- Hardcover? Or paperback?
- Illustrations? Or just text?
- First editions? Or you don’t care?
- Signed by the author? Or not?
I am not really a collector of books. I really don’t pay any attention to whether or not something is a first edition, or if it has a certain binding. Books signed by the author are great, but the only ones I own are those that I had signed by the author myself because those have sentimental value (like when Ariel Sabar told me that mine was the first review he read of “My Father’s Paradise” and signed my book).
Although I am not a collector, I AM a hoarder. It took a lot for me to be able to join BookMooch and actually agree to give away some of my books. Nothing else is leaving my collection now unless I read it and don’t particularly care for it, otherwise the books that go into my inventory mostly come from library booksales. The only reason I can even do BM is that I know it is a good way for me to accumulate new (to me) books.
I suppose that, to me, books are for the most part too utilitarian to be a collector’s item. I want to use them, not simply look at them. This does lead to buying mostly paperbacks over hardcovers, as well as mostly used over new, simply so I can extend my book buying budget and have more books to hoard. I love returning to old favorites, of having at my finger tips so many of my previous reads in case the mood to reread one of them strikes me at any time; this is also why I do not depend much on the library, other than for audio books and dvds.
Do you collect books? Hoard them? Primarily use the library?