Wednesday, March 4, 2015

T5W: Books You'd Save in a Fire

This week’s topic was really interesting for me because I mostly read books digitally and I’m currently in the process of slimming down my physical bookshelf because, even though I do have some pretty nice signed editions and some really gorgeous covers, I'm not overly attached to my physical book collection. As a result, this week’s list is composed of primarily school books, which are jammed pack with sticky notes and (sometimes indecipherable) marginalia.
  1. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. I read Mrs. Dalloway three times throughout university, each time with a focus on something different. I used the same edition for all my classes, so you can see some pretty distinct changes in how my analysis of the text evolved from my freshman year through my senior year (one of the most notable changes is that I stopped using highlighters). It’s a pretty neat process to track.
  2. The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford. The Good Soldier was one of the last books I wrote a paper about at university, and I did so much extra research that the pages are absolutely overwhelmed with sticky notes and flags, underlined passages, and notes. I ended up being super proud of this paper, and it’s pretty nice to have a tangible object to show how much work I put into it.
  3. The Norton Shakespeare edited by Stephen Greenblatt. I originally received this anthology as a birthday present from one of my friends who knew about my love for Shakespeare. I haven’t talked to him much since we’ve gone off to university, but he wrote a very nice note to me in the cover, and I’ve used this anthology in almost every Shakespeare class I took (the one exception being the semester I studied abroad).
  4. Theory of the Novel: A Historical Approach edited by Michael McKeon. Wow. Okay, this is a bit of a pretentious pick, but my history of the theory of the novel class turned out to be one of my favorites, and it really helped me expand my way of viewing and interpreting literature. We didn’t end up reading everything from the book in that class, but the passages we did read are heavily underlined and annotated and are ones that I often think about.
  5. Harry Potter series. This one is a major cheat because not only do I mean my original copies of the seven books, I also mean the UK editions of the series that my grandmother bought me and the UK and Italian editions I have of Beedle the Bard. But it’s Harry Potter, okay? You’re allowed to cheat for Harry Potter.
I feel like so many book bloggers and booktubers focus a lot about their physical collection (at least considerably more than I do), so what are the five books would you save in a fire?

The Goodreads group for T5W (as well as the topics and the book bloggers and booktubers who participate) can be found here.

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