When asked about books that have stayed with me forever, what comes to mind immediately is a childhood collection of stories (can’t recall the title but something totally obscure; I remember those obscure stories still, the one about the farmer who sent his son to deliver three perfect cherries on a velvet pillow to the king but the son ate two of them en route and when the king read the accompanying note from the farmer saying here’s three perfect cherries for you, he asked the boy what happened to the other two and the lad said he ate them — I remember loving this kid’s honesty, how he had no sense of being afraid of the king — and the king said you ate them!!! how could you have done that?? and without missing a beat the boy picked the last one off the velvet pillow, popped it into his mouth and said, in all innocence, like this! I mean, how does a story like that NOT stay with you forever?). Also Nancy Drew mysteries, which I remember devouring but not as voraciously as a girl in my class who used to boast about how quickly she read them and for a wee moment in time I was jealous, thinking how grand to be able to read a thousand books a week but fast reading has never been my thing and over the decades I’ve come to accept and embrace a sloooow read. Girl of the Limberlost (I coveted her forest life and the contents of her lunch pail); Fires of Spring, by James Michener (it felt so grown up), I was thirteen and it was summer and I’d been biking through the orchards of Niagara near my home; I read it in the shade of a giant maple or similar while eating stolen peaches; The Velveteen Rabbit (only discovered as an adult and with possibly the best life lesson ever); The Little Prince (ditto about discovery); The Stone Angel; Roughing it in the Bush; Hotel du Lac; Animal Farm, The Road Past Altamont, the best book about home (regardless of where home is) I’ve ever read, The Book of Eve (a different view of home), Drinking the Rain (home as self)…
But this is meant to be a postcard, and a quick top of mind answer to the question.
What has ACTUALLY stayed with me is probably… everything. And that would take at least a letter.