To understand this, you have to understand why I read. This is partly due to my parents, who took me to Scarborough library every Saturday morning. My earliest reading recollections are the Tommy the Tugboat books by Dora Thatcher (to this day I would love to own a signed 1st edition), ever since I was hooked going back more years than I care to remember we had a wonderful independent bookshop in Scarborough called Hardings where I could be found most Saturdays spending my pocket money most usually on End Blyton’s Famous Five, Secret Seven or Mystery books, which may explain my love of crime fiction today, In those days I could only afford paperbacks. Then, back in 2005, Michelle bought me my first hardback, Jeffery Deaver’s The 12th Card, and something inside me switched on a light bulb. Some 1500 hardbacks later, I’m still buying.
So why collect?
1. They look good on the bookshelves. Even though it is unlikely I will ever read them all, this doesn’t matter
2. Around the same time I discovered book festivals, in particular the Harrogate Crime Festival, and I suddenly realised I could get these signed. Now I have approximately 90% of my books signed. Meeting authors and having a book signed is one of life’s joys. I try to attend as many festivals and signings as I can to get a book signed, whatever the distance.
3. Collecting, for me, comes in many forms. A signed book can only increase in value. As a collector these days I scour all the copies to ensure that I’m getting a first edition first printing (yes, this does make a difference).
Do I collect money? For me personally, emphatically NO. I have no intention of ever selling any of my books; I collect for the joy and love and of the book. I am not stupid and know exactly the value of certain books. Depending on the author and the book, I may just get the book flat signed. Depending on the date and location for the event, I may ask for the book to dated and located as this will add to the value. If I can get the book lined as well you’ve hit the jackpot. All this said there are some authors who I have met over the years, quite a lot of whom I first met through Twitter, and their books I ask to be dedicated and signed to me. Even though this decreases the ££ value, to me, on a personal the level, value is just the same and in most cases greater.
Collecting books has given me not only a hobby but a passion. I still love to add those special books to my collection; every time I buy a new book, part of me is thinking when and where can I meet the author to have it signed.
My collection is my inheritance to my daughters and long may it continue to grow.
Ultimately I collect books because first and foremost I love to read. For this I must thank my parents and Michelle for buying me that first hardback .