Anyone a book collector? I'm more of an accumulator, and much to the dismay of my wife I've accumulated thousands (and thousands) of books. (Let's not even speak of the two air-conditioned storage rooms that I have to rent.)

It all started when I was reading a novel by John D. MacDonald forty or so years ago and realized that it was a paperback original. "Maybe people are throwing these things away," I thought. "But I won't."

Within my accumulation are some small collections, I suppose, if you want to look at it that way. I probably have one of the best collections of Harry Whittington's paperback novels around, and if you include the 8 signed hardcovers, it's a collection that some people might envy. A very few, granted, but some. There's also a pretty good Jim Thompson collection, and of course there are those John D. MacDonald books, including both editions of WEEP FOR ME.

The problem becomes one of "What will happen to all these books after I'm gone?" A friend of mine, George Kelley, solved that problem by donating his books to SUNY at Buffalo, where the library established The Kelley Collection. But George was lucky. Not many libraries are going to treat paperbacks with the care and respect that SUNY does. And besides, I can't bear to part with the books. They'll probably be right here after I've shuffled off this mortal coil. I'm afraid that my kids will have a big yard sale, with my signed Whittington hardbacks going for 10 cents each. I don't suppose it will bother me.

For the moment, I love sitting here in my little office room, surrounded by thousands (and thousands) of paperbacks. I feel like Scrooge McDuck in the money bin. I'd like to burrow through them like a gopher. I'd like to toss them in the air and let them hit me on the head. Not that hardbacks, though.

Anybody else as crazy as me? If you'd like to read about others who are, check out Nicolas Basbanes' A GENTLE MADNESS. It's a wonderful book.

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Even with giving a few hundred a year to the AAUW, they threaten to take over the house. The problem is what I collect changes from year to year so no collection is at all complete or even that interesting. For instance the hundred or so poetry books. Or the five hundred or so volumes of short stories.
When I think seriously about pairing it down, I come up with the idea of keeping just a few hundred books or keeping all of them. Anything in between is too difficult.
I didn't even mention the thousands of books I accumulated during my teaching career. I was able to part with some of those when I retired from teaching, but certainly not all of them. You never know when you'll need to check out something in your copy of the complete works of Bryon or Shelley.
I have a fairly small flat and a couple of thousand books. What I would really love to do is turn my spare bedroom into a wee tiny library with floor to ceiling bookcases on all the walls, and just a big comfy sofa in the middle, but since the room is not only a psare bedroom but an office, ironing room and junk room, I don't have that luxury. I buy lots of books and most of them I keep. I love having them around me. I have one bookcase which is especially for my signed copies. And most of those are personalised to me, so every one of them has a memory associated with it. And, of course, I buy multiple copies of books I really love. Again, most of those are personalised (one is personalised along the lines of "Donna, haven't I signed several copies of this already?!"). I have one Ken Bruen book in English, French and Czech. Just in case I ever decide to learn Czech of course. When my ex used to complain about not having any more room for bookcases I once said "Yes we do, if I got rid of you I could use the space for a 6 foot tall bookcase" (that's not why he's an ex by the way!).

I do TRY and occasionally thin them out. I started up a library at work and brought a whole load of books in for that. It means I still have them nearby. The only problem was, I brought in books that I really love, that I wanted other people to have that wonderful experience that I did when I read then I had to buy myself new copies :o)
That's a great photo! (I never try to think the herd.)
A Gentle Madness IS a wonderful book!

Please for the love of all that is holy you have got to go check out

It is THE best way to catalog your books and it is very easy to use. I have been using them since right after the site was created. It has been a godsend as I had been looking for the best way to catalog them.

Plus when my collection got wiped out I had an easy way to print a list showing what was in the collection for the insurance company.
I started out with Library Thing back when it was new, but since about 9/10 of my books are by writers Library Thing never heard of and since there are so many of them, I just gave up.
That has me very curious. I've never had that problem with LT since they are hooked up with so many online resources.

What are 90% books that LT cant find them?

Just curious
I just catalogued my books onto Library thing. Before I started I looked at our bookshelves and thought that most of the books were my husbands. Um, apparently not. I haven't even gotten to the books in our storage area. There are many, many boxes full of books over there behind all kinds of other junk and neither one of us is brave enough to go through them. My husband has been saying for years that he needs to thin out his collection of books, I would just like to know what I have. I'm guessing it won't happen for a long time.

Bill-Librarything has over 78 different catalogs it can search now, including the Library of Congress, perhaps you'd have better luck?
Thanks for the tip on LibraryThing's search abilities. Maybe I should give it another try.
Scanning the covers? Now there's a job that would take a while.
Believe me, the obscure digests from, say, Carnival Books, won't be there.
As a relative young'un, I haven't yet thought about the legacy I will leave in terms of the shelves and shelves (and sadly, boxes and boxes) of books. However, I like the idea of them being dispersed at a yard sale, some unsuspecting super-fan coming across a signed Ken Bruen that was missing from his collection, or, better, a neophyte discovering someone they will come to love.

As for accumulation vs. collecting, I find I accumulate until I get to the point where I realize I have a considerable number of a writer's books, and then suddenly I have a collection.


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