A recent tweet from a friend:
suggests that it’s worth going into a little more detail as to what I do with the fancy, schmancy books I buy. Though I am generally being more restrained these days; living with a mortgage will do that to you. I s’pose it harkens back to the argument we often see with print (p) vs electronic (e) books; Look and feel vs bits and bytes.
As I’ve commented elsewhere, I have a kindle (version 2, US wifi only) which is now my primary reading device for all the stuff I used to buy in paperback. For example, I’m currently reading the Miles Vorkosigan series, the e versions of which I’ve bought via Baen (no DRM and all major formats supported). I’m reading a couple of books a week at the moment this way.
However, there are some books I’d like to read in a nicer edition. This might be long sought after items, or classic tales, or favoured authors. Despite my addiction to e, I also enjoy a nicely bound book; I have a bit of fetish for leather, limited editions, and signed copies (though I can’t decide whether I prefer signed or unsigned). These too, can be very addictive and I seem to have amassed a tidy collection of such. Recent arrivals include: John Brunner’s Stand on Zanzibar (Centipede Press, no.108 of 300), Carlos Zafon’s The Angel’s Game (Subterranean Press, no.200 of 750), and Arturo Perez-Reverte’s The Club Dumas (Subterranean Press, no.182 of 500).
All these books are kept on regular bookcases and do get dusty. I don’t keep them in a special cabinet nor handle them with gloves. It’s only a matter of time before I spill wine or coffee on one, and thereby adding to its uniqueness :-) I buy special editions because I like to read them; I like the feel of them in my hand and enjoy a good paper stock. Growing up, hardcovers were a rarity and even as a young man (old fart that I am now), I devoured lots and lots of science fiction, bought cheaply secondhand. These days I can afford hardcovers and I can afford to buy them new…some of the time anyway :-) Instead of buying lots of hardcovers, I’m buying a few nice ones.
No book is too special not to be read.