Thursday, June 09, 2005

Book Meme

Total number of books I've owned

This is impossible to answer accurately: maybe about 10,000. Our in-house collection is at least 5000 thousand strong (there are more than 1000 children's books alone.) I've sold hundreds over the years and our basement, presently, is filled with Grand & Toy boxes stacked many high and spanning the width of the space (awaiting completion of the renovations.)

My husband and I disagree on the possible numbers but, years ago, I began a database and reached 600 books in one small area of our old dining room alone. Our former home was filled, top to bottom, wall to wall, with bookshelves and books. In short, I think that I have a clearer understanding.

The last book I bought

Dan Brown's Angels & Demons. I love this book. Each day, I grow increasingly caught up in the intrigue and increasingly attached to the protagonist. The dialogue is wonderful and the premise is irresistible.

The last book I read

Image hosted by Image hosted by

Olivia and The Missing Toy by Ian Falconer (in the same sitting as Olivia by Mr. Falconer.)

The author based the title character and others on his niece and her own family.

Image hosted by

Read about him here and here.

Five books that mean a lot to me

I think this would change from year to year for me; at least, it has changed from last year.

Aeschylus: The Oresteia - because it opened my eyes to ancient literature; because it read like a modern-day soap opera; because the characters have stayed with me through every book I've read since and because the characters are constantly reincarnated today in popular culture.

Petronius: The Satyricon - because it was a voyeuristic voyage to the past to witness a gritty, Roman culture (the Age of Nero) and it was so much fun that I'll definitely read it again. (I've linked to a public-domain translation from 1930. I don't think that I've read this translation (Alfred R. Allinson): the link is more like a bookmark for me.)

Will Self: The Quantity Theory of Insanity (1991) - because he broke boundaries with these stories that other authors, it seemed, didn't even discuss at the time; because his ideas were painfully original (as original as can be); because it marks a period of reading in my life (early 1990s) that included many new, young British authors.

Helen Forrester - Series beginning with Twopence to Cross The Mercy because it was what kept me moving during the worst period in my life, because I was too poor to pay my $10.00 library fine and I trekked to the library everyday to sit and read it. I did that through the whole series and found that it killed many hours of wretched loneliness. (Just writing about it, I experience the same swelling anxiety in my chest as I did while walking to the library: what if the book was borrowed? I also hate thinking back to that time.)

Unknown Author, Unknown Title. During high school, I was often permitted by teachers to leave classes to "do my own thing". During one such absence with leave in Grade 9, I read a book that moved me beyond the words to express my appreciation. In it, such phenomena as reincarnation, astral projection and ghostly encounters were discussed. It fascinated me and empowered me through a vocabulary to describe some personal experiences. (See my other blog for reasons why this is so.)

Hence, my nigh-lifelong habit of thumbing through pages of books that might resemble that of which I speak. It doesn't explain or justify the ridiculous number of books on the paranormal that I amassed from that age onward. At any rate, for more than twenty years, it has eluded me. (I hope that I won't be found someday pacing the floors of an asylum while muttering and laughing to myself because of this).

Tag 5 people

I don't really know five people. So, I guess it ends here for me. Many people who read my blog remain silent and quite a few don't blog to my knowledge.


The other day, I tagged atomicvelvetsigh in my comments.

Today, I have another person: I tag A Tundra with this meme.


  1. hi.. i was surfing on BE and came across your blog. this is interesting. my bf and i was planning to put up our own book meme.. since one already is online circulating, you can tag me instead. heeee

  2. Great, I tag you atomicvelvetsigh!