How Do People Get Started Collecting Books?

How do people get started collecting books? One popular way that people begin collecting books is that they like a particular author and keep finding more and more books by that writer. One popular way that...

One popular way that people begin collecting books is that they like a particular author and keep finding more and more books by that writer. That's what happened to me. I started to buy books when I was a little boy and I read these books by Howard Fast in school. I love them and they disappeared from the book shelves. I never saw them again until I was older. They disappeared from the book shelves because he had been black listed for being a member of the Communist party. His last famous book was "Spartacus", which he published himself because nobody would publish it.


When I started collecting books, I was able to locate his books on the internet and they were still pretty cheap. They are not so cheap anymore - that's partly my own fault because I published a web page about Howard Fast and people started to discover him again and now the first editions of Spartacus cost about $300 in the nice dust jacket and that's kind of expensive.




Lately my big love is Inspector Maigret, the French detective books by Georges Simenon. There is a large section on my website (www.trussel.com) about those. And I got interested in Saint-Exupery, the guy that wrote "The Little Prince" and so I collect some of the other things he wrote. He wrote alot of other things and he was a famous pilot. There were several biographies written about him, so I also collect those.

I also collect books by westerners about old Japan. When people first started going to Japan they wrote these rare beautiful little books - decor guides and travel guides. Later I got interested in French, so I collected French entomology books. There is no stopping.

Some people collect children's books. The nice thing about children's books is the illustrations. Some of them are very beautiful. And children's books can also be very expensive - like the early editions of the Dr. Seuss books.

Some people also collect things related to books. For example, my uncle is a rare book collector and he had typewritten editions of Sherlock Holmes from before it was published with the author's notes on the pages. Those are now in the Princeton Library and are worth thousands of dollars.

There are few art book publishers, but generally people don't collect publishers...I collected all the Blue Heron Press's books because that was Howard Fast's own publishing company, which he created when his publishers wouldn't publish him anymore. But generally people don't collect publishers except in rare historical cases.

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