Monday, April 20, 2009

10 Books A Day: #1

I am a bibliophile. Before it became necessary to sell our old family home, my library was fast closing in on the three thousand volume mark. I kept a catalog on my computer that I constantly updated, with a simple rubric to help me keep track of kinds of books: bold, for hardbacks, italics for trade paperbacks, and plain print for ordinary paperbacks. Well, it did become necessary to sell the old house, and move to smaller if quite comfy and classy accommodations. And in the process I had to skin down my library some (nothing essential of course, just odd volumes and vaguely interesting books that had been bought for a song on a whim). This rendered my old catalog inaccurate, and, when my old computer had its last crash, finally nonexistent. I have the dragonish temperament that makes me every now and again want to count and number everything I have, and so on that impulse I'm beginning "10 Books A Day", in which, along with regular posts, I shall list ten books by title, author, and publisher under my old rubric, starting on the topmost left-hand shelf in my room and going right round. So here we go.

Everyday Life In Bible Times...National Geographic Society

Bloom's Major Literary Characters: Sir John Falstaff...ed. Harold Bloom...Chelsea House

Spaceships Of The Visitors: An Illustrated Guide To Alien Spacecraft...Kevin Randle and Russ Estes...A Fireside Book

The Truth Book: Escaping A Childhood Of Abuse Among Jehovah's Witnesses...Joy Castro...Arcade Publishing

Shahnameh: The Persian Book Of Kings...Abolqasem Ferdowsi...Penguin

Shakespeare: The Biography...Peter Ackroyd...Anchor Books

Everything Is Under Control: Conspiracies, Cults, And Cover-Ups...Robert Anton Wilson...Harper Perennial

Secret Gardens: The Golden Age Of Children's Literature...Humphrey Carpenter...Houghton Mifflin

Dickens...Peter Ackroyd...HarperCollins

Mervyn Peake: My Eyes Mint Gold...Malcolm Yorke...Overlook Press

And that's the first ten. Not a bad sampling of my interests, if a bit heavy on biography. The National Geographic Society of course edits and publishes their own works. Mervyn Peake is the author and illustrator most famous for his Gormenghast books. As a bonus I'm adding four volumes in the Discoveries books put out by the Abrams Press; these are slim but hefty books chock full of pictures and facts on various subjects like art and culture that make good summarizing introductions. I have:

Leonardo Da Vinci: The Mind Of The Renaissance...Alessandro Vesozzi
The Age Of Shakespeare...Francois Larogue
The Pre-Raphaelites: Romance And Realism...Laurence Des Cars
King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table...Anne Berthelot
I suspect with what I've bought in the last two years or so I'm probably up to close to three thousand again. But it would be great to know for sure! If you click on the picture above, you might be able to identify some of those books yourself. (And yes, I did take pictures of my books. What of it?)


AlanDP said...

I see a lot of familiar books there. I'm looking forward to more of this.

On the bottom left of the shelf on the right, next to all the Deryni books, those almost look like Dragonlance books. They can't be. Can they?

Brer said...

Those are indeed the first three Dragonlance books. I tried to give them a chance, Lord knows I did. I bought all three at once, but never got past the second chapter of the first book. I spewed them forth. These were some of the books I skinned off.

AlanDP said...

I think I read the first two before I gave up. Maybe three.