It would probably surprise anyone who saw my bookshelves, but I don’t consider myself a serious collector — mostly because I don’t shell out tens of thousands of dollars for rare editions of centuries-old texts the way the hardcore ones do. I certainly have the urges, though, and when they hit, they hit hard. A case in point:
At a recent convention, I was perusing the shelves of a vendor carrying books and I found this little treasure. I paid $75 cash to the lovely lady and hustled out of there before anyone could notice and point out the utter insanity of me even finding this book, let alone getting it for such a good price.
I already own the Wolf Annotated Dracula in paperback (with its impressively hideous cover, bleck), but have always longed for the long-out-of-print hardcover edition. This one? This is a first edition. The vendor said she only finds one every few years, if that. I’ve found ones in good shape for sale for well over $100. This one has a Demco dust jacket cover protecting the lovely dust jacket (which is in surprisingly good shape) and aside from a general yellowing of the pages, it’s in excellent condition.
Much to my disappointment, almost none of my friends at the con got why I was so excited to have gotten my paws on this lovely tome. But then, it wasn’t a book convention, and there aren’t many people who understand why I own half a dozen copies of Dracula to begin with, let alone two editions of the same annotated edition (the notes are fantastic, and the text of the novel is a reproduction of the second printing ever).
That’s all right, though. I didn’t buy it to show off, I bought it because it makes me grin and do a little dance to hold it.
Looks like I’m a collector after all.