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Collecting books.

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So in an attempt to pass nightshift boredom I decided to start this thread. This thread is all about book collecting. General or specific, anything related to the actual buying and collecting of books can go here.

To start the ball rolling I have a few questions for the people here at the cult.

Do you consider yourself to be a collector of books?

Do you mostly buy books new or second hand?

Do you keep them or sell them on / trade them in?

Do you mainly use libraries?

Do you hate the space that any kind of decent collection takes up in your house?

I used to be the library guy. I used to order books in and have to wait weeks for the library to track them down. This was because I was poor as hell, first as a student and then as a recent graduate that didn't have a job. Over a period of about five years I think I probably actually bought less than twenty books.

Now I can afford to (pretty much) buy the books I want to read. In the two years or so that I have been employed I have collected several hundred books, many of which I had already read but which I considered good enough to own regardless. The collection is starting to dominate my bedroom and is threatening to launch an assault on the living room too.

Almost every time I sit at the computer I get the urge to see which bargains are ending on Ebay that evening. Everytime I go to the market I head over to the book guy to see if he has picked up anything interesting. Collecting books has definately become a hobby. It's pretty addictive, you get the nerdy factor of collecting something, you get to track down whole series and rare books and the like.

I don't buy many new though. Way too expensive. I buy alot of second hand stuff. There are so many good places to get second hand books now. Anyone that lives in the UK should take a look at, its a fantastic site.

So yeah. I collect books. Any of you guys starting to think you might have breached fire regulations with the amount of paper you have in the house?

Oh yeah, one last thing, what awesome rare / signed books do you guys have? I have recently moved on to collecting signed books by authors I really like. My signed collection so far:

Tell-All (Chuck Palahniuk)
Imperial Bedrooms (Bret Ellis)
Making Money (Terry Pratchett)
The Island of Dr Death (Gene Wolfe)
Maturity (Theodore Sturgeon)
The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse (Robert Rankin)

and my most awesome book of all

Tales From The White Hart (Arthur C Clarke, also signed by Stephen Baxter as it is the anniversary edition that the pair wrote an extra story for.)

I am looking to buy signed copies of Craig Clevenger and Will Baer books soon. Also I really want to track down signatures from Isaac Asimov, Stephen King, and Frank Herbert.

I have typed enough now. Someone else have a go.