There was news this week of the sale of a book collection of the late Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts. First editions and signed copies including that of F Scott Fitzgerald's 'The Great Gatsby' will be auctioned in the autumn.

It is said that Watts enjoyed reading while touring with the band and sought out these notable books not because he thought they would gain in value but because he took satisfaction from tracking them down and having them in his possession.

Signed first editions of modern writers are still sought after, but these days authors are taken to warehouses ahead of the release of their latest books, and will sign thousands of copies which are then distributed to bookshops for sale. 

While it's nice to have the signature of your favourite author in a pristine first edition hardback, I prefer to keep books with associations - a personal message from an author, the date and place they were signing, and even my notes on the occasion when I heard them speak. It doesn't make the book more valuable to any collector but it's a special souvenir for me.

My most treasured book is a paperback of Ted Hughes' poems. I heard him read from it at Cheltenham Literature Festival. I can picture him on stage now, and can even hear his voice. He said something about each poem before he read it and I wrote notes which I have kept as loose pages slipped into the book. I didn't get his signature, but I kept the ticket and programme notice and, for me, it is a very special book.

Thank you for reading.