Thomas C.

Number of Books: About 1,500+

Collecting Since: 1958

First Book: AkuAku, Thor Heyerdahl

Best Bargain: Die Osterisel, Kapitainlieutnant Geisler

Rare Book He'd Like to Own: Ostraf Paskhi

Highest Price Paid for a Book: $450

Top 3 Books in Collection:

  1. Die Osterinsel, W. Geisler 1883
  2. Die Osterinsel, W. Knoche 1925
  3. The Natural History of Juan Fernandez & Easter Islands, C. Skottsberg 1920-1956

My collection centers specifically around Easter Island, and more generally, Polynesia including art, archaeology and voyaging. In sixth grade, a classmate of mine drew a picture that he copied from Heyerdahl's Aku-Aku. This drawing fascinated me and I inquired about it. He explained a little about Easter Island and its many mysteries and I was hooked. A couple of weeks later, he gave me a copy for my birthday and my collection was started. I have been to the island, have become an active member of the Easter Island Foundation and have been in contact with scholars (including Thor Heyerdahl) and booksellers all over the world, and have been told that I have the largest most complete privately held Easter Island library.

Before the Internet, every city I visited was scoured for used book stores, and my collection began to grow. Friends and family members would keep their eyes open for promising bookstores when traveling abroad, and my personal network of bookselllers began to grow. Then along came the wonderful Internet with sites like AbeBooks and many others that allowed me to search thousands of booksellers on a twice daily basis. It has been the most rewarding hobby that I can imagine and has given my wife and I friends all over the world, and all because of a sixth grade art project.