I never thought I’d be doing a follow-up to my Book Signing blog, but a few people have asked what I do with all of those signed books. So, because I am a storyteller like my father (as in talking about people, places, and things I’ve encountered) and because I apparently talk a lot about books (hence this website), I’ve decided to write a Part II of sorts.
Okay, what happened to those Tom Clancy novels? Several years ago, I was weeding my collection in an attempt to make room for new acquisitions, and I decided that I would part with those books. I took them to a local charity that has a thrift shop. When I brought the books in, I told the woman who was accepting the donations that the books were autographed. Since their regular hardcover books sold for $1.00 each at time, I explained that they should put the Clancy books in a separate place so that they could list them for a higher sale price. The woman thanked me for the donation.
A few weeks later, I went into the thrift shop and what do I see? The Clancy books are on the shelf with the $1.00 books. I removed the books and went to the back of the store. A different woman was working that day, so I told her the books were signed, they should be in a different place, etc. She took the books and thanked me, and I went on my way.
Fast forward another couple of weeks … I go into the shop with my husband and daughter. I see the Clancy books are now marked $10 each and I comment to my husband how happy I am that the shop finally took my advice. My
daughter, who normally has no interest in books, sees them and tells me she had wanted to keep them for when she got older. Really? Sigh. I took the books off the shelf once again, but this time to purchase them – and at the higher price! I don’t feel too badly, though. The organization is a really great one and I know the money I spent was for a good cause.
(If you missed the origin of this story, click here.)
For many years, those Clancy novels were the only signed books I had in my collection. I did knowingly purchase a few books along the way from bookstores that were selling pre-signed books. It wasn’t until I bought a cataloging program to catalog my books (yes, I AM a library geek, even at home) that I discovered I had more signed books I’d gotten from used bookstores, thrift shops, or library book sales. My signed book collection also continues to grow with the help from others. Ah, there’s nothing so wonderful as having loved ones contribute to my book hoarding, I mean collecting, habit! My signed books have taken over the bookcase I used for my non-fiction books, and my non-fiction books have now moved into a guest bedroom. I think I need a large she-shed, or maybe a she-barn, to turn into a library to store all of my book treasures!
I do have one book signing regret. When I was in high school in the 1980s, I worked at Doyens Store as a stock person and cashier. One summer, Danielle Steel came into the store. I knew who she was because my Mom
read her books. We didn’t have a bookstore on the Island, but we did have a paperback rack in Doyens. I wish
now that I had gotten Ms. Steel’s autograph for my mother. I think she would have liked that. Alas, I was too shy to ask. I just stayed behind the counter rang up her purchases.
Well, now you know more about my book collection. Each book holds not just a place on the shelf, but a place in my memory. They are more than the wonderful inner story written by the author. To me, each book represents my story of a place that I have gone, a person that I have met, or an experience that I have lived. Thank you for allowing me to share my stories with you!