Press Release: King, Collections of Nothing
William Davies King makes no bones about it: he’s odd. And his collections are odder: loops of wire, skeleton keys, seafood tins, water bottle labels, envelope liners, strips of masking tape, canceled credit cards, boulders—and that’s just for starters. You might call it junk, but to King, it’s a very special sort of nothing. Suffice it to say, no one on earth has a garage quite like his.
King’s unusual collections reflect his belief in the intrinsic value of the discarded, unwanted, and ephemeral—but as he makes clear in Collections of Nothing, the urge that drives his hoarding is not all that different from that which leads a more typical person to prize uncanceled stamps or pristine sets of baseball cards. Both an affecting memoir and an idiosyncratic examination of the desire to accumulate, Collections of Nothing takes us deep inside the soul of the solitary collector. King’s life story is deftly interleaved with his insightful meditations on the nature of the acquisitive mind; the result is a book that defies categorization, a unique hybrid that will speak to anyone who has ever found himself bitten by the collecting bug.