This is a question that I get in my e-mail or Twitter feed from time to time, usually from readers who don't agree with my opinion. Typically, it comes with a derisive inference that I consider my opinion supreme when it comes to books.
Anyone who knows or has read my material regularly should know that's not the case. I've said repeatedly over the years that I don't consider myself an expert, just a guy that likes to talk about books and music. The websites that I write for give me the opportunity to talk about it to people who might actually care instead of just blabbing away at my family members who really just wish I'd just shut up about it. The opinions expressed in my reviews are mine and mine alone and should never be taken as more. There are great books and music that I don't like and not-so-great books and music that I love.
So where does the name come from? Well, it's a bit of an inside joke.
I began my music and books sites in 1996 on the AOL servers. At the time, they were two separate sites. Hall of the Mountain King for music, was named, I'll admit, not after Grieg's famous piece, but after the Savatage album. The books site, which was a way to fulfill a dream of mine of opening a bookstore, was called the Bookwyrm.
For those who are so inclined, the crumbling echoes of those sites can be found here and here.
I ran them as they evolved for quite a few years before life intervened and they fell into a state of disrepair. Around 2006, I came over to the blogging world because a blog was much easier to maintain than the sites that I had been running. I initially launched it as a rant blog, but later changed the name to Hall of the Mountain King and collected all of my music reviews, book reviews and random ramblings under one umbrella.
After a few years, I discovered that most people were coming here for the music content, and the other stuff was getting in their way. Likewise, the people who were interested in my book reviews often didn't care that much about the music that I listen to, so I decided to split them again so people didn't have to wade through so much they weren't interested in to get to what they were.
I created a site strictly for music under the Hall of the Mountain King name at www.mountainkingmusic.com. Everything else, I left here, but I needed a name. I didn't want to go back to the Bookwyrm. Though I still love the name, it's certainly not as unique or clever as I thought in 1996. I brainstormed for a while about it, but couldn't come up with anything that I liked. Finally, I hit on the idea that since the music site was Hall of the Mountain King, this one could be the Mountain King's Royal Library. True, it's not unique or clever either, but it kind of stuck and with social media and other items set up for it, I'm just too lazy to change it again at this point.
And that's the story, as uninteresting as it is, with more detail than most folks probably wanted or needed. Ultimately, as I said before, I'm just a guy that's passionate about the books and music that I enjoy, and this is a place for me to talk about them where I might find a few like minds -- nothing more, nothing less. Know that I do appreciate everyone who visits this site taking the time to stop and read my ramblings, whether they agree with them or not.