Thursday, 30 June 2011

Hmmm... Book Numbers...

Booking Through Thursday

Size Matters

What's the largest your personal library has ever been?  What's the greatest number of books you've ever owned at one time?  (Estimates are fine.)

Is your collection NOW the biggest it's ever been?  Or have you down-sized?

What's the fewest number of books you've ever owned (not counting your pre-reading years)?

Gosh...  Tricky questions.  I have always preferred not to actually count all my books because that might make me realise I probably have more books than I actually need.  This is only an estimate because I didn't venture into the attic which also has shelving for books...  I have 10 large bookcases (6 shelves per book case and 1 metre wide).  The novels, autobiographies etc are packed fill their shelves at 2 books deep and averaging 15 books high...  approximately 30 shelves of these 2700 books... and about 30 shelves of non-fiction including recipe books, gardening, art, knitting, patchwork, historty etc...  Okay, that works out at approximately 4000 books in our house (I haven't included all the books that live on shelves in the attic nor all my books that have crept down to inhabit bookshelves in my mum's house... they would be another story for another day)...

I think I can quite honestly say that my book collection is the largest it has ever been.  Now and again, I try to send a few to the charity shop or I sell a few on Amazon but invariable a month later I am searching for the book that I thought I no longer wanted.  I do try periodically to get rid of books that I don't think I will read again or the odd book that I thought I would enjoy reading but never did.  No choice really because I am running out of space and do have piles of books sitting around in front of book cases and use the tops of the bookcases as additional bookcase shelving.

I cannot remember not having books.  My mum always had lots of books.  When we were in our early teens my brother and I used to love going around all the second hand bookshops in Smithfield Market looking for new interesting ones to read.  Then I went to university and continued working my way around the second hand bookshops in Leeds.  When I was travelling home...  (my mum had a friend of a friend who offered to put my stuff into the back of their lorry on their way back from dropping off a load)  I think he was a little shocked when my boxes of books started to come down the 4 flights of stairs...  I even got rid of half of my clothes as I knew I only had a certain amount of space... but the books all came home with me.

I suppose the thing that has changed is what I like to read...  I don't read the classics Hardy, Austen, Dickens etc quite as often as I should and find myself reaching for a fantasy novel more often...

Enjoying the process...

I am really enjoying reading The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle.  About one third of the way through the novel which is written from the Unicorn's point of view (and she has a wonderful personality).

As I sat in the garden in the shade of the lilac tree reading the novel...  I wondered how people read 5+ novels in a week.  Have they found a method of speed reading or do they never sleep?  

It was such a lovely warm day here.  A change from the rain that has pelted down for most of this summer.  One thing I've learned about wet Northern Irish summers is that we need to enjoy the sunshine when it comes out from behind the clouds as it will not last all that long until the next heavy downpour (which drove me, my book and my chair indoors again).

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Too many Choices...

After some thought I decided that I would like a to be read pile.  I think it will help to narrow down my choices of which books I want to read next and next and next...

I have chosen some old favourites as well as a few new books that I have been intending to read for a long time and have had sitting in a pile on the floor by the side of my bed.

Now I need to decide which to start with.  I think it will have to be The Last Unicorn written by Peter S. Beagle.  I first read this book when I was in my early teens and really loved it.  That copy has long since disintegrated and this book is the 4oth Anniversary Edition that I treated myself to a couple of years ago.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Top 10 Bookish Websites...

Top Ten Bookish Websites, Organizations, Apps, etc...  as organised by The Broke and Bookish

I had to really think about this one.  Some of these are relatively new to me and others I have been visiting and using for a much longer time.

1  Virtual Library - this is the online Northern Ireland library which allows me to renew books, search for books and to make reservations of books that I want to read.  Then all I need to do is actually visit the library to collect the book as they email me when it has arrived...  so cool...

2 - yep... I use this website all the time for tracking down out of print books especially when I have read most of the others in a series...

3  Goodreads - love this...  always helpful to read reviews when I am deciding what I want to read next especially if I haven't read anything by that author before.

4  Red Room - great site with information about authors and ideas for blogging.

5  Kindle App for Mac - handy now and again to be able to download a kindle book and read it.

6  The Leaky Cauldron - always enjoy this site...  yep I am a Harry Potter fan but then who isn't?

7  What Should I Read Next?  - useful ideas...  not that I don't already have a monster to be read pile...

8  Audible UK - I love listening to audio books when I am busy doing other things...

I was running out of ideas at this point... when I decided to look at other people's top 10's and immediately joined up for these two...

9  StumbleUpon - I love the whole concept of this site... going to be back lots of times...

10  Audiobooksync - cool... great to find out about these free audio book downloads now rather than at the end of the summer...  downloaded Shiver which has been sitting in my to be read pile for too long and now I shall listen to it instead.

Now, I think I shall start listening to Shiver while I get on with some work...

Reading - a passion...

I am coming a little late to this book blogger hop because I have just started my completely unadulterated book related blog as I have enjoyed reading book related blogs for such a long time and suddenly wondered why I did not have one of my own.  

This question was set by Books and Reviews...

"When did you realize reading was your passion and a truly important part of your life?"

This is a cool question.  Reading was important to me when I was very small and looked forward to the arrival of the library van.  That was so exciting.  Especially when they had changed the selection of books and there were lots of new titles to look through and choose from but I was probably too young to realise the extent of the addiction.  Then in my teenage years when I would doze off at 5am having spent the night propped up on my pillow under the duvet with a torch reading a book that I just couldn't put down.  Struggling through school the next day bleary eyed.  Signs of obsession were starting to show.  When I got married 13 years ago and the first thing that my new husband had to help me with was the re-assembly of all my bookcases that had lived around the walls of my bedroom along with the moving of countless boxes of books none of which I felt I could part with.  13 years on, bookcases line walls in all the 3 bedrooms, the lounge and snug on every topic that appeals to me - reading obsessions include gardening, patchwork, drawing, web design, photography, sewing, knitting, creative writing, biography, autobiography, natural history and history not to mention the thousands of novels from classics to fantasy that continue to draw me into their worlds like a magnet.  I don't think I ever really came to a realization that reading and books were important they  just gradually took over my life and my world.  
Afterall I can learn anything if I have the right book or 10.

Monday, 27 June 2011

How many books inhabit my To-Be-Read pile?...

Book Blogger Hop

I have never taken part in book memes because my blog Nicolette's Notebook is mainly devoted to photographs, walks and crafts, so I decided that I would like to start a separate book blog.  This will have thoughts about books I am reading.  Themes I am mulling over for my creative writing and inspiring quotes and links that I come across and find interesting.

The Book Blogger Hop often poses interesting and thought provoking questions.  However, this particular question made me laugh out loud.


How many books are currently in your To Be Read (TBR) pile?

After all, I live in a house that has at least one book case in every room including the attic (exceptions being the bathroom and kitchen where I find steam and paper do not go hand in hand).

Our small bedroom has been nicknamed the book room and has a lovely blue futon sofa bed (very comfy to lounge on when relaxing with a great book to read) but has long since ceased to be used as a spare bed as it cannot be opened out de to the number of bookshelves that now line the walls.

Now and again I ponder the issue of rehoming some books that I think I may no longer want but I invariably regret such rash actions.

I have books on many diverse topics both in fiction and non fiction but particular favourites are biographies, history, creative writing, fantasy novels, mythology, folklore, classics and the natural world.

So many books.  Many read.  Many more waiting to be read.

Imaginary and real worlds hidden between colourful covers.  All of which I fully intend to explore and lose myself in as I turn the pages and disappear into exciting and diverse emotional landscapes.

In answer to the question above

too many to be counted.

My mum taught me to read when I was 2 1/2 and by the time I started school the week before my 4th birthday I had already read al the reading books for primary 1.

The highlight of my world when I was tiny was the arrival of the mobile library van which pulled into the parking area just beyond our gates.  Climbing the steps to a peaceful retreat of bookshelves filled with books.  My excitement building for the books I would be able to read and choose from.  The impossible decision to be made on which books to borrow until the next time.