Forsaking the punk clubs of his youth, collector Richard Hell has a well-stocked library

Show Us Your Walls
By Brett Sokol
“I worship books,” says the former punk rocker Richard Hell, 68, in his New York apartment. “They are the purest, most complete, most effective means for delivering knowledge and feeling.” Credit: Adrienne Grunwald for The New York Times
It’s hard to imagine too many other punk rock musicians being taken seriously when they cite as equal inspirations the Kingsmen’s three-chord garage stomp “Louie Louie” and 19th-century French poetry. But Richard Hell has always thrived on intellectual contradictions....  These days, Mr. Hell has returned to focusing on writing, both his own and that of the figures he admires — as evidenced by the rare books that sprawl throughout his apartment. Even the artworks that hang on his walls — including a Nan Goldin photograph featured on the cover of his 1996 novel “Go Now” and a screen print by Mr. Wool based on their collaborative artist’s book — speak to this shift. [More]