Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Book Meme

I read about this on Bub&Pie but since she didn't actually tag me I suppose that it should orginate from the open invitation on Mom-NOS's page.

Total Number of Books Owned:

This figure is rather high although I am not sure the exact number. I have collected books since I was a little girl and then went onto to read English at university followed by 2 years of law school. I have sold one of them. That leaves a lot of books.

They're not all at my present flat though. That would be silly. My long suffering parents allowed me to leave the majority of my childhood books at their house. I brought a few of them with me to London for those dark nights or winter afternoons which are only satisfied by an Arthur Ransome tale or something by Noel Streatfield. Occasionally I will crave a book from the Jinny series by Patricia Leitch and I have been known to re-read Drina Ballerina in bed having sneaked the book into my handbag on a visit home.

The majority of my books from my degree are also at home. I've found my need for Beginning Theory or Seven types of Ambiguity rather more limited now I am working. Although as I write that I do remember that Beginning Theory was another book carried off in my handbag to fill a railway journey back into London. I would estimate that there are two 4 shelf bookcases full of books from my degree, one bookcase of childhood books (including an entire shelf of Sweet Valley High - all bought from jumblesales and second hand shops when 11&12) and another bookshelf of miscellaneous books from which I read when 'at home' and smuggle back to my London flat.

The books which are at my flat in London are in three main categories: law books which take up a bookcase all on their own, a bookcase comprised of 10 wooden wine crates which are arranged by colour and contain a mixture of novels and reference books and a large box under the dining room table which contains poetry and novels which did not fit into the wine crates. One day I may count them and if I do I will update this post.

Last book read:

There are three different interpretations of this question:

1. Book currently reading: At present I am reading Angela Huth's Land Girls and have read 67 pages on the tube on the way to work this morning. When work is particularly busy I crave satisfying but relatively easy reads. Sometimes I will re-read favoured novels to fill this. I am unsure as to whether I have read this book before as I removed it from my sister's bookcase two weekends ago and I have also seen the film.

Before long a link will become apparent - one of my favourite genres is stories about women (in various capacities) on the home front in the Second World War.

2. Book last read (including re-reads): The last book which I read was Nevil Shute's Pastoral. I was unsure as to whether this counted as I have read this book many times and never fail to love the story. It charts the story of a WAAF Signals Officer and a RAF pilot stationed together on an RAF base in Oxfordshire during, yes, the Second World War.

3. Book last read (for the first time): This comes down to three answers - a frivilous chick-lit book which a friend lent me last weekend and which I read in bed on the Sunday night. So meaningful was the storyline that I can only just remember the plotline and I cannot remember either the title or the author. The other two were JK Rowling's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Rachel North's Out of the Tunnel but I cannot remember in which order I read them. I think HP is probably the most recent book which I have read for the first time (and I have also re-read it too!)

Last Book Bought:

This would be either JK Rowling's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows or Rachel North's Out of the Tunnel as I already own or have 'borrowed' in various forms the other books I have read recently. I don't tend to buy a huge number of books and even less of those books are new as I own so many and am so short on funds. If I could have unlimited funds to buy books however I would have bought Esther Freud's Hideous Kinky and all the remaining Libby Purves books last time I was browsing in a book shop.

Five Meaningful Books:

Arthur Ransome's Pigeon Post is probably my favourite book of all time. It is not particularly meaningful in some ways but will always mean a huge amount to me.

The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje was a book which I first read when I was 15 and captivated my imagination. I had never really read about love affairs outside of marriage in such a way before nor experienced the kind of love which Count Almaasy has for Katherine. I could really see in my mind's eye (and later the film) Katherine lying in the cave writing in Almaasy's copy of Herodotus that the light was becoming dimmer and soon it would be out, knowing that she was going to die there in that cave. I didn't want to die like that but I did want to know what that kind of love felt like.

Ok. That is two but lunchtime is over so I will return later to finish my list and tag some people!

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