BTT: Collectibles

  • 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?

8 comments to BTT: Collectibles

  • You put it well – books are too utilitarian to be collectibles. I agree with that on many levels. I collected many old books before I had children and I haven’t in recent years just out of practicality. The old books I DO have, however, are a great treasure of inspiration to me. I have a couple of Hemingway’s that I love.

  • Not a collector, a bit of a hoarder. I usually try out a new author at the library first, and buy only if I’m sure I want to keep it. If I’ve heard enough good things from enough people, I’ll sometimes spring for a new (to me) author right away.

    Books that aren’t keepers I usually give to the library.

  • I am trying hard to not be a hoarder. I don’t have room for my unread books, let alone those I have read.

  • I’m also a hoarder! And can’t say I collect any books, really, other than the usual books in my favorite series.

    It was hard for me to join BookMooch, too! But I kept rationalizing to myself that I wasn’t going to have any space for ANY books unless I started finding new homes for the ones I’d read and only felt “meh” about… and those are the ones I list, too. Of course, since joining BM, I’ve gotten almost 50 books that are now stacked up on the floor of my room — a spot that WAS once clear! So my whole purpose was for naught! :) It’s okay, though — I’m happy to be drowning in books. Happy Thursday!

  • I love Book Mooch. And like you, I buy lots of used and trade paperbacks- because its more affordable and then I can have more books! But I don’t really hoard- I give away and swap many books that I just don’t fall in love with. The ones that stay on my shelves are those I know I’ll want to read again and again.

  • I love bookmooch more for the sake of acquiring, too, lol. Although I’ve found that a lot are in really bad condition and when I’m done with my few inventory, I’d much prefer buying used where I can check the condition first personally.

  • I’m a hoarder too!!! If I’m not surrounded by tons of books I get all nervous and feel like I’m not going to have anything to read. I haven’t put any books up for mooch either. It’s kind of like mailing your children out to people? You know?

    When I buy I almost always have a coupon and it is a paperback.
    I collect Jane Austen stuff…..books included.
    And I’m a big supporter of my public library!!!

  • Kim

    I tend to keep books that carry memories with them, either of the day I bought them, the place I bought them, or what was happening when I read them. Many books don’t carry these memories, but some do. Certain topics I keep. Overall, I give them away, either as a present (I’m very gentle with my books, you can’t tell they’ve been read) if I think the book is perfect for the person (my entire Christmas list last year was filled with books from my shelves, I just “shopped” at home) or to book drives for schools.