Total number of books I’ve owned: My OCD must be acting up, because I decided the most accurate way to answer this one was to try to get a current count and extrapolate from there. So, currently, there are at least 1150 books in our house — not counting TheChild’s story/board books (of which there are easily a hundred or more), and not counting the stuff that’s in the garage awaiting donation and/or give-away. Of those, about 250 are in my “to read” queue (a not quite completely disjoint set are in TheWife’s “to read” queue), and about 200 are trade paperback collections of comics — I mention that because I suspect some people wouldn’t count those as “real” books. Since I’ve had several cross-country moves, as well as a period in gradual school where I was heavily into used books to support my fiction habit, I’d estimate my lifetime total somewhere in between 2 and 4 times our current load.
(Trees hate my damn guts.)
Last book I read: Currently reading several:
- Learning Perl, 3rd edition; one of the texts for the class I now may not be teaching this summer
- Higher Order Perl, to stretch my brain back out after the Llama,
- The Star Fraction, for our book group meeting the weekend after this upcoming one. (This is a half-fib: I’ve already read the book once, and haven’t actually cracked it again — yet. But it’s sitting right here, and I’m going to start once I post this.)
Last book I finished: I finished two on Sunday: Learning GNU Emacs, 3rd. ed. and Randal Schwartz’s Perls of Wisdom. I’d stalled out on both of these, so I took some time Sunday and pushed on through to the end of both.
Five books that mean a lot to me: In no particular order:
- House, Tracy Kidder — This was a text in a class that TheWife and I had together in college, before we even really knew each other. Special because of that connection as well as because of the interesting content.
- Microserfs, Douglas Coupland — I read this in gradual school, right as my dissatisfaction with what I was doing was starting to really peak. In some ways, this was like a John Hughes movie of all the cool stuff it seemed like I was missing out on. Also has the best description of geek motivation — the 1.0 imperative — evah.
- The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, Robert A. Heinlein — There’s lots of Heinlein I could have picked, but this is my stone-cold favorite.
- Learning Perl, 2nd edition, Randal Schwarz et al. — The book mostly directly responsible for where I am today, in a professional sense.
- Transmetropolitan, Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson — The modern gonzo comic and essential guide to understanding today’s media culture. I’d pick a favorite volume out of the eleven, but it would just change tomorrow, so what’s the point?
Five people Id like to see to do this as well: I’d have picked Lyn too, but Dan beat me to it, so I’ll spread the joy a bit: