1 ) Total number of books owned?
Gads! That depends on how you count. I’ve probably got less than 150 actual book books. I’ve likely got 300 or so trade paperbacks (comic book reprint collections). And maybe 3000 single issue comics. It’s hard to get a good estimate when you have that many. I need to cull them for reasons of storage.
2) The last book I bought?
Going Postal by Terry Pratchett was the last prose novel I bought for myself, I think. It was good, but Pratchett damn near always is.
Two weeks ago my comic shop had a clearance sale. I got to buy many trades for 70% off:
The five Bone books I needed for my collection. Jeff Smith’s Bone is a delightful all ages story. Great art, wonderful characters, weak ending.
King David by Kyle Baker. Based on the biblical story, King David, the cover promise Aventure! Intruige! Polygamy! Mass Castration! For what more could one ask of a comic?
High Roads by Scott Lobodell and Lenil Franci Yu. What are the two best things for good guys to get to fight? Ninjas and Nazis. This book wisely has the protagonists fighting Ninja Nazis. Brilliant.
Several Madman trades, by Mike Allred. I haven’t read much Madman yet, but I dig his style.
Selina’s Big Score by Darwyn Cooke. Cooke is a so-so writer but a bloody fantastic artist. If Jack Kirby was into pulp adventure instead of cosmic sagas he would draw like Darwyn Cooke. Do yourself a favor and buy the DCU: The New Frontier trade.
Also, during the sale was New Comics Day. I got a stack of 40 free comics for a $10 donation to the CBLDF (Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, my charity of choice). Some of it is crap (example: Betty and Veronica) but some of it is awesome (example: Flight). I’m still sifting through it all!
3) The last book I read?
The Grim Grotto by Lemony Snickett. These books are written for 8 year olds, to be sure, but I totally dig them. Halfway through the series, they explode with awesomeness.
4) Five books that mean a lot to me:
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. I must have read this book 80 times throughout middle school and high school. This book is as funny, smart, and keyed to my personal likes as anything I’ve ever read.
The Illuminatus Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson and Bob Shea. This book is a mess. It is sloppy, and crude and impossible to follow. But it is also thought provoking and funny and artistic. I’ve never read anything quite like it.
The Principia Discordia. Between this book and Illuminatus, I converted. This is the “bible” for what is either a joke disguised as a religion or a religion disguised as a joke. It really works. Five tons of flax!
Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. I can’t begin to express what a suckerpunch Vonnegut’s writing was to my thinking. The year I found Vonnegut was the year I stopped being a Christian.
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. This was my first favorite book. It’s a smart and funny mystery novel. Sixteen heirs to a fortune have to solve a puzzle to collect the estate. This was the first book that I read that was both fun and substantive. A must read.
5) Tag 5 people and have them put this in their journal:
Do what thou will is the whole of the law.