Thursday, 24 February 2011

BTT: Something Old, Something New

Booking Through Thursday


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?

Oh… That depends. Most of the books I buy new are paperbacks because they are affordable and take up the least space. It’s only rarely that I buy a book “for the cover”.  My bookshelves all contain a mix of old and new, cheap and a bit more expensive. I categorize my books more by content and size than by looks.

I have few old books that are special to me as carriers of memories rather than for the quality of either content or cover. Most of them either from my own childhood or inherited from my parents or grandparents; or given to me on some special occasion.

In my bookshelves there are also a few old books that I have picked up in second-hand stores or markets. Some randomly, some because I have wanted to read a specific classic and not been able to find a new edition of it. I’ve never gone in for collecting rare books just for the sake of collecting rare books. Some of my own oldest falling-apart paperbacks are of more sentimental value to me. With books that I have read many times, visual memory of that exact copy plays its part too; it’s easier to find my way back to a favourite passage in the old book than in new edition.

Ever since early childhood I’ve also been used to borrowing books from the library. That has its own kind of charm.

Picture: Watercolour of mine from evening classes back in 1995


  1. Love your watercolor! Very talented :)

  2. I go to secondhand bookstores to browse and if I really find good books I'd buy them. Most of my books are soft copies, but if I really, really love a book I'd want my own hard copy.

    Ayanami Faerudo @ Whatever You Can Still Betray

  3. Your blog is beautiful! Love the watercolor image.

    My thoughts about books are varied, and you touched on a few of mine, too...

    Here's MY BTT POST

  4. that photo is beautiful, i no longer buy books but use the library, when i did buy i bought used when possible and like you they were paper backs, the hard cover books are beyond my purse

  5. I don't think I have ever bought a book just because I loved the cover.

  6. I usually buy used simply because I buy so many, though I've been on a book diet since Christmas. The only new books I buy are by authors whose series I'm reading or an author I have to have immediately. Have never bought a bought for its cover and only occasionally buy collectable books, again, by authors I really care about.

  7. Ah! You can draw and paint! Nice work!

    I'm a book lover too. Used or borrowed is my first choice, but I will also purchase new if it's the only way I can get my hands on a book I want to read. :)

  8. What a wonderful watercolour! I love old books, new, used and ones I download onto Kindle.

  9. here's mine

  10. YOU painted that book with the rose?? And you have never showed any of your other paintings?? It is wonderful, you are talented!!! Didn't you post a painting by your grandfather once?? I have it in my picture file, it was so pretty that I saved it! This talent must run in the family. I prefer new books, one thing is that I love the smell!!! Also I have allergies to mold and musty things, and often old or yellowed books bring on an allergy attack, so I don't buy them used unless they are recent and in very good shape.

  11. I did most of my watercolour painting back in the 1990s. An accident in 2000 gave me lasting problems with neck/shoulder/arm pains and difficulties holding pens and brushes and other small objects. Digital photography has become another way to continue working with images.

  12. Beautiful painting!

    I'm thinking hard about getting a Nook or Kindle. Just need to decide which one. Then I'll like books I never thought I would. Electronic ones!

  13. Nice watercolor!
    My priority is the content of the books:

  14. I love the smell and feel of new books but sometimes I grab a used book too. Love the painting!


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