It feels like it’s been quite awhile since I wrote any kind of discussion post, so today I’m back with a question that I’m really interested in: do you buy multiple copies or different editions of the same book?
I never have before, unless you count buying an eBook and physical copy. Well, I guess I’ve done this only once. I bought the Kindle version of Allegiant so I could read it the same day it came out (I didn’t have the rest of the series so I didn’t want to buy the physical) but later got the collector’s editions of the whole trilogy. But as far as collecting a hardcover, a paperback, a special edition, etc. all of the same book, I’ve never done that. To me personally, it seems like a waste of money.
But I understand the appeal. If there’s a certain book or series that you really loved and you feel like it’s been a huge influence in your life, why not collect as many different editions as possible? I can also understand buying a copy of the book when it first comes out and then buying another copy when it has a special edition, an anniversary edition, or something like that, especially if those other editions come with special content that you don’t have.
So I can understand both sides of the argument. On the one hand, buying multiple copies of the same book may seem like a waste of money. If you spend $20 on the hardcover, $10 on the paperback, and then another $15-20 on special editions, that’s a lot of money to spend on one story. It may also take up a lot of your bookshelf space. If you don’t have a lot of room for books, it may not be the best idea to have four copies of one book.
On the other hand, if you love that book, you may want to see what every edition has to offer. Maybe each one has a different author’s note or maybe one edition has special content that you can’t get anywhere else. Maybe you just want to give as much money to that book and its author to show the publisher how much it means to you and to help support the author. Maybe you bought the first edition you came across because you really wanted to read it, but the publisher then released a different edition that you liked a lot more.
I will admit there’s one thing to collecting different editions that I don’t really understand: buying foreign editions in languages you don’t and will never understand and be able to read. Why spend money on a book that you will never be able to read? I get that some foreign editions are absolutely beautiful and it may be really tempting to buy it just so it can sit on your shelf and look pretty. But that seems like a big waste of money to me. I guess if you have money lying around and it won’t be missed, why not? But otherwise, it just doesn’t seem worth it to me. I don’t mean to sound judgmental, I just don’t understand it. (If you have any ideas on why people might buy foreign editions, let me know!)
So I guess what I want to know is: do you or have you ever bought multiple copies of the same book? If so, what were your reasons for doing it? If not, would you ever? Why don’t you?