Gore Vidal was not only one of the 20th century’s best known and most prolific writers, he was an avid buyer of books, a habit, he said he acquired from his grandfather, Oklahoma Sen. Thomas P. Gore, “whose houses in Washington kept getting bigger as he acquired more and more books.”
Michael Tuttle, who is cataloging and apprasing Vidal's 8,000+ books as a preliminary to the efficient bequeathment of Vidal's papers and books to Harvard University’s Houghton Library:
High-brow, low-brow, ancient Greek philosophy, American history, scholarly books on sex. He was incredibly curious about everyday life in historical times — how the common person lived in Greece, Rome and medieval Europe. And he read about all the various schools of thought on politics and religion, pop culture … you name. Just an unbelievably wide breadth of interests. It’s a real reflection of who he was.
(Photo: Gore Vidal with Houghton archivist Jennifer Lyons, looking through the Vidal papers in the Houghton Reading Room, June (6?), 2007)