From the perverse genius of Lolita to the spidery brilliance of Edward Gorey, with stops at dazzling letters, wrenching poetry and a strange and wonderful graphic novel, the actress talks about her awe of writers, her collecting mania and her favorite ways to escape.
I was an only child and kind of shy, so when I read, I would really live out the book in my mind—test all the roles, imagine all the places. I think if I weren't an actress I'd work at a library. I'm in such awe of writers, especially novelists, who create a whole other world and who are able to put it down on paper in such compelling ways.

That's part of the reason I started collecting first editions a few years ago. The first one I bought was Lolita . I go online to find them. The only problem is that my husband and I don't have enough bookshelves at our house, so I really have to limit myself. Anything that I didn't have an epiphany over can't stay. These days I've been reading more and more, partly because if I watch a television show or a movie, I find I might know some of the people in it or somebody who directed it, or I had an experience at the Golden Globes where I bumped into so-and-so and they gave me a dirty look, you know what I mean? It kind of takes you out of the story a little bit, but a book is pure experience, a real escape.

I was online last night looking for more. I don't know what I'm going to do when our bookshelf is full. It's terrible—it sends me into a panic thinking about it!

The Megan Mullally Show airs weekdays .

What's on Megan Mullally's bookshelf? Read more!


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