Today’s Booking Through Thursday question is:
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?
I don’t seem to care, which means I buy too many new books.
I read library books, which are usually used by the time I get them (although I must admit I take particular pleasure when I appear to be the first reader of a library book).
I read lots of new books in paperback. My biggest block of daily reading time is an hour in the bathtub in the evening. I prefer paperbacks and not library books for that purpose for obvious reasons. I only recall dropping one book in the water, but it was a mess — readable, once it dried out, but still a mess.
Why don’t I buy my paperbacks used? Mostly it’s convenience both because there are large bookstores near me and because the newest books are prominently displayed there — this is especially helpful in keeping up with my favorite authors. Otherwise, I would need a more rigorous method for keeping track of what I want to read so that I will know what to get when they arrive on the used bookmarket. And it seems like such trouble to check used bookstores, the book fairs, and online used book outlets to make sure I don’t miss anything from my favorite authors. All of that is another way of saying that I buy new paperbacks out of habit! It would be greener and cheaper to buy them used, but I don’t see that changing any time soon.
I give my books away to the Greater St. Louis Book Fair and, since I donate new books, they sell quickly there. Which reminds me, I have a couple of boxes that I need to donate so that they can be in this year’s sale, April 28 to May 1 in the parking garage at West County Center.
Check today’s Booking Through Thursday post for more answers to this question. Many answers are as wishy-washy as mine. Margaret at BooksPlease is fussy about new books but loves to read old ones as well. iwriteinbooks doesn’t want her books too nice because, well, writing in books is counter to that. Randomize Me experienced an easy transition to digital books due to not caring much one way or another about the physical book.
A few people are more adamant. Bookish Ardour loves adopting old books as does Reading, fuelled by tea. Laurel-Rain Snow at Potpourri loves new books, but she also used this question to share her treasure of two old books that belonged to her mother. She wasn’t the only one–Ayanami Faerudo at Whatever You Can Still Betray prefers new books but loves the trove of books from grandparents.