I don’t know how long ago it was, I’m guessing early 1980s, when I bought a book that seemed to be the first of its kind. It was called The Book Of Lists, and that is exactly what it was, a book of lists.

There was all sorts in it: the top 10 grossing movies, the 10 tallest buildings, the 10 longest books, whatever. Not like a world records book, just a book of random lists.

As you might expect, it spawned and spawns, many copies. The data gets out-of-date.

My favourite was a paperback called Reel Facts:

It included all the lists you might reasonably expect, award winners, highest grossing etc. I pored over it.

Remember, this was a time before the world wide web. Now, if you want to know the ten most Oscar winning movies, then a simple search will find it:

Perry Mason

This is a picture of Erle Stanley Gardner, author of more books than you can count, almost, including 82 Perry Mason (lawyer) novels.

I used to visit a friend’s house when I was in my teens and his mother had a bookshelf with a large collection of Mason novels. They were very impressive, if slim volumes. “The case of the…”

You can still get them, sometimes there is a new print of some titles, old paperbacks become available second hand and there was even a collected hardback edition some years ago. Anyway, I have read 63, so just 19 more to go. Of course, finding them gets harder, but Amazon is your friend.

Don’t judge a book by its cover

One of the first paperback books I ever bought (from Boots in Scarborough) was this:

Yes, it is Jane Fonda. I still have this book and still think the cover is great. Have never seen the film though.