Bright Young Collectors: Elizabeth Kidder

Courtesy of Elizabeth Kidder

Our Bright Young Collectors series continues today with Elizabeth Kidder of Knoxville, Tennessee, who was an Honorable Mention in the 2021 Honey & Wax Book Collecting Prize for women collectors aged 30 and younger:

Where are you from?

I’m from Knoxville, TN.

What did you study at University? What do you do now for an occupation?

I went to the Savannah College of Art and Design for illustration and creative writing. After graduating, I worked freelance for five years while also teaching art to homeschooled kids, which blossomed into my job as an art teacher at a PreK-8 private school. I still do my art, as well as working on the sequel to my first novel ColorBlind.

Please introduce us to your book collection.  What areas do you collect in? 

I collect small-circulation, self-published (SCSP) works from authors, artists, activists, and more. Beyond this dedicated collection, I have a 200+ (and constantly growing) library full of fantasy, graphic novels, short story anthologies, poetry, and art books.

Courtesy of Elizabeth Kidder

How many books are in your collection?

I’ve collected over 40 SCSPs.

What was the first book you bought for your collection?

Cleonique Hilsaca’s Monstruo.

How about the most recent book?

A collection of solo role-playing zines from Ella of Lost Ways Club.

And your favorite book in your collection?

It’s like asking me to pick my favorite child. I’ll say the one that made me feel the most was Claire Spiller’s Raze about the effect of human road networks on local wildlife, the one that pushed the bounds of my definition of an SCSP is Come Back Soon by Rachel Bard (a mini zine within a mini zine), and the most influential to my life was Kristyna Baczynski’s Make Your Own Fun: A Zine About Making Zines, which led me to creating a zine-making course for my seventh graders.

Best bargain you’ve found?

Honestly, most SCSPs I’ve found are bargains. Some are even free, and I’ve never spent more than $10 on one.

How about The One that Got Away?

The inexpensive nature of SCSPs let me get any that I’ve wanted…so far.

What would be the Holy Grail for your collection?

Oh, an original historical zine. Something from the sci-fi era, like Janus/Aurora, or from Riot Grrrl Press in the early 90s. A copy of one of the issues of Factsheet Five would be amazing as a historical artifact of how these privately printed items were reviewed and gathered in one place pre-Internet.

Who is your favorite bookseller / bookstore?

When I was going to college down in Savannah, I frequented E. Shaver, Bookseller. It’s still a must-visit whenever I’m down in Georgia.

What would you collect if you didn’t collect books?

Hmmmm…I’ve pretty much let myself run wild when it comes to collecting. I collect beautiful papers and fabrics, that I sometimes use in creating, but mostly keep for the aesthetics. My walls are covered in artwork I’ve bought from amazing creators. But I’d say if I didn’t collect books, I would collect historical clothing. I’m quite fascinated with styles of long ago, enough to try and learn to sew so I can make my own modern recreations to wear. However, I’m certain this would still lead to a book collection on how to care for and construct historical clothing, so I can’t seem to avoid the book collection, no matter how hard I try.