Thursday, February 24, 2011

Booking Through Thursday--Something Old, Something New

Here's today's Booking Through Thursday question:

All other things being equal–do you prefer used books? Or new books? (The physical speciman, that is, not the title.) Does your preference differentiate between a standard kind of used book, and a pristine, leather-bound copy?

Hmmm...I guess if I'm honest with myself, I prefer new books--and pristine, leather-bound copies--to battered used books. But that being said, I really don't have anything against used books.

I like cracking open a brand new book, but there is also something to be said for reading someone else's much-loved used book, and wondering where else it has been. And there is also something wonderful about beautiful old books, the aforementioned pristine, leather-bound copies, especially of favorite classics.

The only kind of used book I really don't like is one where the condition renders it difficult to read--the binding is cracking and pages are falling out, or where it's clear the whole book has been submerged in water at some point, and it's now warped and brittle. I don't mind a used book, as long as it's in good condition.

How about you? Would you rather have a new book or used?


Anonymous said...

I really don't care as long as I like the contents:

Ti said...

It depends on the book. Some classics, like Huck Finn or Uncle Tom's Cabin, I like to get used but in really nice volumes (leatherbound with color plates). I used to look for books on ebay but then the kids came along and I really couldn't afford those copies anymore.

For everyday stuff, I have to go new. I can't stand to see smudges, creased pages, or water damage in a book that I am reading.

Gentle Reader said...

Mostraum--enjoyed your post!

Ti--I used to look for and buy nice books, too. Those days are over!!! Oh well. Now I'll settle for nice paperbacks, but like you say, I'd rather not have smudges, creases or water damage!

Susan said...

If I'm buying new books, then I want them pristine. After all, it's supposed to be a new book, so it shouldn't have any sign anyone else has opened it! It's all mine and shiny new.....but if I'm going for second books, which I do very often, then I don't mind so long as the spine isn't cracked and it has all the pages and the cover. I love picking up books, period.

Gentle Reader said...

Susan--I'm with you! Love my new books to be pristine, but as long as the used ones are in decent condition, I'll settle for that!