I did something useful today. I put together a prefab bookcase, found a place for it in my overcrowded apartment, and filled it up with books and magazines that came from my old place. Perhaps you have some idea of what 50 years of collecting or accumulating Good Stuff can do.
My book collection divides into several parts. There’s Stuff, Good Stuff, Really Good Stuff that I want to read, Stuff I helped create, Stuff my friends created, Classic Stuff from small presses or other amazing printers, and High Quality Collectible Stuff. Most of it is books, but a lot is magazines, art portfolios, games, and just a couple videos. You know what my problem is: TOO MUCH GOOD STUFF!
And I don’t have room for it all any more. And I don’t have time to appreciate it properly. And my very creative friends and associates continue producing even better stuff. Aaaaaaaaagggggggggggghhhhhh!
I appreciate it very much when people ask me to sign things for them. I think all authors do. Signing something somehow makes it special. For a moment author and reader really connected with each other. When I was younger, I often went to great lengths to get authors to sign their books for me. It was partly because I wanted to experience that special moment of connection, and partly because I wanted to give them that rush of satisfaction and pleasure that I felt whenever someone asked me to sign a book or game. And partly because I used to imagine that having those signatures would make the books themselves that much more valuable to some other collector some day in the future.
Well, I’m older now, and I have all these autographed books that nobody seems to want. So much for dreams! But I still want to share them–the wonder of them, and therefore, this blog.
I could scan the autographs, but that would involve smashing the book open. I will try digital photography and grabbing covers from Amazon. Let’s see. I’ll let the old librarian out of me, and display them in alphabetical order by author.
I photographed the autographs, but it isn’t working. I have the pix in Iphoto, but can’t find them to actually upload them to this blog, so I will just tell you what they say. This one says: William Barton 02-18-95.
This is going to be a poorly constructed blog, inconsistent at best, because WordPress is fighting with me. Sometimes I don’t like this site at all. I’ve tried to enter a caption twice now, and lost it both times. However, I’m getting the information in one way or another.
I actually visited Katherine Kerr in California a couple of times, and we corresponded for a while. She is best known for her heroic fantasy series about the land of Deverry–a series I admired very much at the time. In fact, I put the whole series, mostly in trade paperbacks in a position of honor on the bookcase I filled up today. Resurrection is more standard sci-fi. Her autograph says: For Ken–All my best–Kit. Ms. Kerr is known at Kit by her friends.
Here’s another picture of Corencio’s hands and t-shirt. This cover of Dragon Doom is not available at Amazon. This book is my absolute favorite of all the fantasies that Dennis McKiernan wrote. We know each other, although I haven’t seen him for several years now. His autograph says: Ken: This one is my favorite at this time. But Eye of the Hunter may displace it. Dennis L. McKiernan W F C (9).
And another one from Mike–Talion Revenant was actually the first heroic fantasy he wrote, although it was not the first to be published. In some ways I like it best of all his early books–it has more of a Tunnels and Trolls feel to it than his other stuff.
The signature says: To Ken, reads better in book than ms! Best, Mike. This is a reference to the fact that I was one of the few people to read the book first as a manuscript. In fact, I think I only saw the first half in manuscript. The second half of the book was new to me when it was finally published.
I have many more autographed paperbacks, but these are all that popped up today while I was sorting and filing things. And that’s enough, really. You’ve had a mini-tour of my personal book collection, and you’ve seen how some authors sign their books. I also have a lot of signed hardbacks and trade paperbacks in a much larger format. I’m thinking I might do a blog about them also some time in the future.
If you have any autographed books, and would care to share those signatures with the world, go ahead and leave a comment.