CollectionsYour library (1,459), To read (37), Early Reviewer Copy (14), Favorites (117), audiobooks (1), Borrowed/Unowned (4), All collections (1,459)
Tagsfiction (1,111), crime fiction (310), non-fiction (282), fantasy fiction (242), classic (169), horror (128), illustrated (126), favourite (113), humour (104), science fiction (98) — see all tags
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About meA book should be an axe to break the frozen sea within us - Franz Kafka
There's nothing I don't love about books. I love the comforting excitement of a bookshop, hands darting here and there among the spines, like a fish in a coral reef, the chance to surreptitiously eye other people's choices for something undiscovered, the simple act of standing amidst so many books a sheer privilege.
I love the names of publishers. I run my eye along the bookshelf; Hodder and Stoughton, Abacus, Picador, Penguin, Bantam, Harper Collins, Vintage. I imagine them as cathedrals dedicated to the discovery of great writing, their founders and employees as literary bloodhounds and guardians. I love illustrated plates and photographs, diagrams, line drawings, typography, and what they do to the atmosphere of a book. I love graphic novels and well-illustrated children's books. Most of them are so strange.
I love the solid feel of a book in my hands, and the pliability of those soft paperbacks that don't crease along the spine. I love book covers; vivid, contemporary, eye-catching, sleek and formal, and fine-bound rarities made to hold and touch before opening. A book cover can be an enigmatic clue or an abstract imagery to the contents, or a story unto itself. I love book titles, flash-fire summaries of an entire work; One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, The Sound and the Fury, This Book is Full of Spiders. I love reading blurbs, recommendations, reviews, first lines, weighing up whether this or that one is my next choice. I love grabbing them wholesale and taking home a stack; acquiring and shelving and owning them. When I run out of money, I fill my online basket and wish-lists with titles that I might never see in real life.
I love second-hand books that have belonged to other people for a time and then found their way to me. I like notations and underlinings (though I won't do that myself) and lightly worn edges. You can wonder where a book has been and then discover where it took its last reader. I like quotes and fan-fiction, I like the connection you get with someone when you've read the same story, even when you've both taken away something entirely different. I love that complete strangers can share imaginary worlds with one another.
I love bookmarks; little strips of artwork, old receipts, theatre tickets, corners of envelopes, post-it notes, leaflets touting their cause or propaganda silently to the pages they're stuck between. I love bookshelves; giant furniture built to house dreams and knowledge. Even the most cobbled-together plank-and-brick affair becomes beautiful when charged with lines of books. I like seeing untidy piles in unlikely places, and I want to know, down to the last title, what books are in the stack by your bed.
Above all, I love reading... picking up a book and immersing myself in a world, a place and time that exists purely because of marks on a page. I love learning and imagining, in equal measure. I love playful authors who enjoy using words, and smart authors who make words work hard, and inspired authors who transmute words into pure story. I love knowing the authors who will write what I want to read before I pick up their next book, and new, untried authors, whose voice I haven't heard yet. I love how your relationship with a book can last a lifetime or the ten minutes it takes you to put it down in disgust. I love being gone from the moment I open the cover, to putting the book down in astonishment or sorrow or transported delight. I love how books can get you through the worst times in your life by giving you somewhere else to be for an hour, or a day.
I love how you are never alone in a book.
About my libraryMy [arbitrary, fluid] List of [around] Top Twenty Favourite Works of Fiction
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesey
The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
Villette - Charlotte Bronte
Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
Legend - David Gemmell
The Waiting Game - Bernice Rubens
The Dark Tower series - Stephen King
The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
The Cider House Rules - John Irving
Nobody's Fool - Richard Russo
Bleak House - Charles Dickens
Guards! Guards! - Terry Pratchett
The ABC Murders - Agatha Christie
Regeneration - Pat Barker
Revelation - C. J. Sansom
The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson
The Chrysalids - John Wyndham
Lady Audley's Secret - Mary Elizabeth Braddon
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
We Need to Talk about Kevin - Lionel Shriver
Florence and Giles - John Harding
Wastelands - John Joseph Adams (Editor)
GroupsAgatha Christie, Bookcases: If You Build/Buy Them, They Will Fill, Crime, Thriller & Mystery, Dystopian novels, Early Reviewers, King's Dear Constant Readers, Science Fiction Fans, The Attolian Conspiracy
Favorite authorsIsaac Asimov, Jean M. Auel, Jane Austen, Iain M. Banks, Pat Barker, John Betjeman, Ray Bradbury, Lewis Carroll, Agatha Christie, Roald Dahl, Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle, Gerald Durrell, Stephen Fry, Neil Gaiman, David Gemmell, Thomas Harris, Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, Kazuo Ishiguro, Ken Kesey, Stephen King, Jeff Lindsay, Jack London, A. A. Milne, Elizabeth Moon, Terry Pratchett, J. B. Priestley, Bernice Rubens, Richard Russo, Patrick Süskind, Shaun Tan, Andrew Taylor, Dylan Thomas, H. G. Wells, Joss Whedon, Oscar Wilde, P. G. Wodehouse (Shared favorites)
Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway
Account typepublic, lifetime
Member sinceJan 30, 2007