Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
- Napoleon

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Book Addiction - Meme

Erica Ridley has a wonderful little writerly meme on her blog, and I chose to tackle the questions here this morning.

Here goes nothin':

Total Number of Books I Own

This one has to be a strict estimate for now because it would take me a very very long time to count them all. I know I have roughly 1200 that are in my online bookstore plus another hundred or so that are waiting to be input. We have a huge shelf full of textbooks and educational books for school - that's got to have about a hundred books on it. I have a shelf-full of our keeper fiction - add another hundred. Oh, and this house has built-in glass-fronted bookshelves - tack on another hundred there. How many is that? 1600 give or take a score. Good thing this question wasn't how many books are in the house, because then I'd have to count my daughter's books. Ack.

The Last Book I Bought

I picked up Preston and Child's "The Book of the Dead" for myself just before my daughter went on vacation, but now that I think about it, the last book I bought was for her to read on the plane. I can't remember the title right now, but it was a new release in the urban fantasy genre.

The Last Book I Read

That would have to be "The Titan's Curse" by Rick Riordan. If you haven't had a chance to read this series, what are you waiting for? You're already behind by three books, and the fourth is due out in October. I'm not usually a series reader, but this one sucked me in and now I'm hooked. I mean, come on. Greek gods and heroes in Manhattan?? A summer camp for the Half-Breeds on Long Island?

Five Books That Mean A Lot to Me
(I'm going to take this literally, and go with the books themselves rather than the stories)

1) I have a copy of The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. I've been a book collector for years, and this book has always had a special place on my shelves because it's a Bobbs-Merrill edition (which for collectors means it's rare), and because I'm a huge fan of Rand. I bought it from a used bookstore while I was in college, and the book also has a special place in my heart because of the memories it inspires. Several years ago, I picked the book up - I don't remember why (I hardly ever fondle my rare books) - and I noticed an inscription I'd never seen before. Inside the front cover was the name of a soldier, his rank, his unit. I did some research, and found out this soldier's unit was a bomber group flying over the Pacific during WWII. Since The Fountainhead (and particularly this edition) was published in 1943, it was easy enough to imagine my soldier flying to protect this country with his copy of The Fountainhead jammed into his pocket. And looking at my book's moisture stains and dog-eared pages, it's even easier to imagine.

2) Years ago when my parents moved out of the house they'd lived in for most of my life, my father had a garage sale. In it, he'd shoved the family's set of 1958 encyclopedias. So, of course, I snatched them up. I have them all sitting in our glassed-in bookshelves right now. I guess with these, it's not so much the books themselves as the memories associated with them. They were my main source for any paper I wrote in school (because we lived out in the country and the library wasn't easy for me to get to). Inside many of the books are crushed flowers, four-leaf clovers and other treasures from my childhood. And then there's the nostalgia of paging through encyclopedias printed before man walked on the moon, before the invention of the PC, before the Vietnam War.

3) And then there's my copy of Atlas Shrugged. When my daughter was small, I joined Book of the Month Club - mainly for the kid's books. But they had an edition of Atlas Shrugged, and since I'd had to sell my only copy when I was in college (it was either read or eat, and I had to eat), I jumped at the chance for a new copy. I inhaled it. Later, I became involved with a man who took any reading I did as a personal affront to him. I wasn't paying attention to him when I read, therefore reading was bad. And he made my life miserable when I tried to read, so I set all my books aside. After I finally wised up and left the guy, the first book I read was this copy of Atlas Shrugged. It was an affirmation of my right to be alive. Ya know?

4) Lastly, there's my copy of Calumet K. It was the first present my husband ever gave me (not counting a dozen yellow roses). The story itself is so simple and yet so powerful, but I wouldn't love this volume half as much if it hadn't been a gift from my one and only. *happy sigh*

ETA: As Erica pointed out, I forgot #5, so I'm just going to tack it on here. I think I choose Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. If only for the fact that prior to reading that book, my daughter hated reading. No matter how much I prodded her to read, no matter how wonderful I made it sound, she had her heels dug in and refused to read. Then my mother gave her HP#1, and she grudging began reading it. In no time, she was gobbling it up, and now she reads everything. I can't imagine what my life would be like if my kid hated to read. She's my first beta reader for everything now, she's my sounding board for ideas, and she's the first person I can discuss books with. (She's first mostly because we're always together, but that's beside the point.)

Not the most exciting answers to this meme, I'm sure, but it was fun.

If you're interested in volunteering for this meme, have at it, but don't forget to leave a comment here so I can stop by and check your answers out. (And give yourself a little blog traffic while you're at it.)


Kristen Painter said...

I love reading your answers, but this meme sounds like a bit too much work for me today. At least compare to the To Do list that's already sitting beside my laptop. You know, the list I have yet to cross anything off of? Yeah, that one.

Erica Ridley said...

What great stories! (BTW, what happened to Book #5??)

I think one of my librarians might be hooked on that Riordan series. He mentioned angsting over a similar book which wouldn't come out until about then.

And I think it's awesome that your dh's first gift was a book! That would totally be the way to win my heart. *swoons* =)

B.E. Sanderson said...

LOL Kristen. It sounds like work, but it was a wonderful way to procrastinate from the real work this morning - namely pruning trees. Ack.

OMG, I can't believe I didn't do #5. Thanks for catching me on it, Erica. I'll get right on it. (And yeah, he's a swoony kind of guy.)