Monday, December 25, 2006

My personal library

Books are a great thing, really!

I've always loved books, even before I could read them myself. One of my fondest childhood memories is a collection of cassettes my father recorded for me because he couldn't be there every evening to read me my favourite books before I went to bed. They've disappeared a long time ago - unlike another treasure I've still got from my childhood, a book my parents made for me, my mother drawing the pictures and my father typing the story -, but I still remember them fondly.

I guess I have to thank my father for introducing me to books. When I was a small child, he used to take me to the public library every couple of weeks on Saturday to pick some books for himself and one or two books for me - which he read to me, of course. When I was seven, I got my own library card and was allowed to check out books for myself. During my early puberty I used to go to the library every second week (because on Saturday I had school every second week, so I could only go to the library on Saturday when I didn't have school), during the holidays sometimes even twice a week. I used to read very much the same things I prefer today: adventure stories, crime stories, fantasy stories and a fair amount of non-fiction books about interesting topics (such as movies, sharks or the supernatural). I've still got a fond memory of the various Time Life books about fairies, wizards and witches, magic, monsters and other stuff. They had very beautiful pictures inside couple with texts that were easy to read and understand.

Today I usually buy books instead of checking them out at a library. For one thing I prefer to read English or American novels in the original language and there aren't that many English books at the public library of my hometown. And I tend towards rather special topics whenever I look for books as well. So I buy them ... and have build up my own personal library over the last ten or so years. I've got more than 1,000 books in my little library at the moment, most of them novels of various times, but also with a fair amount of manga and non-fictional books thrown in. Sometimes I sort out books for sale, because I still buy new books regularly and there's a limit to the amount of books I can keep at home.

I love having my own personal library and can hardly imagine a life without them ... even though I know, of course, that there are a lot of people out there who live a happy life without books. I love TV and DVDs as well, but my first and strongest love are books - and they will ever be. I could live without a TV, without DVDs, even without the internet and a computer (provided I get enough paper and ink in exchange), but I couldn't live without books ... pretty much the same way I can't live without air.

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