With apologies to Scott Cupp, our resident Geek with Lots of Books, I must submit evidence of my own addiction.
I have never considered myself a “Book Collector” even though I have bought lots of used books in my day. Sometimes every day, sometimes several times in one day. This is not me bragging, this is me admitting to a personal flaw of logic and reasoning. Simple mathematics will tell you that I own more books than I can possibly read in my lifetime.
Part of the problem? I’m a sucker for a book series. If someone, somewhere said a book in some series was good, I would have no problem obtaining all volumes in the set. Even worse, in some cases I had to own all of them before I’d even start reading the series. I never called myself a “Book Collector”, mind you, this was just something I did.
And that was how I came to start not-collecting Gardner Dozois’ Year’s Best Science Fiction series of anthologies.
Once I would find one I didn’t have, I’d scoop it up. But that became harder to do because the older ones were hard to find. I reached the point where the only ones I did not have in hardback were Volumes 1, 2 and 5. I searched high and low for it. It became an obsession to the point where I set a “watch” on Amazon for the much-adored Volume 1 to appear. It was selling in their merchant pages for $600+ at the time — way more than I was ever willing to spend – so I set the watch at $100 (which was still more than I wanted to spend) and forgot about it, except when it came to renew the watch, which I did without hesitation. That was about 2 years ago.
Well, last week, I received an email that the book was not only available, but was on its way to me. I couldn’t believe it. I forgot that I would be immediately charged and the book shipped as soon as it became available. The selling price was about $70 which is the most I have ever paid for a single book. Surprised? Yes. Regrets? None. This copy is a nice-looking-but-marked-up library copy (see the picture above) and the biblioholic in me can’t believe I am able to hold it in my hands.
In fact, I was so caught up in Collector Mania that I found another seller who had a library copy of Volume 5, and I scooped that up for $40. (Seriously, how could I not? I have already established I was willing to pay seventy bucks, and I was still thirty bucks under my max…so when you think about it, this was only ten bucks!) So, Volume 5 arrived this week. I am now only missing Volume 2.
I think…I think I may be a Book Collector after all.