Because I'm a knitter, I kind of knew ahead of time that the greatest percentage of those who voted would own more than 50 knitting books. I'm definitely in that camp! I started knitting when I was nine, knit off and on as an adult, quit for eight years due to carpal tunnel and started again after I had surgery on my wrists. I can't remember how long ago that was, probably 14 or 15 years. I really started knitting again in the late '90s, and that's when my book collection started.
Until then, I'd never heard of Elizabeth Zimmermann, Barbara Walker, Mary Thomas, Jacqueline Fee or Montse Stanley. Their books were among the first I bought.
My hands-down favorite book, for its detailed explanations and clear technique photographs is Beth Brown-Reisel's Knitting Ganseys. It's not a big, splashy, overdone tome, but a simple black-and-white paperback [with a four-color cover] that will fit in your bag and answer a lot of your questions. [Disclosure: I'm not connected with BB-R in any way whatsoever.]
I have sections of books on different techniques, lots of stitch dictionaries and many books of patterns, most of which I'll never make. And I'm pretty much out of 'collecting' mode at this point. I have plenty of inspiration at my fingertips, and not just on my shelves. The generosity of yarn companies and knitting designers, combined with the internet, means many quality knitting patterns can be found and printed with the click of a mouse, free!
I naturally assumed that those interested in weight loss and fitness would also collect books with a vengeance. I'm in the top category in that poll, as well, but most of you own less than a handful. I've struggled with my weight at least as long as I've been knitting, so it makes sense that I would have lots of books offering plans for success. Success comes only when you actually follow the plan, however, and that's something I haven't been doing much of, until this year.
And once again, the internet comes to the rescue. I'll take some of the credit, of course. I'm the one actually doing the eating and exercise. But eDiets provided the plan and while it's not free, it's pretty darned cheap.
Leaving me more money for yarn. If I could eat yarn, I'd never go hungry. And no, I'm not creating a Stash Poll.