Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The State of the Stacks - Book Hoarding edition

Who likes to know what other people are reading? I do! Here's a look at what's currently stacked next to my bed.

I recently received a fantastic gift from my Grandpa -

A big chunk of his collection of James Michener books. Seeing these titles all stacked together made me think of one of my worst bookish habits - Book Hoarding. Now, I'm not talking about obsessively seeking out and buying more books - while I certainly have that disease as well, this is slightly different. Book Hoarding, to me, is purchasing a whole bunch of titles by an author that I KNOW I am going to like and then.......not reading them.

It's like I'm saving them for some nebulous, disastrous future in which authors only write bad books, or publishers only publish 50 Shades of Grey knock-offs, but NEVER FEAR! For I have hoarded all the books by all the Really Great authors, so I will still get to read Good Books. (or something.)

So, what authors am I currently hoarding?

Matt Ruff - I read his novel Set This House in Order several years ago, and it was SO fantastic. I had never read anything before that made multiple personality disorder seem so logical and understandable. So then I started collecting his books. So far I have accumulated -

Fool On the Hill
Sewer, Gas, and Electric: The Public Works Trilogy
Bad Monkeys
The Mirage

Patrick Ness - I'm fully aware that I am going to love his Chaos Walking series - it sounds like exactly the thing my brain craves. So I bought copies of the whole thing.....to read someday. I also bought a standalone novel, because really, why not. So, these have found a home on my shelves -

The Knife of Never Letting Go
The Ask and the Answer
Monsters of Men
A Monster Calls

Guy Gavriel Kay - His novel The Lions of Al-Rassan is one of my favorite books of all time. His writing is purely magnificent. I've built up quite a collection that I know I will love....as soon as I start reading them. I have collected -

The Last Light of the Moon
A Song for Arbonne
Under Heaven
The Last Light of the Sun

Margaret Atwood - why? because she's a rock star author, whose books are constantly unique and challenging. Even her novels that are not my favorites are still better than average, and some of her work is truly genius. Atwood novels I own but have NOT read include -

The Blind Assassin
The Year of the Flood
The Edible Woman
Cat's Eye

And in case you think it's just fiction I hoard....

Sarah Vowell - Honestly, I haven't read ANY of her books yet. I've just convinced myself that I am going to love them, so I'm collecting them. I mean, they sound SO funny. I'm going to like her stuff, right?? I hope so, because I own -

Assassination Vacation
The Partly Cloudy Patriot
The Wordy Shipmates
Unfamiliar Fishes

And these are just the authors on the bookshelves in my bedroom. As you can see, I have a bit of a problem. Am I the only one who does this? Is there anyone else out there saving up their favorite authors for a rainy day??


~Ang said...

I am guilty of this too. I am working on having all the books by Robin Cook, I read a few in high school and fell in love with them. I also buy anything by Bertrice Small, Laurell K. Hamilton, Robin D. Owens, Dana Marie Bell and of course Marguerite Henry (and I am sure many more I can't remember currently)

Jenny @ Reading the End said...

I do a version of this--once I know that I love an author, I hoard several of his or her books that I haven't read yet, and parcel them out to myself when I'm having a bad day. I wouldn't be able to do it with Patrick Ness because his books are just so engrossing!, but I've done it with authors like Mary Renault, Diana Wynne Jones, Rumer Godden--there are loads.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I read 2 Atwood book several years ago and thought they were good, but I just donated 5 unread Atwoods to the library book sale as I figure if I ever want to read them that bad I'll borrow them from the library. [they sat on my shelf unread for over 5 years so I purged them]LOL