Friday, May 30, 2008

Collecting Contemporary Poetry Books

Image via Colorado Canyon

I have always hated the concept of collecting. Bringing objects together by category seems so pointless. To my mind, you should buy something because of its excellence or usefulness, for instance, buy a painting because it is pretty, not because it is "Picasso". Or buy a sculpture because it fits nicely into a corner, not because it is a Kitty and fits in with your cat potholders, kitten salt shakers, and 50 other catty objects.

Having railed against collecting for years, it falls into the predictable pattern of becoming one's opposites that I should now suddenly want to start a collection of my own. Except, my collection is of course going to be both excellent and useful. I want to start a collection of poetry books by contemporary authors.

I suppose it is a symptom of finally growing up and wanting to settle down that I should suddenly want to own the books themselves. Up til now, I've been focused on living on a minimum. I've been perfectly happy cribbing books off of friends, poems off the web, and maxing out my library card. But now I suddenly want to have the books on a little shelf as all my own. I want, I guess, a collection.

I am going to start making lists and calculating budgets. I'll post updates here. Let me know of your own must-reads and must-haves.

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