Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Thoughts on 'Thinking about Book Collecting'

So I was reading 'Thinking about Book Collecting' (over at Pornokitsch) and, funnily enough, it got me thinking about book collecting. More specifically, the collection(s) that I am attempting to build (SF and Fantasy Masterworks). Or is it just an excuse to go into second-hand bookshops? A little bit of both, I love second-hand bookshops :o) Anyway... Because it's late I'm going to use Jared's questions to frame my own post. Here goes...

I started collecting Fantasy Masterworks because I was daft enough to let a couple of them go to the charity shop several years ago. I want to read them again (in particular 'Land of Laughs') so the hunt began. Things somehow changed from a couple of titles to collecting all the titles and then the 'SF Masterworks' got incorporated into the whole thing as well. What? I want to read them all and see what the big deal is.
Somewhere along the line, I've found myself focussing on collecting titles rather than editions. Editions are preferable but I figured that if I ever wanted to read these books then I was going to have to compromise a little. It's making the 'Masterworks Shelf' look a little more funky at the same time; I love some of those old covers that seem like they have very little to do with the book itself :o)

Am I looking for value or completeness? Completeness, definitely. If you saw my copy of 'Gloriana' then you would know what I mean. I'd always rather buy a nice looking book but so long as all the pages are there then I really don't mind too much; especially if I can pick up a book for pennies (very important right now). The reading is the thing.

Is it more important to search or to find? Amazon could bring the collecting to an end very quickly but the fun is very much in the hunt. That's the rule in fact. Books as presents? That's ok(ish) and I will treat myself to a little spree when I finally land that increasingly mythical looking job. In the meantime, it's charity shops and second hand book shops all the way. And that's how I like it. There's something almost magical about second hand bookshops anyway; to go into one and discover a book that you never knew was there but were searching for anyway? That's where the real magic lies. I was lucky enough to score a couple of 'hits' the other day. Check 'em out...

'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep' (Cornerstone Books) was an amazing find as it is one of the books that ended up in the charity shop all that time ago. Same edition and looking rather good for it's age, I'll take that :o)
'Flow My Tears' (St Luke's Hospice Book Shop) though... This was a book that literally burrowed its way to the top of the box while I was telling Hope that she could have the 'Disney Princess' annual that she really wanted. And I'd swear that it wasn't there the last time I looked... That's what it's all about for me and why I don't actually want this collection to be complete any time soon.

What are you guys all collecting?

1 comment:

  1. I don't seem to be a collector; more an amasser of books. When I first got into fantasy I collected the Terry Goodkind novels, then realised that I didn't like them all that much and donated them to charity.

    My fiancee has a pretty good collection of Discworld novels (all kirvy/kidby covers where possible) but beyond that I'm not a collector of anything particular. I'm more a completist - if I start a series it's hard for me to stop before the end.