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John Bellairs acquired his love of books and reading habits in his youth from books originally belonging to one of his grandfathers. As a result much of his life revolved around books, something longtime friend Robert Yaple says "was true of all of us in those long-gone, pre-Internet days, but John was the champ." Yaple recalls Bellairs wanting the following inscribed on his tombstone:

John Anthony Bellairs
He read most of the books that were worth reading
and all of those that weren't.
Some of Bellairs's characters also enjoyed reading, savoring, and collecting books:

  • Preparing for bed in a new house, Lewis finds an old copy of John Stoddard’s lectures (smelling like Old Spice talcum powder, no less) and snuggles into bed with chocolate mints to read about Scottish nobles (The House with a Clock in its Walls, 18-9).
  • Professor Childermass is nearly struck dumb when he finds out his neighbor, Johnny Dixon, has not only voluntarily checked out books from the library but that the topics are of ancient Egypt, of pharaohs and mummies, and of curses. Childermass immediately takes a liking to Johnny since, he reveals, his sister’s daughter’s children “couldn’t read their way through a book of cigarette papers” (The Curse of the Blue Figurine, 14-5).

Bellairs Corpus

This is a list of books, both real and imaginary.

  • Aelfrics Wuldor
  • Amulets: A Free Inquiry into the Properties of Magical Amulets
  • An Answer for Night-Hags
  • Aristotelis Opera
  • Barchester Towers
  • Ben-Hur
  • The Bible
  • The Book of Going Forth by Day
  • The Book of Nameless Horrors
  • The Book of the Dead
  • The Book of True Wishes
  • Breviarum Defunctorum
  • Budge's Heraldry
  • Captain Blood
  • Captain Monkhouse’s Table of Rust Rates
  • Celtic Lands and Peoples
  • Chemical Magic with Everyday Ingredients
  • La Clavicle de Salomon
  • La Clavicule de Salomon
  • Close-up Tricks With Matches, Coins, and String
  • The Communist Manifesto
  • A Compendium of Myth and Legends of All Nations
  • Confessions
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Cyclopaedia of Jewish Antiquities
  • Cyclopaedic Dictionary of Magic and the Magic Arts
  • De Angelis
  • Dictionary of Magical Creatures
  • The Dog at Rome: Famous Pets of Popes
  • Dracula
  • Eminent Minnesotans
  • Encyclopedia of Supernatural and Occult Knowledge
  • Exfoliations from a Blazing Tulip
  • Fidgeta and the Problem of the Catholic Artist in an Altogether Too Secularized Society
  • Das Fidgetaslied und der Deutsche Geist
  • Five Tragedies
  • Floradora: Lines Writ in Lava
  • Forty Years Among the Magicians or, My Friends the Fakirs, the Fakers, and the Fabulous Frauds
  • Fragonards Fidgetabild und Romantische Weltschmerz
  • A Genealogist in Providence
  • Gods, Graves and Scholars
  • Great Poems of the English Speaking World
  • Grimoire of Frascati
  • A Guide to the Planets
  • A Guide to the Upper Peninsula
  • Handbook for Grade School Nuns
  • Hardesty's Universal Omnium Gatherum: Perpetual Calendar, Date Book, `Almanac, and Book of Days
  • Hayti, or the Black Republic
  • History of Egypt
  • History of England
  • A History of Hoosac County
  • A History of the Barnavelt Family and the Rebellion Against King Charles I
  • History of the World
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles
  • How to amaze your friends
  • In Deadly Waters
  • Interesting Tombs of the XIX Dynasty
  • Kabbala
  • The Krankenhammer
  • Letters to an Astigmatic Stigmatic
  • The Long-Lost Friend
  • The Lore of Model Railroading
  • The Lost World
  • Malleus Maleficarum
  • Mental Reservations and Other Traps
  • A Mineralogical Field Guide to the Upper Midwest
  • A Modest Enquiry into the Nature of witchcraft
  • Monuments of the Fayyum
  • De Mortuis geranda
  • The Mountains of Pharaoh
  • Mysterium Cosmographicum
  • Nameless Horrors and What to do About Them
  • Names of the Dead Ones
  • Necromancy
  • Necronomicon
  • New England Primer
  • North Woods Whammy
  • Of the Lamia
  • On the Restoration of Charmed Circles
  • Peculiarities of American Cities
  • The Persecution for witch-craft of Martin Christian Barnavelt
  • Projected Thoughts of Popes
  • Quo Vadis
  • Records of Salem witchcraft
  • Register of all Wizards and Warlocks of the South Kingdom and the North from the Beginning of the World to the Present Time
  • Roman Divination
  • Salem witchcraft
  • The Shadow of Fu Manchu
  • A Short Guide to Catholic Church History
  • Six Centuries of English Spells
  • The Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses
  • Some Puzzling Remnants
  • Stately Homes of New England
  • Stoddard's Lectures
  • Summa Contra Omnes
  • Syllabus of Errors
  • Tell My Horse
  • The Testament of J. K. Borkman, or A Disquisition Concerning the Inwardness of Things, and How the World May be Altered And the Clouds Made to Do Your Bidding
  • Thaumaturgy
  • Through the Looking-Glass
  • The Time machine
  • Topographical Indicators of Oil-Bearng Strata
  • Treasure Island
  • A True relation of the witchcraft tryals in New-England
  • Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
  • Twilight of the Gonads
  • The Unfortunate Traveler
  • Unnamable cults
  • Urne-Buriall
  • Weather Patterns of the Upper Mississippi Valley
  • Weird Tales of the Maine Seacoast
  • Who’s Who in the East
  • Winterborn's Account of His Archeological Career
  • Wonders of the Invisible World
  • Zimmermann's Book of Spells

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