The Book Meme

I haven’t been specifically tagged for this, but a couple of of you have done it and then ducked the tagging question by saying that anyone else who feels like it should do it. Well, I feel like it.

1) Total number of books I own: Must be in the area of 3,000. There’s a few hundred in various places in Ireland, and a hundred or so at work whose ownership may be disputed in the event of my ever leaving (though probably disputed in the sense of “You can hold onto it!” – “No, please, you keep it!”). In this room there’s about 30 two-metre shelves’ worth of books, and probably half as many in the rest of the house. Some day I shall be disciplined like and enter them all onto an on-line catalogue.

2) Last books I bought: At lunchtime on Thursday I managed to track down a new English-language bookshop just off Place Stephanie, ventured within and got i) Pippi Longstocking for F, who had been doing Pippi Langkous in school last week, and ii) Kafka’s The Trial, which I’d started reading this time last year but lost my previous copy in a sleep-deprived moment in the car park of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport. Also last weekend I bought The Hallowed Hunt by Lois McMaster Bujold, but Anne is getting first crack at it. I’m trying to buy With Stars In My Eyes by Peter Weston, but PayPal won’t let me make the transaction.

3) The last book I read: The Trial. Before that, The Best of Xero.

4) Five books that mean a lot to me:

  1. Bible
  2. Lord of the Rings, by JRR Tolkien
  3. What Color is Your Parachute?, by Richard Nelson Bolles – changed my attitude to work completely.
  4. The New Hugo Winners Volume IV, ed. Gregory Benford & Martin H. Greenberg – basically rekindled my interest in SF
  5. The Fall of Yugoslavia, by Misha Glenny
5) Five people whose answers I’d like to see: Basically, anyone of you who hasn’t yet done this, I’d be very interested to see your answers! And that’s a lot more than five…

One thought on “The Book Meme

  1. “The Fall of Gondolin” was the very first story in the legendarium to be written down, in 1916 while Tolkien was on sick leave from the trenches. It also marks the point beyond which he was unable to revise the Silmarillion—everything up to there got worked over, sometimes many times, as the history, mythology, and the languages changed, but the latest point to be reached in any of the revisions was in “Of Tuor and his coming to Gondolin” (published in Unfinished Tales) where Tuor reaches the city. When Christopher Tolkien came to compile the Silmarillion, everything after that point—Tuor and Idril, the fall of Gondolin, the voyages of Eärendil and Elwing, the War of Wrath, and the loss of the Silmarils—had to be reconstructed and updated from the very earliest versions, in which Elves were Gnomes and Middle-Earth part of Anglo-Saxon mythology.

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