Okay, heres my Tagged drill:
1. How many books? Rough guess: Over 5,000. I have two homes, both of which need well-stocked libraries. Ive had carpenters build LARGE bookcases in five rooms total; then theres overflow in the garage, and then theres still more in my AEI office.
Some people might think I have a problem. But no; as Henry Ward Beecher put it, "A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life."
2. Last book bought? Hilary Putnam, The Collapse of the Fact/Value Dichotomy and Other Essays. (Just trying to keep up with political science trends.)
3. Last book read? Joseph Stanik, El Dorado Canyon: Reagans Undeclared War with Qaddafi. (Most of my reading these days is connected with my ongoing Reagan book project.)
4. What five books mean the most? Only five? This is tough, though Im tempted to repair to Chestertons answer about what one book hed take to a desert island (his answer: Hawkins Complete Guide to Shipbuilding.) I guess Id settle on these:
-C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man. (A prologue, in many ways, to Natural Right and History.)
-Paul Johnsons Modern Times, for showing the style Im trying to emulate with The Age of Reagan.
-Hayeks The Constitution of Liberty. (More complete than Road to Serfdom or Capitalism and Freedom.)
-Odyssey of a Friend: Whittaker Chambers Letters to William F. Buckley Jr. An odd choice, I know, but more interesting that Witness in my judgment.
Now, having resisted the blandishments of chain letters my whole life, Im not going to tag anyone, lest this thing spin out of control by geometric proportions.