Post the Biography of Your Personal Library!

Extollager

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Tell the story of the beginning of your personal library and how it grew, what its strengths are, what some of the unusual books in your collection are, intersections of your books and your life, etc. Have you had to move your library multiple times, possibly with losses?

In a new essay in Portable Storage, I've gone into a lot of detail and came up with a count of my books and an estimate of how much I have spent on books in over 50 years.


The article begins on page 36.
 
Well, well. Michael Dirda mentioned my library biography article in his Books column in the Washington Post.

What bookstores and the literary life contribute to ... life​

A stack of new books illuminates the wonder of printed books — writing them, buying them, reading them​

Review by Michael Dirda

...I particularly enjoyed scholar Dale Nelson’s history of his personal library, which concludes with a list of his most often reread books, headed by C.S. Lewis’s “Out of the Silent Planet” (16 times).----


---I hope some Chronsfolk will write about their personal libraries here. It's like introducing a friend.
 
I've always been a collector of the Star Wars books, lately just the hardbacks. As a teenager, my library consisted of movie Tie-In books and collected 2000AD comics. My library really started to get going in the 90's when i joined the Science Fiction book club. As a young man, it was a wonderful period of discovery and It introduced me to authors such as Terry Pratchett, Iain M. Banks, Alistair Reynolds and Peter F. Hamilton. As a Security Officer, the fact that i worked nights meant that i had a lot of opportunity to read.

Lately, my library has slowed down somewhat as i'm a Kindle user and will only add physical books to my collection if and when i come across something that i enjoyed very much. Recently that's been Dan Abnett, Adrian Tchaikovsky and Neal Asher.

I have a library of perhaps 500 physical hardback books and maybe the same again in Star Wars books. Space is an issue.

I want to go back and collect the Iain M. Banks first editions.
 
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I like books, and then I married a book addict.... but, to be honest, we have culled our personal libraries a lot in order to stock the shop when we opened (we knew we planned to do this when we bought many of the books, it wasn't a wrench).

The books that made the cull never, ever, to be sold in the shop were:

A signed by Jenny Agutter Railway Children
A first edition signed Good Omens
A very old battered copy of Dune Messiah. Also old battered copies of The Snow Goose and V because it's hard to get.
Lots of nice Irish poetry books, many signed by the likes of Michael Longley.
A copy of Le Morte D'Arthur given to me by my brother, inscribed by him in a humourous and long-winded fashion. He passed away this year so it's now even more firmly in the save-in-a-fire category
Maps in a Mirror by Scott Card as it's a nice edition.

Now, we save books for our pension. Investments have such low returns that we decided to put the money into things we like more. So we have a lovely folio society edition of Ulysses and one of Aurora Australis - Shackleton is of big interest here. There are also many, many books in the shop that we would be very happy never to sell. :D
 
To be honest, I have quite a few poetry books in my collection, mainly contemporary, however I do have a few classics. I do have some classical literature, mainly Charles Dickens in hardback. I always have a couple of J. R. R. Tolkien The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Recently I have acquired Ursula le Guin's Earthsea Saga in hardback. I have some Anniversary editions of the Peanuts cartoons in hardback.

Sadly I gave away a couple John Buchan hardbacks The Complete Richard Hannay and the Complete Edward Leithen. I regret giving them away.
 
Hi Jo. I'm very impressed with your collection.

Personally, i'm not sure if i have anything as exquisite as the volumes you mentioned. I think my favourite book in my library is my first edition of Iain M. Banks's The Player of Games. It's been my favourite book since i read it in the 90s. I'm hoping the folio society does an edition.
 
Hi Jo. I'm very impressed with your collection.

Personally, i'm not sure if i have anything as exquisite as the volumes you mentioned. I think my favourite book in my library is my first edition of Iain M. Banks's The Player of Games. It's been my favourite book since i read it in the 90s. I'm hoping the folio society does an edition.
They do gorgeous editions of some sci fi titles. Banks must be a possible for them :)
 

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