Every collection starts somewhere and mine started around 1980 when I was 11 years old.
My parent's had a bookcase in their dining room containing a variety of books including a set of Ian Fleming Pan Books paperbacks designed by Raymond Hawkey.
The books belonged to my Dad, one even inscribed "With love to Tony. From Aunty Kitty, June 1965" which was around the time my parents emigrated to Australia.
The covers were as follows:
Now I say "set" because as you can see above it isn't a complete set at all, but at the time I didn't realise that. Instead I thought the covers looked so cool they soon found themselves on a book shelf in my bedroom.
And when I finally noticed amongst the list of other Ian Fleming titles at the front of each of the books (along with an indicator of which EON Film they were making at the time starring Sean Connery) the titles "For Your Eyes Only" and "Octopussy" I realised that my set wasn't complete.
Unbeknown to me that was the start of my collection, because on a car trip with my Mum, Dad and brother to visit some second-hand book stores I not only found a cheap copy of "For Your Eyes Only" but also a totally different white cover version of "From Russia With Love".
Suddenly a new doorway had opened that would require more hunting and more money, as I needed to find out if there were others in what I would later learn was the Pan Books White Pan series, and if so I HAD to have them.
Remember, this was before the web, before you could search for Bond book cover images by merely tapping some keys on a keyboard and finding a website like this one.
Gradually as my parents took me out on other "book-hunting" trips I found the Raymond Hawkey covers for "From Russia With Love" and "Goldfinger" in the same set I had inherited. I also picked up "Octopussy".
But my greatest find then, and probably ever, was "Colonel Sun". I'd never heard of it prior to seeing it on the shelf among other Bond books for sale. It may have been a poor quality copy, but it was a fantastic find in my eyes.
It was about this time that John Gardner took over the Bond reins and new Bond novels were being written and published. And with the cinema release of "For Your Eyes Only" starring Roger Moore it was truly an exciting time for a Bond fan.
Soon, as I realised more and more series of old and new covers existed, the collection expanded. Occasionally I would find non-English novels and purchase them, but I predominantly concentrated on English language Bond paperbacks.
One time on a trip through Gippsland, Victoria, I stopped at a second-hand bookstore in a small town named Yarragon and found an almost complete set of US Bond novels that I'd never seen before. I would later learn this was the Jove Books Barnett Plotkin series.
Nowadays my collection is mainly purchased in new book stores or on the web. But I still regularly visit second-hand book stores with my fingers crossed, and it's always an important part of my itinerary whenever I'm lucky enough to travel overseas.
Some years have been financially costly. 2008, the Centenary Of Ian Fleming's birth was one such year, during which many new reprints were released including the Michael Gillette Centenary series in the UK and other books in the US, along with the new continuation novel "Devil May Care" by Sebastian Faulks. Another year was 2012, the 50th Anniversary of the premiere of the first EON Bond film "Dr No". During 2012 there were two sets of reprints of the Ian Fleming novels from Vintage Books as There Is Only One Bond and Vintage 007 series, as well as another set of Ian Fleming novels from Thomas & Mercer. There were also John Gardner reprints released in both the UK and US from Orion and Pegasus respectively. Thankfully my wife is very understanding of my "addiction".
Anyway, that's how twelve novels grew into a collection that now tops over 600 different covers. And while the collection's monetary worth is in reality neglible, after all these are just cheap mass produced paperbacks, it's the images on the covers that prove their worth for me. And hopefully seeing them all like this on the one website, you can see that too.