An annual plant is a plant that grows and lives for a year or so and then dies. A perennial will live for two years, or longer, maybe indefinitely. For me, this same description can apply to books as well. There are books I find that are good to read, but I really only want to read them once and when I’m done, I will probably not think about them again. They don’t become a regular part of my thinking, or my life. Then there are books that stay with you—where the characters take up permanent residence in your mind and you’ll see parallels in the world that remind you of that book—those characters—those situations. These are the books I like the best, because the characters are not only sympathetic (or antithetic), they are relatable; you understand their thinking and, while reading, they are a part of you. That doesn’t mean I don’t like ‘annual books’, too—I do. But they come and go and when I’m done, they’re mostly gone. Some excellent books fall into this category, too. I could name some, but then the classification of annual versus perennial book is a subjective thing, although (I think) many can agree on certain perennial books. Books like, “To Kill a Mockingbird”, or “The Godfather”. The characters in these books are as real as the people around you—and they last; the themes and heart of the story make them timeless books.
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