There was a time when, if I loved one album by a band, I often felt compelled to get the rest of the band's catalog. But even back when I listened to a lot of pop-punk, I showed some restraint. I still don't have all of Screeching Weasel's records (their debut album and Wiggle have never made it into the library) or NOFX's albums (I have almost every release between Ribbed and The Decline).
Now with authors, there are a few that I want to read everything he or she has written. People like Chuck Klosterman and Greg Kot are some of those distinguished few, but kind of partially by accident, I have almost every Stephen King book published.
Trust me, it wasn't planned to be this way.
For years, I only owned two Stephen King books: On Writing and Cell. In the last three months, as you know from reading this blog, the number of King books in my library has skyrocketed. As in, I'm down to only a handful of books of his that I don't have.
Basically, the library grows a little like this: be at a Borders or Barnes & Noble and just happen to swing by the horror section and/or the bargain shelves. Lisey's Story? Never heard of it, so let me read the jacket. Sounds like something I'd like. This hardback copy is only seven dollars? I'm sold.
With a trip to a Half Price Books, it's like this: Oh, a first edition, hardback copy of Carrie? Nice. And it's less than eight dollars? Sweet. Oh, and there's a near-mint hardback copy of From A Buick 8, The Dark Half, and Dolores Claiborne for only a dollar each? Sold.
That's not exactly how things have gone down, but that's the gist of how this all happened.
So, by default, I've become a Stephen King completist. And any time I say I have enough King to read, there's another King book I see for dirt cheap.
Look at it this way: there are many, many worse things to get addicted to. Be it Jersey Shore or heroin, at least I'm reading and getting inspired with my second book.