I died for your sins, so accordingly, here are some inane musings to contemplate...

Friday, October 03, 2008


I'm a reader. There I said it. Not a particularly good or well-read one, but a reader I am nonetheless.

I read more than some and less than others. I would say I'm a slow and inconsistent reader as it can take me 3 weeks to read a 350 page novel or a weekend to read a 900 page novel. I guess it just depends on how interested I am in the novel and also the social pressures that being a beer drinker puts on me during that particular time.

And like some, I like to buy my books and keep hold of them. Until recently the majority of books went into piles in the bottom of my cupboard due to the fact of not having many bookshelves, however this has recently been (mostly) rectified with a move of house and thanks to a meme found over at Speculative Horizons I thought I might post up a few pictures of my wonderful collection of fantasy and sci-fi novels.

So to the left we have a pic of the whole shebang - not a huge collection but I love it all the same. I was worried about the heater/air-con unit above the bookcases having a detrimental effect on the books but it doesn't seem to have had any effects during the heat blasting through winter.

I order the books pretty randomly although they are sorted into series' by author and of course publishing or possibly reading order within that.

There are a few missing (and I'll note where) due to borrowing by friends or my bro'. Also there are more on an old bookshelf in my room that aren't really my favourites but I have kept a hold of just for the hell of it. Still to decide if I'll keep them or send them off to the charity shop.

Those extra shelves you can see at the bottom left of screen were not needed and the price of them alone will buy me a whole new bookshelf to replace the old one in my room. So, onto the books!

(no linking, you can Google or Wikipedia stuff on your own if you are so inclined)

The top shelf has my two favourite series': George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire and Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen. The first Malazan book is on loan to a mate who won't appreciate it.

Next shelf we have the lovely Robin Hobb novels all of which I've liked, then the Joe Abercrombie series The First Law - brilliant series that I have had several friends read and thank me for recommending. Then Anderson's Saga of Seven Suns, must grab the last book although I think he's lost his way in the previous two novels of the series, but am happy to finish it.

Next is the Terry Pratchett shelf which is by no means complete - something I really must rectify as I absolutely adore all of his work.
Must ask Jack what he thought of Good Omens and make him return it to me...

Next shelf is a bit of a mixed bag (again with a few missing). Really liked the Bakker series, and at the top left are two books in Hugh Cook's Chronicles of an Age of Darkness - I read that series as a teenager and recently re-bought them all recently (bar the final book) and plan on re-reading them soon - at the moment this shelf is far more packed since taking this photo - I just can't stop buying books!

Next up we have what could be termed the "kids" shelf. John Marsden's Tomorrow series was just brilliant although I think he was flogging a dead horse with the Ellie Chronicles. I was totally against Harry Potter when he first became popular but then got sucked in and have read the series twice now - they're enjoyable and I am less of a reading snob these days - if that can be said of any person that reads almost exclusively in the fantasy genre.

Next to those are Guy Gavriel Kay's Fionovar Tapestry which I really didn't enjoy that much at all.

Bottom shelf of bookcase number 1 has some favourite Tad Williams with his Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy plus the Death Gate Cycle by Weis and Hickman. I've yet to read some of those Moorcock books on the far right that I picked up on the cheap about 12 years ago, I liked the thin ones in the middle.

I wasn't a fan of Williams' Otherland series but maybe I need to give it another go someday...

On to bookcase number 2 and the top shelf has Jordan's Wheel of Time all in Tor hardcover (except New Spring) plus Wurts and Feist's fantastic Empire Trilogy - my favourite of Feist's.

Next shelf is completely Feist where I need to grab a few of the first novels in hardcover to complete the collection.

Shelf 3 is mostly my "to read" shelf. I've read the fantastic Richard Morgan novels (love Takeshi Kovacs trilogy) and most of those on the right were enjoyable, especially Mary Gentle's Grunts!

The next two shelves feature some of my favourite classics of the genre - the required Tolkien (enjoyed but don't love), Eddings (he was a gun in the 80s and 90s and the Belgariad began my affair with fantasy), Gary Gygax (I re-read these Gord the Rogue novels every few years), McCaffrey's Pern series (truly a classic though have not read the newer ones in the last few years), and a mixed bag of Terry Brooks (who I can take or leave although the Elfstones of Shannara is still one of my most favourite books ever).

And last but not least the Sara Douglass shelf. There are a few books missing here as my brother has nicked them, but I really liked her Axis and Wayfarer Redemption trilogies. I think her best work is The Crucible quartet (not least because I am thanked along with others in The Wounded Hawk for helping out on her web site message board). I was not a fan of the Troy Game and have yet to try Darkglass Mountain - too many others to read before that!

So there you have it, about 90% of my collection. I used to own many, many more but during the mid-90s I had a bit of a clean out and traded in a bunch, I've also obviously read many more than what features here although those tended to be early days when I still bothered going to libraries. I like owning the books I read - good or bad - and ever since I found The Book Depository I've been buying more and more.

What I really need to do though is have a consistent reading habit. At the moment I mostly read on the tram to and from work and in front of the TV, all of which means I can get very distracted. What I need is a good reading chair with a side table for my beer and crisps that doesn't have a view of anything to distract me. Perhaps the next place I move to can have a spare room dedicated to this and other leisurely pursuits? We shall see...

Might do a post soon on my to read list - the novels that I plan to add to the collection and those I already bought.

No comments: