Today’s Special Project. Sometimes, I think I go a bit far with things. My mother used to say that, “You always go too far with things and then get fed up. This’ll just be another fad.” That was after I gave up tap dancing and wanted to join the Brownies.
Anyway, on with the show.
Total number of books owned:
I’m an INTJ – this gives me a great opportunity for some cataloguing
126 Books of Music (didn’t count individual sheet music sheets as pile is too muddled and would cause distress)
59 Play scripts (some repeated)
36 Trashy novels (left behind by friends, of course)
56 Rather more worthy novels (mostly unread)
52 Angst-ridden teens/twenties exercise-book diaries (mine)
35 Leadership/Management etc
26 Books for children (including 8 Harry Potters)
33 Poetry books
29 Theatre Programmes
21 Cooking/Food/Miracle Diets (fat lot of good they’ve done)
20 Books on creative arts
15 Worthy books about theatre/literature
15 Reference (inc Dictionaries etc)
13 Self Improvement (see above re Cooking/Food/Miracle Diets)
10 Games and creative play (What larks, Pip!)
9 Photograph Albums
9 Granta (all unread)
8 Travel and places
7 Quotations Books
7 Religion (inc. Bible)
4 Uplifting (Chicken Soup etc)
3 On how to snare a man/husband/lover
I’m not sure what the total is. I’m more of a reader than a mathematician.
The last book I bought: Digital Photography for Dummies and HTML in Easy Steps (which is a nightmare). This is two separate books bought together. Both impulse buys and both next to useless.
The last book I read: Rosie (simple English novel for English simpletons) by Alan Titchmarsh (TV gardener turned raunchy novelist. V. Sexy). It’s taking me ages and keeping me from getting onto Hitchhikers Guide.
Five books that mean a lot to me:
I failed – you get six. I’d be hopeless on Desert Island Discs.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle – Because it filled my head with the daft notion that one day, having eaten and eaten and eaten, I would wake up suddenly beautiful. It taught me that books can lie sometimes.
The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald – Because when I was a little girl, my Dad had a piano album of songs from the film and we used to sing them together. When I was a bit older, I learnt to play some of them myself. Later, I saw the film. And then I read the book and knew that one day I would experience love like that.
When a friend asked me what I wanted to do for my thirtieth birthday, I said that I would like my closest friends to gather together for an all-day-reading of Gatsby. She thought I was bonkers, so we had a buffet and some wine instead.
Maybe by my fortieth, I’ll have calmer and more intellectual friends.
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens – Because it filled my head with thoughts that one day a mysterious benefactor would roll up.
My Dad and my Grandad were mad on Dickens. It was the only fiction that my Dad ever read with any sense of interest. When I was really little, he would always sit and talk with me when I went to bed. Not ordinary storybook stories that other kids got, but proper conversations about science and psychology and things. And when he was reading Oliver Twist, he would read a bit one night and the following night would relay the story to me.
But this one is my favourite because it’s the first one I read myself, I can never remember what happens at the end and there are so many twists and turns that all get tied up so neatly (I can remember that, even if I can’t remember exactly what they are).
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 and Three Quarters by Sue Townsend – Because this is how all this started. I got this book for my 13th Birthday.
15 days later, I wrote my first diary entry (on paper, with it being the olden days and everything).
Forever by Judy Blume – Because it seemed so dangerously erotic when we were passing it around class and causing it to fall to pieces due to repeated readings of page 79 .
I lost my original copy for a while, and I bought a new one about 6 years ago on an afternoon outing to Buxton. I sat in a pub and read it through, crying as I remembered how it had made me feel and how simple everything was then.
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee – Because… This is the one that’s hardest to explain. Indescribably moving, thought-provoking. Everyone should read it, particularly people who poke fun at people who aren’t like themselves.
About three people had given me copies of this, telling me that it really was a ‘must read’. Being headstrong, I didn’t believe them and carried on reading what I’d always read. And then one week I was ill with ‘flu and had to stay in bed. I finally caved in and read it because there was nothing else to read, and I wondered then why I’d never listened to my friends’ recommendations.
My best friend calls me Boo Radley sometimes.