The OF Blog: A few book/e-book statistics on my foreign language collections/libraries

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A few book/e-book statistics on my foreign language collections/libraries

I thought I would do an inventory of the non-English language books/e-books that I currently own (doing a similar thing for my English-language books would be pointless, since I trade in several dozen if not a hundred or more a month, so it'd be too fluid of a number).  I'm going to divide this into two parts, secular and religious, to account for where I shelve some of these books and the uses to which I may or may not put them.  The numbers were surprising.  The total numbers will be listed first, followed by e-book numbers, if applicable.  Not all of these have been read, mind you (some I just collect because I can), but here goes:


438 Spanish (15 e-books)
141 French (19 e-books)
 65 German (3 e-books)
 41 Italian (10 e-books)
 35 Portuguese (7 e-books)
 31 Serbian
 11 Latin
  5 Russian
  3 Attic Greek
  4 Persian (3 bilingual poems, 1 volume of Hedayat's writings)
  2 Romanian
  2 Catalan (1 e-book)
  1 Modern Greek
  1 Polish
  1 Hungarian
  1 Irish
  1 Norwegian (1 e-book)
  1 Arabic (bilingual poem)
781 secular books (56 e-books)


2 Koine Greek (1 Septuagint, 1 New Testament)
2 Latin (1 Vulgate Old Testament (e-book), 1 Revised Vulgate New Testament)
3 Spanish (1 Protestant edition, 1 Catholic edition, 1 Prayer Book)
1 Haitian (Protestant)
1 Serbian (Protestant)
1 Croatian (1 Prayer/Songbook)
1 Gullah (New Testament)
1 Portuguese (New Testament)
1 Russian (New Testament)
1 Romanian (New Testament)
1 French (Protestant)
1 Czech (New Testament)
1 Turkish (New Testament)
1 German (New Testament)
1 Indonesian (New Testament)
1 Persian (Devotional guide)
20 religious books (1 e-book).  Most of these were printed by Protestant publishing houses that I found for a cheap price at a used book store or received as a gift (exceptions being the Greek and Latin copies and the noted Spanish edition, not to mention the two prayer/songbooks).

Almost forgot to add the various grammars, phrasebooks, bilingual dictionaries, and defining dictionaries (only 1 for Spanish, none for the others) that I own:

4 Attic Greek grammars
2 Koine Greek grammars (religious)
1 Modern Greek grammar/phrasebook
2 Latin grammars, 1 Latin phrasebook, 2 bilingual dictionaries
1 Persian grammar, 1 bilingual dictionary
1 Gujarati grammar
1 Hindu/Urdu phrasebook
3 Portuguese grammars, 2 bilingual dictionaries
2 Arabic grammars
2 Italian grammars, 2 bilingual dictionaries
1 Irish grammar
1 Swahili grammar
1 Basque grammar
2 Chinese grammars
1 Hungarian dictionary
1 Welsh grammar
3 Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian grammars, 1 dictionary
1 Thai phrasebook
2 Romanian grammars, 1 dictionary
1 Haitian grammar
2 Russian grammars, 1 dictionary
1 German grammar, 2 dictionaries
1 Quechua grammar
1 Finnish grammar
38 total

Combined with an estimated 1400-1500 English-language works that I still remain, it seems foreign languages are occupying more and more of my libraries, secular and religious alike.  Not too bad.  Now if only I could be as fluent in all of them as I am with English or even Spanish.

1/19/12 Update:

Changed the totals to reflect 1 Spanish, 2 French, 1 Arabic, and 1 Persian secular books and 1 Persian religious book that I've purchased over the past three days and now have in my possession.


khorsheed said...

Hi Larry,

long time follower delurking herself for a moment here.

I've been looking for a decent persian grammar for quite a while, but had a hard time finding reliable feedback. Could you tell me which one you're using and if you'd recommend it?
Thanks in advance.

(Heh. With all your great articles, it feels funny that I should comment for the first time with such a silly question. Sorry!)



Gabriele Campbell said...

OK, you win. :)

You got more foreign books / grammars / dicrionnaries than I, and in some pretty exotic languages, too (Gurajati, Haitian etc.). Though I can rise you Latvian, Old Norse, and Sanskrit grammars; Old Norse, AngloNorman and Hebrew dictionaries, and a Hebrew Old Testament.

Lsrry said...


I use Wheeler Thackston's Introduction to Persian (4th ed.) and it is suitable to me as I'm used to self-studying (it's also a classroom book, I should note) and it lays out the grammar in short, sharp chapters. In addition, it also introduces nasta'liq script very early on and uses both print and nasta'liq for its answers. Would I recommend it? Yes, provided that you have some prior experience in studying another language at the collegiate level.


Give me a few discoveries at my favorite used bookstore and/or a couple of years and I might own most of those as well. I've been strangely reluctant to tackle Biblical Hebrew, though. Maybe after I master the Greek in a few years (I take long breaks between languages. Right now, it's Persian and then a resumption of Serbian, but Russian will be added to the mix shortly).

Miguel said...

It's cool to see Portugal so well represented in your collection.

Lsrry said...

Almost near-equal split between Portugal and Brazil, actually, as both countries have produced some fine writers and poets over the years :D

khorsheed said...

Thank you! I've bought it and can't wait to get back to studying persian.

Thanks for your time,


Lsrry said...

No problem! Hope you enjoy learning this beautiful language as much as I am now :D

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