Nearly a year ago, when it became known that Diana Wynne Jones had ceased treatment for her cancer, I wrote this letter about what her works meant to me. It looks like a thin collection of words now, not nearly enough, but I am not in a particular mind to try to expand upon it.
Instead, inspired by Celia, I’m sharing a picture of the eclectic, well-rumpled Diana Wynne Jones books that have a permanent place on my bookshelves, taking up a fair chunk of precious real estate in my library. This is where they belong.
What I love most is that I can see at a glance the archaeology of my DWJ reading history. The first books of hers I collected were madly random, and either second hand or plucked from obscure corners of bookshops. Mostly I couldn’t find them at all, and had to read them from the library instead. Then came the rather marvellous post-Potter era in which her books were suddenly released in their entirety, in colourful, attractive covers. Then, after the Diana Wynne Jones Renaissance, which I imagine was at least partly fuelled by people like me who desperately plugged every hole in their collection by buying these books by the handful, as well as new and eager post-Potter readers, there are the New Era Diana Wynne Jones books, beginning with the Merlin Conspiracy, which came out in larger, trade and even hardback editions.
Books. They are so pretty, and they tell a story. Diana Wynne Jones will continue to be read, and reread, in this household for many years to come.
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EDIT: Looking at this, it so is NOT my complete collection, damn it. Where is Archer’s Goon and Tough Guide to Fantasyland? Now I’m going to have to tidy my library again.