For those of you who may not know, my grand epic lifeplan is to move to London, from the States, within the next year and a half/two years.
Any move, obviously, is an undertaking, especially one overseas. Luckily for me, at least I’m not generally a terribly materialistic sort; as such, I don’t have hoardes of stuff that I can’t bring myself to part with. (Stuffed animals, yes, but even at twenty-five I still can’t quite make myself refer to them as ‘things’, shush. And anyway, those you can squish.) I don’t even have large piles of clothes to take.
What I do have, however, are books.
And whatever general materialism I may have missed out on, I made up for it tenfold with my attachment to my books. I don’t think of them as ‘things’ either, though; books are a necessity, in the same way that you wouldn’t fathom living in a house without a roof or walls.
Books make a house a home. My library makes me myself.
I lost almost all of the library I had been building up, painstakingly, since childhood, in an absolutely horrible prior move. I found out recently that I almost certainly will not ever be able to get any of them back.
I did not take the whole thing well. I swore to myself that this would never ever happen again: I would give up and do almost anything necessary to get to London, but I absolutely refused to give up my new library. (And my cats are coming with me too, of course, but that I think goes without saying.) London may be the only city in the world I could ever rightly call home, but it can’t be home without my books.
That, and I couldn’t bear to go through the culling process again. To look over my new beautiful stacks of books in a panic and think, Shit, which ones do I leave behind?
Everything about that move was horrid. (It culminated in my insane parents quite literally calling the cops on me, for absolutely no reason other than my having moved out at age twenty-two. I am not making this up, because quite frankly, I couldn’t.) But that, the culling, I think was the worst.
But then I decided to try an experiment. Instead of culling books out, I thought, what if I started by making a core list of personal ‘classics’, the ones that would make a library nucleus unto themselves?
These will be the books I absolutely refuse to leave behind, the ones I will not live without. I will try to take more than this, of course, but so long as I have these, it may actually be okay. ♥
Mind, this isn’t a strictly complete list, not yet. I’m sure I’ll think of and find others in the days to come.
But this is the majority of it. This is a start.
(It begins, of course, with my all-time top favourite books.)
Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens
Laura Argiri’s The God in Flight
Stephen King’s Lisey’s Story
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby
Holly Lisle’s Vincalis the Agitator
J.K. Rowling’s The Sorcerer’s Stone
J.K. Rowling’s Chamber of Secrets
J.K. Rowling’s Prisoner of Azkaban
J.K. Rowling’s Goblet of Fire
J.K. Rowling’s Order of the Phoenix
J.K. Rowling’s Half-Blood Prince
J.K. Rowling’s Deathly Hallows
Stephen King’s The Gunslinger
Stephen King’s The Drawing of the Three
Stephen King’s The Wastelands
Stephen King’s Wizard and Glass
Stephen King’s Wolves of the Calla
Stephen King’s Song of Susannah
Stephen King’s The Dark Tower
Bruce Coville’s Into the Land of the Unicorns
Bruce Coville’s Song of the Wanderer
Bruce Coville’s Dark Whispers
Bruce Coville’s The Last Hunt
Mario Puzo’s The Godfather
Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty
Stephen King’s On Writing
Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus
Cathrynne M. Valente’s The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
Lauren Oliver’s Liesl & Po
Will Lavender’s Obedience
Will Lavender’s Dominance
Collection of T.S. Eliot’s poetry ♥
Lisa See’s Peony in Love
A small handful of Sherlock Holmes anthologies and related books
Carolyn Keene’s The Riddle in the Rare Book
(This book, I think, was my first ever proper ‘favourite’ book. Yes, my first favourite book was about books. I was a very meta little bookslut, even back then.)
Henry Winkler’s Niagra Falls, Or Does It?
Henry Winkler’s I Got a D in Salami
(Why are these books making the list? Because my copies are signed, and that is too awesome to ever part with. Yeah, I’ve met the fuckin’ Fonz. ♥)
I also need a nice anthology of fairytales, but I don’t have one at the mo’, and am unsure whether I’ll find one before I go and just pick one up when I arrive over there. And speaking of, the same goes for Jung; I cannot live without Jung, but am still unsure what particular books and editions I would want.
And yes. Yes, my library essentials do, in fact, go from unicorns to the mafia, thank you for asking.
Really, if you know me, you probably shouldn’t be all that surprised.