I’m not a great collector of books and I have friends who are much wider readers than me, but I do use the library a lot and I do have a medium size collection of books stored in one large ceiling height IKEA bookcase with the paperbacks double shelved. I think that makes me a reader.
Now that the age of the ebook is upon us, storing your own paper books strikes me as being slightly old fashioned. I assume economics will steer libraries inevitably to ebooks (like Project Gutenberg) and most text will become digital, if it’s not already. Actual paper books will become antique collector pieces, a very specialist format like vinyl, and I’ve never been into old stuff just for old stuffs sake, generally new technology is better than old. I’ve already experimented and read myself a few self published free electronic books books on the net (my first was Q) and in 2010 I finally bought my first ebook and read it on my phone, and am an instant convert.
To mark the ushering in of this new era then I have started and intend to try and read all the books in my bookcase one by one and write about them as I do. As I’ve kept them, they all obviously hold some interest to me or have some significance in my life. A few are books I’ve always meant to read at some point and never got round to. Others are books that significantly shifted my paradigms for good or ill.
I suspect I could never read all of them in the short while I have left in this mortal coil,in addition I have a steady stream of new arrivals from my Amazon Wish List (people can be very grateful for IT support), so at times the bookcase will be growing faster than it diminishes I expect, but you never know. Like my project to walk around the coast of Europe (another dream I’ve commenced) it’s something to aim for, if not something that actually needs doing or is doable.
I’d like to write, if not for others entertainment or interest, then just for the sheer joy of doing it. I’m not sure if I’m any good,in fact when I re-read most of what I’ve written it’s always painful. There is the occasional well polished gem, but they are few and far between. I appreciate well meant criticism, though reserve the right to sulk privately and resent you for ages.
I’m aware my reading is not to everyone’s taste, it tends to centre on history, popular science and science fiction, with the odd literary giant thrown in (not that there aren’t a considerable number of giants in my genre collections). You can see my book shelf develop through clicking on the Now Reading widget on the right. This takes you through to my Shelfari account where I will also post most of my reviews and comments. It would be cool to have more book loving friends using that.
I have already started this project and have a lot of catching up to do as I’m 6 books in. The first book on the top shelf left hand side was a previously well thumbed “Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” by William Shirer. I’ll be amazed if anyone bears with me through this process right to the end. The bottom shelf is loaded with Maths and Programming text books from my college days so I might actually learn something. You never know.