As an English teacher, I have of course read and taught F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby multiple times. And I do distinctly remember the scene where Nick and Jordan discover a man surprised to see that Gatsby’s book shelves are filled with real books.
Well, it turns out there’s more to that moment than I thought. YouTube channel Thought & Word explains.
See, it isn’t so much that Gatsby has real books and not cardboard fakes as a lot of people of his supposed social class would have. The contents themselves have significance, but that’s not something likely to be greatly recognized today as it would have been the year the book first came out. See below to find out why Gatsby’s library is not as impressive as it might appear to be today.