Yesterday I finished reading Maul: Lockdown. It was the final adult novel for me to read in what was the Star Wars Expanded Universe, now Star Wars Legends. 153 novels .. read over a period of 20 years. I have collected them all now, and you can see them above in Legends chronological order. My first memory of a star wars novel was not reading one. The local bookstore was not far from the house I grew up in. We would walk by it frequently on our way downtown. I can remember seeing the cover of X-Wing: Wedge’s Gamble on the book rack that was displayed just outside the door to the store. The cover had me enthralled, it was exciting! However at the age of 11, a 300 page book filled exclusively with words wasn’t exactly thrilling to me haha. My favorite book to that point was the Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels. The next year while eating my Cheerios for breakfast and looking at the back of the cereal box, as they sometimes had games you could play printed there. I discovered an advertisement for Shadows of the Empire. Again I was so very intrigued. I had been hooked on Star Wars for many years at this point, having rented on VHS and watched one of the original trilogy at least once a month until I got the trilogy for Christmas one year! So the prospect that there was new stories and adventures out there in the galaxy far, far away was mind blowing. On the inside of the cereal box was a coupon cut-out. You sent it in and they would mail you a copy of Shadows of the Empire. I’m sure at this time I didn’t know it was a novel. My Mom helped me with the mailing process, and a few weeks later the novel arrived. I was probably disappointed that it was a “word” book when I got it, but the front cover was sure cool. My parents had struggled to get me to read throughout my early school years. What it turned out to be was actually a dislike of reading material that was of no interest for me. So when I finally decided that I would try and read this grown-up “novel” .. I loved it immediately. Yes it was reading, but it allowed your imagination to take over and participate in a story set in the Star Wars galaxy. Wow! From Shadows of the Empire I went through all the Star Wars novels contained in our public library. Much to the shock and delight of my parents I am sure. Next was the Thrawn Trilogy, followed by the Black Fleet Crises Trilogy and the Han Solo / Lando Adventures. Followed by the Corellian and Jedi Academy Trilogies. When I ran out of books in the library I would save my pennies and buy them at that local bookstore. The only Star Wars material in the high school library was the Jedi Price young readers’ series which I found too silly/boring at this point. I’ve never tried to read a young readers’ novel since then. I remember when the New Jedi Order series was announced and having a hard time understanding why they had to kill Chewie. However I also remember starting Victor Prime and realizing it was the same old Star Wars. I resisted the prequel novels for a bit, not enjoying them as much as post-Yavin material, but eventually got around to reading them all. My favorites include: The Thawn Trilogy – it’s just so Star Wars. The Black Fleet Crises Trilogy (aside from the Lando centric volume of chapters in Shield of Lies) – the 20-30 pages of fleet action contained at the end of Tyrant’s Test remains the best naval action in any of the novels, and they are one of only two sections of any of the books that I have re-read – the other being No Disintegrations, Please from Tales from the New Republic. Spectre of the Past and Vision of the Future were just so solid. Rebel Stand and Rebel Dream are two of the very few books that really captured me and that I finished in 3 days (when not on vacation), another one being Riptide – which I can’t explain because I wasn’t that into Crosscurrent. Honourable mentions go to Allegiance and Choices of One. I enjoyed the overall plot of Fate of the Jedi series (which is probably an unpopular opinion) even if some of the writing/editing seemed rushed. The worst of them has to be Planet of Twilight and The Crystal Star. Wow, I bet it took me six months to read The Crystal Star. Children of the Jedi and Darksaber weren’t that far ahead. The cover art for some of the novels in the 1990’s was amazing. The cover for The New Rebellion really caught my eye, although the novel didn’t live up to my hype surrounding the visuals. The most controversial books to me were The Force Unleashed and The Force Unleashed II as they attempted to squeeze in events into previously covered material like the founding of the Rebel Alliance. I’d just like to say I wish I had a thesaurus on hand when reading the Michael Reaves series Coruscant Nights haha. 153 novels over 20 years. That works out to about one every month and a half. I didn’t read continuously throughout that period. I remember there were at least two year-long breaks from enjoying these novels. As a kid I can remember reading my Star Wars novels while listening to a Star Wars soundtrack on my Discman in the back seat of the minivan while on family road-trips. Reading in the bathtub on weekends, I can remember dropping X-Wing: Iron Fist right into the water, rescuing it, putting something heavy on it to try and keep its shape and letting it dry out – which it did. More recently on a vacation to Maui I would plow through several Fate of the Jedi novels a week. Mostly though, Star Wars novels allowed me to escape the day’s events by reading 20-30 pages in bed before I fell asleep. This was how the majority of those novels were read. These novels helped to get me through difficult times during high school, gave me a little bit of freedom while I worked so hard in university studying engineering for 5 years, and provided grounding from the “real world” and its many stresses during my mid/late twenties. The bottom line is these books have meant a lot to me. I may go back and re-read them at some point, maybe I will be able to share these with my children one day. But as of now I have a new chapter of Star Wars to begin, that being the new canon novels. As you can see I have re-ordered my collection to correspond to release date – as there are now two timelines. I’m sorry if you have read this and I have bored you. I am quite proud of this accomplishment and this is probably the only place where anybody will care or relate. These books have meant a great deal to me, what have they meant to you?