James V. Schall mentioned in one of his essays about his experience in walking in military library and being overwhelmed with so many books. What books should he read? Which book should he read first? Many people have had this experience. Here are some tips that I have discovered.
First, find an author you like and read a wide selection of his or her writings. I have followed this idea most of my life. Alan Jabobs offers a tip in addition to this one in his book, The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction. The idea he provides is reading upstream and downstream. Read the authors that have influenced the author you enjoy. Read also the authors that your favorite writers have influenced. Jacobs also makes the important point that we should read for pleasure.
Here are some of my favorite writers if you need help to get started:
C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia, Mere Christianity, and The Great Divorce
J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
James V. Schall, The Life of the Mind
Joseph Pieper, Leisure the Basis of Culture
Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
J. K. Rowling, The Harry Potter Series
Dante, The Divine Comedy
John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
A good book for reading non-fiction books is Mortimer Adler's How to Read a Book. It also includes a list of great books to read.