Hrrm. I’ve apparently been Book Tagged by my twit of a friend named Shane. To quote the Black Knight “Right. I’ll do you for that!”
Guess that means I should stop surfing porn and trundle along like a good-natured sheep and answer ze questions.
1. How many books do you own?
At a guess, as all of my books are currently in boxes somewhere awaiting delivery to my current abode, I’ll ballpark it at close to 900 if not more. Divided roughly into about 100 Hardcovers, 400 or so paperbacks and the rest as RPG gaming manuals (assorted HC and SC alike). Most of my books are of the Fantasy genre, but I also have a small collection of Science Fiction authors as well as a smattering of great literary works. If we include my comic collection, because that is still an extremely valid form of literature (despite what some may think), then the collection jumps to near 2500 items. (surprising that even after being part owner in a comic store, my collection is so small).
2. What is the latest book you bought?
The last book which I was given was “Inkheart” by Cornelia Funke. The last books that I paid money for were “The Last of The Sun” by Guy Gavriel Kay, “Sabriel”, “Lirael”, and “Abhorsen” by Garth Nix. And the last book I pilfered was “Teachings of Buddha” from a hotel room in Maui. Yeah, I’m well aware I’ve got a fairly large part of some karmic hell reserved for me for that one… It’s not the first of my transgressions. It won’t be the last.
3. What is the last book you read?
Everything in the previous question except “Inkheart” which I’ve just started and “Teachings of Buddha” which I read ages ago. To quote an oft heard adage
Some books should be tasted
but only a few
should be chewed and digested thoroughly
4. Which 5 books mean a lot to you?
In no particular order…
Because he was (is) the quintessential master of his field and an all around interesting guy whose life touched many others, I’m going to go with “The Tao of Jeet Kune Do” by Bruce Lee. It isn’t just a martial arts handbook but also is a philosophical guidebook to personal growth and inner wisdom. And no one should allow that part of themselves to wither. Be like water… truer words have yet to be spoken.
While we’re on a Zen philosophy trend, I’m going to throw out the aforementioned “Teachings of Buddha” as another influential book in my life because although I’m not a deeply spiritual guy, alternate philosophies appeal to me and the Eastern ones moreso than most. There is nothing more noble than to strive to better oneself, whichever path you take.
I suspect a lot of you are thinking that I’ll say “The Lord of The Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien as one of my big influences. After all, what young child with an overactive imagination and an appetite for books wouldn’t list it at some point; and you’d be correct… if this was a Top Ten list. As it is only a Top Five list though, I’m going to have to go with “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis, a contemporary of Tolkien, as a bigger influence on me during my formative years. Narnia is what taught me to imagine, to puzzle, to think outside the scope of my early school texts. From there I moved on to greater works and more stories. For that I will be ever grateful to Tumnus the faun, the White Witch, The Pevensies (Peter, Susan, Edmond and Lucy), Prince Caspian and Reepicheep, the Dufflepuds and of course… Aslan. Further in, and higher up…
Hrrrm. I can’t honestly pick just one title by Neil Gaiman as an influence as doing so seems so unfair to all the others. Therefore I shall pick the collective works of Neil Gaiman as an influence because they have all influenced me in some great form or fashion. From “The Sandman” where I learned to dream on a scale never before imagined, to “Stardust” which reminded me of my journeys in Narnia, to “American Gods” where I learned that all things are fallible… even gods. The list goes on and on with each new work and each new word.
And finally, the “Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set”(The old red box with the Jeff Easley red dragon on the cover) by Gary Gygax, Dave Arneson and various others for teaching me how to make my dreams, visions and nightmares take on a more solid form. They were who taught me that by binding your fantasies within rules and cryptic guidelines, you make them stronger and more tangible. They become worlds unto themselves where many stories are born, live and grow old. Nothing ever dies though, dreams never do.
5. Spread the virus to some more deserving Bloggers…
(Apologies if you have been previously tagged)
I plan on infecting my wife with this virus as well as my friend, Felicia. I will also infect my friends Jon(Truth) and Tom(Fool) if and when they get off their arses and create useful blogs that I can comment in without issue.