There's something very special about a printed book that no amount of e-books in the world can replace. Upon a recent quest for new and noteworthy coffee table books, there was one book among the masses that caught my attention. It's called The Ideal Bookshelf by Jane Mount (November 13, 2012). While some may liken this book to Kramer's infamous coffee table book on coffee tables. For the avid reader and book enthusiast this comes as a window into the homes and minds of leading cultural figures as they share a collection of books that matter to them. Upon flipping through the pages you start to realise how little of the literary world you have actually conquered as you slowly take mental notes of titles to add to your reading list. If you are ever at all curious about what other people read, then this one's for you.
And when it comes to the love of the printed word I think author Joe Queenan said it best in an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal:
"People who need to possess the physical copy of a book, not merely an electronic version, believe that the objects themselves are sacred. Some people may find this attitude baffling, arguing that books are merely objects that take up space. This is true, but so are Prague, and your kids and the Sistine Chapel."
I'm staring to get off topic, but then again that's the beauty of the written word. One thought lead to another to another and soon you have a full discourse on the meaning of life. But I digress again. Since The Ideal Bookshelf is all about the books that define us, I couldn't help but ponder over the very same question myself. Which books have defined my life? Which books do I turn to? Which books have altered my course of history? The list in the picture above was no small feat to compile, in fact I had trouble filling in the titles of all ten blank books. I guess I have a lot more reading to do.
If you've made it this far then I must apologise for the heavy nature of this post. Don't worry it's back to my usual frivolous writings in the next one.
My Ideal Bookshelf
available >> here and here.
Do you have a favourite book or reading list to share? What books have defined your life?