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Thread: Personal Libraries

  1. #1
    One Too Many zaika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Personal Libraries

    I have no idea where this sort of a thread will go, so I picked this one. I'm happy to see it moved to the right place. here's the sitch. I want to revamp my personal library so that every book I own is in hardback. As of now, most of my books are paperback and falling apart and look awful on my shelf. Do you think it would be unreasonable to have this standard and rid myself of perfectly good classic novels just because they are in paperback?
    Some of the paperbacks that my mom handed down to me are disinigrating every year and I don't want the same thing to happen to the books I get. I figure that hardbacks will a) keep longer and b) look nicer on my shelf. Oh, and c) prevent me from going nuts at the bookstore and buying a ton of books that I will never read. Moderation would be a good rule of thumb for me to hold to when in these fantasy lands called bookstores.
    I'm curious to hear what your standards are for your own personal libraries.
    I am bad and that is good, I will never be good and that's not bad, there's no one I'd rather be than me .

  2. #2
    One of the Regulars
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Boston area
    One thought would be to buy them in hardback as you reread them. Then you don't have to cash out all at once and you can reread your favorite books.

    Also, becareful about editions and translations. You might have some books in there that would be completely different depending on the translation.

    If you want fancy, though, take a look at the Franklin Mint collections and things like that.

  3. #3
    My Mail is Forwarded Here imoldfashioned's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    I prefer hardback editions too (except when it's time to move!) so I think this is a great idea. I agree with Ben that replacing the books as you read them is an economical idea, although it never fails to surprise me how cheap used hardback books can be. I get mine from local second hand shops, ebay, alibris and abebooks.

    Also, be sure your bookshelves are sturdy enough to hold a whole shelf of hardbacks--I had a cheap shelf that broke under the weight once upon a time. I've had really good luck with the IKEA Billy bookcases (60 pounds per shelf).
    In youth we learn; in age we understand.

  4. #4
    Practically Family sweetfrancaise's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Southern California
    well, to provide an alternate perspective, i like paperbacks--they're easier to read, lighter to carry in my purse, and cheaper too. i only buy hardcovers when i am a huge fan of an author and i plan on getting the book signed. i suggest buying hardbacks only if it's an absolute favorite and you will reread it for years. plus, having a variety of editions and ages on a bookshelf just makes them that much more interesting!
    I know. It all sounds like some bad movie.

    Quite Contrarian

  5. #5
    Practically Family Starius's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Neverwhere, Iowa
    I've gone through a similar thing with my own collection of books.
    When I was living in a hotel outside of the mayo clinic last year, I had a paperback with me that I had bought at walmart. It served its purpose, but after I had read it (and was back home) I found a hardcover edition from barnes and noble online that was less money than what I paid for the paperback. I bought it and put that upon my shelf.

    I generally try to purchase hardcover editions for the fact that they just wear better over time, but paperbacks are far better reads when you're traveling. So I expect I will always have a equal number of either kind. However, for those books that I just love and know will read again in the future, I always try to track down hardcover editions if possible. So, for some books, I have both a paperback and hardcover.

    Also, on a related note, some books are just in paperback only and never had hardcover editions. In those cases, I sometimes tend to replace them with other softcover editions if I find one in better quality.

  6. #6
    I'll Lock Up Diamondback's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Seattlegrad, Soviet Socialist Kleptocracy of Washingtonistan
    I usually prefer paperbacks myself, unless I can snipe a bargain on a hardcover--even then, I usually try to keep a spare of anything I read a lot, so I get a paperback as a "travel/spare" copy.

    Besides, hardcovers die on me only a little less easily than paperbacks--remember, I'm the guy who wore out not one but three copies of Jurassic Park?
    "Sometimes there are no words, no clever quotes..."--Aaron Hotchner
    Stealth Mode DISABLED

  7. #7
    It would help to know how large your library is. For instance, I have several hundred volumes, and replacing all of the soft cover books I own would require me to first win the lottery. Or at least save up lots of money.

    Another thing to consider is that even hard cover books of today don't have great staying power. Ever since the move from rags as a source of paper to wood pulp (with relatively high acidic content) books aren't built to last all that long, hard cover or not.

  8. #8
    "A List" Customer BJBAmerica's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    I have a number of books from the Easton Press, which is a fantastic company, issuing both modern and classic books in fine leather bindings and archival paper with gold guilt ends.

    They offer a number of signed, limited editions also....Here's a link to their site:
    Barry - Sultan Of Swank

    Brotherhood Of The Thin Ribbon - September 2007

  9. #9
    Head Bartender scotrace's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Dover, OH
    As an aside, those of you with Macs and lots of books (DVD's, CDS) will find the Delicious Library software invaluable.

    A sense of the fundamental decencies is parcelled out unequally at birth. - Fitzgerald


  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by scotrace
    As an aside, those of you with Macs and lots of books (DVD's, CDS) will find the Delicious Library software invaluable.
    HOW did I not know about this!?!?

    It looks like it costs money, though...

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