I begin my collection of “frequently asked questions” with this one, not because it is so frequently asked, but because it is asked far more often than I would expect, and it so often leaves me without an answer. “Stuff I’m interested in” is probably the most accurate, but also the one that seems the least satisfactory. Sometimes I launch into the reasons for having a number of books on hand, and why — even with a serviceable library of several million volumes less than 50 steps from my office door — I have given over a small part of one of my office walls to a bunch of books.
Now, I have an alternative. Click on the chart above to see a breakdown of the Library of Congress subject headings that dominate the books I have at my office (fun with Excel!). I’ve pulled out the Hs because that was the largest category. A list of the books that generates this is here.
Don’t read too much into this collection. It’s what I have at work right now. I am very happy to have suggestions (“You mean you don’t have the new edition of the complete works of Grotius yet!?”), but this list doesn’t include the books I have tucked onto shelves at home.