Underground Reading: The Reluctant Widow by Georgette Heyer
A bit of housecleaning

The Lure of Book Collecting

Judge NotIf you'll pardon a particularly bloggy blog post, I've been occasionally - cruelly - accused of buying books with neither rhyme nor reason. (Anyone that's seen the precarious state of our bookshelves would be justified in coming to that conclusion.) 

I like to think of this more as 'collecting', and as any other collector can testify, sometimes these things spiral out of control. One good book leads to another and, before long, reading becomes a secondary pleasure behind the wonderful, shamelessly capitalistic glee of ownership. Mind you, I'd never sell any of my treasures - it'd be like sticking the cat on eBay. These things just aren't done.

No - the pleasure of collecting is the wanton joy of completism; the success of accomplishing a difficult task. A self-assigned and bizarre task, but a Herculean labor all the less. No matter what others think, I have a quest. We can all appreciate that, right?

After the jump, all my obsessions du jour. What are yours?

  • Fawcett Gold Medals
  • Ace Doubles (SF and non-SF) (Damn you, Dean Koontz, and your strangely over-priced contributions to the range.)
  • Hard Case Crime
  • Hard Case Crime originals (The books that get reprinted as HCC. This is a level of meta-obsession that scares even me.)
  • Arkham House & Tartarus Press (Kinda. I mean, I'd love to properly collect them, but by the time I have that kind of money, I'll have a special climate-controlled chalet for them in the south of France. As it is, I have saved eBay searches for "Arkham House poor condition no DJ" and the ever-reliable "Arhkam House".)
  • Favorite authors (Intentionally China MiĆ©ville, John D. MacDonald, Robert Chambers and Ed McBain, but occasionally I'll look at the shelves and think, "Really? I don't even like [author with 12 books neatly arranged]." Even so, MiĆ©ville's the only one of those four that's published under 100 books. And he's young - I've got hopes for him. )
  • Arthur C. Clarke Award winners (I blame @clarkeaward)
  • Midwood Books (They're awesome - also, not NSFW.)

These are just the active collections. There are quite a few others that are lying dormant for lack of attention - and even a (very) rare few that I've declared 'complete'.

What about you? What are you hording?