February 21, 2012

The Aliens Are Coming! The Aliens Are Coming!

This week's Top Ten Tuesday over at The Broke and the Bookish is a toughie, let me tell ya. It's pretty much like asking a parent to choose which kid is their favourite.

Top Ten Books I'd Save If My House Was Abducted By Aliens (or any other disaster struck)

Really? Not sure why aliens would want my house, but whatever. We'll just generalize here and go with 'disaster':


I should preface all of this by saying, this is just a terrible, terrible thought. Like, curl-up-in-the-fetal-position-covering-your-ears-and-going-La La La terrible. The thought of losing all of this:

There are at least four books here that I'd part with without a fight. Just saying...

...gives me a panicky feeling inside (and this is only a portion of my books). Again, TERRIBLE.
But the fact of the matter is that most of these books are replaceable. It would be expensive, but doable. Except I've also collected really old copies of many classic novels that aren't as easily replaceable. Those would be the first on my list, the first books I'd grab while trying to escape.


They are (in the order shown but, in no particular order of worth or value to me):

1)  Waverly Novels Volume IV (Rob Roy, A Legend of Montrose, The Bride of Lammermoor, and The Monastery) by Sir Walter Scott--This copy is from the later 1800's or early 1900's (Can't say for sure because a lot of the British publishers back then didn't list a publishing date. Grrr...) 

2)  Waverly Novels Volume VIII (The Talisman, The Two Drovers, My Aunt Margaret's Mirror, Death of the Laird's Jock[???], Woodstock, and Count Robert of Paris) by Sir Walter Scott--same date range as the previous one, same reason for not having specifics.

3)  Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (with engravings by Fritz Eichenberg)--this edition is from 1943, but I've always admired the wood engraving pictures in it (samples here, here, and here).

4)  Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe--this edition turns 100 this year!

5)  Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë--I know, I know. I haven't read this book, but I know enough about it to know that I would loathe it. So why save it? One reason only: It's from 1894! I'm afraid of even touching, it's so old and frail. I should also mention that the book contains Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë and a preface and memoir by Charlotte (the best Brontë, IMO).

6)  The Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow--there is no stinking date in this edition, but it's plain that it's extremely old like the others. This book contains inspiration for my one WiP.

7)  Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace--this is from 1880 (when the story was originally published), or very shortly thereafter.

8)  Villette by Charlotte Brontë--this edition is from the early 1900s. Villette is another really great Charlotte Brontë book, but one that you hear about a lot less than Jane Eyre. Too bad, really.

9)  Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore--from the early 1900s, from what I can find, but it has no date (big surprise). 

10)  The Talisman by Sir Walter Scott--this tiny book turns 100 this year as well and it's still in excellent condition!

Okay, I'm going to cheat here and throw another two books on the pile (they're tiny, I promise):

11)  A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens--from the late 1800s and reeks like mildew. 

12)  A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens--only from 1951, but this little book has the original John Leech illustrations on the book jacket and throughout the book. I love it and was devastated when it got completely water-damaged when I shipped all of my stuff home from Germany (the geniuses left my shipping boxes on the tarmac in the rain!).

Before I go scrub the dust mites from my hands and blow my nose so I finally stop sneezing:
What books would you save in the event of a disaster?

Oh, and don't forget to enter my 100th Follower Giveaway for the chance to choose a book from The Book Depository (value up to $15). As long as they ship to your location, you're eligible!

30 comments:

  1. I love seeing photos of other peoples' bookshelves!

    Lots of lovely classics on your list. I can't even fathom the thought of creating a list of my own, but it would probably contain mostly signed ARCs and first editions. Also, my daughter's baby book. :)

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    1. I like to see what others have too :-) You can't even see the Harry Potter books and all those gems on my shelves (they're to the left). I don't yet have any signed books, but I have about four different ones on the way in the mail. So excited! And as for the baby book, that would be a definite grab! :-)

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  2. I love old books and you seem to have quite a nice collection :D My grandmother kept books from her grandmother and I can just hold them in my hand and feel all tingly because of their own history!

    (very nice bookshelf by the way!)

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    1. Thanks, Elodie. I know exactly what you mean. I'm such a history junkie and just the thought that these books belonged to one or many other person(s) over the past 100+ years is mind-blowing to me. I wonder where they've been, who owned them, where they were originally purchased. All of that fun stuff :-)

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  3. "Not sure why aliens would want my house..."

    There's a housing shortage on the planet Zorb due to the economic boom of the past few years. Houses are really expensive, so Zorbians are surveying other planets--particularly those going through economic difficulties, where houses are relatively cheap, so cheap it's as if they're giving them away. So they come and take them! :)

    Seriously, though, I too have some really old books. I have a set of Bible Dictionaries that are over 100 years old, and a copy of Liddle & Scott's classical Greek lexicon that's from the late 1800s, I think. Like you, I would probably go through my library and grab the books that would be hard to replace. Though I'm afraid I'd have more than 10!

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    1. Tell those Zorbians to keep their paws/tentacles/whatever off of my place! :-)

      Your Bible Dictionaries and Lexicon sound really cool. Hey that much closer to the originals, right? As for the number of oldies to grab, well I have a lot more than 10 too. More like two or three times that many. Of course, in the even of an alien attack or whatever, I probably wouldn't be grabbing old books. I'd be running for my life with the clothes on my back, I'm thinking. :)

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  4. 2 things I'm very envious of:
    the space you have for books! *curses shoebox apartment*
    the old editions you have!

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    1. I kind of like the IKEA approach to tiny living spaces: build upwards (floor to ceiling shelves). The funny thing about old editions is that I'd probably never actually read them (I wouldn't be able to handle the sneezing and the grimy hands) because I'd be terrified of ruining them. I just like to look at them and every so often pick them up and flip through them (carefully, of course) :-)

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  5. I love the old editions. What a great variety.

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    1. Me too! And the best part about it is that they were all super cheap. I got most of them for less than $5 :-)

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  6. "There are at least four books here that I'd part with without a fight. "

    Haha, I took once glance at the shelf and had a good idea what those four might be--and I've got the same guilty secret on my shelves somewhere. >_>

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    1. Bahaha! Glad someone caught that :-) I thought about getting rid of them, but I just can't bring myself to do it. Same with the blu-rays on the shelves downstairs. Darn it! :-)

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    2. See, this is where being a teacher comes in very handy...my copies mysteriously disappeared during my first year of teaching and I called it a day. I don't feel obligated to stock them, really, because I figure my kiddos can find copies if they want them.

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    3. Oh man. I kind of wish somebody would make 'mysteriously disappear' my copies for me. Lucky... :-)

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  7. Awesome collection of old books! I would definitely save those too! I had a hard time making my list because I felt like most of my books would be easily replaced, and I could only come up with 7 that couldn't be.

    My Top Ten

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    1. When I first started thinking about this, I had a list that was pretty much made up of my favourite books. But as sad as it would be to lose them, they're all replaceable. These other ones would be a lot trickier to get my hands on (and for as cheap as I got them). Thanks for dropping by :-)

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  8. Oh those copies are so beautiful! I wish I had my books from my childhood. Those are the first I would save. As far as what's on my bookshelf right now, I'd probably save THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH and THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE, ILLUSTRATED.

    Thanks for sharing. Your bookshelf is beautiful!

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    1. There are lots of books from when I was kid that I'd love to have now. My parents ended up selling a lot of them when we moved from Eastern to Western Canada. I've gotten my own copies of some of them as an adult, but it's not quite the same.

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  9. New follower! Great list! Here is mine if you'd like to follow back: http://theonceandfuturelibrarian.blogspot.com/2012/02/top-10-tuesday-books-worth-saving.html

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    1. Hi and welcome! Just went and checked out your list too. Lots of great stuff :-)

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  10. Oooh, this is so tough. I have a lot of childhood books--the older editions of most of the Little House books, my copy of The Giver, my husband's falling-apart Finn Family Moomintroll--plus a handful of old hardcovers with my grandfather's embossed seal on the pages (some plays, some Vonnegut, and my copy of Rebecca). Then there are my signed books. No way I could narrow it down to ten. The top two, though, would probably be my stamped Mockingjay and the copy of Charlotte's Web my grandfather bought me a year or two before he died, one day when he took me out just me and him, and in which he wrote a really sweet inscription.

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    1. Those all sound great, but I especially like the Charlotte's Web from your grandfather. How special is that :-) I'm not sure that I own anything quite so personal and precious.

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  11. What beautiful books! I have a love/hate relationship with Wuthering Heights. I can't stand the main characters, but at the same time, the writing and the setting pull me in. I've actually read it about five times. So if you ever want to give it a chance, I say it's worth it.

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    1. I'll probably end up reading it someday, but all of the craziness and obsession is a little off-putting. We'll see :-)

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  12. I knew we were book-mates (think soul mates but less intimidating). I LOVE Villette. Granted the only reason I read it was my Senior Seminar class, but still. It was AMAZING! Charlotte was so before her time in her themes. And can we say creepy?

    This would be tough for me too. Cuckoo's Egg, lion witch and the wardrobe, alanna, journey to mushroom planet, scriptures, winnie the pooh, illusions, the good earth, invitation to a beheading, dragonriders of pern

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    1. We should start a VILLETTE fan club :-)

      I noticed in your blog post today that you're a big Tamora Pierce fan. I too have a pile of her books. I loved the Alanna books and all of the ones that follow. Such a great author! And yes, I think we must be book-mates :-)

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  13. Loooooove Jane Eyre!!!!! (And I have to say your profile pic is soooo pretty) ;)

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    1. I love Jane Eyre too and have way too many copies of it :-) And thanks about the pic. I wasn't sure if it was okay or not.

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  14. I am in love with your bookshelves. IN LOVE. And I find it hilarious that your disaster of choice was aliens! I don't have first editions. Mine are all fairly replaceable. It's the photo albums I'd fight for!

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    1. They've kind of gotten a little overcrowded. I could probably use another shelf, but that might encourage further addiction to buying books :-)

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