To be read, to be bought…

Ok, so here it is, and I will wait with the Temeraire review, maybe till I finish the first trilogy. It’s late, but recent Paris bombings occupied my mind most of the weekend. I’ve even spent lots of time arguing about politics on the internet, never a good idea and something I’ve tried to avoid for a long time. But I had an unusually emotional reaction and needed to rant a bit 😉

First – both my TBR (To Be Read) and TBB (To Be Both) lists measure in hundreds. I’d like to read everything and I’d love to have a hardback copy of most of the fantasy & s/f books ever published.

The End.

Now, it’s not that simple. I need shorter versions of both TBR and TBB for everyday use. Lets follow Ola and start with:


I read a few books at any given time. In audio on my player, during commuting, chores, and basically any time I can spare some attention. Something small in size that fit into my bag, to take outside. And finally something solid that I wouldn’t risk reading not at home. So my TBR is divided into several categories that serve different functions.

In audio I intend to go through entire Aubrey/Maturin series. I’m currently in the middle of book 7, and it is as good as the first one. So thirteen more to go, no need to worry about that part of the list. But maybe I’ll take a break, I’ve already acquired an audible version of Bernard Cornwell’s version of Arthurian legends and I’m pretty excited about that.

51VbIr4tS8L._SL300_Grim, realistic in its treatment of early-Middle Ages, written by author who gave us Sharpe (Hornblower on land 😉 ), I have great expectations. I’ve listened to the first three books of Cook’s Black Company, but I think I’ll read the rest traditional way, some details get lost when I listen to audio versions.

On my extended reading list you can find also most of the books from Ola’s TBR. Definitely Shattered Sea, Hobb, Briggs, Erikson and Tchaikovsky, although with Erikson and Tchaikovsky I still need to finish their main cycles – respectively Malazan and Shadows of the Apt.

As to paper books I read – the TBR list is long, and I choose from it rather randomly. Often I just stand for a minute or two in front of my bookshelves until something catches my attention. But I feel the time came to go for some non fiction, I’ve taken a long break from that. WP_20151115_001Moorcock is shorter and I’ve read a few interesting excerpts from this book recently, I want to learn more about his anti-tolkienian vision of fantasy that I criticize so often 😉 But Campbell is also tempting, very influential and you hear his name so often… I’ve read a few short texts about him, but I feel it’s not enough. Hero’s Journey is often under fire as a blueprint for a story, but I don’t think it will ever go away.

Or maybe it’s time for one of the history books I’ve bought over the years, but never found time to read? Like this:

WP_20151115_003Barbarians are always around, maybe we could compare notes with the Ancients to avoid their mistakes 😉

But one thing I’m sure to read soon is this graphic novel:

WP_20151115_002Rabbi’s Cat, graphic novel by a French artist of Jewish origin, Joann Sfar, available also in English. Excellent art, intriguing story, wealth of cultural, historical and theological research. I recommend it to everybody who feels that comics book are for children and simpletons 😉 Why now? Sfar’s reaction to Paris bombings touched me deeply and his cartoon speaks louder than a thousand words could.

What will I read after that? I cannot say, it depends on my mood.


That is easier. I manage my TBB list though an Amazon wishlist. A couple dozen books I plan to buy within next year or two are there. Sometimes I buy something from outside this list, usually after reading a particularly convincing review or after an author impresses me on a podcast. Results are not always happy.

But most of this wishlist, as in Ola’s case, consists of books I’ve already read and enjoyed. And now I want a perfect edition to put somewhere here:


So, one day, when I have enough funds, I will complete my Annotated Sandman collection. I adore Gaiman’s Sandman and I adore footnotes. These two great things combined together… great stuff!!!

518Qbu28OVL._SY488_BO1,204,203,200_I’m halfway there already, but the second half is still 60 pounds plus shipping…

I also like Harry Potter very much, but I don’t own a copy. These recently published hardbacks with adult covers are my choice, maybe I’ll make myself a present these Christmas:

41rFTlASD8LThe World of Ice and Fire is also on the list, I’m slightly tired with GRRM, but it was co-created by the authors of the best online resource for Song of Ice and Fire lovers, and I’m pretty sure I’ll enjoy browsing it.

And some Folio editions I dream about. Very expensive, I plan to make 1-2 orders a year. I love their Earthsea, I will get their William Blake, Heart of Darkness, Peter Pan sooner or later, and I’ve read they want to publish Genji Monogatari in 2016, that is something I always wanted to read. I got their Christmas catalogue recently and I could easily spend a thousand pounds… but I can’t 😉

Another subcategory – continuations of some series I greatly enjoy. Sandman Overture will soon be released in one collected volume, excellent Witcher comic from Dark Horse will have its second volume published in December, in 2016 we can expect, among other things, third book in Jeff Salyard’s great Bloodsounder’s Arc series… Sooner or later, I’ll buy it all, sometimes the next day after publication, sometimes when used copies get cheap enough on Amazon Marketplace.

Finally, there are some books I’m hopeful about, but not 100% sure they will be great. Ola would read them on Kindle. I buy used copies from Amazon Marketplace or similar sources. One or two books per month, usually from the 0,01-2 pound + shipping category. Books like The Goblin Emperor are on that list, in this particular case – I’ve read great things about it, but I hate the cover, so I’m waiting till I can get it really cheap.

In the foreseeable future I have enough to read and more things to buy than I can afford… and I need to extend my bookshelves to fit all that, probably into another dimension, since the flat is not that big 😉

4 thoughts on “To be read, to be bought…

  1. Oooh, The Goblin Emperor is in my TBR set, that’s true – and I will read it on Kindle since it’ll probably a long time still before Piotrek buys it so that I could borrow the paper version 😉 Harry Potter in the adult cover version I do have, and I much prefer the old one, not the new :). Lucky me, to have the old adult HC version 🙂
    Cornwell – I’m curious, but will probably wait for an enthusiastic review before I give it a try.
    For advice in L-dimension I suggest contacting the Librarian 😀 or Borghes 😉


  2. piotrek

    Heh, since I’ve started reading fanfics, phrase “adult HP” makes me shiver… but the covers are better than regular ones, both new and old.
    Update – since yesterday I’ve bought vol. 3 of Sandman Annotated and barely restrained myself from making a Folio order… they’ve send me season’s greetings card with 5Ł discount voucher, bastards…


  3. I’ve got my eye on their edition of Heart of Darkness for some time already 😉 But Christmas time is vulnerable money-wise even without the Folio tempters… We need to be strong 😉


  4. Pingback: Introduction to China Miéville – Railsea (2012), Kraken (2010) | Re-enchantment Of The World

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