I sometimes prefer to read a physical book over the digital version on an e-reader. But sometimes I don’t and I’m just fine with an ebook. So, the question I’ve had recently is whether or not a collection of physical books is necessary.

At present, I have a collection of works by Michael Crichton, Anthony Bourdain, Haruki Murakami, and a few by Aldous Huxley. I also have a smattering of books by other authors. But I tend to return those others to my local bookstore for store credit.

Earlier this year, I had my heart set on an Everyman’s Library set for display on my bookcase. For the most part, this collection would have included books I’ve read and want to read again. But there were also several others I was planning to read.

At this point, it’s hard for me to foresee what I’m going to want. It might be made more apparent when I land in a home… with a library. Either way, I know I’ll continue to want some books in my office in the future. But how many?

Some people say that there can never be too many books. But I want a curated collection.

Most recently, I’ve tended to read nonfiction on e-readers and fiction in print, but that appears to be shifting (especially since you can get library books on an e-reader). I prefer the hardcover version of a work if I’m going that way, but my concern is that in the next twenty years, this could become even too old-fashioned for me.

For the time being, the library is on hold. But that doesn’t mean books aren’t essential. I will continue reading the classics while sitting in the leather chair in my office–sipping whiskey or coffee or not sipping anything at all–no matter the format of the book.

photo: Iñaki del Olmo