Favorite purchase EVER made, by me? As opposed to things purchased for me, which would an entirely different matter. Oh, dear, my library geekdom mind is showing; well, at least it has a pop culture bent.
All right, I have to pick something that has given me hours and hours of enjoyment. I first thought of the World Almanac, but I did not purchase my first half dozen almanacs, my parents did, for Christmas.
Certainly, a contender was going to be the first time I ever purchased The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows by Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh, which allowed me to relive shows I remember, get details on shows I had forgotten, and provide useful, if trivial, information when television facts are at issue. Based on a recent blog post, I discovered that, in the Albany market in 1967, the Monkees were pre-empted by the syndicated Death Valley Days, and that I Dream of Jeannie was bumped by a local quiz show. I love that trivia stuff.
But I suppose, honestly, the correct answer to this question is the first time I got Top Pop Albums, which probably covered 1955 to 1995. I’m guessing because I’ve purchased subsequent additions. This book has all the albums of all the group who had a Top 200 hit according to the Billboard charts, with brief bios of the artists, and a list of all the album cuts, so one could find on which albums that particular song appeared. It allows me, in a visceral way, to re-experience artists I love or learn new things. I refer to it several times a week.
In fact, the newest iteration of this book, which goes up to 2009, has become so large that the album cuts now appear on a separate CD; necessary, given the number of records delineated, but I believe that the previous version, which went up to 2005, will probably be the one that I will find most useful on a day-to-day basis.