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THE TOP 25 — MY FAVOURITE BOOKS BY CHRIS HARLE Just occasionally, something drops through my letter box that gets me very excited, last Monday was one of those days!

Chris Harle, the self-proclaimed, ‘book man’ from Outside in Hathersage is a passionate and serious collector of Mountaineering narratives. Ten years ago he wrote a piece entitled, ‘The Top 25 My Favourite Books’. With time on his hands due to Covid-19 Chris recently wrote a follow up, ‘The Next 25’.

His introduction states, ‘Although some of my top 25 are quite collectible and valuable my choices do not reflect how much they are worth in terms of money. The underlying criteria from my selection is simple — there must be an element of uniqueness about each book’. The lists are not ranked and why twenty five books, Chris explains; ‘Imagine a scenario where rising flood waters are threatening your home and you have just a few minutes to grab your most prized books. You can only manage to carry 25 away with you…’.

The narrative behind each entry is fascinating, where the book came from, the signature or dedication within its pages all makes for a fascinating story.

Lovingly written and beautifully printed as an A4 booklet, I can’t remember being so impressed by a publication. Items so lovingly produced, the attention to detail in each entry had me gripped. I was also delighted if not a little surprised to see two books Chris bought from me in the second document. A Smythe signed, The Kengchenjunga Adventure and Gary Hemming by Mirella Tenderini. I was also surprised to find out my name is printed in the back of Waymaking published by Vertebrate Publishing, I missed that!

What really shines through is the passion contained within the pages. My copies, numbered two of only ten copies will sit as special items within the collection.

Well done Chris, you made my day!
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