Sunday, February 19, 2012

Library of America Reaches 225 Books on March 29

Did you know there are now 225 books in the Library of America series?  The LOA was founded in 1979 with the mission "to help preserve the nation's cultural heritage by publishing America's best and most significant writing in durable and authoritative editions."  It's first volume was Herman Melville, Typee, Oono, Mardi, and its most recent (number 225), David Goodis, Five Noir Novels of 1940s and 50s,  will be available on March 29.

I bring this up because this is my favorite series of books and one that I have been collecting for a number of years (although from my slow progress, you would probably wonder how it could really have been that long).  There are no modern books that look as good grouped together on a bookshelf as the LOA books.  The series comes in high quality cloth bindings in four basic colors: tan, blue, red, and green - all in very classy, traditional tones.  The cloth used is consistent within volumes of an author's work no matter what year the book may have been published, so removing the dust jackets and grouping them by color allows authors' works to be kept together.

This picture from June 2010 shows that I had only 14 LOA titles
(See middle section, 2nd shelf - double click on the photo)
Just today, I picked up two more of the Mark Twain volumes, giving me five of the seven Twain collections in the LOA series.  All told, that gives me 35 LOA books on the shelves - with two other brand new ones that I picked up in eBay auctions on Friday night arriving soon (I hope).

If you are a collector as well as a reader, you would do well to consider the Library of America books as something to enhance your collection.  These books are of such high quality that they will last forever and can be passed on from generation to generation as the core of a traditional American lit library.


  1. Sam, I just clicked on those shelves there -- totally gorgeous. I love it!

  2. Hey, thanks, Cip. That picture is about 2 years old and the shelves have been reworked, but they are home to about 850 of my favorites. Sadly there are another 600, or so, stashed in other rooms and in closets.