If you’ve seen the film High Fidelity, you may remember the scene where John Cusack’s character, Rob Gordon, explains his autobiographical cataloguing system for his vinyl collection. He indexes his records by mentally tagging them with neurotic pieces of personal information. It’s a tad obsessive—and totally comprehensible. Over at HTMLGIANT, Roxane Gay reveals an autobiographical index of her book collection:
I bought The Book of Night Women because I’m from the Caribbean and Maud Newton said it was great, on her blog. I bought Then We Came to the End because I love writing from the collective point of view and I wanted to see if the book was as good as the hype. It was. I bought Revolutionary Road because the movie came out and I thought, “I bet the book is better.” It was. I bought American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld because intensely disliked Prep, as in, I have a visceral reaction just thinking about the book and I wanted to see what kind of reaction I would have to American Wife. I quite enjoyed it. It’s a slow, subtle book but well worth the read. I bought Gotham Diaries because I read in Entertainment Weekly that Spike Lee’s wife had co-written the book and I wondered if it was any good. Not so much. I could go on. For almost every book in my collection, I remember why I bought it, what was going on in my life, who I was in that moment.