Discussion: The Great Appeal of Signed Books


As I sit here and write this, I think back to the time before blogging and how many signed books I owned.

*totters over to the signed book shelf*

The funny thing is that I only had ONE signed book on my shelf prior to about just over a year ago. What’s funny about this is that it took until this year for me to even realize that I had a signed, first edition book on my hands. NO CLUE until I actually read the thing.

The allure of signed books wasn’t something I ever really thought about in the past. I mean, I’d get the books, I’d read the books, I’d put them on the shelf — what would I do with a signed book? But signed MUSIC — oh, I had that in spades! I remember wanting to meet one of my favourite musicians after each of her concerts just so we could chat and I could get something signed. I have signed CD inserts, signed posters, signed setlists, and so many other things. Only from a select few of my favourite musicians, but it was still something that I totally desired. I still love them to this day!

But the signed book — I didn’t even think about getting any of mine signed until last August when I attended my first book signing. Prior to this I had a few signed books on my shelf, mainly from indie authors — most of whom I had met in the bookstore (with varying experiences — I won’t name names but one told me that they wouldn’t write anymore books until they got a movie deal. True story.).

The authors that came to my city were rock stars in my head — Beth Revis, Kelley Armstrong, Veronica Roth, just to name a few. I got my books signed — I think I had 7 books total — and squeed the whole way home. I was so excited to have met some of my favourite authors, some BIG NAME authors, who were so down to earth and just plain awesome.

Since then I feel like I’ve been on a quest. I don’t know what it is, but whenever I get a book in the mail, I check to see if maybe it’s a surprise signed copy. I bounce around the house when a signed book I ordered comes in the mail. It just makes me so super excited that I’m sure my husband thinks I’m crazy.

There was even the day that I took out a Neil Gaiman book from the library — my library — and noticed it was signed. I mean, how freaking cool is that? Occasionally, when I’m at work, I’ll go down the aisle just to look at it because a signed Neil Gaiman would be something I would have framed.

I’m sure this is something that I’m going to be fixated on for a while, but I love it. It’s one of those completely harmless kinds of collections and I personally love to walk by my signed book shelf to see it growing. It makes me happy!

Do you love getting signed books? Do you find that you constantly want to add to your collection? 



27 thoughts on “Discussion: The Great Appeal of Signed Books

  1. I completely understand where you are coming from. I only have a handful of signed books, mostly signed by Laurie Halse Anderson because she lives one town over and visits our bookstore frequently. But having a book you love signed by an author you admire… just thinking about that makes me squee my little heart out!

    Unfortunatly, not many authors come this way, so I would have to travel a ways to meet them. But I think once the summer hits, I am going to try to make it to more events.

    The Neil Gaiman book in your library is an amazing find.

    • We don’t have a lot of big authors come this way, so when they do and it’s a free event, I’m totally game! I wish we had more! That’s awesome that Laurie Halse Anderson lives so close … I’ve read one of her books and it was great!

  2. It’s funny, because I feel like I don’t really care much about having my books signed, even though I DO have a lot of my books signed, lol. I think I just love going to author events and listening to them speak. And getting to meet them — so I get my books signed. It is kind of special, though, isn’t it? 🙂

    • Author events are awesome — agreed! I’m lucky that we’ve had so many around the city. I’m still keeping my hopes up that some of my favourite authors will one day visit …

  3. Yessss I love them, and didn’t have any till last year either, as far as I know! My fav is probably Margaret Atwood – of a book I haven’t even read yet. The most ridiculous is probably the one I went to last night, where they had Days cast members signing their “book” (I used the term loosely) and my sister and I got one for our mom. It was hilarious. There were some ladies who were VERY excited. I should do a blog post about it. 🙂

    • I’m still jealous of your Margaret Atwood book … which one did you have signed? That’s hilarious about the Days book … as I write this comment, it’s on in the other room. It all sounds so ridiculous — I always wonder how people are so addicted to it!

  4. I totally wish I had more signed books! I have one book from a local author, and then two from meeting Kelley Armstrong. I almost don’t even want to touch those books because they’re special now.
    I didn’t know that ones in the mail could be signed, but I haven’t gotten one yet. I really wish more authors would come to this city, or somewhere closer than Toronto!

    • I find that I always want to get a copy of a book from a library if I have a super special signed one … that way I don’t have to be overly careful with it. 🙂

  5. I have to admit that there is something utterly delightful about meeting an author I really admire and getting a book signed by that author! Knowing that they’ve held my (actual) book and written in it, and that I was able to be face-to-face with them (since that’s how I get most of my signed books) is a very special thing indeed.

  6. I own a couple signed books, but I don’t get too excited about them because the signings weren’t ones I was present for. Maybe I’d have a greater appreciation for a signed book if I had the chance to have a favourite author sign one of their books for me, but for now, it’s kind of like finding a bookmark in my book. A pleasant surprise that’s quickly forgotten 🙂

    • I do love signed books, but you’re right — if you’re there to meet the author and have them sign it and personalize right in front of you, that’s something even more special!

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  8. Since I don’t really live in an area with a lot of book signings, I get super excited when I get a signed book. Even more so when it’s personalized! Which doesn’t happen often. I had NO signed books before I began blogging, but now I do and it makes me so happy! I squee a bit over it as well 🙂

    • Ha ha … I’m always happy, even when I win a book that’s signed, but was probably signed for someone else initially. I even dedicated a few shelves just to my signed books!

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  10. I don’t own ANY signed books! I think something’s wrong with me, haha. I actually did own a signed one fairly recently, but ended up donating it to my local used bookstore because I decided that I didn’t want to keep it anymore. But there are definitely books that I wish were signed, or that I hope I’m able to get signed in the future. Oh! Wait, I just remembered. I have a signed Jodi Picoult book 🙂 I got it signed personally from her, but it was a long time ago so I forgot. That’s so weird that your library has a book signed by Neil Gaiman…I’m confused why they would have one that’s signed, but it’s awesome! I’d seriously ask if you could purchase their copy or something haha.

    • Oooh, a signed Jodi Picoult book would be neat! I should ask the library if I can buy their copy! I have my own copy of the book, but it’s not signed … I wonder if they’d do a trade? 😉

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  12. I absolutely adore signed books, and my collection is growing quite quickly. I went to an author event last week, and got over 20 books signed. So my collection is looking pretty great right now.
    I think the main reason why i love signed books so much is because the author has written the words, I’ve read the words (or will read the words), and I have their written name on their written words. I just think it’s fantastic. A lot of the time, authors feel like these magical beings that are almost not real. But when they sign a book, they are SO real, and fantastic. It makes me feel even closer to the story inside their book.

    • Wow — over 20 books signed is pretty awesome! We never have huge events like that where I’m at … I wish we did! And you’re so right — I feel the same way about musicians, like they’re almost untouchable. When you finally get to meet one you realize that they’re just human beings after all!

  13. I also love signed books! And I also used to not care about them, pre-blogging.Since I started blogging, I’ve noticed how many fantastic opportunities there are to meet authors and a signed book is a great way to remember that experience. I don’t ever order signed books though, since the reason I value the books is largely as a memento of having met the author.

    • Exactly! I think I’ll order a signed book only if they come with other perks, like a Maureen Johnson one came with stickers and bookmarks, as well as a Gayle Forman one! But the signed books I get after meeting an author definitely are super special to me.

My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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