Hippogriff's Aerie

Apparitions of Imagination

If you could only grab 5 books…

Last night I mentioned Little Red Reviewer posted her 5 books she would take if she had to flee the house before disaster struck, and that I posted my 5 books over at her site. To me, the question suggests the books are irreplaceable. I mean, I could say I’d take The Name of the Wind, but why would I do that when I could go down to Barnes & Noble or on to Amazon and order another one? There’s really nothing special about my copy – it isn’t rare or expensive, it isn’t signed by Patrick Rothfuss, it wasn’t given to me as a gift – do you see where I’m going? The books I would save are books I could not replace by simply re-buying them, or are so rare I couldn’t justify the cost. Here are the ones I listed:

1. The Sword of Shannara Trilogy (combines The Sword of Shannara, The Elfstones of Shannara, and the Wishsong of Shannara). More specifically, my 2002 deckled-edge hardcover edition that Terry Brooks signed for me at Powell’s Books. I had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Brooks for a few minutes, and he offered me encouragement on writing my own story.

2. Fool’s Errand. My 2002 hardcover edition that Robin Hobb signed for me, also at Powell’s Books. I spoke with Robin for a few minutes and asked her a couple of questions about publishing which she answered gracefully. She probably gets those questions constantly, but she was thoughtful, sincere, and kind regardless. Her answers were also very helpful.

3. I’m not sure of the title – it may be something like “History of the 54th Artillery Brigade” (I have it put away somewhere safe and would have to dig it out). This hardcover book details the movements and battles of my great-grandfather’s brigade, complete with maps, through World War I France. I believe it was published in 1918.

When my great-grandfather died back in 1983, I was a young high school student. I remember going out to sit on the curb, despondent, as the older relatives were inside the house, bickering over his things. My grandfather brought out some boxes, and as he ruffled my hair he said, “these are things no one wants. Take what ever you like.” Among other items in the box were lots of old books, many of which were children’s stories that belonged to my great grandmother. I kept them all. But for me, the most prized find was the Brigade book…it caught my attention with it’s detailed descriptions and fold out maps.

4. The Golden Phoenix: Eight French-Canadian Fairy Tales. My 1963 hardcover version. Besides the fact that it was my favorite book during my childhood, it is demanding a price of $235 on Amazon.

 

 

5. A big, beautiful hardcover book of Italy called Italian Splendor. Having met my biological father for the first time last year, this book was a gift to me, from my newly-discovered parents and sister, celebrating our first Christmas together. Though I could purchase another copy, obviously this particular one is now irreplaceable.

Those are my five books. The reason for keeping them is different for each one, but they are all irreplaceable. I would be devastated if I had to leave them behind…

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March 23, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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