I have just read my 4000th book

Asterix & Obelix's Birthday

I have just read my 4000th book.

It was Asterix & Obelix’s Birthday: The Golden Book.

Yes, I know there are derogatory names for people like me. I don’t care. I’ve kept a complete list of books and magazines that I have read since 1st September, 1966 when I was still in high school. For the first few years I only recorded the names and authors of books I had finished reading. In more recent years I have also recorded the issue number of magazines that I have read cover to cover. I read most of the magazines I buy in their entirety. I figure that I’ve paid good money for those magazines, so I’m going to get good value for my expenditure. Quirky, yes. Odd, maybe. That’s just me; no apologies will be forthcoming.

Significantly the 4000th book was the latest in one of my favourite series of books – the Asterix comics. I started buying this series in the early 1970s and my children grew up knowing them thoroughly. Every time a new title was published there was severe competition in our family to read it first. They claim that their general knowledge of the history and times of the Roman Empire was largely formed by reading the Asterix books. It is quite a possibility that they also learned to read using these books. I was a teacher librarian at the time so I made sure the school had a good supply of the titles, my family often reading them first.

One of the saddest days of my teaching career was when my entire collection of Asterix books was damaged due to fire in an adjacent classroom. It brought me to tears. The books were rescued, cleaned of soot and are in reasonable condition despite the fire. But even today I still get slightly sooty hands reading them. It was a delight to recently find a title I didn’t have in my library.

Good reading, good writing.