A Complete Collection

Something Katie and I share, as well as a love of old things, is a love of little collections. Last year I decided it would be cool to collect the James Bond novels by Ian Fleming. I grew up watching the movies but had never read the books, so with the idea that “the book is always better than the movie” in my head, I set out to collect the complete set secondhand.

It was hard to get started though. The 007 books don’t appear very often in op-shops and it was a long time before I stumbled across my first one, Thunderball. It was even longer before I found the next one, but over the last few months I have slowly collected them one by one at op-shops, markets and secondhand book stores. There are a couple of great secondhand book shops in Bendigo, with bookshelves lining the walls from floor to ceiling, and it was in two of these amazing places today that I found From Russia, With Love and Goldfinger, the last two in my collection! Though I do plan to keep my eye out for more James Bond books (Katie insists it is’t a “proper” collection because they aren’t all the same editions and she likes things that match!) I’m really happy just to have them all for now.

I have already started reading the set (can you see my bookmark in the photo?) and I love them. They aren’t at all like the movies, with the crazy gadgets and stunts. They are straightforward, believable and exciting. I’ve been a little surprised by some of the old fashioned attitudes (particularly concerning race and gender) in some of the books, but the way they were written just reflects the views of a different era rather than intending to cause offense. I guess they are just relics of their time. The stories themselves are action-packed, fun, fast reads.

I love searching for things to add to a collection. It makes visiting op-shops and markets like a challenge, or a treasure hunt! Shooting straight to the book section of an op-shop and reading every single title has become an important part of my routine, so now that my collection is complete, what am I going to look for? Katie is part way into collecting all of Roald Dahl’s children’s books, and finding the books she doesn’t have is becoming more difficult, so maybe that will be my next mission. I’m getting excited already!

Are you collecting anything at the moment? Do you have any complete collections?


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About Reuben

Reuben is a green thumb with a knitting machine for a brain. He likes dinosaurs, The Beatles and homebrew (among many other things).


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23 Responses to “A Complete Collection”

  1. Monsterscircus May 24, 2012 at 11:19 pm #

    Wow cool collection, I know my husband would die for that!

  2. Pocky May 24, 2012 at 11:53 pm #

    I grew up on the James Bond movies. While I love Sean Connery, my favorite character will always be Q. It wasn’t until recently that I really wanted to start reading books that movies were based off of, so I might have to add this to my ‘to read’ list.

    As far as collections go, does craft supplies count? Right now I don’t have room for much else in my special space to collect anything else. 🙂

    • Katie
      Katie May 25, 2012 at 11:26 am #

      Craft supplies totally count! Our tiny, old house has absolutely zero storage space so we have to be a quite careful about how much stuff we accumulate too. Our spare bedroom/craft room is already pretty full and we still have boxes of stuff we never unpacked when we moved into this house as there just aren’t any cupboards/closets to put things in. I DREAM of built in wardrobes and cupboard space!

  3. Lilea May 25, 2012 at 7:27 am #

    Wow! My son just started collecting and reading them, too.I just acquired Moonraker for him. You just made the hunt all the more exciting for me!

    • Reuben
      Reuben May 25, 2012 at 11:28 am #

      Good luck on the hunt Lilea! I loved finding all the 007 books and now I’m really enjoying reading them. I bet your son will too!

  4. Melissa May 25, 2012 at 8:11 am #

    Great collection Reuben! I’ve never read Ian Fleming either but am glad to hear that you’re enjoying reading your first book – it must make all your hunting and gathering extra satisfying!

    I buy first edition books by Gerald Durrell – which are a little hard to come by and sometimes too pricey, but every now and then I can pounce on a bargain. I am a ‘little’ fixated by china and have a thing about old fine china orphan cups.

    • Reuben
      Reuben May 25, 2012 at 11:33 am #

      I’m actually up to the fourth book now and I’ve really enjoyed them all so far! And you’re right, it DOES make the hunting and gathering extra satisfying!

      Katie shares your fixation with old china. She has to practice a little self restraint though, as we just don’t have any storage space in the little house we are renting. I think if she had her way all our walls would be covered in old plates!

      • Katie
        Katie May 25, 2012 at 11:35 am #

        You are 100% correct. They would!

        • Melissa May 26, 2012 at 8:06 am #

          Katie, I’m with you…and it reminds me that I really must find a plate holder for an old platter that I have in the cupboard. That would free up some space…. 🙂

  5. Stitchybritt May 25, 2012 at 8:18 am #

    I’ve been collecting 2nd hand Paul Jennings books for a while now – all the ones I read when I was a kid – Unreal, Unbelievable etc. Still great reads.

    • Katie
      Katie May 25, 2012 at 11:36 am #

      I read all of those multiple times as a kid! Did you also love the Round The Twist TV series, based on Paul Jenning’s book? I sure did!

  6. Tania May 25, 2012 at 10:08 am #

    Love your collection! Ive collected Noddy books,Enid Blyton books,doilies,breakfast tablecloths,canisters,etc etc over the years,and i love the looking for them in the opshops aor markets. What a thrill when you find another goody.!

    • Katie
      Katie May 25, 2012 at 11:44 am #

      Doilies and vintage tablecloths, yes! I have a lovely little collection of those too! Gosh, I am beginning to sound like a bit of a hoarder…

  7. Cate May 25, 2012 at 11:41 am #

    I love bond… you’ve totally given me something else to collect… Um yes, I do… my sister calls me a hoarder but I’m discerning. I collect old books/cameras/typewriters, brooches, stamps, anything on the royals, yarn and positive people 😀 xo PS love your blog!

  8. Sarah May 25, 2012 at 9:11 pm #

    I still have to find the very first Harry Potter book – I have all of the others bought secondhand.


  9. cass May 25, 2012 at 11:00 pm #

    We just finished watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with the children tonight, and then I see your Ian Fleming collection. Serendipitous!

  10. librarygirl May 27, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

    my late dad LOVED Ian Fleming and collected them in hardback as they came out – now my brother has them – this is a picture in an old blog post I wrote:


    I’ve just started seriously looking out for non-fiction Ladybird books – I have 3 – Tower of London, Knitting and Weather – they are wonderful. I’m a passionate collector of kathie winkle china too, as well as other things like old chocolate and biscuit tins…..

  11. Shinypigeon May 27, 2012 at 8:02 pm #

    I collect vintage Enid Blytons…but they have to be the right hardback covers from the 60’s or it is a no go! i used to read them as a kid at my Grans so am nowon a mission to collect and save them for our kids.

  12. Takver May 31, 2012 at 11:32 pm #

    I started collecting books by Ursula Le Guin in 1975 – that was the year she was the Guest of Honour at the World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) in Melbourne in 1975, although I didn’t attend. She has written some fantastic powerful novels across different genre, plus short stories, essays , children’s stories and poetry, including an interpretation of Lao Tzu. I keep on returning to her books for the wisdom, the story telling and the characters and the insight they give me to my own life and world. I take my internet pseudonym and my website domain after one of the lesser characters in one of her novels – The Dispossessed – with homage and respect to the author.

  13. Alice June 8, 2012 at 11:04 am #

    Great collection! 🙂

  14. Sasha June 12, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    What an awesome collection!!
    I’m pretty sure I need to find some copies of the bond books now too. I’ve always wondered if the books were any good, because I couldn’t imagine the cheesy style of the movies translating well to book form, but from the way you’ve described them they sound great!

    As for my own collections…
    Books-wise, I have a growing collection of Victorian/older era novels. Not authentic copies or first editions (I would just die for a first edition of Pride and Prejudice or Peter Pan), but the words still hold their charm. 🙂

    I also collect a lot of art prints from my favourite artists. There work is a constant source of inspiration!

  15. Lydia July 13, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

    Katie and Reuben I love your blog! I’m a recent follower (creepy?) and am in the process of catching up on posts. This one stuck out to me because I am an avid collector – obsessed even. Particularly, I collect postcards. Mostly written to me by my grandparents, but in the last few years I’ve begun to seek them out myself. I love the kitschiest cards I can find! You can see some of my collection here: http://ahandmadeassembly.wordpress.com (it’s my first foray into blogging). : )

  16. Rachel August 24, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

    I head straight for the book section too! I collect children’s picture books and lego! Love finding one of those sought after titles for only a few dollars!!

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