This week’s topic was really fascinating to me. You might say to yourself, “But isn’t that just a list of favorite authors?” Well, in very simple terms, yes. But this list also marks out those favorite authors whose books I’ve wanted to reread so much over the years that I’ve collected them on my shelves. See, early on I didn’t have the resources to collect many books (my mother is laughing to herself across the country – I always found money for books!), and I made a rule: only buy a book if you’re confident you’ll reread it at least twice more, thereby making it more worthwhile to own than getting it out from the library (and possibly running up fines). In later years it hasn’t been so much about the cost of books as the space for them. So, looking over my shelves and seeing the books that have survived weeding, have become collectibles, as it were, was fascinating. And… not very surprising. *grin*
Top Ten Authors Who Occupy the Most Space on My Shelves
1. Garth Nix – I have one and a half shelves devoted to Nix. I’ve really liked (or loved!) all of his novels, and I’ve read nearly his entire backlist. The only Nix stories that don’t make my heart go pitter-pat are his Sir Hereward & Mr. Fitz shorts/novellas, which feature a puppet and a knight. But hey, that’s doing really well, considering!
2. Robin McKinley – McKinley’s books are just… gorgeous. I credit McKinley for my love of fantasy and fairy tale retellings. I am also, always (not-so-patiently) waiting for her next novel.
3. Neil Gaiman – If I can credit McKinley for starting me on fantasy and fairy tale fare, I can credit Neil Gaiman for my love of dark fantasy, right? Neverwhere was (for a short while) in danger of toppling Jane Austen’s Persuasion as my favorite book. I keep it on hand for reading emergencies.
4. Mercedes Lackey – Lackey is a startlingly prolific fantasy writer, and her Edwardian fairy tale retellings (the Elemental Masters series) are basically like book crack for me. I buy them hardcover the day they release and then they go live on my shelf forever. In series order, of course!
5. J.K. Rowling – I mean… obvious.
6. Sharon Shinn – Dear Angie of Angieville, I blame this one on you. You turned me on to Shinn, and when I realized that her books were made of swoon, I (naturally) had to start collecting them. So, THANKS FOR THAT. For real, though. Love, Me.
7. C.S. Lewis – Lewis is one of the few writers I loved as a child, and now respect even more as an adult reader. I enjoy his nonfiction as much as his fiction. Weird/awesome.
8. Nalini Singh – If I could only suggest one shape-shifting romance series to try, it would be Singh’s. Her books… yep. They are for me.
9. Patricia C. Wrede – Wrede has written many different types of fantasy: from funny dragon-and-princess escapades to Regency pickpockets-made-over-into-ladies, to an alternate version of America’s Old West. I’ve loved them all. Wrede is one of my guaranteed, go-to authors, and I’ve been collecting her books since high school.
10. Meljean Brook – Brook’s Iron Seas series is steampunk + romance + diversity + ADVENTURE, and that all adds up to amazing. I find myself counting down the days to the release of her next book (and owning multiple copies of the ones that are already out!).
Honorable Mention: Patricia A. McKillip – Another fantasy love of long-standing. I can count on McKillip for really beautiful books that are creative, art-filled and intellectual. I can’t think of anyone else who does that combination quite so well.
Are any of these authors on your collectible list?