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The Ten Books One Would Save in a Fire


Found this interesting exercise on A Work in Progress and just had to fill it out myself. Taken from A Passion for Books: The Ten Books One Would Save in a Fire (If One Could Only Save Ten)

So this raised an interesting question for me – do I save the books it would be difficult to replace (i.e. those that are out of print or terribly expensive to replace in hardcover) or those I truly love.

I decided to do two lists and see how they compare.

The Ten Books One Would Save in a Fire (If One Could Only Save Ten)- based on books I love:
1. Persuasion by Jane Austen
2. A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books by Nicholas A. Basbanes
3. Make Way for Lucia by E.F. Benson
4. The Jeeves Omnibus: No.2 by P.G. Wodehouse
5. If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino
6. Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn
7. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
8. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
9. Mama Day by Gloria Naylor
10. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

The Ten Books One Would Save in a Fire (If One Could Only Save Ten)- based on the difficulty to replace the books in hardcover or at all:
1. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
2. Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins
3. Bloodsmoor Romance by Joyce Carol Oates
4. Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins
5. Mama Day by Gloria Naylor
6. Vampires, Burial, and Death: Folklore and Reality by Paul Barber
7. The Comedians by Graham Greene
8. English Eccentrics by Edith Sitwell
9. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (Great Grandma received this as 3rd prize in one of her classes in 1931.)
10. Seven Gothic Tales by Isak Dinesen

Not sure what to think after completing the two lists. Any thoughts?

posted under Uncategorized
12 Comments to

“The Ten Books One Would Save in a Fire”

  1. On May 16th, 2006 at 3:22 pm Chris Says:

    You have an eclectic collection. 🙂

    I think I’d end up lugging signed knitting books plus the odd de Lint chapbook (limited edition) out.

  2. On May 16th, 2006 at 3:28 pm Janelle Martin Says:

    Too true! I do have eclectic tastes in books. I didn’t even delve into the knitting books.

  3. On May 16th, 2006 at 6:28 pm Carrie K Says:

    I’m guessing you like Good Omens? I’ve got that in my TRB pile but haven’t as of yet.

    I would be paralyzed if I had to choose 10 books.

  4. On May 16th, 2006 at 6:35 pm Janelle Martin Says:

    Yeah, I do like Good Omens! Since you like Christopher Moore, you’ll most likely like Good Omens. I’ve gone through close to ten copies over the year because it’s one of those books that people borrow and never return. So when I found a hardcover copy, I snapped it up (it’s impossible to find.) Now I always keep a paperback copy around to lend to people, knowing it will never return – but I have my permanent volume.

  5. On May 18th, 2006 at 6:58 am MarciNYC Says:

    Funny, I adore Christopher Moore, but could not get into Good Omens for my life. *shrug*

    I’ve been giving this some thought. What 10 books would *I* choose?

    It’s kind of expanding on the ‘What Three Books would you want on a desert island?’ theme I’ve seen before. (That answer: Watership Down, Lord of the Rings, Gone With the Wind.) I might have to blog about this myself.

  6. On May 18th, 2006 at 8:40 am Janelle Martin Says:

    I’d love to see your list Marci. My three desert island books would be A Bloodsmoor Romance, Make Way for Lucia and Persuasion.

  7. On May 18th, 2006 at 3:25 pm Carrie K Says:

    Three books on a deserted island? Three? Even if I considered the Durants effort as a single book, War & Peace (which I’ve never read, come to think of it) and….something that I’ve read and liked, I’d be completely insane within a month or two.

  8. On May 18th, 2006 at 6:13 pm Janelle Martin Says:

    I’m with you there Carrie. 3 books, even ones you can read over and over are not enough.

  9. On May 21st, 2006 at 5:35 pm Lotus Reads Says:

    A very interesting exercise, Janelle and I do love both your lists. I might try this one. I am bound to surprise myself! 🙂

  10. On May 22nd, 2006 at 11:22 am Janelle Martin Says:

    I certainly surprised myself with what ended up on them. I’ll be eager to see your lists.

  11. On May 23rd, 2006 at 4:48 pm Susan Helene Gottfried Says:

    Sorry. I’d grab my computer and the ten books-in-progress there… Call me nutty… *wink*

    And I’m hurt that Trevor’s not on your list… *sniff*

  12. On May 24th, 2006 at 1:51 pm Janelle Martin Says:

    Well I was going with already published works. It would be an entire other list if it was books not yet published. *wink*

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