I own more books than I have shelf space to house, and so only a fraction of them have a place on the bookshelves in my room. Most sit inside cardboard banker’s boxes stacked on top of each other in the attic. It’s not ideal. But it’s the reality of not having my own home yet.
When I have my own house, I’m going to set aside a good-size room to set up as a library. There’ll be oak bookshelves lining the walls, and books will fill each shelf. One shelf will be set aside for special books. Not my own, because there will be enough to fill a whole bookshelf. That shelf will hold autographed books.
One of the best things in the world–apart from the smell and feel of an old book–is an autographed book. The indent of an author’s pen on the page gives the book shows an even greater connection between the writer and the reader.
Each and every word came from the author’s mind, tapped out by their fingers on a keyboard. They agonized over the story. They battled with their characters in an effort to make them cooperate, and they discovered new plot lines had suddenly appeared three quarters of the way through the manuscript. They revise and revise and revise until they come to the realization that their finally done.
The book seems to lose the author’s presence when it’s published.
Paperbacks and hardcovers are mass-produced. Publishers want the most inexpensive way to distribute books across the country and the globe. It means books can be sold in bookstores for reasonable prices instead of if the author printed it page-by-page on their own printer.
I’m not complaining because I love being able to afford multiple books in one trip to the bookstore. It just means I have to look harder for the author in the pages.
That’s why I think that the flourish of the author’s signature on the page is so cool. The author has touched this book, opened its cover, and physically marked the pages. Instantly, the connection between the writer and the reader intensifies. They’re giving me this story.
I haven’t been lucky enough yet to meet any of my favorite authors in-person. I did meet the author of the Belltown Mysteries when I was in middle school. However, the magnitude of meeting an author didn’t envelope me. I was too young to view the situation with too much weight.
For the moment, I’m settling on autographed books ordered online. I purchased an autographed copy “A Kiss of Shadows” from Laurell K. Hamilton’s website. I’ve started my way through her Anita Blake series, so I figured I’d give this series a try. I also picked up Laurie R. King’s “A Garment of Shadows” through a preorder deal, where I could order the book ahead of time and have it autographed for a few more dollars. It was worth the cost to ship it from the Arizona to Massachusetts.
Those two books are tucked into the bookshelf next to my bed. I’ve yet to read them; they’re on my list. Even if they are autographed, they’re still books. And books are meant to be read.
Do you have any autographed books? How did you come across them?