I have a weak spot for beautiful leather bound books. Recently I found several high quality tomes at Barnes & Noble on sale for only $20 each, so I just had to have all of them. One of the books I purchased is The Divine Comedy by Dante – a great classic of the past depicting the author’s journey through hell, purgatory and heaven – his final destination. I’m very impressed by the quality of the leather and gold etching, as well as frequent beautiful illustrations. The book starts with some basic information on the author and the process of writing, which is really easy to read compared to some introductions I’ve read in the past. It was especially interesting to learn that Dante invented his own way of organizing the stanzas, and that it was never copied by any other poet. I do realize that reading this epos would be rather challenging, because it’s over seven hundred pages of whimsical fourteenth century language, but I’m sure it would be worth it. My only concern is that poetry usually loses its original charm in translation, but since my knowledge of Italian is limited to hello/goodbye, I shouldn’t complain.