Home » Books in General » Why Do Writers Keep Multiple Copies of Books Around?

Why Do Writers Keep Multiple Copies of Books Around?

6 March 2018

From The Literary Hub:

I own multiple copies of books—Stoner, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Catcher in the Rye. There are personal reasons I will cherish each of them for the rest of my life.

One friend called the books she has in multiples “a little family of weirdos who all sit on the shelves together.” Another keeps out-of-print multiples and updated copies of the same books. Many people buy multiples because they travel and want to have copies on the road; others buy multiples of books they adore because they intend to give them away, although they often end up holding on to them for reasons they don’t understand. Certain books are collectibles. Different translations of the same books, signed editions, and several artful covers are reasons to double and quadruple up.

But probably my favorite explanation for multiples comes from a man who “rescued” a hardcover of a book he already owned from a pool hall to rectify the “great injustice that such a good book was just sitting there in a billiard parlor having been bought by the yard with hundreds of other books as wall decor.”

Link to the rest at The Literary Hub

Books in General

7 Comments to “Why Do Writers Keep Multiple Copies of Books Around?”

  1. I’ve bought multiples of a few, like The Sparrow, to have loaner copies.

    However, I recently moved and discovered I’d also unintentionally bought multiple copies of several books. Reordering of the library was clearly needed.

  2. So it’s not just me. I have duplicates, triplicates, and more of several Edgar Rice Burroughs novels with Roy Krenkel and Frank Frazetta covers, and some of John D. MacDonald with Robert McGinnis covers. I find them on the $2 rack at Half Price Books, looking like homeless waifs and I just HAVE TO take them home.

  3. Not just me, either. My multiples include Anya Seton’s “Katherine,” Connie Willis’ “Domesday Book,” and Parke Godwin’s “A Memory of Lions”, each of which I own in a reading copy and an “in case the other one falls apart from wear” copy.

    However, the Local Husband’s over 4,000 volume collection I know contains three copies of David Drake’s “Hammer’s Slammers,” a fact that he cannot explain. Two of the copies are autographed, but he refuses to move the third one on, either. There’s no accounting for this fact.

    • Deb, Love me some Hammer’s Slammers. IMO ‘Under the Hammer’, ‘Cultural Conflict’, and ‘Liberty Port’ are the three best stories in volume 1. But the worst in the collection is good.

  4. I have a list of a dozen books that I always buy when I find a used copy. I then give them away to unsuspecting victims. “Here, read this book. It won’t hurt you.”

    • I do that. Until this moment, however, I hadn’t thought of them as being books I kept since their location in my house is not permanent. Or, not intended to be permanent, even for those that have been here for a couple years.

      There was also the period when my sons were young, and I kept multiples of Heinlein and others for instant birthday presents for their friends. We would go to the “present shelf” and pick something out they thought would be good.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.