Today’s my birthday, so I took the day off. My wife made plans to take me to do something on Friday, so I had the day to do whatever I wanted. I chose to do something I don’t really get to do nearly as often as I like. I went to see a movie. A month ago I saw Avatar in IMAX 3D and fell in love with the world and experience created by James Cameron. I figured that watching this on my TV on DVD can’t compare at all to the big screen experience, so I figured I’d see it one more time. Rarely do I see a movie twice in the theater. I saw all the Lord of the Rings movies more than once (that’s a no brainer) as well as the new Batman movies. It’s got to be a special.

I’m the same way with my books. I love books. I also have a lot of books. People often come into my office for the first time and say, “Wow, you’ve got a lot of books. Have you read them all?” “Most of them,” I usually reply. But what I don’t tell them is “you see that shelf, I’ve read those 2 or 3 or 4 times.”Every year I add 20-40 new books to my collection which causes a bit of a dilemma.

  1. Between my bookshelves at work and my bookshelves at home, my space is limited. Although the rule hasn’t been clearly defined, I know that there is a limit of how many books I’m allowed to own. So, when I put new books on my bookshelves, I’ve got to take some off as well.
  2. With all the new books to read, how do I make time to repeat my favorites?

It’s an interesting balance. I love new adventures! I’ll try just about anything once. If I’m sitting in a restaurant and they’ve got something like crickets on the menu, I’m getting the crickets (actually I won’t, because I got those last summer and they weren’t that good). My wife an I are always looking forward to visiting new parks, new restaurants and new places to experience (why we’re currently trying to knock off our list of best BBQ in TX and best swimming holes in TX). When it comes to books and movies, it’s the same. It seems like there’s an endless flow of “new” to try. But how do you balance new adventures with the comfort of old favorites?

When it comes to books, what are your favorites that you come back to time and time again? What about movies? Places or experiences? Here are mine:

Books: I read my Bible through yearly (right now). I’ve got a short list of leadership books that I’ll pick one each year and read it again. Two books I’ve read 4 or more times are a Tale of Three Kings or The Life You’ve Always Wanted. For fun, I’ll re-read any of my Stephen Lawhead books again… although he’s got many new books I haven’t touched yet. Also, I feel a Lord of the Rings re-read coming soon.

Movies: My wife and I will watch the Lord of the Rings movies once a year (did I just mention Lord of the Rings three times in one post? Have I just outed myself?). I’ll usually watch Tommy Boy and Goonies every year as well. Every few years I watch other favorites like Braveheart, the Never Ending Story or other favorites from the 80’s.

Places: At least every year to 18 months, I’ve got to get into the mountains. I either need to climb one or ski down one. At least every 2-4 years, I’ve got to get my Outback prime rib fix. Most importantly, if I don’t get a muchaco from Taco Bueno every 3-6 months, I’ll go nuts.

What about you?