My Home Library, the meme

The blog The Library and Step On It has created an interesting meme asking a bunch of questions about personal libraries. Here are my thoughts on my own book collection…

1. “The System” – My filing system is non-existent, based simply on where I can find space to shelve or stack my books. Getting my books in order is a project for some other decade.
2. Favorite female writer – Karen Armstrong
3. Favorite male writer – Haruki Murakami
4. Bought on location (where the writer lived, the book takes place, the movie adaptation was shot) – Chum Mey, Survivor (purchased from the author at the Tuol Sleng prison in Phnom Penh where he was held and tortured for years by the Khmer Rouge)
5. The largest and the smallest book you own – Romio Shrestha, Celestial Gallery: Mandalas and Meditations (largest by height and width); The International Cyclopedia of Music and Musicians (largest by thickness); Alastair Brotchie, A Book of Surrealist Games (smallest)
6. Complete works of one author – Shakespeare, three times over
7. Favorite poetry collection – David Hinton (ed.), Classical Chinese Poetry: An Anthology
8. Favorite biography – Stephen Larsen and Robin Larsen, Joseph Campbell: A Fire in the Mind
9. Favorite cookbook – Vegetarian Times Complete Cookbook
10. Favorite graphic novel – R. Crumb, David Zane Mairowitz, and Richard Appignanesi, Kafka (a graphic biography rather than novel)
11. A book you didn’t understand at all – Russell Hoban, Riddley Walker (liked, but definitely had trouble with the language)
12. “One of these things is not like the others” (inconsistent editions within a series) – N/A
13. Best bargain – The Riverside Shakespeare (used, for $5)
14. Most recent purchase – Dick Davis (trans.), Faces of Love: Hafez and the Poets of Shiraz
15. Favorite lay-out design – Thomas Christensen, 1616: The World in Motion
16. Book you bought because of the title – Haruki Murakami, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (the first book of his I purchased and read)
17. Book you bought because of the cover design – I don’t buy books because of their covers
18. Multiple translations of the same work – Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina (three translations)
19. Multiple copies of the same work – The complete works of Shakespeare in three different editions
20. The funniest book you own – Kingsley Amis, Lucky Jim
21. The most expensive book you own – Shakespeare and A.L. Rowse, The Annotated Shakespeare
22. A recurring interest/theme – History of religions
23. A book you read so many times that it fell apart – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
24. A book you think everyone should read – I can think of many, but will go with Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces
25. A book that made you cry – Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, The Palace of Illusions (the ending in particular)
26. A book you would prescribe for an aspiring author – Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
27. A cover design you hate – I don’t have feelings about cover designs, good or bad
28. A book that was a waste of your time – I’ve never read a book that was a complete waste of time
29. Favorite book from your childhood – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
30. The book with the most pages in your collection – The International Cyclopedia of Music and Musicians (2,610 pages)

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