Hello there, and good morning! Once again, I’m linking up over at The Broke and the Bookish as part of their weekly Top Ten Tuesday feature. This time, the prompt is: “What ten authors do you have the most books from?”
This was a really interesting prompt, people! To complete it, I had to take inventory of my bookshelves, and in doing so I learned some interesting things about my book-collecting habits. And before I move on to the prompt proper, I’d like to discuss what those things are.
Thing #1: I don’t buy very many books. Ninety percent of what I read comes from the library. As I said in an earlier post, I rarely buy books (for a variety of reasons). For example, I LOVE George R.R. Martin’s and E. Lockhart’s works – and have read many of them – but I don’t own ANY of them!
Thing #2: I don’t buy books that I haven’t read. Why would I? If I end up not liking the book, then I just wasted my money. I do own some books that I haven’t read yet, but they were either given as gifts or otherwise acquired for free. (Sometimes the library gives away beat-up books free of charge.)
Thing #3: I don’t buy books that I don’t like. Even if they’re part of a series and I’ve read all its books. Because of this, I have quite a few incomplete series: Harry Potter. Percy Jackson. Maximum Ride.
And now for the rest of the prompt. Here are my biggest bookish collections!
1. Joy Hakim (ELEVEN)
- The First Americans
- Making Thirteen Colonies
- From Colonies to Country
- The New Nation
- Liberty For All?
- War, Terrible War
- Reconstructing America
- An Age of Extremes
- War, Peace, and All That Jazz
- All the People
- Sourcebook and Index
These are the books that my brother and I read for American history in middle school. My mom wanted to sell them after we’d finished the series, but I love those books too much to part with them. So now they reside in my room, taking up at least half a shelf because there’s so many of them. I even kept the last one, which is literally just a collection of famous speeches from the USA’s history.
2. Laura Ingalls Wilder (NINE)
- Little House in the Big Woods
- Little House on the Prairie
- Farmer Boy
- On the Banks of Plum Creek
- By the Shores of Silver Lake
- The Long Winter
- Little Town on the Prairie
- These Happy Golden Years
- The First Four Years
I still remember buying the Little House boxed set from a second-hand bookstore when I was about seven. We probably have at least fifteen such books somewhere around the house, considering that I’d already begun collecting the series when I bought the full set.
3. Carolyn Keene (EIGHT)
- The Secret of the Old Clock
- The Hidden Staircase
- The Bungalow Mystery
- The Mystery at Lilac Inn
- The Secret of Shadow Ranch
- The Secret of Red Gate Farm
- The Clue in the Diary
- Nancy’s Mysterious Letter
Hmm. I’m trying to figure out how to talk about how I acquired these books without sounding whiny and ungrateful. Let’s just say that one of my relatives thought I liked the Nancy Drew stories, so they gave me the first eight books. And I, um, don’t really care for the series. So half of those books have never even been touched. Which is rare for me, but Nancy is so. Freaking. Dull.
P.S. I did learn an interesting fact about the series today, though! It turns out that ‘Carolyn Keene’ isn’t the author’s real name after all. Instead, it’s a collective pseudonym, which means that multiple people write under one made-up name. I knew the more recent Nancy Drew books were ghostwritten, but I didn’t know that the series had had more than one author since its very beginning.
4. Roald Dahl (SEVEN)
- The BFG
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
- Boy: Tales of Childhood
- The Magic Finger
- James and the Giant Peach
- The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More
This is my favorite collection listed here! Firstly, because I love Dahl’s books and have ever since I was a wee Engie. Secondly, because it’s taken me years to amass even this relatively small collection. I acquired most of the Little House series all in one day, but these books have taken time to find. Most were acquired second-hand.
5. Suzanne Collins (SIX)
- Gregor the Overlander
- Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods
- Gregor and the Marks of Secret
- The Hunger Games
- Catching Fire
I own the Hunger Games boxed set, plus the first, third, and fourth books of Collins’ earlier Underland Chronicles! I’m kind of a proud nerd about the fact I was collecting her books before The Hunger Games was even a blip on the horizon.
6. J.R.R. Tolkien (FOUR)
- The Hobbit
- The Fellowship of the Ring
- The Two Towers
- The Return of the King
These are part of a boxed set. Between my mother, my brother, and myself, we own three copies of each part of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, plus two copies of The Hobbit. This is somewhat odd considering that I’m the only one in this family who has ever finished these books.
7. J.K. Rowling (FOUR)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
I was given the third and fifth books as birthday presents when I was nine or ten, and bought the final two with my own money some years later. We actually have the full set, but my mom owns the other three books.
…and when you add up all my related-to-Harry-Potter books, the list grows even further. I own The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook, Harry Potter: Page to Screen, TWO different editions of Harry Potter and Philosophy, multiple books of sheet music from the movies, a coloring books, and several books filled with mini posters.
But none of those were written by J.K. Rowling, so they don’t count.
8. Jack Prelutsky (FOUR)
- Something Big Has Been Here
- The New Kid on the Block
- It’s Raining Pigs and Noodles
- A Pizza the Size of the Sun
I still have an entire shelf devoted to favorite picture books / children’s books, and Prelutsky’s works of poetry can be found there. I haven’t read these in forever, though. I need to.
9. H.G. Wells (THREE)
- The War of the Worlds
- In the Days of the Comet
- The Island of Doctor Moreau
I’ve actually never read these. I’ve seen the movie adaptation of the first one, never touched the middle one, and had to read the last one for an online summer English class a few years ago… but never finished it. I did try, though! And I did read all the other books I was assigned, but I just couldn’t get into the story. I read about three-quarters of the book and called it quits.
And wouldn’t you know, I got an A on my essay for it. I read just enough to know what I was talking about.
10. Ridley Pearson (THREE)
- Disney After Dark
- Disney At Dawn
- Power Play
Again, how do I talk about these books without sounding like a brat? Someone gave me some of the Kingdom Keepers books for a recent birthday and I would’ve loved them… a few years ago.
Like, I still read middle-grade fiction occasionally, but now that I’m in my late teens I honestly expect more from this genre. I like my middle-grade fiction to be a bit deeper than, “Wow, some kids go to Disneyland and have fun!” I read about half of book one and nearly fell asleep from boredom, so I put it aside.
So as you can see, I don’t have very many bookish collections. I have probably close to three hundred books, but most of those are standalone novels or the first books in a series. (And they’re probably sad because they miss their sequel friends.) My family does own a lot of books by the same authors – Bill Bryson, C.S. Lewis, and Tom Clancy all come to mind – but I don’t. Not really.
But I’m OK with that.
What do you think of my haphazard bookish collections? What authors are particularly well-represented on your bookshelves?