What is the best book you ever bought for yourself?
And, why? What made it the best? What made it so special?
I would have to say that the best book that I ever bought for myself was the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. I had coveted a good OED for years. The full 20 volume OED would have been ideal, but a little too expensive. Not to mention the question of where in my crowded bookshelves I could put the 20 large volumes. I agonized between the Compact OED, which is all 20 volumes printed in one volume using really print, and the two volume Shorter OED. Many of the reviews on Amazon said the print in the Compact OED was too small to read, even with the included magnifying glass. That plus an extra $200 for the Compact OED convinced me to get the Shorter OED.
This purchase was special for several reasons. First, I had wanted to own an OED for so long that finally purchasing it for myself was reason enough for it to be special. Second, I had gone through a uncomfortable time in my life and felt that I was finally making some progress toward a better life. Purchasing a version of the OED was, silly enough, part of that progress. It was a symbol of the possibilities that were now open to me as I left the rough patch behind. Thirdly, it is special because it is the most expensive book I have purchased.