Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What's Mine is Mine

From the Financial times of London comes this delightful excerpt from the forthcoming  Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books  (Yale University Press) edited by Leah Price.
Writers including Claire Messud, Edmund White and Gary Shteyngart, talk about their (usually formidable) book collections, how they store them, shelve them, arrange them and whether or not they give away donate or (gasp!) throw away any volumes when things get out of hand. "I still mourn the books I chucked," admits Junot Diaz, for whom books competed in importance with food when he was young. Each writer gives a list of their ten favorite books.
Messud, who lives with the writer James Wood explains, "Certainly we both know at once which books properly belong to one or the other of us, and by the same token, know which books are somehow shared. I can’t explain how we know this, but as far as I recall, we’ve never disagreed about a single volume.." 
Bibliophiles everywhere understand perfectly.