What do George Lucas, Michael Jackson, and Harry Houdini Have in Common? It Combines Reading and Obsession

What do George Lucas, Michael Jackson, and Harry Houdini Have in Common? It Combines Reading and Obsession

KARL LAGERFELD books-small

I’ve recently discovered the website Literary Hub. Their recent articles include 7 Writers Who Were Also Editors, Fake News and the Rise of Fascism in the 20s, and their entirely cool Most Talked About Books feature (which this week includes John Le Carre and N.K. Jemison).

But my favorite article in their archives is Emily Temple’s piece on 10 Famous Book Hoarders, which includes photos of the libraries of George Lucas, Ernest Hemingway, William Randolph Hearst, Thomas Jefferson, and fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld (300,000 volumes!)

I’m a fairly compulsive book collector myself, though not on the scale of famous genre collectors like David Hartwell, Bob Weinberg, and Frank Robinson. My house doesn’t look anything like the pictures in Temple’s article (it looks more like this). Still, it’s good to see evidence of well adjusted individuals with the same peculiar obsession as myself. Check out the complete article here.

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Thomas Parker

Great picture of your sanctum, John – but that dog is taking up book room.


I always thought of John’s Big Green Chair as a leather covered, brass studded wingback style.

Joe H.

When I closed on my current dwelling place, almost the first thing I did was measure all of the rooms, then go home and use one of those online furniture arrangers to figure out exactly how many bookcases I could fit along each wall.

And “lots of empty expanses of walls” was one of my primary criteria in selecting a place.

Tony Den

I was going to post a pic but my shelf is so puny in comparison. Doesn’t help I have boxes of books and games packed away due to lack of space and what’s on the shelf is double stacked (books behind books).

Joe H.

John — Thanks! I’m a librarian by avocation if not by trade; hence, the organization. (Also, when your collection gets to a certain size, you need to start organizing or you’ll never be able to find anything …)

Yeah, I love all of those old TSR boxed sets — there was something so … tangible about getting a couple of booklets and a folded 22×34 map and maybe some cardstock reference sheets. I keep hoping that POD will reach the point that they can actually reproduce something like that.

James McGlothlin

I just moved into a new house. So, unfortunately, a picture of my library would just be a sad stack of sealed up cardboard boxes. 🙁

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