January 2019
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I haven’t been blogging much lately due to family circumstances.

I haven’t been reading too much either but have in fact have bought quite a few books. There was a special offer from PS Publishing where I got 8 hardbacks for £35 plus postage. A fine selection of books arrived, all but one signed and from limited editions and none of them massive door stops, so they should be quick easy reads from new (to me) authors.

I’ve also bought a fair few Robert E Howard books; mainly to read Howard as he intended his stories to be read. I first read him years ago in the Sphere paperbacks but these were (apparently) highly edited – or hacked and slashed. Late last year I bought a copy of ‘Red Nails’ edited by Karl Edward Wagner which presented Howard’s Conan in the original and I enjoyed reintroducing myself to Howard’s Conan quite a bit. This burst of buying was in part brought on by reading the updated version of Blood and Thunder by Mark Finn, which was a highly readable journey into Howard’s life. Reading that made me want to start reading more Howard again. I’ve also just bought the newly announced book by The Robert E Howard Press. Four books from them so far – including Mark Finn’s – and every one a beautifully produced edition with great contents.

I also invested in Book Collector 8.0 Pro from I’ve been toying with cataloguing my book collection for a while and have been making spreadsheets and databases but this program was a godsend. Just type in the ISBN number and the program gets all the details from the internet and the book is catalogued. The program does lack in certain areas: I can’t put in details about limited editions, number X out of 100 and so on, and some of the information that can be put in seems pointless to me, but the speed at which the books can be recorded makes the program worth the money. It doesn’t always get the details right – such as the correct cover – but I managed to catalogue over two hundred books in a couple of hours. Typing in all that information would have taken ages; even if it was basic information such as title, author, publisher, year published and format.

It’ll also be nice to find out how many books I actually have as they are scattered around the house in various rooms and cupboards. The program has some other features which are interesting. There are some charts and statistics. With a few over 200 books entered it tells me I have 52 Bob Shaw books, 49 Robert E Howard books, 24 Kenneth Robeson (Doc Savage) books, 22 Theodore Sturgeon books, 14 Neal Asher books; the rest are single figures. But I’m guessing that’s only about a quarter of the books I have and there are a ton of P K Dick books to be entered, quite a lot of Robert Silverberg, Philip Jose Farmer and others.

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