Books have always been something I enjoyed, but it’s only been recently that I’ve come to adore them. In fact, it’s so recent that I haven’t quite rewired my brain to read more often than I do. XD I thank my wife Grace for the surge of interest – she loves her books.
I tend to gravitate towards the classics. I’m not quite sure why, as I have hardly read any of the books I do collect. XD For some reason they captivate me. I have become a collector of Heritage Press/Limited Editions Club titles, for they are quite simply the finest books I have laid my eyes on that I can afford (well, there’s several LEC books that I can’t, but that’s beside the point). The care into the craftsmanship, the beautiful artwork, and the gorgeous layouts of these books are exquisite. I have over 70 of these books now, and don’t plan on stopping any time soon.
Outside of my classic calling, I find that I enjoy history, science, literary fiction and manga. I also gather up video game and anime-related books (which shouldn’t be much of a surprise), particularly art books for games/anime I like. Lately I’ve been acquiring books on Japanese culture and their literature for my desired studies of gaming between cultures (my Cultural Anxiety pieces are merely a taste of what I’d like to do with my life). Lastly, I happen to especially dig old books with incredible bindings, and if they’re cheap, I pick them up as well.
My favorite book of all time is Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. Ellison’s wrenching novel is just an incredible read. The second chapter hooked me in with its vivid details and gut-punching scenes, and the remainder of the book kept up that engrossing rhythm until the end. I knew when I first read the first few chapters for an English class in college that I had in my hands something really special, and I can easily say nothing else I’ve ever read comes close to the poignant and horrific beauty that is Invisible Man.
I’m also a big fan of drama (it’s my other pre-university major, after all!). My favorite plays are a toss-up between Macbeth by William Shakespeare and Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand. Both I have had the privilege of being a part of while in college, and both were a lot of fun to perform. I’m not super-big into poetry, but I do enjoy the medium. My favorite poet is easily Walt Whitman. His poetry is almost like breathing air – it’s so organic and straightforward.
What else am I into? Here’s a few other titles I’ve really liked:
Classics: Brave New World (Aldous Huxley), Watership Down (Richard Adams), Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte), the essays of Mark Twain, The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck), Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, The Revolt of the Angels (Anatole France)
Modern Fiction: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Alan Bradley), His Dark Materials series (Philip Pullman), A Lesson Before Dying (Ernest J. Gaines), Pieces for the Left Hand (J. Robert Lennon)
Non-Fiction: Lies My Teacher Told Me/Lies Across America/Teaching What Really Happened (James W. Loewen), The Fallen Sky (Christopher Cokinos), Twain’s Feast (Andrew Beahrs), The Mother Tongue/At Home/Made in America (Bill Bryson), Bonk/Packing to Mars (Mary Roach)
Drama: Hamlet/Othello/Merchant of Venice (William Shakespeare), Lysistrata (Aristophanes), Man and Superman (George Bernard Shaw)
Poetry: Spoon River Anthology (Edgar Lee Masters), the poetry of Robert Frost, Edgar Allan Poe, Edna St. Vincent Millay, The Ballad of Reading Gaol (Oscar Wilde), Beowulf
I’ll be expanding this as I continue marching through my books. ;)