan’s story living in London in the mid-19th century portrays the Great Britain of darkness and struggle.
- The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
A story told in a unique way that tears apart man’s hypocrisies and narrow-mindedness. Set during the 2nd World War, the book deals with a sweet friendship that emerges between a Nazi soldier’s son and a Jewish boy held captive in a concentration camp.
It is hard to compile a collection of this sort. A lot of great books might not be here in this list. However, the ones here are no less than great. It is definitely the perfect way to kick start if you haven’t taken reading seriously. And if you are an avid reader, it is the right time to cross-check. Each book you read is going to change you. Some might have a great influence on you. A few of them will certainly remain with you forever. So, why wait? Pick one and go places.
Reading is a habit that can mould your life. When you start reading from a very young age, you get a better idea about yourself and the world. This will help you in taking the road to success. Find what else can help you in planning for a successful career. Even a simple assessment test like dSAT can help you get there.