Fling out the old, bring in the new - just not yet!

You know how some people love old books, the mustiness, the fact that other hands have lovingly thumbed through the same pages, the excitement if another reader has left notes in the margins. Yeah, I'm not one of those. For me, crisp white pages, unbroken spines, new book smell and being assured that I will treat them right according to my exacting standards, that's what I love. You can imagine how reluctantly I let people borrow my books. Or how I hate people who never return them.

The sad part is that I own a huge lot of used books. This comes from the time when B and I were students and buying used was the only way both of us could feed our habit.

Now, the good news is that we are moving into a much smaller apartment (yay btw, I cant tell you how sick I am of maintaining the current house) and we realized that we had absolutely no place to cart all the books we currently owned. Which meant that we had to donate quite a few. I'm not sad, this gave me the perfect excuse to remove a lot of deadweight from our library - we have books by Isaac Newton, Neitzsche, even Teach yourself Esperanto for heaven's sake and we havnt even cracked those covers, not to mention the countless books for our courses, work and so on and so forth.

So, I got a big box and was busily sprucing the bookshelves, additionally adding in all of my favorite used fiction, some whose spines had been lovingly taped together after they fell apart in my hands with repeated handling. Until B stopped by to see what I was doing. As I happily explained to him my rationale, getting rid of the old stock so I could buy them again new (see, for fiction, I only buy books I will reread endlessly, so if I was getting rid of something it would have to be replaced) his eyes started bugging at my (supposed) impracticality.

And the argument ended with all my stinky, musty, old books being loaded into the keeper boxes ....

I'm not convinced it was all that impractical anyway. If you start thinking about replacement books at $11 and more, then maybe. But the proportion of pleasure I would have got with shiny, new books would be infinite. Grouse.

What would you do, gentle reader? And do you prefer old books to new?


avdi said...

Let me get this - you will sell old books and get new ones of the same titles? WOW

And you guys are still together? hehe!

The only book i have bought multiple copies of are - To Kill a Mockingbird (I have to have a copy all the time) and Wuthering Heights (ditto)

Smita said...

You wanted to buy new copies of the old ones? Mahaan ho! Had i been in your place i would have carried them (not the educational ones though). Not because i love or hate old books, only because i don't have the heart to give away my books. Nah! Never! In fact i have two book racks at home :D

couchpapaya said...

avdi, smita - did u guys miss where the covers are torn, pages coming apart and yellowing? poor misunderstood me :P

Smita said...

Well err! Even then my comment stands as same. How can you? Tcch! Tcch! Tcch! :p

Anonymous said...

If only one could do the same with spouses ....*sigh* :-(

Anonymous said...

I don't easily change- books, movies, underwear, Cars, socks, wallet. Even if it's yelow, torn, stinking, loose, used to death.
Somehow I can't fathom the term 'used book' unless it's a cookbook or Kamasutra.

Mama - Mia said...


well i was the type who wouldnt touch an old book with a bargepole! but now! i am more practical and dont mind saving the extra buck! and a trip to blossoms or bookworm means its difficult to come back emptyhanded! no?! :)

tho i would go with the hubby's reaction! ;)



couchpapaya said...

smita - we all have our achilles heel..

rofliindian - internet anonymity is such fun isnt it !!!

uh - hmm, eeks, good to know?!

abha - maybe it's because i started the other way arnd, not having new books before. sob. b also calls me drama queen hehe

Bouncing-Bubble said...

i prefer new bks, but then when I get good ones for free from the library I borrow.I get irriated seeing strands of hair at times in them though!yuck!

couchpapaya said...

bubbles - *hugs* atlast someone who agrees with me to some extent ... i hate seeing random hair in my books too ...

avdi said...

I am a huge fan of used book. N Papaya - dont you agree that a book shd not be judged by its cover???

couchpapaya said...

avdi - acc. to this post, i apparently dont :)

magicalsummer said...

i'm with you on this; prefer new books too, unless they are those
1 - i've been dying to own but can't find in print anymore
2 - i've thumbed through over the years - i've got cupboards full of my enid blytons and amar chitra kathas, or
3 - that have belonged in my family - my great grandfather's books are treasures i won't let anyone touch.

otherwise, no old books.

couchpapaya said...

mags - *hugs* and so succinctly put, yup i agree with the list. with my old amar chitras/tinkles etc i've even got them all bound when the covers started falling apart.

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