A Life in Books


It’s only $400.  A steal, I tell you. And what an idea for book junkies like us.

Here’s how it works:

  1. The nice police officer, sorry, I mean artist, will send you ink and some cards.
  2. You stick your thumb in the ink and apply it to the card. Like with the police (I’ve been told) the aim is to get a nice, clear print with lots of lines, whorls and other finger-printy-type language.
  3. You mail the inked cards back to the artist with a list of up to 50 of your favourite books.
  4. Wait a few weeks and your three foot high thumbprint ‘portrait’ of your favourite books will arrive

Up to 50 books, it says. Just 50? Just 50, but thank god they can be in no particular order.

The greater challenge is that this is a record of a moment in time. I don’t know about you, but the ‘Top’ anything for me is eternally evolving. At my age (late thirties – nearly wrote mid-thirties, there…how soon we enter denial) I have, hopefully, at least the same amount of years to go before I pop off my bucket.

Casting the Top 50 in a fixed medium is too limiting. There will have to be one a decade, with a final commission combining the recurring books in the Top 50 with any new ones my death rattle renders audible.

Hopefully the artist will live long enough to comply with my plan, despite the feeling that if I start this off now it’s akin to being one of those early twenties ‘celebrities’ who have a biography.

Why commit to stone a catalogue of a life that has not yet been fully lived?


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