Visions of Paradise

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Inventory Season

Readers of this blog probably know that I enjoy making lists, everything from Best of the Year lists to Future History Series to Recommended Reading/Listening. This summer I spent about ten hours inventorying my collections of books and music. I do not have huge amounts of either books or music, partly because (a) I have culled my book collection of hundreds of books I did not enjoy and were only taking up space on my shelves; and (b) I gave all my record albums to charity last summer, so that my music collection now consists of the remaining tapes and cds.

I have 993 tapes and cds left, over 950 of which are rock and roll in its various sub-genres. Progressive rock is my most dominant type of rock music, with 219 albums. The most prominent artists in my collection are:

The Kinks / Ray Davies: 41
Bob Dylan: 26
Richard Thompson: 22
Pink Floyd: 21
Yes: 21
Van Morrison: 20
The Beatles: 18
Moody Blues: 18
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers: 18
Neil Young : 18
Creedence Clearwater Revival / John Fogarty: 16
Elton John: 16
Bruce Springsteen : 16
The Strawbs: 16
Dion Di Mucci: 15
David Bowie: 14
Jethro Tull: 14
Rush: 14
The Who: 14
Chris de Burgh: 13
Metallica: 13
R.E.M.: 12
U2: 12
Dwight Yoakim: 12
John Hiatt: 11
Simon & Garfunkel / Paul Simon: 11
Dream Theater: 10
Paul McCartney: 10
Frank Zappa: 10

Obviously, this list contains most of my favorite artists, although the order above is not necessarily the same order I would list my favorites. For example, Chris de Burgh is one of my very favorites, but I had most of his output from the 1970s and 1980s on records which I have not replaced yet, another dozen albums. The same with the Strawbs and Bruce Springsteen, each of whom I have a half-dozen albums to replace.

As for books, I have 1,480 books of fiction, 206 books of nonfiction, and 1,349 prozines (covering 27 different titles). The most prominent authors of fiction in my collection (not including proznes) are:

Robert Silverberg: 46
Roger Zelazny: 35
C.J. Cherryh: 27
Jack Vance: 26
Clifford D. Simak: 23
Michael Bishop: 22
Samuel R. Delany: 21
Ursula K Le Guin: 19
Isaac Asimov: 18
Poul Anderson: 17
Marion Zimmer Bradley: 17
Robert A. Heinlein: 16
Kim Stanley Robinson: 16
Gene Wolfe: 16
Orson Scott Card: 14
Frederik Pohl: 13
Stephen King: 12
John Brunner: 11
Charles Sheffield: 11
John Varley: 11
Greg Benford: 9
Philip K Dick: 9
Philip José Farmer: 9
Jack McDevitt: 9
Larry Niven: 9
Dan Simmons: 9
H.G. Wells: 9
Brian W. Aldiss: 8
Edgar Rice Burroughs: 8
Charles de Lint: 8
Louis L’Amour: 8
Sherri S. Tepper: 8
Kate Wilhelm: 8

Not surprisingly, with the exception of Louis L’Amour, all of the most popular 20 authors write science fiction and/or fantasy (counting Stephen King as a fantasy writer). However, L’Amour is not my favorite western writer at all, since Elmer Kelton is a much superior writer who just missed being on the above list.

I was surprised that I have so many titles by Heinlein (whom I never particularly cared for) and Charles Sheffield (whom I did like, but I still did not realize I had nearly a dozen books by him). I’m not surprised that Silverberg and Zelazny top my collection, since they are two of my favorite three all-time writers (the third being Michael Bishop who has never been terribly prolific).


  • How do you make all your lists? On a spreadsheet? Or do you have a special database for books and music? I like making lists too, but I'm more lazy than you and haven't inventoried my collections.

    Recently I ripped all my CDs to MP3 and wished I had a program that would analyze My Music folder and just tell me the statistics on my collection, but I haven't been able to find one yet.

    We also seem to have a lot of overlap in musical tastes too.

    By Blogger Jim Harris, At 5:47 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home