This hypothetical category depends completely on what you are hoping to read. I have thousands of volumes of fiction, some are trashy, some modern classics, and in fact some have become modern classics since I’ve read them, in particular some of the Americans who have received recognition in recent years like John Irving who I’m sure must by now be on some school syllabus.
Now I love to buy the books that I could never afford when I was younger, and over the past year or so I have happily found myself on the mailing lists of both Taschen and Phaidon. They tempt me regularly with their beautifully printed volumes on art, architecture, film, in fact anything creative. The even reissue classics in recreated formats and leave you wondering whether there will always be a market for books like these.
I spent Boxing Day this year in absolute bliss reading a bit of a novel on a Kindle – perfect medium for it, even as a dedicated book lover I say that. Then absorbing the full package that made up a coffee table tome on the work of John Pawson where even the grain of the paper had an important part to play.
Don’t worry, I know this degree of obsession isn’t normal. But I am very happy with it and both Phaidon and Taschen have brought me hours of learning and absorbing, and at times just simple pleasure over the past twelve months.