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Old 09-15-2014, 01:28 PM
6,061 posts, read 5,657,440 times
Reputation: 18478


I went to an auction yesterday and was out-of-my-mind excited to find two flats of books by Horatio Alger, most in excellent condition. I got one flat for $3 and one flat for $9!!!!!!!!!! I'm so excited I can't stand it!!!

I started collecting Algers way back in high school - 35 years ago or so. They were popular enough that you can find them in most parts of the country for between $1 and $10. They often have really beautiful covers. When I was poor in grad school I sold what I had collected to that point to a dealer, because I needed cash. It made me so sad. But since then I've built up a good collection again - Alger wrote more than 100 books, so there are always more titles to hunt for.

And since Alger books are generally found with other juvenile pulp fiction from the late 19th century, I sometimes collect others authors from that genre too (Oliver Optic in particular).

I know from reading John Dunning and just from life experience that old books don't necessarily have monetary value. So I also started collecting first edition books by Larry McMurtry, because those do have a higher sales value. I love him as an author (while I don't really read the Algers anymore). Dunning said that first edition early King books are among those with the most "collectible" monetary value. But I never liked Steven King until I started reading his essays in Entertainment Weekly.

Well, book collecting is a fun and generally inexpensive hobby, and gives me something to look for at auctions.

Do any of you collect books by genre and/or author?
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Old 09-15-2014, 04:17 PM
Location: CO
2,454 posts, read 2,840,132 times
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I used to. When I was young I collected all the John D. MacDonald books (they were all in paperback.) Good author for his time, and I liked the "colors" of his titles - A Flash of Green, The Deep Blue Goodbye, The Lonely Silver Rain, etc. Plus they were all set in my old locale and he was a neighbor. I collected various authors over the years then realized I never re-read them and they took up a lot of space and money so I quit buying and got rid of most of them.

Haven't bought a book in over 25 years, it's the library for me all the time!
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Old 09-21-2014, 07:28 AM
80 posts, read 131,734 times
Reputation: 129
I collect books about cities and urban topography (Lost Rivers of London, Arcades Project, The Invention of Paris to name a few). I also collect Simenons (the Belgian/French thriller writer), biographies/memoirs, and oral histories. Other than that, my collection is pretty eclectic, but those would be some particular areas of focus, or defaults at any rate.
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Old 09-21-2014, 02:30 PM
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
9,301 posts, read 14,534,358 times
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I "collect" the books I want to read.
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Old 09-21-2014, 10:58 PM
6,061 posts, read 5,657,440 times
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Some of the great covers I just acquired:

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Old 10-14-2014, 07:11 AM
Location: north central Ohio
8,580 posts, read 4,736,977 times
Reputation: 5122
I never read books just because they are by a certain author,never found one who wrote more than a few books or a couple series that I loved,so it is definitely by genre for me.

However,I do not 'collect' books at all! The only ones I ever bought were because I didn't want to wait to get them from inter-library-loan,or they were such keepers that I had to own them,and those were usually non-fiction,and have bought my grandchildren some.
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Old 10-20-2014, 08:41 AM
369 posts, read 212,673 times
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Old 10-23-2014, 09:13 PM
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Love your post. And congratulations on your buy. I've only read one Alger story (a contemporary paperback reprint), which was fun, but it didn't move me to seek him out, although I'd read more if it fell in my lap.

I don't officially collect but there was a period when I was buying antique (maybe 1880-1930) books related to women and etiquette. A dealer in town once told me that there was a serious collector buying up all the better stuff.

Have you read The House of Mirth which briefly has a character who's kind of a shallow collector of Americana books?
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Old 10-24-2014, 05:52 AM
Location: Rutherfordton,NC
17,029 posts, read 10,310,851 times
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Anything that has to do with King Arthur, Merlin, Etc., I tend to read & collect IF I like it well enough.
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