Saturday, June 04, 2005

A book meme 

When Bakerina tagged me for this book meme, I wrote most of a response. Then I went to California on business, and spent most of yesterday in the Oakland airport trying - unsuccessfully for quite a while - to get home. As a result of this delay, my responses changed somewhat.

Total number of books I've owned: Around two thousand, I'd guess. My rough estimate of the books in our house at the moment (based on averaging a couple of typical shelves and multiplying by number of shelves) is 1200-1300. While some of these books technically belong to Paul, Washington is a community property state, so I'm including them. I've moved around a lot since college, and have shed books with each move. Of course, I'm always adding books as well. I imagine that I have parted with at least as many books as I now own.

I don't believe that one can have too many books. However, one can definitely have too few bookshelves, and we do.

The last book I bought: Kathy Reich's Monday Mourning, in the Oakland airport yesterday, an hour after learning that my flight had been delayed.

I've been remarkably restrained in my book-buying recently. Prior to yesterday's purchase, I last bought books at a couple of author readings that I attended in mid-April! They were Sight Hound by Pam Houston, Bread Alone by Judith Ryan Hendricks, and the Macrina Bakery and Café Cookbook. I have not yet read either Sight Hound or Bread Alone; they have taken their places in the queue. (This does not mean that they will be read in the order received; I'm not nearly that systematic when it comes to reading.) You may ask Bakerina what she thinks of the Macrina Bakery and Café Cookbook; it went directly to her. (Make that 151 cookbooks in her collection.)

The last book I read: Kathy Reich's Monday Mourning, in the Oakland airport, on the plane from Oakland to Portland, and in the Portland airport. I would have finished in on the flight from Portland to Seattle, except that I had an interesting aisle-mate and a complimentary glass of cabernet. I finished the book within an hour of getting home last night. Reichs' mysteries featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan are easy, engaging reads - perfect for a long day in an airport. I bought that book just after finishing Amanda Hesser's charming cookbook cum love story, Cooking for Mr. Latte, which I had thought would last me all the way home.

Five books that mean a lot to me: There are many more than five books that are important to me. These are the first five that came to mind, in the order in which I read them:
1. Misty of Chincoteague (and Sea Star and King of the Wind and...) all by Marguerite Henry.
2. Rilke on Love and Other Difficulties: Translations and Considerations of Rainer Maria Rilke by John J.L. Mood.
3. A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander.
4. A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines.
5. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott.

You want to know why these books mean a lot to me? More on that later.

Tag 5 people and have them fill this out on their blogs:
1. my sister Melanie, in case she's reading anything other than picture books these days;
2. my blog daughter Erin, whose taste in music and food I know much better than her taste in books;
3. nina of nina turns 40, who promised not to read the books I've lent her in the bathtub;
4. Cowtown Pattie of Texas Trifles, who had very interesting responses to the last book meme in which she participated;
5. Isabella of Magnificent Octopus, whose writing about the books she is reading always interests me.