Feb 26, 2009

Booking Through Thursday: Collecting Books

This week's question concerns book collecting and asks Are they:

Hardcover? Or paperback?
Illustrations? Or just text?
First editions? Or you don’t care?
Signed by the author? Or not?

I don't consider myself a book collector even though I have a lot of books. When I think of a book collector, I think: signed first additions, rare books etc and that's not me. Although I take good care of my books, I prefer them to look like they've been read. To me, that's the sign of a loved book. A little wear and tear is not a bad thing. My books look 'gently used' and if someone wants to pick one out from the shelf and flip through it I'm not gonna freak out! I like when people look at my books.

Although most of my books are hardcovers, I have quite a few paperbacks as well. I do prefer the trade paperbacks to the mass market type simply because they hold up better. In fact, a lot of times, I prefer the trade size paperback to a hardcover. They're much easier to take along in my purse and if its a big book, they're not a clumsy to hold while reading. I do, however, stick to the hardcover if it's one of my favorite authors, especially if I own all of their books.

The bottom line for me is if I really love an author's books I'll keep them for my home collection, but I do trade books that I'm not in love with. I just don't have the room to keep every single book I read, altough it would make for an interesting library.

Are you a collector of books? If so, do you have certain guidelines? To play along this week visit MizB at Should Be Reading or to read more responses to this question, click here.


  1. I like the trade Pbacks too, but forgot to mention them! And, I couldn't agree more about not being able to keep all the books one reads...I would need a REAL library for that! LoL...

    Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead, and lots of interesting reading!!

  2. I don't really think of myself as a book collector. I have alot of books, but not first editions or autographed. As you said, when you have books like that, I think of those people as true collectors. For me, I just get them for my own reading pleasure. I rarely keep books anymore, I'm usually trading them off for something else.

  3. I'd love to have the space to keep every book I've ever read and ever wanted to read. I'm not rich enough for that!

  4. I'm with you - I keep the books I really love. And I, too, love it when people look at my books. There's something about that!

    At any rate, I really enjoyed your answer!

  5. I can't stand mass market paperbacks and I avoid them as much as possible.

    We collect design books, children's hardcover picture books, and signed books.

  6. I definitely prefer the trade paperbacks also. For me it is because the print seems to be a bit bigger and the old eyes aren't what they used to be--much to my dismay! My husband is in love with hardbacks--if he could read everything in hardback he would be a happy camper. I find this to be the total opposite from most of the responses I have read today.
    *smiles and happy btt*

  7. My shelves are a mix of hardbacks and paperbacks.My answer is here, http://zetor-mogsblog.blogspot.com/2009/02/booking-through-thursday_26.html

  8. I'm the same with my favorite authors. Theirs I do buy in hardcover and keep. Others I like the trade style paperback as usually they're easier to hold than a hard cover and as you say travel nicely.

  9. I also like books that look like they've been read. Although I'm pretty gentle with books myself, so when I acquire books that are new, they stay pretty much like new. ALthough the majority of my books are from used bookshops, so that's how most of my books look: used and worn and loved. I don't collect for the sake of collecting either. I collect only favourites to pass on to my kids. :)

  10. I'm not a collector, I'm a reader. I've been asked the paperback vs. hardback question so many times so I'm not doing a separate post for BTT this week. Unless otherwise stated, or gifts, I only buy trade paperbacks. they are easier to carry and lug around. I also like the look of books in even sizes on my bookcases. :)

  11. I agree - I like a book that looks like it has been read. That is why I follow Mortimer Adler's rule of a marked shows a well-loved book. I also do not have the space to keep every book that I read - which is why I LOVE my public library; it helps me decide which books I absolutely need to add to my personal collection.


Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment! I look forward to hearing from you again soon!