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ew, book club copies! - Idiot Control Now — LiveJournal
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ew, book club copies!
I am also unwilling to accept "book club" hardcovers (on adult books), which are smaller than the standard-sized adult trade hardcovers. They don't look quite right beside their trade-sized brethren. =)

I'm always amused by people who are so concerned that their books "look right". Because what's important is how your books look on the shelves. Yes, book club editions look different from the hardcovers bought in a store. If it's so important to you that you have a retail edition instead of a book club edition, why don't you, I don't know, pony up the money to buy it yourself instead of mooching one out of a swap site?

I've gotten books through swap that haven't been in the best shape. They've been ex-library copies, missing dust jackets, or have worn spines and bent covers. But I'm not expecting a pristine retail quality book from a swap site. It's a free book. I just want a reading copy. If I like the book enough, I'll keep it, and if I don't, I'll swap it right back out the door. Not once does it come into my head that the book needs to "look right" next to my other books. I guess I'm more concerned about what's in the book than with impressing people with my impeccably arranged by size-and-color shelves.

I like used books. Used books are fun, especially when the previous owner has left a little something of themselves inside. Kids' books usually have a name childishly scrawled inside the cover. One book I got through swap was actually autographed by the author (and was apparently signed to a woman and her cat, which is just... sad). And one I'm reading now still has the original receipt inside--it was bought in an airport in New York (and their sales tax is lower than it is here wtf). Little tidbits like that are really interesting to me.

Yet I take care to make sure nothing of mine is left in any of the books I swap out, because I'm weirdly private that way. It's bad enough that they're getting my name and address on the return label.

Current Mood: bored bored
Current Music: blister in the sun--violent femmes

16 pathetic excuses or justify your existence
From: dropsofviolet Date: August 20th, 2010 07:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
People who are so picky about used books should probably just buy the darn things new. Though I understand the people with allergies who can't have books from a smoking household, I once got someone up in arms to me because a few pages of a book I sent them was stained. Still perfectly readable, mind you, I'd spilled something light-colored, but they bitched and bitched until I had to refund them their credit.

Most people are pretty cool about used quality, though.
mellowcandle From: mellowcandle Date: August 20th, 2010 08:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I get the smoking thing, but the "no book club editions" is really superficial. Yes, it looks a little different, but it's the same book. That's just being a snob about appearances when you're already getting a book for basically free.
From: dropsofviolet Date: August 20th, 2010 08:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, pretty much. It annoys me a lot.

I'm glad you take all of your personal info out of your books. I got like ten photos once of an old man and his house, and it was really kinda creepy.
mellowcandle From: mellowcandle Date: August 20th, 2010 08:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heh, now photos might be a little creepy.

One time browsing in a used book store I saw a cookbook that a man had given his wife for Christmas, talking about all the recipes she could make with the new cookware that he'd apparently also given her. I thought that was sweet, then kinda sad that for whatever reason, she got rid of the cookbook. I almost bought it for the inscription alone.
cal_reflector From: cal_reflector Date: August 20th, 2010 11:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
I like used books as well, and browsing used bookstores was one of my favorite past times. A lot of my comic books were bought used in Japan, anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 off cover price.

I've learned however that when I buy/borrow multiple books at a time I tend to leave them on the desk or on the shelves. So now I try to borrow just 1 (or a few) book.
mellowcandle From: mellowcandle Date: August 21st, 2010 04:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've bought plenty of books I've never read. It's a bad habit. They're mostly nonfiction/history books though, and they're more to collect with the intent to read someday. I've got a shelf full of books about the Tudors, but I've only read about half of them.
(Deleted comment)
mellowcandle From: mellowcandle Date: August 21st, 2010 04:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
That would be fun. Maybe I'll try that.

Why doesn't anyone ever leave a ten dollar bill in an old book? It'd make a good bookmark.
serena_b From: serena_b Date: August 23rd, 2010 02:27 am (UTC) (Link)
A hundred dollar bill would make an even better bookmark. XD
mellowcandle From: mellowcandle Date: August 23rd, 2010 09:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Or a diamond bracelet could work. I'm not picky.
peacewish From: peacewish Date: August 21st, 2010 04:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Sometimes a person's OCD-ness is just a general defect, and might not necessarily be restricted to the books. I have to organize my clothes hanging in the closet by color, and plates of like color (we have three different sets in our house) have to be stacked together. It's never gotten so bad that I can't buy used books, thank goodness, but once I have them on the shelf I will group them by height. If that wasn't bad enough, within that grouping I also have to have the 'right' books rubbing up against one another, so that only political books of the correct attitude can be next to my Jefferson biography, and the Martin Luther King biographies have to go between Sharpton's bio and To Kill a Mockingbird, with conservative Sowell safely on the other side.

Don't mock our mental defects, L. It's hard enough coping in a mismatched world.
mellowcandle From: mellowcandle Date: August 21st, 2010 03:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have two hardbacks bought in a bookstore by the same author, and they are very different sizes. I've put them next to each other. This woman would pass out if she saw that.

D's got a touch of the OCD himself, and boy is it fun whenever we try to leave the house for vacation.

serena_b From: serena_b Date: August 21st, 2010 06:57 am (UTC) (Link)
I've never tried swapping books before although I've thought about it. Generally though I'm too lazy to mail them out so...it probably wouldn't work for me.

I don't really care too much about what the outside of the book looks like. I buy used books a lot (there used to be this guy at the flea market by my old house and he had a booth with a lot of book club editions an paperbacks). In fact I love used books. I like finding old editions of my favorites because they always have different covers. And sometimes there's neat stuff in there. Like I got this copy of Children of the Abbey from the 1930's and inside there's a signature of a student from a local highschool dated from the 30's. I wonder whatever became of that person...

The only thing that annoys me is when I start collecting a series in paperback and then they switch to hardcover...since I do keep my books organized that tends to irk me a bit. But only a bit. Generally if I like a book I'll get it no matter what size it is. (i have my books organized by genre and then alphabetical by author. yeah...i'm a bit ocd.)

By the by, I have so many freakin books (over 700 that are just mine, that's not including J's) that I have a room in my house that is just a library...someday I'll have to put the picture on here.

Ooh! And there's this really cool place in downtown Baltimore thats called The Book Thing. They're only open on the weekends but you go and get as many free books as you want. That's right, free. There's nothing better than free books.
mellowcandle From: mellowcandle Date: August 21st, 2010 04:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've been using paperbackswap.com for about a year and a half now. What's great is that I've banked so many credits that whenever I'm in a bookstore and see something I want, I can come home and see if it's available via swap. About half the time, it is. If it's not and I'm in no hurry, I can wishlist it and get in queue for the next time it's posted.

I have series that are both paperback and hardcover, too, which does look a little funny. I started reading the Thursday Next books when I picked them up on bargain tables, so I have three in paperback and two in hardcover. But I'll take cheap off the bargain table over matchy matchy any day.

We have tons of books, too. It's crazy. I just love books. Free books would be AWESOME.
serena_b From: serena_b Date: August 22nd, 2010 12:58 am (UTC) (Link)
I'll have to check out that site. Free books *are* awesome. The only problem is that I'm such a book lover that I get a bit carried away. And I have so many books that I haven't finished reading, or even started but had all intentions of reading... I think last count it was like 40. Well, 40 out of over 700 isn't too bad I guess.

I'm also addicted to librarything.com because I even like organizing my books virtually...lol. This is mine: http://www.librarything.com/home/serenab4
mellowcandle From: mellowcandle Date: August 22nd, 2010 09:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm really bad about buying books and not reading them, but I'm trying to do better. And now I know if I start one and it's just not doing it for me, instead of being stuck with it, I can try to swap it.

Oh, man, that virtual thing is cool. Does it take forever? Although I guess you could do it piecemeal.
serena_b From: serena_b Date: August 23rd, 2010 02:26 am (UTC) (Link)
It takes a while depending on how many books you have and how ocd you are. I search for the ones with my book cover usually or some of them don't come up (a few are really really old and don't have ISBN numbers) and I also have tons and tons of tags. I did mine one book case at a time and now I just add them as I get them. Sometimes I go back to fiddle with the tags.

But generally it doesn't take long to add a book. You just type in the ISBN number and it comes up and you hit add. You can also put in any tags you want at that time to save time later. The thing I like about it is the tag cloud. The more tags the bigger the font so you can clearly see what types of books you have the most of. Apparently I'm really into vampires, lol.

Also you can click on one of your books and it will tell you how many other people have that book in their library so you can see how popular it is.

Ha, I'm such a nerd.
16 pathetic excuses or justify your existence