30 Books (Only Thirty?)
Julie (Samurai Knitter) has started a sort-of meme, "Thirty Books I Dig".
Talk about easy . . . for me the hard part is limiting it to thirty!
Have I told this story yet?
When we were first married, we went to an estate sale, and out on a closed-in porch, we found bookshelves stuffed full of old science fiction paperbacks and magazines. At first we were trying to pick out ones we wanted, but then my husband said, "Let's just offer her $20 for the lot."
The woman running the sale said, "Sure!" she would take our $20, and gave us paper bags and cardboard boxes. Then she said, "Do you want these, too?" and opened up a big walk-in closet completely lined with shelves of books.
We stuffed our little Honda Civic hatchback (a red Tardis of a car) with bags and bags and bags and boxes of science fiction until our backs ached.
Every author from Asimov to Van Vogt and Williamson. We have an eight-foot bookshelf double-stacked with science fiction paperback, and more in various places throughout the house.
We sold many of the older magazines (after reading them, of course) on eBay. That paid for two eight-foot bookcases from the furniture company I worked for back then. And I see we still have two computer-paper boxes with the newer (1970's) magazines like Fantasy and Science Fiction.
Barring the Fimbul-winter, it's not physically possible for us to be snowed in long enough to read every book on our shelves in one winter.
So that's about a thousand right there. (Do I joke? I've never really thought about counting them.)
But to get down to cases here, I'll think about some of my more personal shelves:
Travels in West Africa, by Mary Kingsley. I've talked about her before, and no doubt I will again. Quirky, opinionated, and full of wry good humor in the face of everything from mosquitoes to crocodiles.
Anything by Diana Wynne Jones. I started out with Archer's Goon and went from there. Being a dog lover, I'm fond of Dogsbody. (Argh, already I'm cheating and saying, "Just read the lot!"
Anything by Terry Pratchett. Okay. So I cheat. Read the lot!
What else is on these shelves over here?
Women's Work and Prehistoric Textiles by Elizabeth Wayland Barber.
Textiles and Clothing by Elisabeth Crowfoot et al.
Nearly every tatting pattern book ever put out by Dover.
Charles Holdgate's Net Making.
Two different editions of Etiquette, by Emily Post. Amusing and sad and sometimes infuriating. Time travel in hardcover.
Three different editions (one in French) of Thérèse de Dillmont's Encyclopedia of Needlework.
A reproduction of Caulfeild and Saward's Dictionary of Needlework.
Sylvia Groves' The History of Needlework Tools and Accessories.
Old-Time Tools & Toys of Needlework by Gertrude Whiting.
A whole slew of dog books by Brian Kilcommons and Sara Wilson, Carol Lea Benjamin, Stanley Coren, the Monks of New Skete, and Job Michael Evans. (I love training dogs. It's the people that stir me up!)
Quite a few books by modular origami genius Tomoko Fuse in both English and Japanese. (I don't read Japanese, but I can follow an origami diagram.)
Music books including Lullabies and Night Songs by Alex Wilder with drawings by Maurice Sendak. (I used to play the ocarina a lot and the pennywhistle somewhat.)
On the self-help shelf, I have authors such as Barbara Sher, Suzette Haden Elgin, Martha Beck, Julia Cameron, and probably a bunch more that I'll slap my forehead for forgetting.
Oh! And over here is my collection of darn near every Ted Sturgeon book ever printed in paperback. And all the Dorothy Sayers Lord Peter books.
I have five dictionaries. I have many knitting books, heavy on the historical. I have at least one cookbook. (The others are my husband's.) And we have many many many kids' books here.
Good heavens, is that the time? I'm sorry, I've kept you up - you really shouldn't get me started on books!