Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Attention Book Collectors

You need to read this.

To expand a little on what Scott says, when I lost my collection to the fire, I had some rules about replacing it, too. I wasn't going to buy any book that I'd already read. Well, that didn't last long, but I've managed to keep it under control fairly well. I haven't really bought anything that I'd already read just to have a copy of it. Anything I've bought that I've already read, I intend to read again. Also, new books or replacement copies of books I had before but had never read had to be something that I actually intended to read soon, not just "Oh, that looks interesting, I might get around to reading that someday". I was really bad about that before.

Well, you know where this is going. When I buy a book, I still intend to read it soon, but soon has expanded to mean sometime in the next year or so. I'm sure the definition will continue to grow. I already find myself in the bookstore looking at a book and thinking, "Do I have this one?", and I don't know the answer. I don't think it's happened already, but it's possible that I've bought the same book more than once. (Long-time readers of this blog may recall that I used to have five or six copies of THE BAMBOO BOMB by James Dark. I don't see that one around anymore. But I've already read it, so by rule I couldn't buy it again if I came across a copy. Well, maybe for old time's sake.)

What it boils down to, of course, is that people like me -- and probably many of you -- can find a way to rationalize buying almost any book. And all I can say is, thank God for tolerant spouses.

10 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

I used to never have a problem buying a book I'd already bought, but in the last ten years it's been happening more and more. I blame the sheer number of books I've got.

Frank Loose said...

My mother has a problem buying duplicates because she forgets titles, but remembers covers, and since re-releases offer up new artwork, she is "fooled" into thinking it's a new book, and buys something she has already read.

I on the other hand will buy a second copy of a book BECAUSE it has new artwork and I know it and i like it. I have multiple copies of all the Ross MacDonalds. I'm shameless.

Richard Prosch said...

Comic books too. I'd own the original comic, and the later issue it was reprinted in. Then I'd pick up one o' them archives or masterwork things. Then I'd find a softcover collection. Before I knew it, I had ten separate instances of the story from Amazing Spider-Man No. 5. All taking up space.

Rusty said...

Well, I have a really good excuse for buying new copies of books I know I already have. See, we live in a REALLY small house, so most of my books are in boxes in storage. That makes them hard to get to. So when I want to re-read something I buy another copy. When I finish with it, it will go in a box...

I wish I had Scott's courage....

Rusty

pattinase (abbott) said...

My husband is as bad as or worse than I am. Although he reads more of the ones he buys than I do.

Randy Johnson said...

I see myself in the article and all comments. I intend to read every book I buy, but, damn, there's just so much interesting stuff out there. If I stopped buying them today, if would be years before I ran out of stuff to read.
Have to keep feeding that habit, you know!

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

I recently bought a book and when I got home discovered I already had TWO copies already. Not a novel, either, but an oversized book about Custer. Talk about senile...

WV: Mobions. How much money the Mafia has.

Anonymous said...

I'm past master of justifying most any book purchase I consider. C'mon, I think, you could have way, way worse vices than this! You could be a gambler, a drug fiend or a slave to fashion (actually the least likely of the three), but no, you like old paperbacks. I ask you, is that so bad?
Then I buy the book and, aside from the fact that I have to wedge it into one of the ever-growing stacks that currently surround my packed bookshelves, everything is fine.
Someone wise once said that you never regret the books you buy, just the books you didn't buy.

John Hocking

AndyDecker said...

I know the problem. In the last years I have bought so many books that it is unlikly I will ever read them.

Still I am bying new and old ones every week. But I start to forget what I have, and especially in the past months I bought some duplicates. This is annoying :-)

Juri said...

A friend of mine - a book collector, like me - once had a dream in which The International Society of Duplicate Collectors have their annual conference in Osaka, Japan.

But how bad is it? Here in Finland we have a serious collector of old crime and adventure fiction, who buys triplicates and quadruplicates just to make sure others won't get the book. So, it *can* be bad, but surely none of us is that bad.

Me? I have so many books I have to go to the library to get what I need.