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The One Ring Forums: Off Topic: The Pollantir:
how many books in your personal library?
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Poll: how many books in your personal library?
0 -- i don't own any books; i'm not a reader
0 -- i don't own any books -- i borrow from friends or the library
0 -- all my books are e-books
1 - 25 -- not a lot
26 - 100 -- a nice, tidy sum
101 - 500 -- enough to wallow in
501 - 1500 -- enough to build a fort
1501 - 5,000 -- enough to build all of hobbiton
5001 - 15,000 -- ulmo told me to collect this many and build a hidden fortress in the mountains and tell no one (oooooops!)
View Results (68 votes)


Aug 16 2013, 8:56pm

Post #1 of 52 (1249 views)
how many books in your personal library? Can't Post

physical copies only (hardcover, paperback, etc.).

duplications -- if you have two copies of "the hobbit," that counts as two books.

and, what do you do to organize your books.... ? dewey decimal? straight alphabetical?

cheers --



Aug 16 2013, 9:05pm

Post #2 of 52 (792 views)
About 1000 [In reply to] Can't Post

Mine are organised in a combination of size / genre / subject for non-fiction, and colour / author for fiction. I have a lot of my parents' books now, including my father's excellent collection of Penguins.
I am not very good at parting with books, but I don't often buy them.


Aug 16 2013, 9:23pm

Post #3 of 52 (771 views)
I couldn't begin to guess. [In reply to] Can't Post

A lot. Is that a number? Crazy

And they're mostly organized by size so that I can fit more in the same shelf.


Aug 16 2013, 9:38pm

Post #4 of 52 (767 views)
The animal or the publishers? [In reply to] Can't Post

I presume you mean the animal. Wink I'd love to have a look. How and why did your father end up with a collection of books on Penguins (if you don't mind me asking)?

Our collection of books is meager to yours. If we count journal articles then I would be close. Tongue I can't throw out books either, whatever state they are in. Whenever I re-read LOTR/TH/Silmarillion, I always use the same book. A worn book is a sign of a well-loved book.


Aug 16 2013, 9:46pm

Post #5 of 52 (774 views)
guessing... 501 - 1500 [In reply to] Can't Post

I have a lot of children's picture books which are narrow and some of those are in boxes so it's hard to tell.

I organized loosely by subject.

Children's books including:
special days (May Day, etc)
folklore and cultural - subdivided by culture (British, US, various Celtic, Scandinavian)
dozens (and dozens) of books I used while working in the schools on various subjects

Design - primarily Graphic Design related but also some coffee table books on artists or folk/primitive art

Craft including:
children's nature crafts
doll making

Fantasy related (adult and children) including books on:

subdivided into books by Tolkien --- about Tolkien --- and movie related - I do have duplicates of some books

General Fiction reading, primarily fantasy including:
multiple copies of War for the Oaks which takes place in my town
most of the Dresden Files paperbacks
all of the Harry Potter hardbacks plus a paperback UK edition of the first novel and a couple of auxiliary books.


and a good dozen or so books my husband owns on fixing cars, gardening, home repair, electronic wiring, etc.

I might surprise myself, if I were to count them all, and find I have more than 1500. But my estimating won't push me over that line. At one point, I figured I had sold or given away over 1,000 children's picture books. It killed me to get rid of at least 500 of those but I just didn't have the room and it isn't looking like I'll have any grandkids so I had to suck it up and do the hard thing.

Oh, just remember - I have perhaps a hundred or so Little Golden Books, as well.


Aug 16 2013, 9:55pm

Post #6 of 52 (755 views)
Somewhere between 60-80 at a guess (about a third are tolkien related) [In reply to] Can't Post

Mostly sci anf fantasy fiction, and military history and reference books. Although I do read alot of books, I don't tend to buy many nowadays-still living at home, I don't have the money or space for much more (considering getting a kindle), and I still have a stack of un read books in my cupboard gathering dust.

I don't see the point in duplications-If I can I'll get the illustrated hardback, if I can't I'll get the cheap paperback, as long as the story is good I don't mind.

Orgainised via genre and then alpabetic author.


Aug 16 2013, 10:03pm

Post #7 of 52 (763 views)
About 700 I guess [In reply to] Can't Post

I first organize according to genre, and then subdivide alphabetically!


Aug 16 2013, 10:49pm

Post #8 of 52 (743 views)
Pssst, Lightfoot [In reply to] Can't Post

I have quite a substantial collection of horse books, including all my vintage pony books from childhood.
I also have a number of old books on horsemanship which I have collected over the years from second hand shops. They are so much fun to read, and usually have drawings and photos captioned 'right' and 'wrong' for tack and riding technique, along with plenty of sound advice on hunting etiquette.
Some of them have very good tips on jumping technique using the correct backward seat (rather than all that new-fangled Continental nonsense.)
Yes, they are that old!

Aunt Dora Baggins

Aug 16 2013, 10:54pm

Post #9 of 52 (735 views)
Around 2000 [In reply to] Can't Post

When we moved to our house 25 years ago, we built a slide and slid boxes of books down the stairs to the basement library. I shudder to think what our heirs will have to do to get them back up. My son says he's going to fill our basement with cement.

The books were originally organized mostly by topic, though there is a bookcase for trade paperbacks and a couple for oversized books. But through the decades Uncle Baggins has built more shelves (including some that appeared magically overnight on two sides of the toilet) and the newer books go on the newer shelves because that's the only place for them. I have a pretty good tactile memory for where a particular book is, though.

I have about six feet of shelf space for Tolkien. And about that same amount for Oz books.


Aug 16 2013, 11:58pm

Post #10 of 52 (719 views)
Mine are organized in sections [In reply to] Can't Post

I have a couple of bookcases devoted to books relevant to my degree program, organized by topic. Then there's a couple that hold my fiction collection, organized by author name. Then a section of nonfiction by topic. The books I read for my dissertation have their own section.

My brother made my bookshelves; they are a prized possession in themselves.


Aug 17 2013, 12:13am

Post #11 of 52 (748 views)
A long-winded reply, with bonus family history [In reply to] Can't Post

My father was an artist. In the early 60's he won a scholarship and went on a fellowship / quest / thing to study and develop his ideas in sculpture in London for 3 years. My sister was born there, but I was born here after my parents returned to NZ.
Anyway, they didn't have a lot of cash, but Dad was a great reader, and of course Penguins were within most budgets. When he bought one, he would inscribe his name and the date in the front, in his beautiful art school writing.
He died when I was 9, and I always associated the books very strongly with him. After Mum died in 2009, my sister and I inherited all of her many books, as well as the ones of Dad's she had kept (including some very obscure art titles, my favourite of which is "Constructivist Sculpture in Poland, 1947 -1972".
The Penguins are mostly in rather poor condition, having been read a lot. They are definitely in the 'well-worn and well-loved' category. The ones I have kept include Dad's original copies of Animal Farm, The Catcher in the Rye, and Lord of the Flies, three of my favourite books.

(This post was edited by Starling on Aug 17 2013, 12:19am)


Aug 17 2013, 2:47am

Post #12 of 52 (718 views)
Books [In reply to] Can't Post

paper hard copies - 26+
digital on my Kindle 100+

Tol Eressea

Aug 17 2013, 3:22am

Post #13 of 52 (690 views)
A lot [In reply to] Can't Post

I have Many, Many books, probably just short if 500.

If we count ebooks, that adds 1300 more!!!!

I organize by favorite author,(Tolkien, Doyle, Lewis, Dickens,Verne, Dumas, and others, whose names escape me, DEMAND to hold own section in my house, as they do in my heart.) <---WOW that was pretty sappy, but hey! Books were always(and perhaps are still) my best friends!!!!

Then by topic. I have a lot of encyclopedic volumes on disparate topics. I aim to have just about an answer for everything in my personal library. From Microbiology to Medieval History to Famous inventions to books on Weather and Outer space. Math, probability, game theory, and b-29? bombers figure too.

I'm very eclectic in my tastes. I know a useless smidge about practically everything, or can fake it well!!!


Aug 17 2013, 3:39am

Post #14 of 52 (707 views)
answering my own poll / post [In reply to] Can't Post

i have over 1500 books.

grouped by

1. section (fiction / nonfiction)

2. category (e.g., paleontology, linguistics, history [maritime, russian, etc.] art, children's books, biology / zoology, astronomy, paranomal, film, poetry, design, psychology, gardening, architecture.... too many categories to list...)

2. author (alphabetical; anthologies and anonymous authors at the beginning of a grouping)

3. date of publication

partially because i cannot fit all the books in either the literature bookcase or the scifi / fantasy bookcase, tolkien, harry potter, narnia, get their own sections / bookcase..

i don't get rid of my books. read and reference.

cheers --


Tol Eressea

Aug 17 2013, 4:00am

Post #15 of 52 (689 views)
No clue about the exact number... [In reply to] Can't Post

But definitely on the 500-1500 range. I have very eclectic tastes, and now with e-books and audiobooks I tend to buy physical copues of large format, picture/illustration books only.

I have a sizable collection of Mexican pre-columbian civilization studies, quite a few illustrated Star Wars books, and novels in general.


Aug 17 2013, 8:48am

Post #16 of 52 (690 views)
Thanks for sharing :-) [In reply to] Can't Post

(And I got it wrong).

I see you have The Man Who Thursday - I read that not too long ago, and quite enjoyed it - part fantastical, part mystery, part philosophical and Christian symbolism make a good combination.



Aug 17 2013, 8:55am

Post #17 of 52 (676 views)
Good to see you around Compa_Mighty. [In reply to] Can't Post

Off-topic - I've been drawn back to the "Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica". I read them all within a week (I'd already read the first book when it came out), and can't wait for the last one to come out. I couldn't put them down. Sly


Aug 17 2013, 9:39am

Post #18 of 52 (688 views)
Your question got me thinking [In reply to] Can't Post

I started thinking about those Penguins and why they are so important to me. I never felt at home in my new house until I finally got my bookshelves built and was able to get all my books out of storage.
All my books seem to represent times in my life, and special people in my life. The physical object itself is as important as the words inside it. And, having lost my parents, their books are one way for me to feel connected with them.
Who would have thought an innocent question about birds would elicit such a response? Cool

Oh, and I will admit that I haven't read 'The Man who was Thursday'. I just took it off the shelf and had a look, and it does look very quirky and interesting.

Registered User

Aug 17 2013, 10:15am

Post #19 of 52 (672 views)
Probably in excess of fifty books [In reply to] Can't Post

Including two or three copies of LotR and The Hobbit, and one copy of all of Tolkien's other works.

The rest consists mainly of fiction as that is my preferred topic for reading, but I do own a few books which focus on other things, whether they be language books, history books or biographies. I also own a number of books about Tolkien and his work (e.g. Tolkien: Author of the Century by Tom Shippey and the Tolkien Encyclopaedia). As far as organising them goes most of them are just stacked neatly, albeit rather randomly, on the shelves, though I do keep some of my personal favourite books (LotR, The Once and Future King, The Belgariad etc) on a shelf right next to the bed, so that they are easily accessible whenever I feel like re-reading them.

In the case of most books I just borrow them from the library or from friends if they are willing to lend them, and the ones that I particularly enjoy I may then order from Amazon.

(This post was edited by Madril on Aug 17 2013, 10:18am)

Tol Eressea

Aug 17 2013, 1:57pm

Post #20 of 52 (670 views)
If you want fun and quirky [In reply to] Can't Post

Try The Club of Curious Trades. It's very quirky and mind-bending, in the way that A C Doyle can be.

On the topic of A C Doyle, has anyone ever read the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, and tried to figure them out, but ends up one step short, or totally wrong and overly elaborate in their case? It felt so bad, the first time I read it. Like I'd been outsmarted by a BOOK!!!

Tol Eressea

Aug 17 2013, 2:55pm

Post #21 of 52 (650 views)
Far too many [In reply to] Can't Post

but even though I only keep the ones I really liked, and the ones that I often re-read, and complete sets of some authors, I still have to go through them often and really try to decide which ones I can safely let go, I tend to accumulate more than I purge. If we ever move I'm going to have a real dilemma.


Aug 17 2013, 5:01pm

Post #22 of 52 (640 views)
I will put it simply... [In reply to] Can't Post

A LOT!!!!!

The Shire

Aug 17 2013, 6:52pm

Post #23 of 52 (638 views)
Only about... [In reply to] Can't Post

100. And what is this "organized" you speak of? Cool


Aug 17 2013, 7:07pm

Post #24 of 52 (631 views)
Do old editions of National Geographic count as books? [In reply to] Can't Post

They are a lot thicker than some children's books out there!


Aug 17 2013, 7:10pm

Post #25 of 52 (643 views)
Lucky ( you make me envious!) [In reply to] Can't Post

Please can I borrow the entire collection?
I have quite a few myself. ( training guides, vet manuals, breed histories, ect.) I personally believe that you can never have enough!

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