I love books. Especially leather-bound editions. I have many leather-bound books of the classics. I like to surround myself with these books while I write. I feel inspired when I do. I feel that my writing should be much better because I’m surrounded by all these great writers. I’ve actually read most of the books I own. Some books I have reread several times, like the humorous ones by Groucho Marx, Stephen Leacock, and Max Schulman.
When I downsized my library (I gave about two-thirds of my collection to the used bookstore when I got divorced and had to sell the house), I kept all my leather-bound books, which cost me a pretty penny. I also kept the books that were autographed by the author. I’ve met some famous writers who came speak at the University of Illinois at Chicago for conferences. I usually take their book that I’ve already read and ask the author for his or her autorgraph.
I used to love reading humor books (and I still do), but many were out of print, so I would go from one used bookstore to the next where I bought many of them. One day, I saw a book by Bob Hope–I thought Bob Hope was hilarious–and when I opened it to look for the price I saw that Bob Hope himself had autographed it. So obviously I had to keep his autographed book.