Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Purchasing Books

I purged my bookshelves recently. Not in a attempt to downsize my library, but in a act of truthfulness. Will I re-read this book? Will I ever read this? Do I really need two separate copies of this title (In some cases, absolutely)? By the time that I came to the last book, on the last shelf of my two bookcases, I had about thirty books in my to sell stack.

I took in three bags of books to my local Half Price Books. Most were in excellent condition (a few had, admittedly, seen better days), all hardcovers, all classics. I was shocked when I received a offer of $14.00 for my assortment of books. I didn't want to haul them back to my house again, where they would just sit and collect dust, so I grudgingly accepted their offer, but not without a look of disgust upon my face that I seemed unable to hide. I was more disgusted with myself when minutes later I went past my $14.00 in credit at the cash register with the two books that I purchased (a Folio Society and a Easton Press). I walked out with less money then what I walked in with ...

It got me to reconsider my approach to purchasing books however. Up until now, when I came across a nice edition of a book that I wished to own I would purchase it, fully aware that when a better edition came along of the same title I would also purchase it to replace the other edition. No more. Value decreases as soon as you make that purchase, therefore I am taking my book pickiness to a whole new extreme of pickiness. I will not purchase a title unless it is in the edition that I ultimately desire to own. Easton Press, Franklin Library, and the Folio Society being three of my favorite versions in book form (top of the line when it comes to quality). I also really like the Barnes and Noble collectible leather bound editions. Quality doesn't necessary mean giving a arm and a leg however. I may not of been thrilled with Half Price Books when it came to selling, but I am pleased with them when it comes to purchasing. They often carry second hand Easton Press, Franklin Library, and the Folio Society, at reasonable prices. I have found many of my treasures through them. Barnes and Noble also offer their collectible leather bound editions at very reasonable prices, for decent quality, and they appear to hold a good re-sell value too. e-bay is another favorite for second hand books. I may be a book snob, but I have yet to actually purchase a brand new Easton Press, Franklin Library, or Folio Society book. Why would I when I can buy a second hand one, in like new condition, for half the price or even better?

This book snob is going to embrace the snob within. Being picky about purchases isn't about the value of the book, both in general price and in re-sell value, but it's about only purchasing that in which you don't plan on ever re-selling. One time purchases. That failed attempt at selling books, to earn more money for the book budget, actually helped teach me a valuable lesson in the book world.

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