If I am not careful, I am going to start sounding like a stodgy member of the literary establishment–NOT! I think serious writers have to keep their distance–a safe one–from received opinion in order to access what it is that might be original and new in what they have to say.
But having said this, I must also add this: Once one becomes convinced of the importance of certain authors to one’s own background and mental architecture, if you will, one cannot do better than invest in a Library of America edition of those authors’ works.
As a for instance: While I already own all of Twain, O’Connor, Poe and others in various assorted editions, I recently purchased LOA editions of their work for the handiness of having it all under one cover, with exhaustive textually sound notes, chronologies of the individual works, impeccable author bios, all beautifully printed on archival paper, replete with excellent indices for quick and easy searching and reference, and bound in hardcover to last centuries (certainly “bound” to outlast any Ebook Amazon may on a whim decide to rescind from one’s library or “revise” according their half-baked commercial ethos, etc).
My standards are high, I know, I want the best most complete and scholarship-sound buttressing, and ease of use, for beloved authors warrant frequent revisiting.
Oh and did I mention that each volume comes with a lovely black ribbon to mark one’s place?
Most of these LOA editions are priced at $26 and are worth many times that amount. I encourage you to investigate their offerings. They do not disappoint! (While, alas, I often do).
After the fact and with my humble apologies! Eudora Welty was the first author to receive the notice and respectful publication of her entire corpus by LOA. In some dark corner of my mind I must have known this, but life intervened, confusing me yet again. Sorry.