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How Wanky Is Your Bookshelf?

It's not necessarily a bad thing.

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  1. Thinkstock / BuzzFeed
    Via Jonathan Cape
    "Crash" by JG Ballard
    Via Jonathan Cape
    Via Black Sparrow Books
    "Ham On Rye" by Charles Bukowski
    Via Black Sparrow Books
    Via Black Sparrow Press
    "Post Office" by Charles Bukowski
    Via Black Sparrow Press
    Via Heinemann
    "A Clockwork Orange" by Anthony Burgess
    Via Heinemann
    Via Olympia Press
    "Naked Lunch" by William S. Burroughs
    Via Olympia Press
    Via Penguin
    "The Fall" by Albert Camus
    Via Penguin
    Via Hamish Hamilton
    "The Stranger" by Albert Camus
    Via Hamish Hamilton
    Via Simon and Schuster
    "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie
    Via Simon and Schuster
    Via Random House
    "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay" by Michael Chabon
    Via Random House
    Via Metropolitan Books
    "Hegemony or Survival" by Noam Chomsky
    Via Metropolitan Books
    Via HarperCollins
    "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho
    Via HarperCollins
    Via Blackwood's Magazine
    "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad
    Via Blackwood's Magazine
    Via St. Martin's Press
    "Generation X" by Douglas Coupland
    Via St. Martin's Press
    Via Random House
    "House of Leaves" by Mark Z. Danielewski
    Via Random House
    Via Signet
    "Inferno" by Dante
    Via Signet
    Via Bantam Books
    "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins
    Via Bantam Books
    Via The Russian Messenger
    "Crime and Punishment" by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    Via The Russian Messenger
    Via Bantum Books
    "Notes from Underground" by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    Via Bantum Books
    Via Vintage Books
    "American Psycho" by Bret Easton Ellis
    Via Vintage Books
    Via Simon & Schuster
    "A Staggering Work of Heartbreaking Genius" by Dave Eggers
    Via Simon & Schuster
    Via en.wikipedia.org
    "As I Lay Dying" by William Faulkner
    Via Little, Brown and Company
    "Eating Animals" by Jonathan Safran Foer
    Via Little, Brown and Company
    Via Farrar, Straus and Giroux
    "Freedom" by Jonathan Franzen
    Via Farrar, Straus and Giroux
    Via Alfred A. Knopf
    "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran
    Via Alfred A. Knopf
    Via City Lights Books
    "Howl" by Allen Ginsberg
    Via City Lights Books
    Via Putnam Publishing Group
    "Stranger in a Strange Land" by Robert A. Heinlein
    Via Putnam Publishing Group
    Via New Directions
    "Siddhartha" by Hermann Hesse
    Via New Directions
    Via Grove Press
    "Steal This Book" by Abbie Hoffman
    Via Grove Press
    Gödel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter
    Via Penguin
    Gödel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter
    Via Penguin
    Via en.wikipedia.org
    "The Odyssey" by Homer
    Via Victor Gollancz Ltd
    "High Fidelity" by Nick Hornby
    Via Victor Gollancz Ltd
    Via Hermitage House
    "Dianetics" by L. Ron Hubbard
    Via Hermitage House
    Via Sylvia Beach
    "Ulysses" by James Joyce
    Via Sylvia Beach
    Via Verlag Die Schmiede
    "The Trial" by Franz Kafka
    Via Verlag Die Schmiede
    Critique of Pure Reason
Book by Immanuel Kant
    Via en.wikipedia.org
    Critique of Pure Reason Book by Immanuel Kant
    Via Viking Press
    "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac
    Via Viking Press
    Via Picador
    "No Logo" by Naomi Klein
    Via Picador
    Via Melville House
    "Eeeee Eee Eeee" by Tao Lin
    Via Melville House
    Via Little, Brown
    "The Executioner's Song" by Norman Mailer
    Via Little, Brown
    Via Harper & Row
    "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel García Márquez
    Via Harper & Row
    Via en.wikipedia.org
    "The Communist Manifesto" by Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx
    Via Harper
    "Moby-Dick" by Herman Melville
    Via Harper
    Via Dover
    "Paradise Lost" by John Milton
    Via Dover
    Via Shinchosha
    "IQ84" by Haruki Murakami
    Via Shinchosha
    Via Olympia Press
    "Lolita" by Vladimir Nabokov
    Via Olympia Press
    Via Penguin
    "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" by Friedrich Nietzsche
    Via Penguin
    Via Doubleday
    "Choke" by Chuck Palahniuk
    Via Doubleday
    Via W. W. Norton
    "Fight Club" by Chuck Palahniuk
    Via W. W. Norton
    Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig
    Via William Morrow and Company
    Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig
    Via William Morrow and Company
    Via Penguin
    "Republic" by Plato
    Via Penguin
    Via Grasset
    "In Search of Lost Time" by Marcel Proust
    Via Grasset
    Via Viking Press
    "Gravity's Rainbow" by Thomas Pynchon
    Via Viking Press
    Via Picador
    "The Crying of Lot 49" by Thomas Pynchon
    Via Picador
    Via Random House
    "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand
    Via Random House
    Via Bobbs-Merrill
    "The Fountainhead" by Ayn Rand
    Via Bobbs-Merrill
    The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart
    Via William Morrow
    The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart
    Via William Morrow
    Via Viking Press
    "The Satanic Verses" by Salmon Rushdie
    Via Viking Press
    Via Little, Brown and Company
    "The Catcher in the Rye" by J. D. Salinger
    Via Little, Brown and Company
    Via Les Editions Nagel
    "Existentialism Is a Humanism" by Jean-Paul Sartre
    Via Les Editions Nagel
    Via W. Strahan and T. Cadell
    "The Wealth of Nations" by Adam Smith
    Via W. Strahan and T. Cadell
    Via Alfred A. Knopf
    "The Secret History" by Donna Tartt
    Via Alfred A. Knopf
    Via Random House
    "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" by Hunter S. Thompson
    Via Random House
    Via Ticknor and Fields
    "Walden" by Henry David Thoreau
    Via Ticknor and Fields
    Via The Russian Messenger
    "Anna Karenina" by Leo Tolstoy
    Via The Russian Messenger
    Via The Russian Messenger
    "War and Peace" by Leo Tolstoy
    Via The Russian Messenger
    Via Louisiana State University Press
    "A Confederacy of Dunces" by John Kennedy Toole
    Via Louisiana State University Press
    Via Profile Books
    "The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing" by by Al Ries and Jack Trout
    Via Profile Books
    Via Penguin
    "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu
    Via Penguin
    Via Little, Brown
    "Infinite Jest" by David Foster Wallace
    Via Little, Brown
    Via Secker & Warburg
    "Trainspotting" by Irvine Welsh
    Via Secker & Warburg
    Via Signet
    "Leaves of Grass" by Walt Whitman
    Via Signet
    Via Farrar Straus Giroux
    "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" by Tom Wolfe
    Via Farrar Straus Giroux

How Wanky Is Your Bookshelf?

You know exactly what kind of books you like and you don't feel the need to read what others recommend in an effort to look smart. There's more to life than reading a list of literature guided by the personal philosophy of some thirty-something-year-old white man named Brandon. Fuck Brandon and his basic taste.

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You can see the value in reading books that take you out of your comfort zone, but mostly you just read books that you enjoy. At the end of the day you read for pleasure, not because you're trying to impress anyone. And besides, a lot of the books on the list, pretentious or not, are actually pretty damn good.

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You like your books deft, purposeful, and difficult to understand. If you're not challenged by what you're reading then it has no place on your bookshelf, and there's nothing wrong with that. But it's probably best not to bring up your critiques of postmodernism on a first date, because honestly, it makes you look like a pretentious dick.

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