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Booking Through Thursday — Something Old or Something New?

February 24, 2011
some old books i found in the guest room. =]

Image via Wikipedia

It’s Thursday and time for Booking through Thursday.  Today’s Question is as follows:

All other things being equal–do you prefer used books? Or new books? (The physical speciman, that is, not the title.) Does your preference differentiate between a standard kind of used book, and a pristine, leather-bound copy?

My Answer …

This is an easy question for me to answer.  I love used books.  There is something to be said about finding someone’s once loved and treasured book.  Used books have a certain character to them that a crisp new book will never have.  The creased pages, tattered edges, and torn covers have a beauty all of their own.  Then there is that musty smell that used books all seem to carry.  A smell of libraries that tends to put me at ease.

Buying or borrowing a used book is like entering into a mystery all on its own.  A used book can often times be like a treasure chest or a time capsule.  You never know what random trinkets may be found hidden between the pages.  You may encounter a shopping list, a receipt, a note, even a photo.  These are all relics of another person and possibly another time.  You can’t find these things in a new book.  Then you have the notes that some people leave within the margins or the dedications to one another on the front pages and covers.  Used books are like having several stories in one, you have the story on the pages and then you have the stories of the previous owners.

When it comes to books, I love the character, mystery, and comfort a used book provides me.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. February 24, 2011 11:17 am

    I love books so I really don’t care where I get them or in what format. I do love to pick up new novels once in a while, because of that “new book smell…”
    Here’s mine:
    Happy reading!

  2. February 24, 2011 12:54 pm

    Love your answer!

  3. February 24, 2011 2:58 pm

    Great answer! That’s one of the things about used books that I love as well, the character they have and wondering about where they could have been before they came into your hands. It does really add a whole new feeling to the reading experience doesn’t it?

    • February 25, 2011 9:29 am

      Used books definitely do add something unique and new to the reading experience. 🙂

  4. February 24, 2011 4:28 pm

    Well said, don’t see the appeal of a musty smell myself though 😉 JK

    You expressed your thoughts really well though – smell and all – very poetic. Enjoyed reading your thoughts.

    • February 25, 2011 9:27 am

      I was thinking more of the library type musty smell :).

      Thanks a lot … I had fun writing my thoughts about this.

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