We regard reading books differently.
For most people reading is pleasure, for others it's learning new things, for still others it's a combination of getting a new experience and reliving the lives of the characters of a book.
Here is how James Clear defines and compares reading:"Reading is like a software update for your brain. Whenever you learn a new concept or idea, the "software" improves. You download new features and fix old bugs. In this way, reading a good book can give you a new way to view your life experiences. Your past is fixed, but your interpretation of it can change depending on the software you use to analyze it."
In any case reading or listening to books is still the essential part of the lives of many people.
There are a good number of books I have read over the years but there is a short list of those that I keep coming back to for re-reads. Without giving away too much, here is a list of my favourites (mostly American and English fiction) I have fallen in love with from the first chapter:
1. Richman, Poorman by Irwin Shaw
2. Young Lions by Irwin Shaw
Note: I have discovered those books in a library when I was a student.
3. Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer
Note: This one was recommended by a friend of mine.
4. The Loop by Nicholas Evans
5. The Smoke Jumper by Nicholas Evans
Note: I discovered these books after I watched The Horse Whisperer.
6. The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
7. Shogun by James Clavell
Note: These two books were recommended by Leonid Volodarsky
8. Inferno by Dan Brown
Note: I read everything by Dan Brown but this one in my opinion is one of his best books.
9. Christine by Stephen King
Note: I picked this one when I was on holiday and had nothing to read. It turned out to be an amazing reading on repeat once a year around Christmas and New Year.
10. The Firm by John Grisham
11. Camino Island by John Grisham
Note: The Firm was recommended by a good friend of mine even though I would probably discover Grisham at some point one way or the other.
12. The Children of Arbat by Anatoly Rybakov
Note: I enjoyed his novels for kids and teens until I became an adult and read this masterpiece.