Bowie took 400 books with him to Mexico to the shoot of 1976 film The Man Who To Earth. He told Mr Showbiz in 1997: "I was dead scared of leaving them in New York, because I was knocking around with some dodgy people and I didn't want them nicking any of my books."
That set a pattern of taking a travelling library on tour and Bowie said: "I had these cabinets – it was a travelling library – and they were rather like the boxes that amplifiers get packed up in. . . because of that period, I have an extraordinarily good collection of books."