Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Book Collecting

I've never been a buyer of books (or of movies for that matter).  There are few books I've read - or movies I've seen - which I would ever read/watch a second time.  It's not that I haven't read books worthy of a second read-through.  I simply won't be interested in re-reading any until I've run out of new books to read, and that just isn't likely to happen.

Since I never intended to read the book again, I just didn't see the point in buying

Lately, however, I've started harboring this secret desire to own books.  Not to read them, necessarily, just to gaze at them on a shelf, peruse their titles, ocassionally pick them up to thumb through, and nostalgically recall what possessed me to own them in the first place.


I asked myself this question and decided the following are largely to blame:

1) I recently read two books recently about book collecting: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which I'd recommend, and The Man Who Loved Books Too Much, which I wouldn't.  Both idealized the idea of book ownership and made me want to own some of the books whose characters, plots, subjects, or morals affected me in some way.

2) I saw Alicia Michaelis's bookshelves, which house hundreds of her favorite books.  I commented on how much I envied her shelves, and her reply was, "I love my books."  I decided then and there that I want books of my very own to love.

But I don't want shiny, new books.  I want broken-in, interesting-to-look-at books with a bit of history.  I have no intentions of filling bookshelves with signed first-editions, but a nice, worn, read copy (hardcover if available) of each of these would thrill me to no end.  (Note to husband: when you read this, you can keep this as a future-Christmas-presents list if you'd like.  Hint, hint.)

Any and all Roald Dahl children's books starting with The BFG
Children of the Promise series
Alicia, My Story
Any and all books by Anne McCaffrey
The Book Thief
The Help
Harry Potter series
Flags of our Fathers
Summer of the Monkeys
The Girl Who Owned a City
The Chronicles of Narnia
A Wrinkle in Time Series
Fablehaven Series
The Giver
The Work and the Glory series
The Sword of Truth series

I'm hoping to get a chance to go wander through the shelves of Ken Saunder's Rare Book Store in Salt Lake City. 

Side Note: Yes, it has to be that store.  It was part of The Man Who Loved Books Too Much, and now I'm dying to check it out.

I'm captivated by the idea of finding treasures amongst someone else's cast off books.

Which books do you either own or long for?


Kris said...

I loved this post because I am very much the same way. I see no point in owning a book unless I have the desire to read it again.

With that said, I own tons of used books because of being a teacher. I love my old and very used hardbound Narnia series and many more I have collected over the years knowing that I would want to read them to my children.

Good luck collecting and cheers to used bookstores!

Julie said...

we just got Abi the Roald Dahl collection set at Costco and it was really cheap!

Sarah said...

Those first three paragraphs are ME exactly. In fact, when visiting my house a while back Cari said "for someone who reads so much I'm surprised your bookshelves aren't full."
I just can't let myself buy a book for the first read through, what if it's not great? I don't buy it after, because I rarely reread something.
However, I feel like you...secretly wishing I had all the $ in the world to fill my shelves with my all time favs. For now I write down quotes from my favorite books in a journal. If I reference back to that, i'd know which ones I want to line my shelves!

Evette Mendisabal said...

I have ALWAYS loved books and reading ... and re-reading! I was one of those kids you'd see during lunch recess at school with her nose stuck in a book. I am a re-reader. I find that when I read a book for a second time (or maybe a third)I find something new within the story line that gives the book new meaning to me.
After I read Twilight I spoke to my sisters-in-law (who had both read it already) about it. They saw the book in a different way than I did, so I went and read it again and saw things in a new light, not the same way they did, but it gave me a new perspective. I think when we read a book our life experiences at that time/in that moment can impact for we relate to a particular story or character. Try reading a book and then reading it again a year or so later and see if your response to it changes.
Just food for thought.

coryshay said...

I love love love most of the books on your list, and the other ones I haven't read yet, so now I have some good to-read material! Thanks! How do you get so much reading done by the way, it seems like I get an email every week that you've read 3 more books! Go you! My list of books read declines every year, and I hate that...