So I got this idea from a cool video by Leena Norms, who in turn came up with this because of Marie Kondo, who I heard about from my sister. Basically, the concept is you get rid of things that don’t bring you joy… which seems ridiculous when you’re talking books cos, hello, books are the ULTIMATE JOY in this world. Anyway, I won’t say I was “inspired” to do this, because frankly the thought of trimming down a well-loved book collection fills me with *horror*- instead I’ll say I thought this might be an interesting challenge to take up. It got me thinking about my own books and which ones I could never bear to part with (in the case of the zombie apocalypse, obviously). These will be a mix of pretty/not-so-pretty/sentimental/beloved books (which I think might differ from the video). Technically, this is supposed to be 30 books… but I couldn’t trim it down well enough and 33 has a better ring to it anyway 😉
Complete Works of William Shakespeare– going along my bookshelves, this is one of the most obvious books to keep. I got it for a birthday present from my mum, so it has sentimental value as well. It doesn’t hurt that I feel like I’m getting round the issue of reducing the number of books by including ones that are technically collections- speaking of which…
Seven Novels of Jane Austen– this was another birthday present (actually most of these are- my family are awesome 😊 ) and of course it’s also one of my favourite authors! Plus, LOOK HOW PRETTY!!
Songs of Innocence and of Experience– this was an 18th birthday present from my family and it’s the pocket size so I take this whenever I go on a trip, like a lucky charm (you know, just in case I get a hankering for romantic poetry and don’t have access… as you do 😉 )
Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales– I’m lucky enough to have a rather large collection of fairy tale books, but I have to say Arthur Rackham’s art makes this my favourite version of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Also, you guessed it, this was a gift.
Aesop’s Fables– another beautiful edition- my sister got this for me and I love it!
Hans Christian Anderson– the reason I have this (and a lot of my other fairy tale books) is that I did a course in uni and I just love this copy of Hans Christian Anderson.
Riverside Chaucer– on the topic of uni, Canterbury Tales was my favourite course by far, because I had the best professor for it. It may not be the prettiest version, but I couldn’t bear to let this go.
The Iliad– moving into the rest of my uni/school books, this is me being straight-up sentimental, cos I could probably get a replacement pretty easily for this. But I think it’s not only a great translations, but holds some of my (not entirely useful) notes.
To Kill a Mockingbird– this is one of first books I ever fully annotated annnnd it’s admittedly not in the best condition because of that (also I’ve reread it a lot). Still, I’m ridiculously attached to it because of those notes.
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Great Gatsby and Picture of Dorian Gray– I’m just putting these two together because, let’s face it, neither of them are good-looking copies. That said, I’ll probably love them more than any swanky new versions I could pick up, because I covered them with my thoughts. Personally, I think I made these cheap versions far prettier by all the highlighting (in my opinion of course 😉). I will have to admit with this one, the notes were supposed to be colour-coded, but that system kind of fell apart over the years. And yes, this part of the post is just proving my point that sometimes annotating books is a good thing (I know controversial opinion… most places anyway).
1984– I didn’t do this one for school or uni, but I did I painstakingly annotate this when I read it a few years back.
The Hobbit– this is quite a tatty version, but again I’m more attached to this for sentimental reasons. I’ve mentioned this story on the blog before, but when I was reading the Hobbit for the first time, an absolute tragedy struck when I got to the end… the last page was missing! So my mum kindly took me to the book shop and this is the version we bought. I used to reread this every year in spring and though there are far prettier versions out there, this will always be my favourite.
Lord of the Rings– I subsequently got a boxset in the same style for a birthday (they’re in storage so I can’t show my actual copies), after reading the Hobbit. Annnnd I was so so sorely tempted to cheat at this part in this challenge, (cos technically they were written as one book!) but since I’d already gone up to 33 I thought that might be cheeky even for a monkey 😉
Harry Potter– I was soooo tempted to count this as one as well (this is why this challenge seems so unfair- imagine separating these book babies from each other- it’d be like splitting up twins at birth!). I actually borrowed the first 4 books from my brother (a real challenge when it came to Goblet of Fire, cos I had to wait for my other siblings to finish before I could get to it after it was released!) and then got the boxset for my birthday. The rest came in drifts and drabs as they came out. Anyway, I have to keep these because of what they meant to me as a kid (and still mean to me today)
His Dark Materials– this is the second series I’m mentioning which is in storage… so you’ll have to take my word for it that I own this boxset. And there are so many versions that I struggled to find pics, so I’ve only got the covers to show you. I got this for a present after I read the first one (and fell head over heels for it of course!) annnd all this talk of it makes me want to dig them out and reread them again!!
Circe– woohoo we’re moving into signed territory now!! I thought Madeline Miller was so lovely when I met her and am super grateful to own this copy. Also, the cover and the story inside are both gorgeous!
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Holy Sister– it’s no secret that I love both this writer and this series. But this book means a lot to me in particular, because I received it from the author SIGNED- and I can’t help but freak out over it a little bit (okay A LOT).
Winternight Trilogy– not only is this one of my absolute favourite new series, but look how STUNNING these covers are!! Of course I had to get them when they came out cos I needed to know how the story ends… but also because I needed these editions in my collection!
Strange the Dreamer– let’s be real, Laini Taylor is one of my all-time favourite authors. She’s the kind of writer I give 5/5 bananas to every. single. time. And for good reason! Her prose is perfection, her stories are exquisite and her worlds are heavenly- thankfully these covers are worthy of such beauty! The only reason all her books aren’t on here is cos I only have kindle versions- I’ll have to rectify that one day! (Yeahhh you thought this post was about getting rid of books… it’s secretly a shopping list 😉)
PHEW- that was TOUGH!! I can’t imagine ever having to do this for real cos there were a bunch of books I felt like I was neglecting… perhaps I will have to go around later and reassure them that I will NEVER LET THEM GO! Do you have any books you wouldn’t part with on pain of death? Let me know in the comments!