10 Books Every Goth Needs on His or Her Shelf (But Doesn't Have to Actually Read)
4. A Practical Guide to S&M: Goth and kinky sex are supposed to go together, even if you consider a weird position to be the foot of the bed. Different Loving: The World of Sexual Dominance and Submission is a nice thick book that will let the casual bookshelf-glancer know that you know which end of the whip goes where. You can also substitute real-world debauchery with The 120 Days of Sodom.
3. Something "Quirky" About Dead Bodies: There may be nothing more stereotypically gothic than a love of cemeteries. Fascination with burial and death is more or less the par. Cemetery Stories by Katherine Ramsland is full of easy to digest tales of weird graves, corpse adventures, and even a bit about necrophilia that you will want to bookmark for reactionary fun. After the Funeral by Edwin Murphy is also a good go-to collection of stories about the silly things that happen to famous people's bodies. This goes in the bathroom, by the way, not the shelf. It gives people the impression that you consider death light-hearted fare.
2. David J. Skal: Want something on old monster movies or horror actors? How about a cultural history of Halloween complete with murder and haunted houses? Vampires? All of these things have been the subject of scholarly books by David J. Skal, and each one of them is better than the last. Death Makes a Holiday is especially fun, exploring the most important date on the gothic calendar by looking at how Halloween is perceived across America.
1. What is Goth?: Voltaire is basically goth's court jester, there to both be highly placed and to mock every thing we do. As a musician his work is both satirical and surprisingly deep and nuanced, but What is Goth?, his basic guide to the more ridiculously over-the-top aspects of goth, is both hilariously and needed to show people you aren't above laughing at yourself. Might be a good idea to flip through the book and at least make sure the pictures don't look like you.