Hosted by Booking Through Thursday
All other things being equal–do you prefer used books? Or new books? (The physical specimen, that is, not the title.) Does your preference differentiate between a standard kind of used book, and a pristine, leather-bound copy?
It all depends on several factors for me:
- If it’s a book by an author I don’t know, something of an experiment, I’ll buy it in paperback, and I’ll buy it as cheaply as possible, whether that means second-hand or from a discount shop. However, I do like it to look as new as possible.
- If it’s a book by an author I collect, I get it in hardback, preferably in the same format as the rest of the series, so it all looks good together. I’m actually in the process of replacing some of my paperbacks with hardbacks to re-complete sets I have collected for years, such as the early Discworld novels, which I bought in paperback.
- If it’s a book I know I love, I sometimes like to go for a special edition of some kind. I now have three of the Bill Amberg leather-bound classics and fully intend to get hold of the other three when I can afford them.
On top of this, I’m not averse to borrowing books, whether from friends and family or from a library. They are always returned in the same condition in which they were loaned to me. I also give away a lot of my books when I’m done with them, as I only keep ones that are part of a series I collect, or if I feel there’s a very good chance I’ll rad them again. Any other books get passed onto family and friends. I just donated about 80 books to a local library that lost its acquisitions funding over a year ago and fully intend to give them more books in the very near future, although it will be in dribs and drabs.
Anyway, in short, I like to keep my books in the bes condition I possibly can, whether I’m keeping them, or passing them on. If it’s a book I’m going to keep, I like it to be new, or as-new; if I’m not keeping it, it doesn’t matter what condition it’s in, but I like it to be in the best possible condition so that I don’t feel ashamed by it when I do hand it over. And if I discover an author via a shoddy second-hand paperback and decide to collect them, I’ll get nice, hardback copies to put on my shelves.