My Library

Last year, I posted about the wonderful Anna Amalia library, and a shoutout for SFF libraries.

I’ve got two libraries, one more representative, and the other one consisting of IKEA Billys (which I won’t show here).

The nativity scene will be dismantled at February 2 (the end of Christmas), and bring back the integrated shelves. The left two columns are “mine” and stuffed with SFF.

Nativity Scene – in German “Krippenstall”

The buildings and background in this nativity scene is handcrafted by my wife. The figures carved by an artist half an hour drive away.

The SFF part of the library

Some years ago, I started an ever growing Tolkien collection.

Tolkien shrine, lowest shelf
Tolkien shrine, middle shelf
Tolkien shrine, upper shelf
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48 Responses to My Library

  1. piotrek says:

    Thank you for sharing, it looks great! I love the bookshelves, they’re good looking and solid. And you have some great volumes there, especially Tolkien and Le Guin… it was a pleasure to take a peak 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andreas says:

      We‘ve got them made by a local carpenter. It’s mahogany veneer, because I don’t like full corpus wood, but rather the structure. Also, it would have been three times as expensive. It ain’t cheap anyway 🤣
      Did you find anything special in the Tolkien part?

      Liked by 1 person

      • piotrek says:

        Oh, I had to settle for furniture board, it doesn’t look as good.

        Your Tolkieniana are certainly more complete than mine, I love this one-volume edition of the trilogy illustrated by Lee, I have The Silmarillon with Nasmith’s illustrations, but my edition of LotR is picture-less. Altogether, I have all I really want, but it’s not as pretty 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. bormgans says:

    Nice!

    Do you have a tree as well? We tend to put the nativity scene under or near a three.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. pdtillman says:

    Nice! I think I have some shots of my library setup in Tucson over at GR: https://www.goodreads.com/photo/user/8101737-peter-tillman?page=1&photo=3622398, https://images.gr-assets.com/photos/1505422335p8/3622402.jpg Which was the last time we lived in a single house (for 30-some years!), and had room to put (almost) everything out. OK, the magazines got relegated to the tippy-top shelf in the laundry, and I got some flak for that, but still…
    I still miss that house. [looks] Here was the tilework in our kitchen: https://www.flickr.com/photos/29050464@N06/24898470536/in/album-72157663800825759/lightbox/
    Love that dark-blue! Talavera tiles from Puebla, Mexico. The tile guy was a master craftsman. Notice the slate-blue grout? I wish I had a photo handy of the job he/they did in our master bath. And outside! Saltillo tiles on the floors both in & out. Those are big, thick terra-cotta tiles that were first (?) popular in Saltillo, Monterey — though these were from a brick-making operation in northern Sonora. Boy do they look nice.
    Deep enough! ⚒︎

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andreas says:

      That tilework is lovely!
      I guess your books needed some protection of the harsh sun in Tucson. I had my books in boxes for some years after relocating to my house some twenty years ago. Now, I wouldn’t want to live without having them around. Gladly, this will be my last home, I don’t expect to move anywhere else.

      Liked by 1 person

      • pdtillman says:

        Yes. In particular, the yellow spines of the DAW mmpbs really suffered. My precious Jack Vance mmpb originals will never be the same! Still, the contents are unchanged…. 😎

        Actually, some of the really old (1950s) mmpbs are almost unreadable now, with crumbling paper and unglued spines. My precious Robert Sheckleys! Sic transit gloria libri.
        (I first wrote librae, but Google is no doubt correct). Did you guys have to take Latin in high-school? I still have my textbook somewhere….

        Liked by 1 person

        • pdtillman says:

          I spent my Senior year in HS at a Jesuit prep school in Dublin: Belvedere College. Those guys still had to take Latin AND Greek! I wore a wool sport jacket AND a wool sweater every day. No central heat, in that ancient brick pile…. 🥶

          I didn’t have to take Irish (Gaelic), but my sisters did, or perhaps volunteered? Lost in the mists of memory… What I do recall is, two of them picked up distinctive Oklahoma-Irish accents! Likely almost unique: twang + brogue! Didn’t last long, when we got back home. I had to go to Liverpool to take my College Boards exams, on the overnite ferry. I think my Dad was kind enough to keep me company. Good enough results to win me a National Merit scholarship. Woot!

          Liked by 1 person

          • pdtillman says:

            The Jesuits were VERY reluctant to accept a provincial American into their exclusive institution. Well, I showed them a thing or two!

            Liked by 1 person

            • Andreas says:

              Haha, those US guys don’t have culture 😁
              How did you get to Ireland?

              Like

              • pdtillman says:

                My Dad took a sabbatical year at University College in Dublin. He took the whole family: me, my Mom, and all 4 sisters! It was a snug fit in the mid-size English Ford he bought. Which he proceeded to bash all in 4 corners over the next 9 months. Driving on the left…
                I was technically eligible for an Irish driver’s licence. He said, not in my car! Good choice. The Irish weren’t as wild as Italians. But, like in most places where most drivers had bought their first car not long before… Katy bar the door!

                Nice people. Wildly variable food. Cafeteria food at school was god-awful! My sisters said ~same at their school (Muckross Abbey). We all got the tea habit, and loved their bread! This was in the “Wonder Bread” era in the US. As in, I wonder if this is made from styrofoam?

                Liked by 1 person

                • Andreas says:

                  I love Ireland as a tourist. But I can’t imagine how it was back in your days. But wait, there is this book from Heinrich Böll https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/272534
                  I hope you were able to visit the sites: ring of Kerry, Wicklow Mountains, Cliff of Moher, Connemara…

                  As for bread, I‘m super snobbish with German variety. Most places I travel to – especially the US – I hate the breads.

                  Like

                  • pdtillman says:

                    Thanks for the reco for the Boll travel diary, which sounds fun. Added to Mt. TBR.
                    I just recalled another bit of color from 1962 Dublin, from our year there: the Swastika Laundry! Bright-red trucks with, you guessed it, the Nazi’s Crooked Cross! Quite jarring, as these were ubiquitous around town.
                    The symbol of course long predates the Nazis, I have a prehistoric SW pot from c. 1200 AD with it, and it was common on Indian basketry from the late 19th/early 20th Centuries. Sometimes reversed: the “whirling log”.

                    Bread is much better here now. Not so in Mexico: Bimbo is the national brand, and tastes just like it sounds!

                    Liked by 1 person

          • Andreas says:

            I was lucky to be in a science oriented gymnasium (your highschool). Downtown is a humanistic gymnasium, and there I would have to learn old Greek as well.
            It’s still necessary to have the Graecum (and the Latinum) when you want to study catholic theology; and for many other subjects one needs the Latinum.

            Liked by 1 person

            • pdtillman says:

              Latin turns out to be pretty useful for word-roots and such languages as Spanish, Portugese & Italian. French is so irregular and weird, it’s of limited help there.

              I’m always kind of envious of you polyglot Europeans. But some of us New-Worlders don’t do too badly. I was fortunate in grad school to take a field course in Guatemala and adjacent countries. Our primary teacher was a fellow from Louisiana, who was sent by his then-employer into the Peten (limestone platform) to do oil exploration. He liked Guatemala. His field area was so remote, he learned Quekchic (a Mayan language) at the same time–or maybe before–he learned Spanish. He fell in love with a local girl of very high rank– she might have been the then-President’s daughter? Guatemala is a country which was (then) ruled as a semi-feudal fiefdom by old Spanish families from the days of the Conquest.

              So, anyway Sam Bonis (our teacher) was a Coon-ass boy (his term) from rural Louisiana, and a degree in Petroleum Geology from LSU. Here he is squiring around the President’s daughter — and he speaks Spanish with an indio accent! Which is to say, he sounded like a peasant! I never met his wife, but I presume she was a bit of a rebel… And no doubt a looker! Sam was definitely a Ladies Man. He married her, and became Guatemala’s Chief Geologist, a position he held until his retirement. SFAIK he still lives there. Nice guy. Interesting country. My last flight (I think) on a scheduled DC-3! Which was my first, many years before. Still some of those in cargo service, I think, in Alaska & elsewhere? Remarkably sturdy and long-lived aircraft!

              Liked by 1 person

              • Andreas says:

                French is a Romanic language and lots of word roots come from Latin.
                I‘ve never learned Spanish (too lazy for new languages beside of programming languages 🤣)
                I‘m envious of your experience in Guatemala. I‘ve never been to Central America. Maybe some time in the future

                Like

                • pdtillman says:

                  You would like it, I think — especially if you like VOLCANOES, and Spanish-colonial architecture. We were there just after one of their periodic low-level civil wars, so people were still recovering their equilibrium. We had a surplus US Army AWD truck for a field vehicle. It was prone to backfiring on the (frequent) downgrades. Sounded just like gun-shots. Made everyone jump — especially our drivers!

                  I also liked southern Mexico, then new to me. I traveled with an American boy who grew up in Argentina — and went on to a distinguished career in our USGS as a volcanologist. We took local buses up to Mexico City then flew home from there. Ah, youth! He had (of course) perfect Spanish –mine was rudimentary then– so he was always surrounded by pretty girls, chatting them up!

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Andreas says:

                    You simply cannot beat an Argentinian boy at the girls. Even if he only talks with his hands you’ll have zero chance 🤣

                    Volcanoes… I had to think twice if I ever visited one. But there is the Teide in Teneriffa!
                    Colonial Spanish architecture is gorgeous – I‘ve been in a couple of Californian missions.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • pdtillman says:

                      Most of the California missions are so over-restored, it’s hard to see what they really were like originally. But Mission San Xavier south of Tucson was carefully and accurately restored and is a showpiece: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mission_San_Xavier_del_Bac
                      Wonderful place and setting. If you ever go (in winter!), and the Papago ladies are cooking, try a fry-bread taco. They are GREAT. I worked at the mine a few miles South, partly on their property, and would get take-out lunch for the crew sometimes. Always a big hit — even if you couldn’t have a beer at work!

                      This was the job where I was working the day it got to 115 deg. F! Whoa! And we were logging core in a sheet-iron warehouse! Not much work got done that day…..
                      We did have Gila monsters as semi regular visitors…. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gila_monster
                      They’re actually kinda cute. And not really very poisonous. They liked eating your lunch leftovers. But they never got any frybread: too good for wildlife!

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Andreas says:

                      Remembers me of the day in Death Valley when we had 125. Boy was I glad to have not only air conditioning but cooling seats in that Ford.
                      The missions are theme parks of a kind. I loved the colonial Spanish buildings at the canarian islands, and they’re distinguished in style and true in form.

                      Liked by 1 person

            • pdtillman says:

              Well, this is really a reply to the Book of Kells bit. My Rhetoric professor @ Belvedere College told me not to miss it (and he was right, great place! If COLD) — and he expressed his hope that I would get a good page. They turn a fresh page every day, or did then.
              Mine that day was just OK, but the Book Of Durrow was in the next vitrine, & that days was spectacular! I recall it was a page of Celtic knots like this: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:BookDurrowCarpetPage.jpg

              For medieval illuminations, I prefer the Spanish-Visigoth ones, such as this one:
              Gerona Beatus of 975, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerona_Beatus
              Gerona Beatus of 975, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerona_Beatus
              In the Girona Cathedral in Catalunya, IB.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Andreas says:

                Beautiful!
                But I rather like the Celtic knots and illuminations.

                Liked by 1 person

                • pdtillman says:

                  Oh, yes. And there are GREAT pages in the Book of Kells. I just didn’t happen to get a wonderful one, that day or on other tries. Actually, for awhile it had been removed for some reason, iirc.

                  — with the Four Evangelists, was one I’d hoped for! Circa 800 AD, so a bit earlier than the Gerona Beatus.
                  I loved the round towers too! And the old castles! And the Cliffs of Moher! I would like to go back. My wife did, with her Mom, many years ago, They had a great trip.

                  Liked by 1 person

        • Andreas says:

          Liber (book) is o-declination, so nominative plural is liberi.
          Yes, I had Latin five years long.

          It’s good that paper is acid free nowadays which helps a lot.

          You might notice the „Compleat Dying Earth“ hc from Vance in the lowest shelf, last at the right side.

          Liked by 1 person

          • pdtillman says:

            Whoa! Missed that. Had it out from the library AWB. Are the, hrm, senior moment, Cugel the Clever stories in that cycle? A favorite quote:
            “I would offer congratulations were it not for this tentacle gripping my leg.” ― Cugel’s Saga

            Liked by 1 person

            • Andreas says:

              That’s the one: http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?154641
              And right of it (but not visible on the foto) is the Compleat Lyonesse.

              Liked by 1 person

              • pdtillman says:

                Now, that’s one I need to buy! I think I have 2 of 3 in mmpb. His masterwork in long form, I think. Let’s see if I can find a long review-essay I wrote on this yrs ago:
                https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1696416248
                Originally published at Infinity Plus in 2001, when I was doing a lot of reviewing for them. Keith Brooke is a personal friend. And a rat. He passed within (literally) a mile of my house, here in Calif a couple years ago — & didn’t stop!

                In fairness, we hadn’t kept up. I’m sure he thought I was still in the SW.

                So, if you ever decide to tour Calif: make sure to touch base! Even if it’s still COVID times… Which will be, um, forever? BIG SUR.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Andreas says:

                  Last time I was in Big Sur was 2017, when that bridge was wiped away in a landslight. We made a huge four weeks tour through the South West.
                  Don’t have plans to go to the US this year, but one never knows! I‘ll give you a notice 👍

                  Like

      • pdtillman says:

        Yes, we’re likely in our small, pokey, overpriced California seaside cottage to stay, too. And it’s a losing battle to fight off the f**king MOLD from the damp!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Andreas says:

          After that you‘ll loose the battle of rising sea levels 🙀

          Like

          • pdtillman says:

            Not here! Land is rising faster than the sea! Really:
            Golden cliffs of sunset
            If memory serves, the sand above the coarse gravels is from the dunes at low sea-stand in the last great Ice Age, ±11,000 years ago. Still going up! Plate-tectonics, y’know…. 😎
            You’ll drive within a 15-min walk of this if you ever visit. Most likely, you won’t see another soul. It’s quite remarkable. Half-hour drive to the trailhead from our house. Guest room available in normal times…. 😇

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Wakizashi says:

    Great to see these photos, thanks. A wonderful selection of books. And that is the best Nativity model I’ve ever seen 😍

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Ola G says:

    Your library looks amazing! I do want that Dune edition, now 😍
    Btw, I see nothing wrong with IKEA Billys – especially the birch wood ones 😎

    Liked by 1 person

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