Read What C.S. Lewis Read

Have you ever wondered what C.S. Lewis liked to read? Many articles, essays, and books have been written about which books influenced Lewis’ life and his own writings, but he had a lot more in his personal library. In fact, he had over 2,000 books in his collection.

The Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College is the current host for most of Lewis’ books. The library listings even include an archive of items and annotations that were found in the books.

Another useful database is Lewis’ Legacy Library on LibraryThing. The Legacy Libraries are a collaborative project to catalogue the books that famous readers owned. This archive has each of the books tagged to make them easily searchable by category. For example, here are the juvenile books that were in Lewis’ library. Narnia fans may notice that Lewis had multiple books by E. Nesbit, whose book, The Story of the Treasure Seekers, was referenced in the first chapter of The Magician’s Nephew.

2 Responses

  1. The Rose-Tree Dryad says:

    Love these resources! FYI, the books that are published before 1926 are in public domain as of 2021, so if some of these look interesting, there’s a good chance you can find them on Project Gutenberg for free. I recommend The Light Princess by George MacDonald.

  2. Jonathan Paravel says:

    It’s surprising to me to see a Wizard of Oz book on that Juvenile books list. I knew that the Oz books were around for a long time before 1950 (of course, he says to himself, because the movie came out in 1939), but I don’t think of the Narnia books as anything like the Wizard of Oz. I mean, I know they both involve children visiting a magical land with new mythical friends, but the tone is so different! And I suppose that Lewis owning the book does not mean he was inspired by it, but it is interesting to think about.