Why Collect Books?

Why collect books? Life is filled with collections of books and prints, stamps and antiques and musical instruments and some people are just collectors naturally. I grew up with books and when I was a little...

I grew up with books and when I was a little kid in school I really noticed all those nice shelves of books. I think the reasons why people collect books is a personal thing. But I can tell you why not to collect books - to make money. Definitely people are advised not to come in book collecting if there are trying to make money. Its got nothing do with that.


Life is filled with collections of books and prints, stamps and antiques and musical instruments and I just think there are people who are collectors. I was talking to somebody just the other day about how when I was a kid and I hitched around the country, I had this big jacket and as the days passed it got heavier and heavier because I collected these pretty rocks that I found on the side of the road. By the time I got somewhere my pockets were just filled with these pretty rocks. I don't know why on earth somebody fills their pockets with rocks when we had to walk all day. I guess you have to be a kind of a nutty collector. I have collected just about anything you could think of.




For example, I have 20-25 copies of Howard Fast's book and they are all the same book except that there are different editions and different covers and ...

Something about having complete sets is another thing that motivates collectors. I am a stamp collector also, and when you have all of a set except one, that's the one you want. There is some fascination with completeness and sets.

And then with books, there's something about being able to own so many books when in recent history it was almost rare for someone to have their own books. Four hundred years ago the average person didn't have a book.

And then for me, there are my scholastic interests that motivate my book collecting. One of my academic backgrounds is in linguistics and so one of my collections is dictionaries and books about languages. I have more than 300 dictionaries in the house.

There is a certain literary type that loves books and those are potential book collectors of the world. Just by accident you wind up with shelves full of books you don't want to get rid of because you like them.

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