Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Old Books and Old Loves

This weekend I spent some time cleaning and organizing my bookshelves at home. The bookshelf gods are kind to me. I have a lot of extra space to fill in after recently culling my collection. Some books are part of my permanent collection because they're favorites/collectors that I don't want to give away and then there are some I don't miss because I got them free from other people or they're good, but not worthy of staying in my home next to the Clive Barker section. Besides, books are meant to be shared with good friends and family. I used to keep every book I got, but then I ran out of room. Now, if I don't pass along good reads to other people, I donate them to my library for their fundraising sales. Either way, the books get a second or third life and I get the chance to go book shopping -- not a bad deal, except for my wallet. My poor, poor wallet. Oh well!

I came across some of my favorites I hadn't visited in awhile that old boyfriends had shared with me. At least they were good for something besides a few nights of tears and ice cream; they expanded my reading scope and opened whole new worlds to me when I was younger. I thank them for sending me off in the direction of my current writing today.

Here's a short list of books that shaped me in my late teens and early twenties:

1) Clive Barker's Imajica -- Until this point, I hadn't read any really dark fantasy authors, just horror.

2) The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield -- Not fiction, but it sure has made me look closer at coincidences in my life. It's philosophy, but the stories to illustrate it are fiction.

3) Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Persig -- I have to admit this one took me four tries to actually finish. It's philosophically dense. I've read the first half four times and the last half once.

4) Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's American Gods -- This book led me to a bunch of new authors and opened my horizons greatly in the fantasy genre. It also introduced me to Discworld, a true love of mine.

5) Douglas Adams Hitchhiker's Trilogy -- I don't know why I avoided reading this one for so many years, actually. I would have enjoyed it in high school, but that was my Stephen King only phase for a while.

6) Ray Bradbury's The Golden Apples of the Sun -- I'd read Ray Bradbury my Freshman year in high school, but wasn't too impressed with most of the stories I read. Then I got this one as a gift one year and realized my tastes had changed. Now he is a favorite. I even have an autographed copy of Dandelion Wine, which I would save from a fire before any diamonds. It's that precious!

What books did your exes introduce to you?

As always, happy writing and happy reading to all!

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