Book collections: do you have any? Ones you'd like to build?

Wonderful thread here on what book collections can be—

Things a book collection does not have to be:

  • rare books
  • expensive books
  • enormous
  • old
  • literary
  • only books at all

Things a book collection can be:

  • acquired through trade
  • focused on art
  • focused on reader annotations
  • hyperlocal
  • modest
  • niche
  • political
  • practical

This got me thinking a bit about my own book collection(s)…I own hundreds of books, but haven’t really thought a lot specifically about developing any subset as a particular collection. If I did, a couple that come to mind would be:

  • constrained poetry / poetics: both books of interesting experimental writing / poetry and books about such things as Oulipian experiments, poetic forms, etc.
  • education and pedagogy: collecting a broad historical cross-section of different influential texts on learning, teaching, interesting schools and other educational projects…I have a few and it’d be fun to get more in the weeds and seek out other rare / fascinating stuff here!
  • books about translation: one of my favorite topics & lots of potential for coming at this from different angles (art; craft; language; meaning) and getting meta :wink:

Do you have any particular collections, or ones you’d like to develop?

Old computing books? Books-as-object? Imaginary books? Books with wonderful indexes? Tabletop RPG books?

Also worth noting, some excellent collections from the winners / finalists of the Honey & Wax Book Collecting Prize, launched three years ago and open to women under thirty. Fantastic stuff here:

  • 2017 winners: jazz age romance novels, early modernist Argentine publishing, odori theater programs, literature from Southeast Queens, history of disasters, food books of New Orleans…
  • 2018 winners: American illustrators, women in STEM, the works of Barbara Pym and Ella Rhoads Higginson, and history of American musicals…
  • 2019 winners: fan-made comics and dōjinshi, colonialist children’s books, the American vegetarian movement, American women’s press books, translations and retellings of Icelandic sagas, illustrated field guides…