A totally unauthoritative, noncommittal attempt at an ideal bookshelf. (The 10 book limit is, indeed, cruel, and I am bound by what I have around the house. Many of my favorite books I borrowed somewhere or other.)
Books that made it to the longlist (i.e., were physically extracted from my shelves) but not the final 10 are Don Quixote, an Oxford edition of the Metamorphoses, War and Peace (a book that was both companion and pillow for 5 weeks of traveling), the Sinclair translation of the Inferno (it’s spine unmarked; the copy I read during two mostly solo weeks in Spain was borrowed from my study abroad program), As You Like It (my first Shakespeare play), a water (and tear) stained ARC of Tiny Beautiful Things, Hugh Kenner’s Ulysses, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
One thing I am pleased with is how utterly I have annihilated all of these spines. All were given a work out. Other notably obliterated books in on my shelves are Ulysses (the other one), The Brothers Karamazov, Anna Karenina, Wuthering Heights, Persuasion, Polybius.
What better way to learn about the people who make up your internet world than through their favorite books? What is your Ideal Bookshelf? Tell us!