The Book Stops Here

I generally try to avoid these internet meme things but I’ll do this one about books and reading. Lia tagged me on this post. As you’ll soon see, I’ve got my own interpretation of the questions.

Number of books I own: I don’t know. I’ve never counted. I don’t think I’ll bother. For one thing, I’m not sure whether all of the audio books, ebooks, and such count. Especially since in some of those cases, it’s more a matter of being a licensee than an owner. I’d hazard a guess that the total is more than a few dozen and less than ten thousand.

But that doesn’t include collective ownership through marriage. And then there’s the issue of public domain works like the ones you can get at Project Gutenberg. On top of that, I got rid of most of my books, among other things, before we left for Japan. But here’s a solid number: 72 67. That’s the number of sketchbooks I have. Totalling over 7000 drawings. Mostly done between 1988 and 1996 1998. Note: edited after I checked my digitized copies of the book.

Last book I bought: Last week I ordered a couple of books from Amazon Japan, but I’m not telling which ones because Lia’s not supposed to officially find out until they arrive. I think the last purchase before that was a book of maps of Fukuoka Prefecture, so that I can cruise around the rural highways on my bike without worrying about getting too lost. The last magazine I bought was SpyMaster, which is a guide to Kyushu men’s fashion. I did not buy it for the articles. Nor the fashion advice. It’s all about the pictures, baby.

Last book I read: The above-mentioned map book. Though scrutinized would be a better description. At over a million words, I consider Neil Gaiman’s online journal to be the equivalent of several books rolled into one. A conscientious editor could probably extract tomes on writing, author-reader relations, travel, and internet memes. About two-and-a-half weeks ago I started reading the journal from the beginning—from circa 2001—and finished with the most recent post early last week.

Five books authors that mean a lot to me: I’m going to list authors rather than books because specific books don’t come to mind, mostly because I’ve read almost all of each authors entire oeuvre across genres. They’re listed alongside the approximate age I started reading their work.

  • Ursula K. Le Guin, 12
  • Kurt Vonnegut, 13
  • Douglas Adams, 14
  • Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu, 19 or 20 but I was immersed from a young age.
  • William Gibson, 20? 22? 25? Let’s just say early twenties.

Who’s next: No one. Like it says in the title, the book stops here. It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s gotta kill the meme.

One thought on “The Book Stops Here

  1. Ed – I’m really sorry that I didn’t get a chance to know you when you lived in Toronto. I know I would have enjoyed your wit and intelligence. I laughed several times during this post and your “about” page is hilariously witty.

    I’ve never read Neil Gaiman’s blog but I will check it out. I read a few too – I especially like James Wolcott. David Byrne’s is quite good too.

    P.S. I remember the “com” but odds are good, I probably forgot something else.

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