Sunday Salon: Book Collection

This week I read Wanted, The Perfect Scent, and yesterday, I finished Stephenie Meyer’s The Host. The review will be up tomorrow. I know I said last week that I would finish Gilead, and I did read a couple pages before I had to return it to the library. I know. Once I get it back, I will finish it ASAP.

Today, I am starting Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food. It’s going to be a very nonfiction-y June.

Possible reads for the coming week include Philip Pullman’s new companion to the His Dark Materials trilogy Once Upon a Time in the North, The Best American Travel Writing 2007, Anil’s Ghost, Beloved, The Name of the Rose, and the plethora of nonfiction I have on loan from the library at the moment.

Yesterday, I went to a book fair. I love book fairs because part of the reason I own so few books (for a bibliophile) is due to the fact that new books can be very expensive. It’s the best deal when shopping to find a good condition used books. I usually stick to buying trade or soft cover paperbacks because they are light, usually cheaper than hardcovers, but have much better quality in paper.

The Book Collection That Devoured My Life is an article by author Luc Sante about his own collection and musings about book acquirement. Though, I do not think I will ever obsess about acquiring books as he says many people do, I have been learning to procure books at a more furious rate. I would say half my collection of books has been gained in the last couple of years. I just did not buy books all that much a few years ago. Mostly because of economics. I will always continue to buy used books, trawl book fairs and second hand stores, but if my financial situation were to allow, I would love to buy more new books. I revel in the idea of having a study wall to wall with my books. Indeed, books are so much part of my life and my sanctuary. I have to admit they are good interior decoration in many rooms. It is true, I have not read many of the books I own. I use to only buy books that I have read (and rarely reread), but now, I buy books mostly because I want to read them as my book haul will show below.

Project 86/365 - Book Fair Haul

Thirteen books for $10. It was a decent booty of books, but not the best. I think I should have gotten more, but I kept wondering around after awhile. My haul with notes as follows:

  1. Howards End by E. M. Forster – The only book in this list that I have actually read; I love it.
  2. Voyager by Diana Gabaldon – Third in the Outlander series. I just took out the second from the library. They had a really nice Outlander edition; in retrospect, I should have gotten it.
  3. Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon – Fourth in the Outlander series. Now I really don’t need to take them out of the libraries. Since these are mass market paperbacks, I can transport with them too.
  4. Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver – I bought The Poisionwood Bible from another book fair last year, but have not read it. Many people recommended PS to me after I read Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.
  5. Bel Canto by Ann Pratchett – Two people recommended this to me on allconsuming.net; I’ve heard mixed reviews from this on the blogsphere criticising this book as boring so I’m unsure if it was worth it. We’ll just have to see.
  6. Possession by A. S. Byatt – My friend liked it. It’s a Booker winner.
  7. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie – Another Booker. Hilariously, there is a label on the book that says “NOT Satanic Verses”. This book also has one of those personal handwritten notes you find in used books: “To David, Happy 47th Birthday, Love Denice.”
  8. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant – Now I can stop taking out the library’s copy. Also recommended by a couple people on this blog as I selected it for What’s in a Name challenge.
  9. The God of Small Things by Arunhdahti Roy – I did not need to get this as I have my friend’s copy to read for challenges, but I wanted to own it just in case I’ll like it. Though it does not seem to be the type of book I’d reread often from what I read of the synopsis. Also a Booker prize winner.
  10. The Complete Poems and Plays by T. S. Eliot – I like Eliot. This was for my Book Awards Challenge, but I doubt I’ll be able to read it at all by the end of the month. But it’s good to have.
  11. Walt Whitman Selected Poems – Ah, Walt Whitman. I’ve had a thing for you since Cunningham’s Specimen Days.
  12. John Keats Lyric Poems – Totally spur of the moment. I think I’ll like Keats.
  13. William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience – I love Blake.

The Booker prize winners are well represented in this group. At the last book fair I went to, I was searching for Pulitizers which I usually like. I wanted to buy a French book or two, but the selection was not as wide.

I forgot to write in this week’s Booking Through Thursday one thing I did not read a lot when I was younger and now I do is poetry. I always liked Shakespeare, but I was not really interested in poetry or poets until my late teens and into university.

Hmm. I should really learn to reread books. But first, I should read the books that I own but have never read. The life of a bibliophile is never over or dull really.

Have a good week.

Literary Links:

bbkeepr – tracks reading using twitter

10 Obscure, Thought Provoking Reads – A couple of these books are genuinely obscure, but Nabokov’s Lolita is on the list at #9. Really? I know that we bookworms are a rare bunch in the bigger scheme, but is Lolita really obscure. I would also argue that Slaughterhouse Five is not so much obscure as as a modern cult classic. I refuse to read Anne Rice again.

A Glossary of Rhetorical Terms with Examples