Sunday, January 23, 2022

The Ultimate Home Library

By Claire Booth

A photo in the New York Times this week caught my eye. For obvious reasons.

It’s heaven (to me at least). Books, chairs, wood bookcases, ladders. Ladders!

I’d seen the photo before. It pops up on social media every once in a while. The NYT tracked down its origin. A Johns Hopkins professor and scholar of comparative literature named Richard Macksey owned the books and housed them in that wondrous library—and throughout his house—in Maryland.

When he died, “a SWAT team-like group of librarians and conservators” went through his collection and picked out only 35,000 books to add to university libraries. The rest when up for sale.

So if there are people in your lives who perhaps make noise about you owning too many books, put it in perspective for them by pointing to Dr. Macksey. And then keep right on stocking your own home library. Because let’s face it—you’re never going to match him. But it should would be fun to try.


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