This week’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?”
This is an interesting question. A quick look at my bookshelf shows a preference toward new books, which makes sense since I generally don’t buy books unless I’m going to keep them. And I’ve learned from experience that you can’t keep an older used book indefinitely unless you have a lot of patience and tape. But I do have a few used books that I’m planning to keep; for these I looked specifically for the least used-looking of the bunch, and they have worked well for me.
And I do have a decent collection of last-legs, or nearing there, used books, largely come my way by giant booksales. These I buy because they’re 14.7 cents or whatever and I’m not terribly concerned about liking them or reading them a second time, and I know that if I don’t treat them too terribly I can always take them to a used bookstore where someone else can worry about their cracking spines. Of course, some of them turn out to be really awesome books, and so I try to touch them as little as possible so I don’t have to buy a new copy, but of course eventually they will fall apart and the new books will inhabit my shelves again. 🙂