Judging Him By His Hardcovers: Men, Books And Sex Appeal
By Alexa Day
Today is Father’s Day here in the U.S., and if I were more of a family girl, I’d probably put a salute to fatherhood here. Blame my faulty biological clock, which has been flashing 12:00 since … well, forever. I just don’t think parenthood is sexy, and I am bound and determined to bring you something sexy today.
I’ll tell you what is sexy, though. A man’s library is sexy.
I love the big libraries because they suggest some sort of literary gluttony. (In my eyes, a voracious reader is at least as good a find as a great dancer.) I like the spartan libraries, too, the discreet display of the few books to earn a spot in a particular man’s heart. Most of all, though, I love to see a book on a man’s nightstand.
And it’s not just me — guys have demonstrated that the written word brings out the romantic in them.
I once worked with a man who told me he’d always remember the weekend he and his wife merged their libraries. You know you’re committed, he said, when you surrender a book you’ve owned since you were a teenager because your wife has a copy and you only need one now. But as romantic as that is, it doesn’t top one man’s ultimate birthday gift to his wife: the entire Penguin Classics Library.
I once dated a man whose living room library was all business, philosophy and sports. He kept a copy of The Arabian Nights in the tiny, intimate library in his bedroom, next to the dish that held his pocket change and his watch. I myself don’t have a bedroom library (I’d need another bedroom for it), but I thought it was a sexy idea.
I once enjoyed an arrangement with a man who only gave me books as presents. The first was a new release by one of his favorite authors. After that (you know, once the first book gave him a great deal more access to my home), he started giving me companion volumes to the books I already had. The funny thing was that he was absolutely convinced that this was the least personal gift he could possibly give me. Sometimes, the most obvious things eluded him like that; that’s probably why our arrangement didn’t last terribly long.
Does the presence of the e-reader diminish this hidden source of male sex appeal? Possibly. I mean, we need to know what’s putting that intriguing furrow into a man’s brow, don’t we? I don’t mind being judged by a book’s cover, and I’ve exercised my share of friendly speculation, too. I think the greater danger is that our hot male friends don’t know how sexy their shelves are. That’s an easy enough problem to solve, right?
If you want to know what Don Draper is reading in these photos, the New York Public Library has put together a list of books seen on Mad Men. And if you’re really after some hot fatherhood, well, I hear the Independent Film Channel is running a DILF marathon today. You’re welcome, of course. Happy Father’s Day!
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