The Wednesday Wigeon

The Wednesday Wigeon No.43 (My Book Collection)

I was very pleased to see that nobody picked the ‘Books?  Eurghh!’ option.  All of you either voted to see my books, or see my books+the wigeon, so I thought I would do a Wednesday Wigeon post on books, and then tack the wigeon on the end as usual.

Of course, I own a whole stack of required reading from my many, many English classes, as well as a few volumes given to me by distant relations (most friends & family don’t buy me books because they know I get everything from the library).  But I’ve never been one to buy books all that often.  When I was younger, it was because I wasn’t allowed to spend money on something I could easily check out at the library, and now it’s because it doesn’t make sense for me to buy a book unless I’m going to really treasure it.  So my collection is tiny, and I actually bought all of the books last year, after giving it some serious thought.  I’m done for the time being, because these are the only books I know I’ll pull out on a frequent basis.

The least fancy of my books, The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings box set is the most precious to me.  I first picked up Fellowship of the Ring around the time when I was in second grade.  I ran out of children’s books to read at my babysitter’s house, and she had this sitting on her shelf.  Needless to say, I read the words but didn’t understand a thing.

I tried again in sixth grade (with all four Tolkien books), and liked them a lot.  After that, I gradually started a tradition of checking them out once a year.  In ninth grade, I began checking them out twice a year, once in the winter and once in the summer.  Last summer, I realized that I might as well buy my own copies so I could read them in bed.  They now reside in my candle drawer (may have to rethink that arrangement), and I’m currently wrapping up my 2011-2012 winter reading cycle.

For those of you who haven’t read these books, I can only gaze at you imploringly.  Please go do it.  They are fabulous, and I don’t think any other book in this genre comes close to Tolkien’s creations (that’s debatable of course, but it’s my opinion).  There’s so much bad fantasy in the world that it makes me want to scream into a pillow, but these books embody everything that is so wonderful about fantasy novels.  If only more authors could reach Tolkien’s level.  Or at least come close.

And yes, I have also read bits and pieces of The Silmarillion, but have always seen it as more of a reference book than a bedtime story.  I still get that one from the library.

The other two books I’ve bought (told you this was a small collection) are the Brothers Grimm fairytales, as well as the Hans Christian Andersen fairytales.

I had a fairytale book when I was little, and it contained all of the non-Disney tales.  I don’t think my mom pre-read that one before she handed it to me, or my young and impressionable eyes would never have glanced upon those pages.  The majority of those tales were truly traumatizing, but nonetheless sucked me in.  There’s something very inspirational and beautiful about fairytales, no matter how grisly they get.  I think my fascination with literature largely sprang from that first encounter, so when I saw these two beautiful volumes, I knew I would read them for years to come.  I still read a fairytale or two most nights.  There’s just something about them that makes me feel…dare I say, enchanted?

As you may have noticed, all of these books fall under the ‘fantasy’ category.  In case anyone was wondering, no, I wouldn’t actually say that fantasy books are my favorite.  As I said before, there is a lot of truly terrible fantasy out there, which makes me feel rather lukewarm about the genre as a whole.  But I’ve always been drawn to really good  fantasy, or fiction that has a fairytale undertone (it’s why I love Perfume by Patrick Süskind so much).

Hope you enjoyed that!  Tell me, what are your favorite reads?  Do you have a favorite genre?  Have you read anything by Tolkien?  Please say yes.


Makeup Morsels &


19 thoughts on “The Wednesday Wigeon No.43 (My Book Collection)

  1. This post is precious! 🙂
    The Hobbit was my very first Fantasy book. My brother-in-law gave it to me to read when I was about 12 I think. Have you read A Wrinkle In Time? That was another fave of mine when I was little. I like Fairy Tale stories too-I will look into Perfume!

    • hahahah glad you picked up on that! Yes, I have read A Wrinkle in Time. I remember liking it enough to read it 3 or 4 times when I was younger, but haven’t revisited it in awhile. Yes, do read Perfume if you get the chance. Love that book, and it’s a fairly easy-read novel.

  2. I love books! I had quite a nice collection of The Classics, and drama, and philosophy before I moved. I have a beautiful copy of a translation of the Aeneid, and four copies of Hamlet between like three different Shakespeare anthologies and one single. I have all the Harry Potter books and all the Lord of the Rings books. The books I took with me though, are Ender’s Game, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Dune, and Good Omens. I took a lot more when I went to college (in fact, one of my suitcases was overweight with the amount of drama and philosophy I packed into it – there were a few anthologies, Damien, Glengary Glen Ross… I probably miss my John Donne and William Blake and the Wallace Stevens anthologies the most…) but those are the ones that made it with me. Now my little makeshift bookshelf has a lot of Terry Pratchett (Discworld) and Neil Gaiman (Stardust, American Gods, Neverwhere) – I am a huge, huge fan of these two authors (they wrote Good Omens and if I haven’t recommended it to you yet you need to read it STAT!!) and these are books that I can just pick up and read over and over again and they’re amazingly well done and the Discworld ones are hilariously clever. I also picked up a few Salman Rushdie books when Borders was going out of business and so far I’ve only had a chance to read The Enchantress of Florence but I loved it. Working on Midnight’s Children next when I get a chance.

    I do miss reading so much though. When I had the time (read: way back in middle school) I used to check out 10 books a week from the library and just devour them. Went pretty much through the entire young adult fiction section and then moved onto the adult fantasy/sci fi sections. Oooh speaking of which I think at my parents house I had a pretty impressive collection of Dragonlance novels too hahaha. 🙂

    • Oh my god, I’m reading (as in a never-going-to-end-process) the Aeneid in Latin, and I love it but man does the story move slowly when you’re translating it from Latin to English. I should just go ahead and read the translation first. I never loved Ender’s Game as much as my friends seemed to. I read it twice, but felt meh about it both times. I’ve read Good Omens, it’s hilariously wonderful! My friend lent it to me a few years back, and I was laughing the whole time I read it. Actually…I lent that to my English teacher and never got it back. I should check on that hahah.

  3. I love Tolkien! The Lord of The Rings is one of my favourite books. I wouldn’t say I have a favourite genre either but I love very good fantasy and historical novels book. Sadly there are so many poor examples of both genres around but that only makes you appreciate the good ones more.

    • Ahh, every time someone says they love Tolkien, I feel a little spark of joy hahah. I agree, it does make you appreciate the good examples. I just always feel like when I say the Tolkien books are my favorite, people always assume fantasy is my favorite genre, and it is most definitely not.

  4. I read A Wrinkle in Time in third grade, I think, and Tolkien in fourth. The problem was, when I was little, there weren’t a lot of these YA fantasy/sci-fi books around – just the more adult classics. So I read a lot of old-school science fiction (which still has a special place in my heart) and fantasy: Tolkien, Heinlein, Norton, Harrison, Zelazny, Herbert, the Wizard of Oz novels (there are like fifteen or something, and they’re actually all pretty good). Now I read a lot of everything, but I do love fiction that has a fantastical spin on it. I have Perfume on my to-read list, in fact. I do think I’m probably a book snob, because while I do indulge in trashy fiction every once in a while (it’s kind of cathartic and relaxing, you know?), I don’t have a lot of tolerance for crap books. They get thrown 😉

    I have a Grimm’s fairy tale collection, too. Lots of other books, actually, that stayed at my parents’ house. Now I’m collecting classics on my Kindle, haha. You need to get on Goodreads!!!

    • You know, I actually think that’s a good thing (the book situation when you were little). I almost feel like some of the YA books these days are a little too accessible, I’ve always seen reading as something you need to work for a bit. All that being said, I am weirdly not a book snob at all…I’ll literally read anything no matter how trashy and awful it is, just because I love the process of reading. I liked Perfume a lot, I’ve written 3 separate papers on that book in the past two years. I think that might be part of why I love it, because I’ve spent so much time exploring the book.

      I think I have a Goodreads account hahahah, but I never use it. Should get on there again…

  5. I first read The Hobbit in fifth grade. It was an illustrated version with a picture every five pages or so. I LOVED it. The Hobbit is great and I’m excited for the movie to come out.

    I read most of Fellowship before stopping. Not because I didn’t like it or anything. It’s just that books like that…I need to be in a certain mood to read them properly. I plan on going back and reading the entire Lord of the Rings books some day. It’ll happen. 🙂

    • Yay, a fellow Hobbit lover! *is pleased* I’m so excited for the movie to come out too, but I can’t believe they’re making us wait a whole year between Part 1 and Part 2. Ohh yes, I know what you mean. Luckily for me, I’m always in that mood LOL. But definitely read the series if you’re ever in that mood, would love to hear what you think 😀

      • I’m more disappointed that they’re breaking it up into two movies. I mean…I just don’t think it needs it. I mean, more happens in Fellowship than the Hobbit, and that got only one movie…I think they could have done it justice in one.

        • Surprisingly, it doesn’t bug me as much as I thought it would. At first I was totally with you, because The Hobbit is on the short side. But I trust PJ to do a good job, and judging by the LOTR trilogy, I had a feeling he would be making lots of changes. I think he recognizes that you can do different things on film than Tolkien did with the books, and takes advantage of that (case in point: Helm’s Deep). Of course, my opinion might change once I watch Part 1, but I think there are certain scenes (like The Battle of the 5 Armies) that need more time in the movie than they take up in the book.

  6. Oh man, you have seriously increased my desperate need to get off my butt and read The Hobbit/LotR’s set…yes, I am one of those who haven’t read it yet ~supremely ashamed face~ Just sheer laziness I guess – I just need to buy them and then it’ll be ON. I don’t know how I made it this long without gettin’ ‘er done though…

    Great post MM! My next favorite thing after cosmetics is reading 😀

  7. Did you get your hands on the Robertson Davies books yet? So glad your library carries them!

    I wonder what kind of reader I would have developed into had I read Tolkien as a child. (Only got into it in my 20s, a year before the movies came out – phew! Prefer to read the books first and watch the movie after.) I read all of the Wizard of Oz series like Larie did, loved grisely fairy tales like you, but as soon as I learned to plough through lengthy novels, it was mostly classics for me, with detours into other genres on the side. I had trouble getting into non-fiction and even now don’t like reading the newspaper. Seems like a shameful thing to admit as an adult but the daily paper makes me angry. lol

    • No erghh, still have to wait for whoever’s reading them to finish reading them. But at least the queue is only 1 person long, sometimes it gets to around 50, and it’s a whole year before I get my hands on the desired book.

      I really wish I had been old enough to watch the movies in theater when they came out! That must have been amazing. And classics are always good. I don’t like reading the paper either because there are SO MANY DIFFERENT THINGS crammed into one thing and ugh. But I suppose it’s a necessary evil.

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