Collecting Books

     I have never been much of a collector, there have been a few I have tried mostly as a child pogs, coins, Pokémon cards and some others but these were always short lived, never holding my interest beyond a few weeks maybe a month. Many I started because of friends giving up another activity to share, or different fads in school that I’d want to participate in but with these there was never any completion to collect or gather more which I feel is needed to grow a true collection and without them serving any real purpose there was no lasting motivation to collect them.   The only real exception for me has been in collecting books.
     My book collection for me began as a child even though it was in no way really an effort to create a collection. Reading was always just an interest of mine which was encouraged by my parents who would happily buy me new books when I had read all my others.  This is how my collection got its start coming either from my parents or relatives as I had no way of growing my collection on my own.  And as I never wanted to give away a book I had finished or throw away one that was worse for wear in case I had need for it again, a practice I continue. Doing this led to me amassing a relatively impressive sized collection in a short time.   It did not take long before this became a motivation as well as reading the books there was an enjoyment from just own it, even as a  young child I began to love adding books to the tiny shelf in my room which is something that has continued for me until today.   
  Why I feel books are my only real collection it is about more than having them for their function there is an enjoyment from improving my collection and adding to it, which is not felt in with other items.  I’m own a lot of Cds but enjoyment comes from listening to them rather than the simple possession.
  As I got older I have been able to grow my collection on my own, this is where a majority of my collection now comes from. This became a hobby in a way as I would start to love to find new books to read and add to my collection and try different genres.  There a number of times this can be seen in my collection where I would try a new genre or author and become hooked and read a series by an author like The Foundation series or The Chronicles of Narnia. These changes can be seen throughout my collection as different my interest’s changed and over time.    
   It has moved beyond the simple size of the collection where adding was to sole goal and quality is now a consideration that I used to ignore, this is a recent change where I used to buy mainly paperbacks but now that I have the means to I buy better books that .  Too as now I’ll buy new copies of books I already own that I will own multiple copies of them.  I do not upgrade my DVDs to blue ray or buy anniversary editions even though these will likely come with a greater variety of changes to them that are rarely seen in books. 
   More recently they shift with more disposable income a better quality of books has started to join the collection.  Books with nicer bindings and covers, from higher end polishing houses, folio society and library of America.  This tend to have less of a focus in genre as well this is where most of the duplicates come from, better nicer versions of books that I already owned, replacing some of my favorites with these fancy new copies.  The books from the folio society come in a slip case, for each book.  These are the best my collection has which are the most impressive looking of the collection. They have illustrations and other
The history in the collection is little more than a personal history showing how my interests changed over time since the early years of my collection though to now it has seen a number of evolutions. Looking at it now I can see how it maps my interests over the years, as it shifts away from children’s books to the science fiction and fantasy that I came to love, and I can see how my tastes have changed over time.  More recent books are mostly University texts.  The historical details I see in the collection relate to me, my age and interests, whether how much money I had to spend. It is these sorts of details that I can remember when I go through my collection.
  At this point it has grown unmanageable in ways, it is too large to keep on the shelves that I keep. It has become scattered, split up into a number of locations, my favorites are kept on my shelves while others are in a few different basements, garages, closets.  Which has defeated a lot of the purpose I have no idea what is where and finding a specific book could take days to get.


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  2. Something like a collection I think is more a documentation of the owner than a marking of other history (such as the collection of antiques). As you said in your blog post, it is showing how you and your interests have changed over time; it is part of your personal history. Collections are our mark in history in a way, even though it may not seem like it.

  3. Your collection sounds so much like mine, and for me the eclectic nature is also what I love the most.

    In Jason's blog on his hockey card collection we were talking about the possible demise of print books. Just to recap, about 10 (maybe more?) years ago everyone talked about the "paperless society," which of course never really came to pass. Yet so many books are now available on e-books etc. Hopefully enough people remain attached to print books so that publishers will always make them, but what do you think, and how sad would you be if we all just had e-readers? (It'd be tragic for me!)

  4. I unintentionally end up with my own books collection. My father have gifted me alots of Persian History books which all are in "Farsi Language." I have only learned Farsi language till grade 8 so I am not able to read or comprehend higher level or literature so at times, I do feel helpless not being able to read them and enjoy but it reminds me of my dad's affection toward me so I do regularly clean them and make sure they are kept properly. Recently, I have included Canadian history books in my shelf and I do read them whenever I need to...I do agree that over time, the collection will change with your interests:)

  5. @Zzzzz It would be tragic for me too! I have a few bookshelves full of books in my room that make me really happy. I've been super lucky that my parents have always indulged my love of books. I love the idea of having a little personal library.

    I have no idea where I heard this, but apparently they're rethinking "paperless" everything because of the potential for viruses and bugs to wipe everything out, making it a huge liability.

  6. @Kaitlynn
    I definitely agree with you about how books are a 'mark of history'. I've been collecting books from a really young age and the big diversity of books I have is really neat! I should re-organize everything by the approx. time I bought them (if I could somehow remember) and try to see the evolution.
    I guess the same could be said about our clothes (if we've kept them) or any collection really. I have a ton of really embarrassing clothes from a few years ago that I just don't get. I probably changed too much, I guess :)