Inarguably one of my favorite books of all time, “The Great Gatsby” has stayed with me ever since I read it in high school. I re-read it every year or two, and find new things about it, parts of dialogue that stick out more than the last time, and I fall in love with it all over again. My friend Tom used to joke that he was going to get the last paragraph of the book tattooed on his arm…in Swedish. I get the sentiment, loving a book so much you want to forever keep it as close to you as possible. There’s something about the last line, “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past” that just makes me weak in the knees.
So when I saw this collage of various Gatsby covers, a collection spanning 83 years from F. Scott Fitzgerald biographer and scholar Matthew J. Bruccoli, in last week’s T Magazine, my jaw dropped. The collection includes a few different languages and artistic interpretations, including the iconic blue cover by artist Francis Coradal-Cugat. The version I have isn’t shown, funnily enough. It goes without saying that this is basically book porn for me. The collection is now housed at the University of South Carolina and is worth several million dollars. Bruccoli didn’t care about the money, saying “You don’t buy books as an investment,” he said. “You buy them because it gives you pleasure to read them, to touch them . . . to see them on shelves.” Amen.