Here are some of my books on walking, climbing, travel and the countryside. I've lots more books on these subjects - but the ones I love the most are displayed on these three shelves. The categorisation is loose, but they are arranged alphabetically by author. Once a librarian, always a librarian! I'll highlight a few authors and titles which are indispensable to me...
In this pic you can see on the left a few general 'outdoor' books - books on hiking, backpacking, navigation and mountains, including a book with one of the most memorable titles ever: How To Shit In The Woods by Kathleen Meyer. An A-F sequence follows, with books by Edward Abbey, Tom Brown Jr. and Colin Fletcher, three of my favourite American backcountry, wilderness writers. There are two absolute travel writing classics: Robert Byron's The Road To Oxiana and Bruce Chatwin's In Patagonia. There's a collection of travel essays called Hills And The Sea by the Anglo-French Catholic writer Hilaire Belloc, whose eccentric but captivating memoir The Path To Rome was one of the first books to inspire me to go on long-distance treks. There are several volumes by the wonderfully opinionated George Borrow, who wandered extensively throughout Europe, often in the company of gypsies and other nomads. And there's Gerald Brenan's South From Granada - one of the best books about Spain I have ever read.
On the second shelf (G - M!) you may be able to spot Goethe's Italian Journey; four books by Patrick Leigh Fermor, probably my favourite travel writer of all; a couple by Richard Mabey, one of the UK's finest writers on natural history; two books by the exciting, genre-busting, contemporary writer Robert Macfarlane, a master of deep, resonant, poetic prose; several by Jan/James Morris, queen of our present-day travel authors; Peter Matthiessen's classic The Snow Leopard; Arctic Dreams, that richly conceived, ground-breaking book about the Arctic by Barry Lopez; a few books from the mystically inclined English nature writer Richard Jefferies (read his spiritual autobiography The Story Of My Heart for an extraordinary description of mystical illumination on the Wiltshire downs).
On the bottom shelf (M - Z! You would have expected this) there's John Muir's Nature Writings; Eric Newby's Love And War In The Apennines; a couple of Jonathan Raban's; WG Sebald's incomparable The Rings Of Saturn; two books by Rebecca Solnit (including her brilliant Wanderlust); and two by Edward Thomas, the troubled English poet, essayist, journalist and walker (and friend of Robert Frost), who died in the first world war.