If you look on my shelves, aside from the huge piles of mysteries and women's fiction, you'd find a big collection of foodie books. (This doesn't even count the horde of cookbooks I have in the kitchen, many of which I haven't looked at in years.) To me, food is so much more than eating to stay alive. And the people who write foodie books write about food as a conduit for relationships and history and love.
Reds and red readers, what are your book collections like, if you have them?
HALLIE EPHRON: I have a tiny book-lined office -- crime fiction, writing, and reference. If I acquire a new book one has to go out... that's the rule.
|Jerry's cool collection|
Here's just a sample of some small books he has tucked in at the end of a row in a bookcase with glass doors. Irresistible, right? He's a keeper, too.
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Not many "collections"- but a few books I treasure.
These are in my study: the beautiful Sue Graftons, just a few so far. And my Nancy-Trixie-Cherry Ames shelf. There are bookcases all over our house, gosh, just about in every room, and one lining the hallway upstairs. We just gave hundreds of books to the library, but you almost cannot tell. Which is so sad. I fear there are piles on the floor in my study, but they are behind a chair so you can't see them. :-) It's just so difficult to get rid of books. Hallie, that's a good rule. But so far, not doing it! (But then--it drives me crazy that I can't find the one I want. Somewhere in our house is the Ruth Ware book. But where?) (I know, it sounds like a who's on first...)
DEBORAH CROMBIE: A couple of years ago I purged about 400 books from my house. To be fair, some of them were loads of foreign editions of my own books, but most were just accumulated odds and ends. Don't worry, there are plenty left! But I have tried to be better about passing on things I don't think I'll reread. The shelves in my upstairs office (once again groaning and triple-stacked) are mostly to-read books, and the research books I've used for my novels. The shelves in the downstairs office are mostly mystery series that are "keepers" for me, and some fantasy and sci-fi. The bookshelves in the hall and the dining room, however, are an odd assortment of classics and children's books, biology, poetry, biography, and things long out of print. Here are a couple of my favorite shelves (looking forward to sharing some of these with Wren in a year or few!) That's two bookcases out of five in our hall, and there are two more in the dining room. Maybe I should purge again...
JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: I'm not sure if I'm a book collector as much as I am a book KEEPER. We have boxes of books in the attic. Shelves in the hallways and on the stair landings. Each of the kids has at least three bookshelves in their rooms. There are stacks in the bathrooms. In fact, the only place where they're aren't any books are downstairs in the cellar (too damp) and in the entryway (we need the room for coats, boots, etc.)
That being said, I do have a nice collection of books by other mystery authors signed to me, or to Ross, or just signed. I keep a bunch of them in this living room bookshelf/glasses tray/curio cabinet. The only ones I know for sure have any monetary value are the three first printing, first edition copies of IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER that I saved for the kids, currently going for $300 to $400 on ABE. Why didn't someone tell me to hang on to the rest of my author copies?!? I also have THE WHITE TRILOGY by Ken Bruen, a softcover published by Justin Charles & Co, Kate's Mystery Books imprint. It was brand new in 2003 when I bought it at her annual holiday party in Cambridge (remember how much fun those were?) and now it's worth between $300 and $400, too. Who knew?
Of course, I'm never going to unload any of my books, so I suppose it'll be my grandchildren who reap the financial rewards of collecting. Unless they're book keepers as well, in which case, these babies may never go on the market.
SUSAN ELIA MACNEAL: Not really enough room in a NYC condo for collections of any kind (although that doesn't stop Noel), but I did put together a set of Random House children's classics for Kiddo. I started when I was in my twenties (a lot of them are my favorites, too!) and now he's been dipping in. I usually get him a new one every Christmas, too!
How about you Reds? what would we find on your shelves?