Stuff to worry about #3

Today we are (more correctly, I am) worrying about whether it is more important to have self-control, something I sort of pride myself on having, or to pursue my lifelong, but sort of ridiculous, quest for the One Best Copy of Every Book I Love.

These exist and I do not need them because I own several of them already, do not like a couple of them, have not read several others, and would not exchange my current copy of In This House of Brede for anything. But these concerns are subsidiary to the very strong part of my brain that’s whining, “But they ma-atch.” If they came in a slipcase I’d have already ordered a set. Because I’m weak.

Not to point fingers, but it is ALWAYS ENGLAND who pulls this shit on me. England is also the reason I’ve spent weeks trying to kid myself that I’m not going to eventually buy the new copies of the Casson family series. They match and I love the cover art. My current copies do not match and I do not love the cover art. I am always on the lookout for the One Best Copy of every book I love. You know those new Casson books are going to be mine someday. If I decide I truly want to own more than, let’s say, three of those Rumer Godden books  (Thursday’s Children and Listen to the Nightingale don’t count because I don’t like the covers on those ones), those will probably be mine too. I have no self-control in my perpetual search for the One Best Copy.

ALSO. Hawkeye #8 is out today. David Aja is back drawing. Go to your local comics store, if you have one, and buy it!

26 thoughts on “Stuff to worry about #3

  1. I don’t even understand why this is stuff to worry about. Who WOULDNT want the Best Copy and unfortunately this often means, who wouldn’t want the UK or European copy?!!! Whenever we have been abroad the first thing we do is hit the bookstores and the second thing is me running around the aisles calling out to Jim: look at THIS cover! look at THIS cover! (This, you see, is in part a reflection of our years in Tucson, in which Spanish is sort of the prevalent language, and therefore when you walk through the mall or down the street all you hear are little kids calling out, Mira, Mommy! Mira Mommy! However, (thus far) I have resisted calling my husband Mommy.) Back to the subject, yes, WHY WHY WHY do those on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean ALWAYS GET THE BETTER COVERS?!!! And oh oh here’s a telling anecdote: once Jim did a review of a book THAT SHALL NOT BE NAMED and the U.S. cover was so dull and ugly and the UK cover so lovely, that I featured a copy of the UK cover. TWO SECONDS after the review posted, the publisher contacted us and INSISTED I take that cover off the post and replace it with the U.S. cover! WTF? Did he or she think everyone was going to drop everything and run over to Europe to get the prettier cover? Or did she or he think there would be a new AMERICAN REVOLUTION insisting on better book covers? (not a bad idea, if you ask me). Anyway, not understanding the dynamics, I did it. But I still am disturbed by it. (Some might leave off “by it”)

    • Oh nonsense. The UK doesn’t always have better covers. I disagree with that completely. I much prefer the US cover of Howl’s Moving Castle. And I vastly prefer the US to the UK covers on Harry Potter. I just meant that England is the one who’s always reissuing things in shiny new matching editions.

  2. If you want the books to match that’s totally understandable. I’ve a series of four and they’re all different because the publisher kept changing designs – but the first three are out there the same and I’d get them if I found them.

    • Yes! That is my exact gripe! I originally wrote a really long post about how much I hate it when a publisher changes the design concept mid-series, or when an author moves to a new publishing house and none of their books match ever again. But I thought it sounded crazier than even I was comfortable with, so I got rid of most of it.

  3. Those are pretty darned nice! Partial as I am to owning vintage hardcovers, preferably *with* their original dustjackets (though that is of course often impossible), I am tempted by some of these myself. And sort of on-topic, I’ll give you a heads-up on an upcoming giveaway. It’s my one-year blogging birthday coming up mid-April, and I’ve found some pristine Folio editions of interesting books which I thought I’d do a random draw to distribute in honour of the occasion. One of them is a copy of Godden’s Greengage Summer. The others are Josephine Tey’s The Franchise Affair, and a volume of mystery stories. I’ll post about this in a few weeks – say mid March – but you might want to pop your name into the draw when I get organized. These are *gorgeously* bound books – lovely to look at. And to read, of course. ;-)

    • I love owning vintage hardcovers, but it’s not always viable these days because they are hard to cart around on the subway. AND YET I will absolutely be popping by for your blogiversary because I cannot resist beautiful books.

  4. I can understand your worry over this. I often feel this way too. I NEED to have the best copy of some of my books, and this has led me to having about 6 copies of Jane Eyre. I still haven’t found the best copy though!

  5. What are the one best copies of Jane Eyre and Paradise lost like? I assume ordinary princess is the pink one with the cover that is the sketch of Amy?

    • Yes, that one. The Paradise Lost has a fancy binding and gold-tipped pages and the William Blake illustrations. You gave me the Jane Eyre! That green one.

  6. Ooh, it’s driving me crazy that my Cazalet Chronicle is mismatched! Three are trade paperbacks from two different printings, and one is a mass-market paperback. At least I can take comfort from my three copies of A Wrinkle in Time and four of Little Women.

    I could easily spend all of my money just buying multiple copies of books I already own!

  7. Oh those are nice. My country done good. I am almost tempted. I saw you mention the HP covers above – how do you like the new HP covers from Scholastic? I love my UK covers, but I would be tempted by a new set with those matching covers.

  8. Z’s school librarian and I were just discussing this the other day because of the new HP covers. Kazu Kibuishi (the illustrator) is coming to Z’s school next week and we were saying “wouldn’t it be nice to get a signed set of those new books” and then I remembered I already have hardcover first editions so why would I replace those, right? And then my next horrible thought was “or I could own them ALL!” My wallet hates me.

  9. Oh, if I find a better edition of a book I love than the one that I already own, I would TOTALLY buy it. I have done that multiple times in the past. For some authors, I will buy THE BEST COPY to keep and then another that is approachable that I allow myself to pick up and read more often and lend out. There’s nothing wrong with this – it makes sense!

  10. Sorry sorry sorry! I always kind of hate it and love it when a new and much prettier edition of a book I love comes out. I try not to buy doubles, but it is incredibly tempting!

    I think I need to read the Casson Family series?

    • Hahahaha, it’s okay! It’s my own weakness that makes it a problem. :p

      Iris, you absolutely need to read the Casson Family series. You’re going to love them like crazy.

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