What currently comprises my store of books?
Basically anything that doesn't suck: metaphysics, erotica, classics, Dover Thrift Editions (I am a sucker for any type of "library" series of classics), sci-fi, speculative, beat authors, cool cheesy stuff, cool looking how-to and nonfiction, stuff that I find in thrift stores and library sales, you name it, I'll probably read it. Oh, and did I mention all those For Dummies books and Complete Idiot's Guides?...
About 75% of the wall space in my room is filled with books. And I have recently fixed up a milk crate bookshelf in the bathroom that almost covers one wall, so we're talking serious book addiction here.
First of all I have a lot of fiction--Saul Bellow, Hemingway, Richard Brautigan, the Beats--Kerouac, Burroughs, Diane di Prima, etc.
Typical stuff like Stephen King, Jonathan Kellerman, Clive Barker, Thomas Harris, etc.
Business motivational stuff like Cluetrain Manifesto, Tom Peters, etc.
Then I have stuff like the Collected Works of Antonin Artaud--one of my literary idols. The edition that has an intro by Susan Sontag is really good, because she talks about gnosticism. Like Crowley, Artaud was an insane(?) drug addict. Like Crowley, his ideas went on to shape the second half of the twentieth century.
I also have a bunch of antique books I inherited from my grandmothers. A set of Dickens, a set of Balzac, a series of children's fiction and history.
A huge passel of pocket paperbacks, with stuff like Nietzsche, H.P. Lovecraft, Pat Conroy, Jackie Collins, and Ayn Rand. I find the Ayn Rand a little embarrassing, but I keep it in there because it tends to weird out & intimidate people who don't read much.
There are also things from the fifties, like Bob Hope's "I Owe Russia $1200" and "Barbara Owen, Girl Reporter".
Tons of Complete Idiots Guides and for Dummies books.
An embarrassing amount of Llewellyn books--They were shiny, happy, pagan books that were about three bucks apiece at one store I worked at.
Tons of books on yarn crafts.
Tons of books on Tarot (my current favorite is the Complete Idiots Guide to...")
Some Hippie dippy type stuff like Ram Dass "Be Here Now" and Timothy Leary "Confessions of a Hope Fiend" and also that book he did with R. A. Wilson, the title of which escapes me now. I also have tons of R. A. Wilson, except for that one about Bob & Slack (post-modernism kind of gets on my nerves.)
One of the first books on metaphysics I ever read was Colin Wilson's "the Occult".
I also have some stuff on Gnosticism, like Pagels & Steiner.
I also have a lot of Ouspensky/Gurdjieff--but the only Ouspensky book I even got halfway through was New Model of the Universe, and that was because I really dug the parts where he talked about his disillusionment with society through his newspaper job, and subsequent search for wisdom. "There are enough lies in the world without mine." There is a very cool book about the 4th Way community called "Struggle of the Magicians: Why Ouspensky Left Gurdjieff" by William Patrick Patterson, which reads like a spy novel. You should check it out if you're into them.
I have some things like Godwin's Cabalistic Encyclopedia, Regardie's Golden Dawn and Garden of Pomegranates.
Of course I have a lot of Crowley books, one of my favorites being an edition called "Portable Darkness: An Aleister Crowley Reader" edited by Scott Michaelson, which provides a nice introduction to his work. I have the Confessions, Laurence Sutin's "Do What Thou Wilt," The Law is For All, Holy Books of Thelema, Book of Lies, Magickal Diaries of AC, 777, Book of Thoth, Magick W/O Tears, Tarot Divination, Magick in Theory & Practice.
Recently I have been branching out into Wicca and related topics, so I got a few Scott Cunningham titles, Margot Adler's Drawing Down the Moon, T. Thorn Coyle's Evolutionary Witchcraft, and Modern Pagans by Vicky Vale, among other titles.
Well, this was sitting in my bookshelf for a long time, and I'm currently going through a "read it and get rid of it" culling thing. Didn't know I was sitting on YA fiction gold. I have to put it in a bag of books that's going to be sold at a garage sale, and whoever gets this will be pleasantly surprised.It's a book about "the hippie revolution" and the "generation gap" from the late sixties, so it's a little dated, it talks about "the moral depression", and has a rather melodramatic ending, but for young kids, it would make a great read.Maia Wojciechowska won a Newberry Award medal, and I seem to remember reading "Shadow of a Bull" as a kid, but this book sends me into a mood to revisit her work, to learn more about great writing, whatever the topic.