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BTT: First Edition Schmirst Edition

December 1, 2010

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How about First Editions? Are they something special? Or “just another book” to you?

Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

Oh, this is just rich, I tell you. This is pretty amazing because, late today, I’m posting my review of Allegra Goodman’s The Cookbook Collector and I’m still making my way through A. S. Byatt’s Possession. For those who haven’t read these lovely books, I’ll tell you,  spoiler-free that they both have strong bases in the world of book collection, that bizarre academic sport that always seems a bit materialistic, rather than, truly bookish, to me.
Now, if you know me at all, you know that I love my books and I like them in my front room, on my bookshelves to show off. However, I like them simply to loan out as trade paper backs and the occasional hardcover. I like my ARCs but those are for sentimental, pre-published reading pleasure, not some sort of first edition, leather-bound silliness.
I’m not much of a collector, more of an existential reader. I think, part of the reason I have my blog, is that I am able to track the books I’ve read in some sort of visual, if not tangible form, because a lot of my reading is done through the library or borrowed books. This gives me the sense of a collection much bigger than the one that sits in my living room.
I think, though, even if I were rich and or famous, I would, most likely, not seek out first editions or fancy books. I think, this is, most likely, just a product of reading too many books, lately (even Molly Fox’s Birthday) where seeking out specialty books just gets folks into a lot of sticky trouble!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 2, 2010 11:21 am

    I’m not a collector either! If I was wealthy, I might try to get a book that, say, Jane Austen owned, just for the pleasure of knowing I was touching the same pages as she had, but that’d be about it.

  2. December 2, 2010 1:26 pm

    I love having my books on display too, but don’t care whether they are first editions or not. What fortuitous timing to be reading books about collectors right when the Booking Through Thursday question came up … I too wouldn’t want the hardships and “sticky situations” coming with being a hardcore collector. I think all books have their special meanings and beauty … why worry yourself with what edition they are?

  3. December 2, 2010 3:04 pm

    I converted my dining room into a library, so I completely understand. 🙂 Interesting question, don’t you think? I personally am an avid reader, not a collector of books, although, I do own alot. Here’s my answer for this week’s Booking Through Thursday.

  4. Dutchie permalink
    December 2, 2010 6:27 pm

    Not just sticky situations, but disappointments when you miss out on a book you were aiming at. Stuff that! Yes, why go to all that trouble when we can just bury our heads in a book and be taken away somewhere we’ve never been before? That’s far less stressful.

    Mind you this is coming from a bit of a collector, but I happen to collect in a different sense. I do love first editions, but I also like collecting obscure books and rescuing books no one wants anymore. That’s part of my collection now.

  5. December 3, 2010 1:10 pm

    I totally agree with you on this. There are books which are worth collecting and it would still depend if you are a collector or not. I actually had an incident before that I was suppose to buy a first edition set of Diving Comedy in Latin and my partner asked me,”Do you read Latin?” and I said, “No. But these are first edition!!” and I just got a reply of, “If you don’t read Latin, why buy it???” Lol. Can’t forget this story.

    Thanks for dropping by. 🙂

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