The request that prompted Cave to list his favourite books came from Victoria in Warwickshire. She asked Cave if he would consider listing 40 books he loves, and he went above and beyond (as usual) and listed 50 of his favourite pieces of literature (off the top of his head).
In his response, Cave writes, “Normally, to answer this question I would simply go to my bookshelves and choose forty books. However, my bookshelves are completely empty. The 5000+ books I have accumulated over the years have been shipped to the Royal Danish Library in Copenhagen.”
He adds, “Without my library in front of me it is a little difficult to assemble a comprehensive list of my forty most loved books. The best I can do is throw together a rather formless and incoherent grab bag of titles that come to mind at this moment that, for one reason or another, I have loved over the years. I think I got carried away. I think there are fifty — in no particular order.”
Cave’s list of 50 books includes Philip Larkin’s High Windows, Sylvia Plath’s Ariel, Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy, Bret Easton Ellis’ The Informers, and many others.