Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Impertinent Bookshelf

Just for kicks, here's a glimpse at my two shelves of neatly arranged volumes.

Of course, the wife and I actually own a fairly impressive number of books (most are in boxes scattered around our place), but these are sort of my showpieces, I guess.  It's definitely on the eclectic side.  Multiple volumes from Wittgenstein, Nietzsche, and Hitchens (of course) sit next to lighter fare like Denis Leary's Why We Suck and Stephen Colbert's I Am America (and So Can You!).  Probably the best book to show off is the 1961 printing of The Federalist that I spotted at Paul's Books on State Street while visiting friends in Madison years ago.  It's not in the best shape, but definitely worth owning, and not at all suited to being relegated to a box in a closet somewhere.

Like anyone else, there are a number of books I very much want to add to my collection.  That list is miles long, but I'll just say that it has long been a dream of mine to own an autographed copy of Hitchens' Letters to a Young Contrarian.*  Particularly given Mr. Hitchens' rather grim health outlook (he has esophageal cancer, and has publicly stated that he'd be lucky to live another five years), I'd evaluate the odds of that ever happening as "slim," but if anyone knows how I can make it so, please do inform me.  In the meantime, keep fighting, Hitch.  The world can ill-afford to lose your courage, wit, and intellect now.

*An amusing story Hitchens sometimes tells involves an older woman asking him to autograph a copy of one of his books telling him that she had given Letters to a Young Contrarian to her grandson in the hope that he would become a contrarian, but that he had refused.  Heh.

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