Friday, December 18, 2009

For The Love of Books

Have you ever wondered if money and space were not an issue, what books would you have in your home library? Well, meet the most famous book lover in the world who does not have either as an issue - Oprah Winfrey! How does the busiest woman in America find the time to read? Apparently it's because she does not watch TV. Imagine the irony of that! Let's see what this modern day Wonder Woman has in her well-stocked library.

Ps: I covet her high fashion collection.

Photo: Matthew Rolston

Article taken off

An Anatomy of Oprah's Bookshelves

Oprah's library—1,500 volumes strong, and still growing—includes first-edition Pulitzer Prize winners, Oprah's Book Club selections, and John Steinbeck's first novel, Cup of Gold. Look closely and you may find titles you want to add to your own reading list....


The work of notable 19th- and 20th-century African-American writers—including Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, and Sojourner Truth—coalesce in this 12-volume collection published in 1996. A golden portrait of each author is rendered on the spines.


"He's definitely on her list of favorites," library consultant Kinsey Marable says of this African-American poet. Oprah's cache contains a rare copy of Dunbar's first book of poetry, Oak and Ivy, which he published in 1893 at the age of 21.


First-edition biographies of Coco Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, and Helena Rubinstein sit alongside The Art of Vogue: Covers 1909–1940. Marable also tracked down an original 1976 copy of Hollywood Costume: Glamour! Glitter! Romance! by legendary fashion editor Diana Vreeland and Dale McConathy.


This exhaustive archival project—a collaboration between the King Center and Stanford University—began in 1985. These five volumes contain notes an 11-year-old King wrote to his parents, letters he sent them while working one summer on a tobacco farm in Connecticut, his doctoral dissertation, and speeches he delivered during the Montgomery Bus Boycott.


"We decided to do a run of first-edition Pulitzers when we first met," says Marable. A rare copy of Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence; Our Town by Thornton Wilder; and Collected Poems by Robert Frost occupy the section behind the sofa.