Discussion: Collecting Multiple Editions


Can you really call yourself a “lover of books” if you don’t own more than one copy of your favourite book? I’m kidding, of course you can!

I’m one of those people who enjoy collecting multiple editions of my favourite books. I like having multiple copies of books that are important to me. Sometimes I read every copy and sometimes I don't – it doesn't matter. I can’t really help myself – I have a hard time saying no although I do set SOME ground rules for myself, because I can see that it could be an expensive habit, but for some of the books I collect, I’ll ONLY buy them second hand.

Collecting multiple editions of my favourite books probably isn’t the most sensible choice, but everyone has their “thing”, and this is mine. I personally love having multiple editions of my favourite books, but I guess it can be seen as a waste. You might read this and think “That’s not weird or a waste at all, I do this too”, but I’ve met a lot of people who are confused by the concept of someone even wanting to spend their money on multiple copies rather than just using their money to buy new books.

Thank goodness I’m not a collector of rare first editions, otherwise I would be B-R-O-K-E

There are lots of different reasons for wanting or “needing” multiple copies:

  • Wanting to annotate a copy for class or even just for yourself
  • Wanting a copy that you can throw into your bag, or take on holiday, or lend out to people
  • Those gorgeous limited/collector’s editions
  • Your original copy is falling apart
  • Clothbound edition? Count me in!
  • Supporting an author that you love and admire
  • There’s been a cover change?! Gotta catch ‘em all!

However there are lots of reasons, I guess, for just saying no to multiple copies:

  • It can become an expensive habit (Not if you buy them second-hand)
  • It takes up a lot of space of the bookshelves (Where there’s a will, there’s a way)
  • Could spend the money on new books instead (Strategic planning will solve this)

At the moment I have both the hardcover and paperback copies of:

  • Sarah J Maas (A Court Of Thorns & Roses & Throne Of Glass) SJM is the only author that I will auto-buy both the hardcover and paperback editions of without even batting an eye 
  • Cassandra Clare (The Dark Artifices) I have my original copies, but there are those limited edition clothbound copies that I couldn’t say no to
  • Samantha Shannon (The Bone Season) The hardcover copies are my go-to books to buy. The paperback copies are pretty ugly, but I mainly do it to support Samantha
  • V.E. Schwab (Shades of Magic)The US covers got to me, and I couldn’t resist

  • Cassandra Clare (The Infernal Devices & The Mortal Instruments) I have my original copies but there are those new editions with the fancy spines?! SOLD
  • Pride & Prejudice My original copy + a buy a new copy every time I studied it at school, college & university
  • Wuthering Heights Same as Pride & Prejudice, any excuse to have a new edition really
  • The Secret History, Donna Tartt My favourite book and I’m currently at 4 editions
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling My favourite book in the Harry Potter series, I’m at 3 editions I just about drew the line at collecting the entire series in multiple editions, and got myself down to just collecting my favourite book in the series
  • Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte My favourite classic, I’m at 4 editions

I really want to start collecting copies of:

The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger

Even typing out this list of multiple copies, doesn’t make me feel at all guilty or wasteful for how many I own.

Do you collect editions of the same book? If so, which books and how many editions have you collected so far? 


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