I love the word “rude.” Nowadays it’s mostly used to just mean … well … rude, IE unpleasant, uncouth, uncivilized, and a host of other “un”s related to how one behaves in polite company. But back in the olden days I love to talk about so much, it variously meant things like “roughly-made” (“a rude table” certainly wasn’t cussing anyone out), “ignorant or unsophisticated” (the rude peasantry, staging all those uprisings) or even “robust.” Much like a certain f-word which rhymes with “maggot,” the word “rude” went through many meanings. And when I call myself a fan of rude books, I use all of those meanings.
Most of my book collection consists of books which are either roughly-made (small-press releases, half-bound review copies), unsophisticated (explosions! Explosions everywhere!), robust (if it doesn’t merit at least two rereads, it doesn’t go on the shelf), and, yes, uncouth (at least in the eyes of the “genre fiction isn’t real writing” crowd). I love rude books, in all their forms. And aside from the few rarities that live on my designated Egypt Shelf, the books are well-loved: I tend to read them until they fall apart, at which point I either buy another copy or get out the Scotch tape.
Here, then, is part of my library, and some of the books that I consider invaluable for a collection. Please forgive the terrible photographs.