Wacky LiveJournalists notinventedhere and beckyc have been kind enough to "tag" me to fill in a book-related questionnaire. Just this once, I'm going to, but if it becomes a regular thing, then no.
Quick answers, as I really am supposed to be writing at the moment:
1. Total number of books owned?
Between the two of us, I believe it's somewhere in the region of 2,500. It obviously fluctuates, and B. and I did have a bit of a clear-out before the house move last autumn. I've been diligently building it back up since then, though.
2. The last book I bought?
Er... not entirely sure without checking. Either way, it was two at once. It could have been the Doctor Who books The Monsters Inside and Winner Takes All from Amazon. Alternatively, it might have been Ada or Ardor and Promethea Book Four from Borders here in Bristol.
3. The last book I read?
Oh, now look, you're not being fair. Given that you've asked me today, it was Doctor Who: The Clockwise Man, which I can't particularly recommend. If you'd asked me yesterday it would have been the very much more highbrow-sounding The Memory of Whiteness, and prior to that probably Promethea Book Four again... which, all right, is a comic, but it's one mostly about esoteric kabbalistic mysticism. And a certain amount of shagging. Er.
4. Five books that mean a lot to me?
Only five? Well, it's certainly not going to be an exhaustive list, then...
Assuming for the moment that we're talking about the books' intrinsic worth, and not about ones which mean a lot to me solely because I wrote them, we have:
i. The Pooh Perplex by Frederick C. Crews. The book that taught me to laugh at literary critics, which is a pretty vital skill when you are one.
ii. Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov. One of the most stylistically original, thematically convoluted and awesomely well-written books I've ever encountered. And Nabokov was writing in his second language, the bastard.
iii. The Einstein Intersection by Samuel R. Delany. One of those books that creeps up on you. The first time I read it, I thought: "Mm, yes, that was quite interesting." It's profoundly influenced everything I've written, and probably thought, since.
iv. The Voice of the Fire by Alan Moore. His only non-graphic novel, just because I'm feeling perverse. Weird psychotic psychogeographical tour of history. In Northampton.
v. Pacific Edge by Kim Stanley Robinson. I've talked before about the impact this one had on me. I'm still assimilating it.
As I say, not an exhaustive list, and I've deliberately left out any author I wrote about in my thesis, because I go on about them far too much anyway. (Oh bugger, I think I did mention Delany. But only briefly.)
5. Tag some people and have them fill this out on their L.J.s:
Shan't. And the generic term is "weblogs" or "blogs", thank you very much.