Thursday 3 January 2013

Existential Ennui in 2013: There Will Be Books

See that? That overfilled, double- and in some places triple-stacked bookcase? That, dear reader, is a visual representation of what's in store on Existential Ennui in 2013.

You see, this time last year, I posted a list of the authors that would be appearing on this 'ere blog in 2012. And many of those authors did in fact end up appearing – but not all of them: a good third either didn't feature on Existential Ennui at all in 2012, or only appeared in tangential fashion.

So, this year, rather than make promises I'll struggle to keep, I thought I'd proffer a more general preview, in the shape of a picture of my "pending" bookcase, on the groaning shelves of which reside the secondhand books I've bought but have yet to blog about. I might not blog about all of them in 2013 – in fact, I can pretty much guarantee that I won't – plus there are books on other, unseen bookcases (oh yes, there are other bookcases besides...) that I've also yet to blog about (a couple of nice Westlake Scores, for example) – not to mention a number of books on this bookcase that I have blogged about but haven't yet got round to removing to those other, unseen bookcases (it is, I'll readily admit, an imperfect system) – but I will almost certainly blog about some of the books on this bookcase this year.

Of course, annoying bastard that I am, I've made the picture too small to properly make out what half those books are. Even if you click on it to enlarge it.

I know: I hate me too.



  1. A Happy New Year to you, Nick! The first thing I noticed about your admirable bookshelf is that the books are all hardbacks, a luxury I can ill-afford for lack of space. The only hardbound books I have are the Oxford dictionary, Shakespeare, and Harry Potter. I did enlarge the picture and on straining my eyes, I could single out a few Tom Clancys, Tom Wolfe, J.G. Ballard, Kim Philby, and an Amis (not sure whether it's Kingsley or Martin)...a terrific personal library, though, and thanks for sharing it.

  2. I'm curious what the book is with the giant tentacle monster - immediately to the left of Empire of the Sun.

    If it isn't a giant tentacle monster, I'm going to be very disappointed.

  3. Prashant: Happy New Year to you, too! That bookcase is only a fraction of the library – there are another two bookcases the same size, plus books in the loft as well. I've started rearranging again as I need to clear the room in which the bulk of the library currently resides, so I'll post some more pictures when I'm done.

    Jared: OK, let's just say it's a novel featuring a giant tentacle monster. By, er, Jack Higgins.

  4. "...a novel featuring a giant tentacle monster." Nick, Jack Higgins (Harry Patterson) is my favourite author from the popular fiction era but I can't seem to recall this particular title. So which one is it? I absolutely loved THE EAGLE HAS LANDED though not its belated sequel. His latter novels are not as good as some of his early works like THE SAVAGE DAY and LAST PLACE GOD MADE.

  5. Hmm, some Lawrence Durrell on there as well by the look of things - will be curious to know what you make of that one; something of a nice contrast.

  6. Happy New Year, look forward to following your reading.

    Off topic, but can you confirm a collector question again? If you have one, what is the numbering on the US first print of Butcher's Moon? If it says First Edition and numbers from 2, was that the first print indicator for Random House at the time? I see varying info from used book searches.

  7. Please disregard, I found your post on the question of identifying BM firsts. Thanks, your site is quite helpful.

  8. That's the kind of comment I like: one that answers itself! Glad you found what you were looking for, Anonymous.

  9. Same person as before asking about Stark books. I went back to the same store figuring it was possible that they had a Stark collection come in, hoping that there would be more out on the shelves. Looked quickly in the same spot, found nothing, and was about to leave when this thing caught my eye.

    Pretty nice copy of the first edition, just shelved a bit off so I nearly missed it. Quite lucky find I think.