Camille Reding ’15 is this year’s winner of the Nicole S. Basbanes ’04 Student Book Collecting Contest. The contest is sponsored by Sweet Briar College Friends of the Library and author Nicholas Basbanes in honor of his daughter.
Reding won a prize of $400 for her collection. Similar contests are held at three dozen colleges and universities across the United States. Winners are eligible to enter the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest.
In the essay and bibliography Reding submitted for the contest, she lists more than 30 titles ranging from Alexandre Dumas’ “The Count of Monte Cristo” to Marvel Comics’ “X-Men.” The common thread among them is that they are also all movies.
Reding titled her essay “The Book is Better,” but it’s often the movie that sends her looking for the book, she says. That’s how she discovered J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and others. In the case of H.G. Wells’ “The Invisible Man,” a contemporary movie led her to the book, which led her to the 1933 film.
“It is a never ending cycle,” she wrote. “Books lead to movies, movies lead to books, then books lead to more books.”
Reding, a psychology major with minors in biology and chemistry from Evington, Va., is still expanding her collection, but with greater focus as a result of participating in the Basbanes contest. She is actively seeking original comics in sequence, especially the X-Men and Wolverine books. She also will skip over newer works such as “The Hunger Games” and “Twilight” to concentrate on acquiring literature that has “stood the test of time.”
New or old, whether it’s part of her collection or not, the book is always worth reading, however.
“Every book, whether I read it before or after seeing the movie, enriches the movie,” she says.