Which Authors Have The Most Unusual Hobbies?
Posted on 4th of August, 2018


It was probably closer to an obsession than a hobby, but the author of The Hobbit had a thing for ancient languages. It helped him though as he actually invented a few languages for his books, including Elvish, Entish and Dwarvish.
Agatha Christie liked to get her hands dirty with archeology.

Victor Hugo was actually a very good painter.

Leo Tolstoy was a talented chess player.

Ernest Hemmingway enjoyed deep sea fishing.

J. R. R. Tolkien described his passion for inventing languages as a "mad hobby."

Ayn Rand was an avid stamp collector.

Vladimir Nabokov chased butterflies around with a net in his spare time.

Franz Kafka was a collector of some rather dirty books
The most famous example that I know about is Samuel Langhorne Clemens, or Mark Twain as everyone knows him. When he wasn't writing classic novels like The Prince and the Pauper, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court and all those Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Fin books, Twain fancied himself as a bit of an inventor. Believe it or not, Twain patented three different inventions, the most successful of which was a self-pasting scrapbook. Seeing as he was quite good friends with Nikola Tesla, and the two reportedly hung out together in Tesla's lab, this is perhaps not surprising, but definitely unusual for a writer!
My favorite example of an author that had a pretty peculiar hobby was Charles Dickens and his Ghost Club. I have a hard time picturing Dickens stomping around like a Victorian era Zak Bagans while looking for ghosts, but the purpose of the club was apparently to investigate all kinds of ghosts and hauntings. Dickens must have been quite important for the club too as it dissolved after his death. The real mystery is how much investigating of spirits the club did versus how much socializing with a few bottles of spirits!

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