The Basic Bookcase
The Second Shelf: Books Without Frontiers
12 June 1999
We'll assume that each of these books is 21mm thick (about 0.82"), thus fitting 35 books on this shelf. Since virtually all of them are available as paperbacks, and 73.5cm (29") is just slightly narrower than ideal for a real bookshelf, 35 books should fit comfortably.
These are "books without frontiers," in the sense that they do not fit comfortably in any marketing category. Some of them are even labelled "children's books"! In one way or another, though, they are all part of the broad tradition of speculation in fiction. Unfortunately, some of them are translations from other languages. Be very careful of "exact quotations" from such translations. I always recommend reading a book in the language in which it was written. (That is, unfortunately, usually expecting too much for Americans, who tend not to learn foreign languages well, if at all.)
Some of these authors also appeared on the top shelf. I encourage anyone who likes these books to read more by the same authors. Nothing on this shelf should embarass you with a literature professor.
In a few cases, I have provided a link to a specific edition. These links are purposeful, and specify what I believe is the preferred edition in those cases in which I am familiar enough with the different editions available to judge.
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