Total books owned, ever:
I'm really old so this may not be fair. Probably between 5,000 to 7,000. Many of my childhood books found new homes. I kept my college texts until this last move (you really don't want to know how long that was or rather I don't want to think about how long it was). I have around 150 medical books from school and pathology practice. These have had to be recycled as things became outdated. Then the kids books for my child, most are in storage right now. When I moved my things into storage, I found I had six boxes (medium) of Cookbooks and I didn't even COOK that much.
Last book(s) I bought:
With no income right now and a child in college I haven't bought books like I used to. I have started using the library. I did buy a few books this week for a baby gift. These included Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown; Blue Hat, Green Hat and Snuggle Puppy by Sandra Boynton; and Pat the Puppy by Edith Kunhardt Davis.
Last book I read:
The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens (audio book). I had to drive twelve hours to pick up my daughter from college (with all her stuff) and twelve hours back. Since I haven't been working for a while I decided to try and read some of the classic writers that had been pushed aside in favor of medical texts and journals. It took me a while to get into the listening but by the time I got to the 9th tape out of 16 I was hooked. It was great for a long trip especially now that I no longer have to play the Raffi tapes over and over.
Five books that mean a lot to me: I decided to split this up a bit and do one category for the books I loved for my child and those I loved personally.
Books that meant a lot to my child (and therefore me:
- Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. Actually any of her books, all are warm and wonderful but this one is special. I started reading it to Nyssa when she first came home from the hospital, every night as I rocked her to sleep. Besides Da-da and Ma-ma that you aren't quite sure are really words, her first word was "Moon". When I asked what she wanted to read before bed, she would say "moon". We read this book every night for five years and went through three copies from wear and tear. She finally got to the point she knew all the words by heart even though she couldn't read. This is part of my standard gift to new parents. It is never too early to start reading to them.
- Green Hat, Blue Hat by Sandra Boynton. Another standard, this one because it is so funny. The poor turkey has such a hard time getting his clothes on straight...always saying OOPS! This never fails to elicit a giggle from her, even now, and she is nineteen.
- The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle. Again, this one was very funny and showed how someone can start off their day complaining about their situation and finally come around to realize that things are not so bad.
- The Beginner's Bible by Karyn Henley. All the classic Bible stories written for children to understand with plenty of colorful pictures to help keep their attention. Stories from Moses in the Basket to The First Christmas.
- Sleepy Dog by Harriet Ziefert. This was no Caldecott winner but a simple story about going to bed. The little dog was a beagle and we had a beagle too and he had as much trouble going to bed as she did.
- The Bible - any version, I've almost seen them all. I have one right now called The Learning Bible and it has a lot of extra material, small articles and maps that were very helpful in the BSF Bible study. It's a bit large to carry to church and for that I usually use my NKJV or NIV.
- The Black Stallion (the whole series) by Walter Farley. I read them all, multiple times and finally bought the entire set in paperback when I was in medical school.
- The Giver by Lois Lowry. This book is for adults and older kids as well. It is one of those books that starts out only a little extraordinary but then becomes very deep and surprising. I was reading along and suddenly, without the author actually telling me specifically, it dawned on me why the young hero was different. Nyssa and I both really liked this one.
- The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss. The idea that the family was shipwrecked and had to work together to survive really grabbed me. They were so resourceful.
- Reader's Digest Condensed Books (series). None stand out to me but they were special because of my grandmother. She was a farmer's wife in Illinois, no education to speak of but she subscribed to these books. Some were classic book excerpts while others were fiction of the day. When I was around ten, I spent several weeks on the farm. She had the old editions packed away in boxes in their stone smokehouse. I remember digging through the boxes and picking one at a time to read. I would crawl up onto the ledge of the small, sooty window for light, the only window and light in there. It was so quiet and so peaceful. The stone walls were thick and the wooden door heavy and it blocked out all sound. It felt like the world had gone and I was left alone with my book, the quiet and the slight scent of smoke from the hams cured there long before I came on the scene. That was about as close to heaven as I have ever felt. I would be in there for hours until someone would finally come looking for me for supper. My grandmother has been with Jesus for over thirty years now and the farmhouse was replaced with a more modern one even before that, but the smokehouse is still standing and my memories are just as strong.
This was really hard. I have so many more books that I love. Shakespeare plays, biographies, mystery books. So many books, so little time.
As for tagging five other people, I haven't been doing this long enough to know five other people. I do know one other who has told me she loves to read and she takes the most wonderful photographs and that would be msdedi.