You can learn a lot about someone from their bookcase. If someone does not have a bookcase, they’re a monster, and you should make a graceful exit. Leave the wine where it is, just get out.
I don’t have a bookcase; I keep the books I’ve read in small white boxes in the basement. I keep the books I haven’t read in my third dresser drawer. The drawer’s almost full, so I need to read faster.
It’s an illogically temperate December 28 in Western New York and I’m looking over my laptop screen at two of my grandfather’s bookcases. The shelves aren’t full, there’s always room for more. He has photo albums covering almost every year since 1975. He has naval academy yearbooks from the early 1980s. He has american politician biographies, religious texts, and military history books. He has a copy of The Art of War. He has a black birdhouse with pink flowers painted all over sitting on the top shelf, but it’s not a book, so it doesn’t count.
My grandfather goes under for back surgery tomorrow. A man who owns The Wars of the Roses, a revised edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia, and a travel guide to Ireland should pull through. If only to finish filling all these empty shelves.