• Current Reads

      Life after Life Jill McCorkle
      This Is Your Captain Speaking Jon Methven
      The Starboard Sea Amber Dermont
      Snark David Denby
      Bring Up the Bodies Hilary Mantel
  • Popular Tags

  • Recent Reflections

  • Categories

  • Moleskine’s All-Time Favorites

  • Echoes

    The HKIA brings Hong… on [788] Island and Peninsula 島與半…
    Adamos on The Master and Margarita:…
    sumithra MAE on D.H. Lawrence’s Why the…
    To Kill a Mockingbir… on [35] To Kill A Mockingbird…
    Deanna Friel on [841] The Price of Salt (Carol…
    Minnie on [367] The Rouge of the North 怨…
  • Reminiscences

  • Blog Stats

    • 1,064,161 hits
  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,713 other followers

Something Old, Something New

btt  button

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?

All other things being equal, and financial consideration aside, I still prefer a trade paperback for its lighter weight and portability. It doesn’t have to be brand new, although it is important that an used copy must be intact, pristine, and unmarked. I tend to (re)read my favorite novels to shreds, but the condition of an used book must be that which lasts at least two reads, surviving my dog-earring and occasional penciling. The determining factor between new and used is the author. If I enjoy a used book by a new author, I’ll go buy a second, new copy. Of all the years I’ve been perusing books with such voraciousness, I have stayed clear of leather-bound and hardcovers, which are bulky and cumbersome. I always feel I cannot be “physically casual” with these hardbounds for fear of breaking the spines. In the digital age, the talk of book condition is no longer relevant.

10 Responses

  1. I always care more about the story than the cover, so now I mostly buy ebooks 🙂

  2. Still love the trade paperbacks and I avoid hardbacks and only buy them when I can’t get the book I am after with soft covers. My partner has a ereader, I can’t stand reading it, my mind tends to wander off when I try.

    I love the penguin classics, they are my favorite size and style of book, they are easy to carry with you, they line up nicely on a shelf, they fit in your hands well, whether your lying in bed, on the couch or a bus. And they are cheap!

    But I still love secondhand books, I love finding bookmarks in them, train or bus tickets, inscriptions or ex libris and I enjoy looking at what others have underlined or what notes have been written in the margin.

    • The e-reader has proved to be an epitome of modern technology and convenience. I’ve always prefer trade paperbacks and recently, as I have trouble keeping the hardback upright on my lap, I’m even more convinced that I shall never acquire hardbacks anymore. They are more expensive, bulky, and heavy!

  3. I similarly don’t like hardcovers. I can’t handle it, can’t keep them in my bag and read in taxis. No! it’s not amenable to my reading habits. Most of my African writers are new copies, whether I have heard of the author before or not. Most of my non-African authored stories are used copies because of 1) they are only available at used books dealers and 2) the price of a new one is astronomical, even with paperback editions.

    • I don’t like how the jackets keep sliding upward (or downward) while holding a hardcover. I don’t like how I cannot keep the book flat within the risk of breaking the spine. Unless I cannot wait for the trade paperbacks to come out, I almost never buy hard covers.

  4. I love beautiful books, whether they are new or used. I love audios. I love e-books. I am a book whore.

  5. I love new books! But, I will buy used if the book is in good condition and I happen upon it at some garage sale or flea market. I used to mooch, but sometimes those used books were in horrid condition, so I gave that up. As far as hardback goes, I will only buy those if it is by an author that I love or a book I am itching to get my hands on and I can’t wait until it comes out in paperback. I used to buy Vintage editions all the time, but have been getting into Penguin ones. Really, it depends on the book and its cover. Yes, I am a book snob when it comes to covers 🙂

    • Who doesn’t like new books—for the shiny covers, the crisp pages that smell of ink, and the spines free of the lightest creases. That said, I can do with used ones as long as they’re in good condition. I like new copies of my favorite authors.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: