Okay, here we go...
Total Number of Books
Erm, had to get the tape measure out for this one: about 20-yards - is that an acceptable unit of measurement? I have no idea what the actual number is. We have three floor-to-ceiling bookcases in the study, with some doubled-up. There are also two smaller book cases in the same room, plus the pile in the bedroom, plus the pile on the sitting-room windowsill, and so on. My father's study has more than that on just one wall (and that's just one room), so I know where I get it from.
Last Book Read
Watching the English, by Kate Fox, a hilarious anthropological look at the unwritten rules of Englishness. She starts the book explaining that she has just spent the morning bumping into people (and counting the number who said 'sorry'), and that she is about to spend the afternoon queue-jumping, and how she really doesn't want to do this. I nodded, and chuckled my way right through this book. I am very much hoping that she will produce a study of the Scots, Welsh and Irish, too.
Last Book Bought
The Great Big Glorious Book for Girls, by Rosemary Davidson and Sarah Vine. This is a wonderful celebration of all things girly, and contains much of the vital information I missed out on, having had a career-orientated mother. It explains how to bake fairy cakes, apply make-up, sew, etc., and is a marvellous antidote for political correctness.
Five Meaningful Books
1. The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkein
I can remember lying awake in the dark, when I was supposed to be asleep, listening to my father read this book to my older sister on the other side of the room. Not being able to see the illustrations, my imagination conjured its own pictures of Middle Earth and its inhabitants, and these are the images I carry with me still.
2. Barney Blue Eyes, by Mabel Marlowe
The first book I can remember my father reading to me. A collection of short stories about Barney the copper-gnome, and his friends, Humpy, Grump, Bumble, Lazy Lob, Mumble, Dobble, and Jingle (I might have missed someone here). The tales chart their exploits both in and out of the copper mines where they work. It was first published in 1934, and I know that the stories were, at some stage, broadcast on Children's Hour.
3. Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, by Richard Bach
Read it! I cannot begin to explain!
4. Tess of the D'Urbervilles, by Thomas Hardy
I studied this book for O-level which, you might think, would put me off for life. True, I haven't read it since (I haven't needed to), but it made me aware, as a teenager, just how unfair life is.
5. Quaker Faith & Practice
Known amongst Friends as 'The Red Book', this is presented to all Quakers when they join. Rather than the dogma one might expect from a religious organisation, it is, in fact, a collection of notes, many taken from personal experience, to help guide one through the many and varied difficulties of life. Invaluable at times of crisis.
Now, I can't tag anyone else to do this, as all the bloggers I read have already completed it.