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The David Cormany Library

An Introduction

   During the past four decades, I’ve assembled a personal library of more than 28,000 individually selected books, as well as 17,000 numismatic and philatelic artifacts and hundreds of recordings of the most evocative music ever composed.

   Pursuing this passion was especially fruitful during one of my three unrelated careers, when I was a rare book dealer for fifteen years, in a gallery with two floors of books, from five centuries, featured in Favorite Bookstores

   The foundation for the library is comprised of the 100 most influential books ever written. Among the other prominent holdings is a collection of more than 2,000 books on food and wine, including 250 books on French cooking, 600+ books on the North American Indian — predominantly on Pueblo Indian history, archaeology, culture, pottery,  jewelry and art, more than 200 books on philosophy, 100+ books on the brain, mind, thinking and consciousness, over 1,600 books of fantasy and science fiction, including 313 especially distinguished works and all of the classics, of that genre, since 1864, more than 100 titles devoted to New York City, 100+ books on zen and Buddhism, well over 2,000 volumes of English, American, German, Japanese, Greek, Chinese, Roman, French and Russian literature and literary criticism, encompassing all of the classics, since 710 B.C, more than 300 books on exotic, classic, vintage, rare, collectable and racing cars and their drivers, and many hundreds of books on all of the arts, as well as 250+ books about books.

   I've decided to donate my entire library; and I hope you can help me find an appropriate new and permanent home for it. Thus, you have the opportunity to be a hero!

   Please share the link to this website with all of your family, friends and associates. Even if you don't presently know of a deserving city, foundation, university or other institution that would be a logical and worthy prospective recipient for an important, multi-faceted cultural resource of such diversity and magnitude, the six-degrees-of-separation phenomenon demonstrates that you probably do know someone who knows someone who knows of someone who might know someone who does.

   Simply with a few keystrokes, you can send the website link and inform everyone you know, of this rare opportunity. If you ask each of them to also do the same, and so on — pretty soon, a thousand people know about it!

   I’ve prepared a preliminary list of some of the highlights of the library.

   The annotations of replacement costs are irrelevant to the actual transfer of the library, since it won’t be a sale, and since the gift won’t be used as a tax deduction; but they’re included to provide perspective on the relative monetary values of the items — often revealing that some of the newer items represent a higher monetary value than ones which are much older (as well as various other apparent anomalies not relating to age), illustrating that the cost of anything relates directly to the relationship of its supply and demand. Also apparent is the frequent actual disparity between monetary value and intrinsic value, which is a ubiquitous phenomenon in life. Additionally, you may find that some of the least expensive items are among the most interesting ones.

   The Highlights List will probably be the most interesting thing you’ve read this year. In fact, the further you read, the more interesting it will become, including one of the most rare and unusual books ever published. The contents run the proverbial gamut from the truly sublime [Sonnets of William Shakespeare] to the utterly ridiculous [The Book of Nonsense by Edward Lear]. Locations extend from Atlantis to the land of milk and honey, and from the Moon to the Land of Nod.

   The topics on the substantially cross-referenced list vary from milestones of scientific discovery, through sculpture, music, poetry, drama, painting, opera, dance, literature, photography and all of the other arts, to philosophy, politics, Americana, gastronomy, society and culture, aviation, the Roman Empire, flowers, archaeology and relics, exotic cars, alchemy and other arcane and esoteric disciplines, medicine, jewelry, restaurants, architecture, carousels, religion and spirituality, mummies, fireworks, Wall Street, wine-making, revolutions, cartography, royalty and courtesans, fashion design, exploration and all other paths of human endeavor, and even masterpieces of whimsical fantasy and ludicrous absurdity.

   The environments range from ancient festivals and famines to the beguiling magical fantasy world of Cirque du Soleil and the miraculous phenomenon of Burning Man, the experience of a lifetime for anyone.

   There’s a widely disparate cast of characters, spanning many centuries, and including luminaries from Plato, Tutankhamen, Aristotle, Alexander the Great and Socrates, through Columbus, Napoleon, Mozart, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Marco Polo, Chaucer, Rembrandt, Nostradamus, Leonardo and Cellini, to Picasso, Rasputin, Mata Hari, Freud, Martin Luther, Wagner, Mark Twain, Darwin, Longfellow, Dali, Lindbergh, Ansel Adams, Dickens, Tiffany, Frank Lloyd Wright, Raggedy Ann, Lalique, Georgia O’Keeffe, Yves Saint Laurent, Versace, Peter Max, John Lennon and Andy Warhol.

   Three of the books on the list even have instructions to the reader from the author. One is supposed to be burned after reading it, one is intended to be planted(!) and another bears a warning from the author, “This is a book to be started at your own risk!”

   The list includes only about one-half of one percent of the library so, both it and this introduction to it will be augmented periodically with additions and revisions.

   I hope the Highlights list, replete with satire and frivolity, proves to be highly entertaining for you in a variety of ways.

   You are cordially invited to inquire about participating, by becoming a Charter Patron of the Library, a Trustee, an Honored Benefactor, a Distinguished Donor, a Cataloger, a Contents Contributor, Acquisitions Manager, the Executive Director or as a Curator of one of the Library's four Divisions.

   Thanks very much in advance for your help in spreading the news about the availability of this very rare opportunity.

Library Highlights List

Contact: Curator@DavidCormanyLibrary.org