I don’t actually know who Prash is, but he/she/it tracked back to one of my postings, and, several hops away, there was the book meme. So …

How many books do I own

A couple months ago, I got Delicious Library, and have been in the process of inventorying my books since then. I’m right at 500, and it looks like there’s perhaps half that left to go. I had no idea.

Last books bought

I just bought Baudolino by Umberto Eco. It came highly recommended by Clint and Clay, and I haven’t started it yet. It’s for the flight to ApacheCon.

Last books read

I just got done reading (listening to) “Lord Jim” by Joseph Conrad. I am still in the process of reading (on Palm) “ride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen. I am listening to “David Copperfield” by Charles Dickens (from I am reading “Now and Then in Kenya Colony” by Hotchkiss. (No link is provided because this book was self-published and is not available to the general public. You have to know the producers. Very unfortunate.)

The last major book that I read on dead tree was “Of Human Bondage“, by Somerset Maugham. I’m also sort of reading “Eragon” by Christopher Paolini, and “War psalms of the prince of peace” by James Adams, although the former of these is too big and bulky to take on trips, and the latter is just a trifle less than exciting.

Five books that mean a lot to me

1. Well, you had to know that the first would be one of two possibilities. I’ll go with Dandelion Wine, by Ray Bradbury as the first one. My favorite book, with #2 following very close behind, and changing with the seasons. If you haven’t read it, or if you haven’t read it as an adult, you should read it. Amazing book. Wonderful. I read it almost every summer.

2. A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens. This book is alternately inspiring, encouraging, depressing, and funny. I read it every year – most years more than once. I also have about 25 different editions of it, as well as 10 different movie renditions of it. My favorite edition to read is the Bantam Classics edition. My favorite edition to look at is the Hearn and Leach Annotated edition. My favorite movie is the 1999 Patrick Stewart version.

3. The Razor’s Edge by Somerset Maugham. Probably had more to do with when I read it than the book itself. But a great book, nevertheless. Don’t let your life be constrained – do the things that you are inspired to do, whatever the cost.

4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Almost certainly the funniest book I ever read. No, I haven’t seen the movie. I probably will, eventually, but I’m always reluctant to watch movies of books that I really love. Of course, I never heard the radio show either. I had the honor of meeting Douglas Adams twice, and on one of those occasions he signed my copy of “The More Than Complete” edition of the guide. Absolutely brilliant.

5. The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien. This book, read to me by a teacher at Turi, one chapter a week for a term, introduced me to the world of fantasy literature, including the rest of Tolkien’s work, Eddings, Brooks, and thence to Bradbury, Adams, Pratchett, and so many others. Say what you will about The Hobbit – I know many folks don’t care for it at all – but it is one of the most important books in my literary growing-up.


Ok, so the “five books” thing is *so* unfair. Trying to pick just five was amazingly hard, and there are so many others that should have been in there. Honorable mentions go to most things by Dahl, as well as “I, Robot” by Isaac Asimov, which is another one of those “if you just saw the movie, you completely missed out” books. And I suppose I would also really want to mention my own books, which, although I can’t claim that they are great and towering works of literature, are certainly very important ones to me.

I think, at this point, I’m supposed to pass this on to someone else. I’d really like to see what Bert would say, but I’m concerned that it would take he years and years to respond. 😉