Musing Mondays #4: Used vs. New, Hardcover vs. Paperback, Series Matching, and POV

Posted December 2, 2013 in Discussion, Musing Mondays / 2 Comments

Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! 
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!
My Musings:
Today I’m discussing the types of books I prefer. NOT genres, as that’s pretty clearly stated in the review policy. But rather, physical attributes of the books themselves.
I am not a snob. I find used books to be just as serviceable as new ones, as long as they are in reasonably good condition. I don’t mind some wear and tear. I am a proud dog ear-er myself, and I don’t mind if the corners of the pages have creases. I do mind if the pages/covers are ripped, however, and the one thing I can’t stand is WRITING IN THE BOOKS. No writing, no highlighting. It’s disgraceful. I understand that for school teachers like to have students annotate as they’re reading, but I say, either use Post-Its or use an electronic version. Writing/highlighting ruins the book for the next reader. People don’t want YOUR opinion scrawled all over the book and interfering with their own opinions. It’s blatant, rude and obnoxious. That’s my only real pet peeve.
THERE ARE SOME BOOKS I WILL ONLY BUY NEW. These are going to be the favorites, or books in a series that I own partially, and the ones I own are also new or in really good condition. I like things to match, which will be discussed later. But mostly I buy used because it’s cheaper. I buy everything online because it’s cheaper. I also occasionally buy from the small bookstore in my library, because the prices range from fifty cents to a few dollars. Can’t get any better than that. And I can inspect the quality of the book in person before I buy it. I do like buying things when I can see pictures of them, which is why eBay may be preferable to Amazon when buying used books, but I usually go by price first.
I am really not picky. A while ago, I might have said I prefer paperback, but nowadays I really don’t mind either. Hardcovers are harder to mess up, but paperbacks are easier to carry around (and generally lighter). But seeing as hardcovers are also generally more expensive than paperbacks, I will most likely buy paperbacks.
I also find it amusing that box sets can include either paperback or hardcover books. My Chronicles of Narnia box set is paperback, but my Percy Jackson and the Olympians and A Series of Unfortunate Events box sets are hardcover (actually, I am not entirely sure ASUE books CAN be paperback).
Also, the longer a book is, the more likely I will opt for the paperback version.
This is a pretty important issue for me, I suppose. I DO prefer all the books in a series to be matching 100%. Same style of covers, same type (hardcover or paperback), same spine format, same SIZE, same condition (used/new). And I prefer it when the book # in series is also present on the spine. It makes putting them in order so much easier. I like having a neat shelf- everything matching and orderly.
Unfortunately, I do have some series’ that aren’t completely matching, because before, I didn’t care so much. I just bought whatever was at the bookstore. OH MY FOOLISH PAST SELF. Not only did I not care, but I was shopping in a BOOKSTORE. Bookstores are for looking only. They tell you what is currently popular, like a lot of book blogs, and what you should be reading. But they are SO DARN EXPENSIVE. I probably lost a lot of money that way. BUT ANYWAY, I’ve learned since.
Here I’ll list my perfectly matching (and complete) series’ (because I LOVE lists!):

  1. May Bird
  2. Spiderwick Chronicles
  3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid
  4. His Dark Materials
  5. The Hunger Games
  6. The Doll People
  7. Series of Unfortunate Events
  8. The Chronicles of Narnia
  9. Percy Jackson and the Olympians
Unfortunately, I have a lot of INCOMPLETE series’, and a lot that will never be perfect matchy-matchy because I’ve already ruined the pattern. Like Twilight. First 2 paperback, 3rd in hardcover. And I really don’t feel like giving away the 3rd and buying a new one in paperback. It’s just not worth it for that series. (there are other series’ where I would do that in a heartbeat, the styles are so nice- that’s going to be this weeks’ Favorites Friday post) I’ve also ruined the Inkheart series, like Twilight but backwards- the 2nd and 3rd are in hardcover. I COULD buy the first one in hardcover. Actually, I think that’s exactly what I’m going to do. It would be a great book to give away also. And wow! I just looked up the hardcover version! It’s so much more beautiful, like the second and third books! Yay for having new ideas while blogging.
What makes me angry is that I was SO CLOSE to having perfectly matching books in the Mountain series by Jean Craighead George- you know, My Side of the Mountain, On the Far Side of the Mountain, Frightful’s Mountain. I just recently ordered the last one in paperback, finally completing the series, but when it arrived it was the WRONG SIZE. THIS is why I don’t order books without looking at the picture first. It’s shorter height-wise than the first two, and that ruins it for me. But I doubt I’ll order a new one. Seems silly.
The Septimus Heap series is ruined by book 5, Syren, in hardcover. Now, that would be an easy one to switch out, but I am really torn on this issue. I like both paperback and hardcover versions of these books, and while they are essentially the same cover, I would really prefer them to be all the same style. I don’t know about these. I guess I’ll just buy the rest in paperback because it’s cheaper, and switch out the 5th later when I feel guilty.
The Gemma Doyle series is ALMOST perfect, but for book quality. The second book has a huge rip on the back cover. I will most likely use it as a giveaway and buy a new one. I got the third book used but in good enough quality to match the first.
The Seven Kingdoms series is also almost perfect but the second is in hardcover because for some reason it was super cheap, cheaper than the paperback. I think I found it on AbeBooks and couldn’t resist, even though I knew I was ruining the series. I may just buy the other 2 in hardcover and use those as giveaways, because they are one of my favorite series’ and they deserve that.
Other series’ are matching so far and will continue to match as I collect them, like Cirque du Freak and Warriors.
So tell me your thoughts on these issues! What do you prefer? What things can’t you stand? What things do you agree/disagree with me on?

Today’s actual question:
Do you have a preference between “person” in the books you read? Do you prefer third-person to first-person? Or don’t you care? And, why?
I like first person best but I don’t mind third person. It (third person) just seems a bit more impartial, but it’s better for storytelling purposes. First person gets me more into the book, but it’s harder to see the person as a character. So I like both. I also really enjoy second person. It’s a nice change.


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2 Comments on "Musing Mondays #4: Used vs. New, Hardcover vs. Paperback, Series Matching, and POV"

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Interesting post!
I don’t mind buying used books at all, as long as they aren’t soiled, torn, or overly beat up. I often will wait until a book I like comes out in paperback, and then I’ll buy a used hardcover in good condition for less than the price of the paperback.
I DO sometimes write in or underline in my books–I’ll mark quotes that I especially like, or I’ll sometimes write down page numbers on the inside front or back covers if I think I’ll want to refer to a particular section again.
I don’t read a lot of series, but when I do buy books in a series I like them to match.
My big peeve is price stickers–I always remove the stickers immediately when I buy a book, and I don’t like it if they’re hard to remove or if they leave a mark or residue.

Alicia the Awesome

I take notes while I’m reading (so I know what to put in my review) on either a separate sheet of paper or on my iPod. There’s no way I could write in a book (:
You don’t read series? That’s unusual! Most of the books I read are parts of series. I just think it’s hard to get that much awesomeness out of one book.
I don’t like price stickers either. I also don’t like when the prices are actually PART of the back cover and you can’t remove them.