I had some time between when the movie started (more on that later) and when I got off work, so I did what any sane person would do. I went to the bookstore. As I was browsing the offerings it suddenly dawned on me. My purpose in life was clear. I knew what I had to do from that day hence.
I'm a book collector.
Sure, I have a bunch of books (about 350 at last count, which isn't that many really), but I never had a purpose for having them, other than enjoyment. That's not to say that enjoyment isn't a valid reason to have books, in fact it is the only reason that I am now going to be collecting books. I suppose the added ingredient that I discovered last night wasn't the passion for books, but rather a focus for my collection.
What is my focus? Well, firstly I want to collect first editions of authors that I enjoy, that's a given. The secondary purpose is to collect first editions of all Hugo award nominated novels, and that is what I am most excited about. I think that the winners will, of course, cost the most to collect but the other nominees (i.e. the losers) shouldn't be too pricey.
I started my collection last night by purchasing Iron Council (which I thought I had, but I didn't) and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (which I have read but I didn't own). I also started my 'authors collection' cycle by purchasing Mary Doria Russell's A Thread of Grace. Now, if you haven't read The Sparrow you need to stop whatever it is you're doing and go read it. NOW. Trust me, it is one of the best written science fiction books I have ever read, in fact even if you don't like SciFi you'll like this book. Though it does contain a dash of alien sodomy, but really what good book doesn't?
I can't imagine the Google searchs that are going to find this post now.
There are some ground rules for my new hobby:
- I want first editions
- I only care about US editions
- I don't have lots of money
I think I can build a very respectable collection in short order, though. If anyone has some favorite book dealers in Philly let me know and I'll look them up. If I am going to be a collector I would rather deal with independent bookstores, and sellers, than the big companies because after awhile they will get to know my interests and they can help to shape me into a better collector.