Monday, June 18, 2012
Do you have show off books?
You know, those books you haven't actually read, but want sitting on your shelf when people come over. Moby Dick. War and Peace. A Brief History of Time. Don't they make us look smart?
I'm a book hoarder in the first place. Probably half the books I own I haven't read, but definitely plan to. That's all I ever ask for at Christmas, and I still have all my old books from high school. And then of course when I get bored or depressed the first stop is the local thrift store where I can get like six or seven books for ten bucks. Not bad, right? So I have a pretty large not-read-yet collection anyway.
But those show off books are there. My big pretty leather anthologies of Shakespeare, Lewis Carol and Edgar Alan Poe I got for my birthday two years ago. I've read some from these guys, especially Shakespeare, but those particular books definitely also look pretty on a shelf.
I've come to the conclusion, though, that having show-off books is not a bad thing. I think all of us are booky enough that we really do intend to get around to them some day, even War and Peace. Maybe seeing them on our shelves between Harry Potter and The Help will inspire us. I firmly believe that it is always a good idea to expand our literary horizons, and Captain Ahab will always be there when we're ready.
Maybe we put them on the shelf in our front entry so we look smart. Maybe one day they'll actually make us smarter.
Are you a book show-off too? Which ones do you have prominently displayed in the living room?