Books for Keeping and Looking but Not Necessarily Reading

Books no longer mean the same thing they used to. In the past, books were read and reread, shared with trusted friends, and handed down to the next generation. In city life, with apartments being so small, a lot of friends have had to downsize their collections. I have tried to weed out the books I will never read: the ones I’ve owned for over a decade, the ones that remind me of former friends. One’s bookcase reflects a large part of who one is and chronicles who one was and who one would like to be. For example, all my Anne Rice and Poppy Z. Brite books indicate that I used to be a goth kid. And then you see who I’d like to be: the person who reads Vladimir Nabokov‘s translation of Pushkin or a study on medieval warfare. I plan on reading them one day. But there are also books I’ll never read. I keep them because of the sentimental value, the moments they represent, or their sheer beauty.

John Kobler, Capone

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