When I was little and went to other people’s houses, I often wandered around, poking my head into whatever nooks and crannies I could find, wondering where these people kept their books. I often feel the same way in library school. I don’t have a place that I keep the books on this blog yet, but I thought I’d start with this meme.
Total number of books Iâ€™ve owned: Ever? It would be hard to say. I have perhaps 100 of my books with me, and another 8 or 10 boxes of books in storage. I grew up in a house with over 2000 books–that’s after we gave away 108 boxes when I was eight. (My parents both had PhDs, and my father had inherited the library of a friend, also a Classics professor, also from (sort of) Enosburg Falls, Vermont. I grew up with the 1911 edition of the EncyclopÃ¦dia Britannica and LC classification (my mother still has the card catalog somewhere, I think), except for the period when my father decided to rearrange the books by date of author’s birth. Susan Sontag, I have read, arranged her books this way, although she additionally divided them by country, which seems like a good system to me.) My grandmother, with whom I live now, has perhaps 1000, which are divided by genre and are sort of alphabetical. I was, perhaps, fated to become a librarian.
Last book I bought: Classic Rough News, a book of poems by Kenneth Fields, purchased as a present for a friend. I have a great many opinions about and complicated systems and rules for buying books, but that’s another topic for another time. (If you are buying books online, though, may I recommend Powell’s, your friendly union bookstore?)
Last book I read: Swollen, by Melissa Lion.
Last book I finished: Same as above. . . like Jessamyn (from whom I got this meme), I don’t read many books I don’t finish. At any rate, I have plans to finish them someday, really I do.
Five books that mean a lot to me: A somewhat representative collection.
The Hero and the Crown, by Robin McKinley.
A Collection of Essays, by George Orwell. To my taste, one of the two greatest prose writers in English in the 20th century.
On Stories, by C.S. Lewis. The other one.
Desert Solitaire, by Edward Abbey. Why I love Utah, and many other things.
Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak. I was sick a lot as a kid, and this was the book my mother always brought with us to the doctor’s office. Once she forgot it, so we sat there and recited the whole thing from memory.