Did you know?  Check our Rare Books Page

Stars and Books: A List of Celebrity Book Collectors

By Neely Simpson. Apr 6, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting

Books are a uniquely portable magic. ~Stephen King

Every book lover finds himself enchanted by the stories he reads. Through books, we are all irresistibly drawn into new and different worlds. Truly, the magic of the book doesn't differentiate, and even celebrities - with all of their glamour, wealth, and power - find themselves under the same spell as the rest of us. Here is a look at four celebrity book collectors and the books they love.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah closeup.jpgIt comes as no surprise that a woman with a two million-member book club bearing her own name would have an impressive personal library. In fact, Oprah's home doesn't even have a TV room. She prefers to spend her down time in her library with her dogs and a good book. Discussing book collecting in an interview with Oprah.com, she said, "I have always wanted to be surrounded by black authors. Now I have all of Langston Hughes, all of Paul Laurence Dunbar; Zora Neale Hurston -- all of her writing." Additionally, Oprah owns a signed first edition of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee as well as first editions of Tales of the South Pacific by James Michener and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz.

Charlie Watts

Charlie Watts famously spent his career as the drummer for The Rolling Stones. In an interview with The Guardian, when asked what he spends his money on, he said, "Me? I collect things."

A lifelong lover of jazz, he collects jazz records as well as the drum kits of famous jazz musicians. He goes on to add, "And books. Not antiquarian books. Signed first editions of mostly 20th-century writers. Agatha Christie: I've got every book she wrote in paperback. Graham Greene, I have all of them. Evelyn Waugh, he's another one. Wodehouse: everything he wrote."

Sarah Michelle Gellar

Sarah Michelle Gellar, an actress made famous by the Joss Whedon created show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is an avid collector of classic children's literature. On her Reddit site, she told fans that her goal is to own every first edition of Dr. Seuss. She already owns several. She also has a complete collection of first-edition Arthur Rackham illustrations as well as first editions of The Little Engine that Could, The Giving Tree, and Goodnight Moon. Additionally, she owns a first edition set of the Harry Potter series.

Brett Ratner

Brett Ratner 2012 Shankbone.JPGBrett Ratner is known for directing the movies Rush Hour, X-Men:The Last Stand, and Red Dragon, among others. He is also a music video director who has directed projects for artists such as L.L. Cool J, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, and Madonna. What's he doing when he isn't rubbing elbows with the coolest of the cool? Collecting books. Ratner told the L.A. Times, "I've been a book collector since I was young, since I was a kid. For me, it's about taking books that I love and sharing them with people." Ratner collects books on film and photography. He owns three first editions of The Americans by Robert Franks. Additionally, he has a limited-edition volume by Ed Ruscha, Book of Nudes by Alessandro Bertolotti, and Mirror of Venus which includes photography by Wingate Paine and dialogue by Francoise Sagan and Federico Fellini.

What about you? If you had the wealth and star-power that these celebrities possess, what portable magic would you collect?

 

Browse Book Collector's Resources  

Neely Simpson
Lifelong bookworm. Lover of ghost stories and folklore who writes spooky fiction in her spare time. Is sometimes found rambling around old graveyards.

 

comments powered by Disqus

 

About this blog

How can I identify a first edition? Where do I learn about caring for books? How should I start collecting? Hear from librarians about amazing collections, learn about historic bindings or printing techniques, get to know other collectors. Whether you are just starting or looking for expert advice, chances are, you'll find something of interest on blogis librorum.

Get blog notifications per email:

Download the James Bond Dossier

Recent Posts

Book Glossary
Get your free Guide to Book Care

Blog Archive

> see older posts
A Guide to Historic Libraries Part I