24 February 2011

Booking Through Thursday: Something Old, Something New

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?

If it has the requisite number of pages, isn’t falling apart, and doesn’t have an unbearably hideous cover, I’ll read it.

Okay, I’ll admit pristine new books are nice. There’s a certain thrill in holding a beautiful new volume and knowing that it’s only mine, that no-one else has owned it before me. But I also like holding a second-hand book and searching for traces of previous owners and wondering how it came to be in need of a home.

Aesthetically, I love second-hand books for the variety they bring to my bookshelves. Row upon row of matching new volumes would look boring; a mix of different vintages is charmingly eclectic.

Also, the need to give a homeless book is a really good excuse to buy it...


  1. I love that you want to give them homes! Here is mine: http://bookskidsanimalsandmore.blogspot.com/2011/02/booking-through-thursday_24.html

  2. I have been known to do a little dance and stroke the covers when I get a new book. But I am not really that fussy.

  3. If it is a book I want to read I don't really care what it is as long as it is in half-decent shape... When I order online I rarely order second-hand, though, I prefer buying my second hand books in an brick and mortar setting.

  4. here's mine http://tributebooksmama.blogspot.com/2011/02/booking-through-thursday_24.html

  5. Second hand do give great variety in appearance. That's one of the reasons I love them too. Reprints and newer books are so much easier to get, but there's those interesting covers that are hard to find and when you do they're such gems. They're the best second hand ones.

  6. I do like second hand books because then I never know what I'm going to walk out of the store with. A new book tends to be one that I really want but quite often I'm happy to read a surprise purchase - and they can turn out to be the better ones!

  7. Hey You! I have been an absent and infrequent Blogger for ages now but have found my way back and noticed in my Blogroll that you too have been absent. Having just read your second to last post I am worried! Are you ok? I sincerely hope so. Knowing your love for Blogging and reading I am hoping it is something amazing and good that has kept you away and not something bad. My thoughts are with you and I hope to see you blogging again soon. Bye for now Bud. x


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Header image shows detail of A Young Girl Reading by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, c. 1776