Books have been a part of my life as far back as I can remember. My grandparents collected books and had a massive collection. Sadly almost all of it was left behind after my grandfather passed away and my grandmother emigrated to the United States. I still have the collected poems of Mihai Eminescu bought for me the year I was born and a two-volume set on the life of Napoleon Bonaparte.
My own collection is sadly a haphazard mishmash of paperbacks, short story collections, stuff I picked up wherever, and the occasional hardback. A few years ago my wife gave me a Kindle Fire for Christmas and I fell in love with ebooks. I have over two hundred on my Amazon account, probably more if I count my wife’s collection.
Ebooks are exceptionally convenient, easy to read in bed, and don’t take up space. The last point is important to me because space is valuable in Japan and being in the military means that I have to move around a lot.
But, all great men should have a personal library. A collection of good books worth passing down to one’s children and grandchildren. Physical books that represent solid permanence. So, I’ve decided to start a new collection consisting only of hardcover books focusing on history, philosophy, science, and great literature. I hope that by the time I retire and fulfill my plan of having a permanent study comparable to the private spaces of great men, my collection will be well suited to line the walls.
Yesterday the first piece arrived. For personal symmetry, I chose to begin my collection with a biography of Napoleon written by Andrew Roberts. I plan on adding a lot more in the coming years while pruning out the old paperbacks and substandard story collections that I won’t read again. I’m keeping an eye of for a collection of Shakespeare that is aesthetically pleasing.