Friday, March 14, 2008

My Book Collection

Except for a brief stint when I was 10 or so, and I thought collecting clowns was a great idea (until I figured out that I actually thought clowns were creepy, not cute at all), I have never really been a collector. My sister collected cats. My dad collected -- still does -- Coke Houses. My mom collected Hummels and Precious Moments and teapots and silverware and most especially quilts. I had some baseball cards, but not really a respectable collection. I had an American Girl Doll and a couple of her accessories, but an actual collection.

I've been thinking about collections because of one of the books I'm reading, A Gentle Madness by Basbanes. It has been outlining some of the most fantastic collections of books
through history around the world, and this idea of a book collection -- especially a very selective, very narrow and excellent book collection -- really appeals to me.

So here's my collection: Autographed books.

Not just any books, of course. Only excellent books written by people I really admire, and books that I actually intend to read (or already have read). Most of the titles in my collection come from book signings I have been to, which means, I also met the author (or illustrator) who signed my book. It is not a huge collection, of course, but I am very happy for the few I have. Here is a list of titles (perhaps if they are someday auctioned off, you might refer to this as the initial catalog):

A Chance to Die, the Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael by Elisabeth Elliot
The Journals of Jim Elliot by Elisabeth Elliot
Culture Shift by R. Albert Mohler
Humility, True Greatness by C.J. Mahaney (okay, actually not signed, but I kept something he wrote his name on and put it in my book, so I think it counts)
Idols of the Heart by Elyse Fitzpatrick
Love to Eat, Hate to Eat by Elyse Fitzpatrick
Meet Addy by Melodie Benson Rosales (the original illustrator who modeled Addy after her daughter, whom I also met!)
The Felicity Collection by Valerie Tripp
Jessica by Kevin Henkes (my former boss had him sign a bookplate for me so I could put it in my favorite book of his -- I chose Jessica).

Hmm. On this end, my collection seems pretty small. I see why it is an impulse for those slightly touched collectors to nearly go mad getting the books they want. It is not merely a matter of money, or else the very richest people of all would have only the best collections. It is a matter of being in the right place at the right time, and knowing what to look for. Like anything else, this hunger for MORE books, is fueled by our base passions -- namely greed.

***Contest update: Good news, we got in the special prize designed and sent to the manufacturers by yours truly. If you are still in the running, this unique little baby could be yours! If not, I will be letting you know in a later post how you can buy your own. :) Stay tuned.


Sara Mincy said...

That is a great collection, Gretchen! I am reading A Chance to Die right now! Thanks for all of your recommendations.

Anonymous said...

My dad collects books that are autographed too. He really enjoys that! Hope your collection grows!
-Rachel (your cuz)

Karen said...

I'm almost through Uncle Toms Cabin!

What a fun collection. That is one thing I do not have; an autographed copy of any book. Music yes, but now books.

I'd love to have the autograph of people who have already died though, that would be my problem. I'd love to speak with , mostly dead people as well. I suppose that there are many people alive as well, but I'd have to say mostly those who have gone before.

This collection seems to 'suit' you perfectly!

Love you!

Morning Rose said...

That's quite a collection! I have one autographed book so far but would love to collect more.

Regarding the March challenge, I finished one of my books, "Mere Christianity," but haven't started the second.

I was inspired by your post on the Gospel and clutter to develop a housekeeping schedule. I will write a blog post about that this week.

Sarah said...

Gret, I am appalled that you collected clowns! I have been scared of them since I was a small child, and they still hold no fascination for me (unless you regard "horror" in the same category as fascination....)

Your collection is great! I think I would do the same--if I ever met any authors. :-) And regarding the contest, I have fallen off the wagon due to packing and other craziness. If you have an April contest, I am sure I can win then! ;-)

Anonymous said...

haha Gretchen...I know why you wanted to collect clowns. It was definitely before you realized they were creepy, although looking at Kelly's collection when we were little I kind of always thought they were.. Collecting cats is creepy too.. :) I don't do that anymore. If I collect anything, it is Martha Stewart Living magazines, because I could never throw one away! :) I like your book collection and your house. Thanks for letting me stay! :)