Let’s Talk: Book Collecting

Disclaimer: All of these books were either purchased with my own money, or were gifts from family/friends. 

I own a lot of copies of The Night Circus. Like, a lot a lot. We’re talking 10 physical copies, and two digital: my audible audiobook and my kindle ebook. This book is the most magical book I’ve ever read, so naturally I felt inclined to collect copies. It’s been my all time favourite book for a while now, and I don’t think that’ll change any time soon. But I know what you’re thinking: “Mary, do you really need that many copies of the same book?” The answer is yes.

I first read The Night Circus around 5 years ago, after finding it on a random recommendations video. Ever since, it’s been my favourite. Within its pages is pure magic, transporting you to Le Cirque des Rêves and making you feel like you are truly experiencing the circus. The writing style is gorgeous, with a description that makes you feel the chill of the London air or smell the caramel popcorn wafting through the tents. This book is magic in novel form. 

My collection started by accident. I read my first copy so much that pages were falling out – so naturally I decided to buy a new one. Coincidentally, while this was happening, the vintage edition came out and I happened to be in England at the time, so it seemed like a no brainer to pick it up from Waterstones. But the same thing kept happening: pages were falling out, I decided to buy a new copy, and the cycle continued. 

Since I’m clearly well versed in collecting books, I thought it would be a nice idea to share some of my tips and tricks for those wanting to start their own collection! While it may seem like a pricey pastime (and you wouldn’t be wrong in assuming so, some prices for books are ridiculous!), I’ve figured out the best way of finding the cool editions you may want on the cheaper side. The answer to that problem is secondhand resellers, such as AbeBooks. 

While this post is not sponsored by AbeBooks, I do recommend their website and service. So far, I have bought two of the books in my collection from this website, and as of now, so good! For those who don’t know, AbeBooks is a second-hand book market where people list books for sale, in varying conditions, at a much cheaper rate than other marketplaces. For example, my UK Hardback copy (the one with the fancy red cover, it’s very pretty!), was an ex-library copy, so it came to me very loved but very readable and in almost perfect condition. All I had to do was remove the plastic cover and it looked perfect. Of course, it has its faults, such as the stickers on the inside cover and the faded sprayed edges, but for what I paid (which was significantly less than other prices out there), you can’t go wrong! 

Book collecting, while fun, can also be intimidating. It’s hard to know where to start, especially if the book is rather new and doesn’t have many copies. I’m lucky in that I first read The Night Circus a good few years after its release, so there were copies out there for me to hunt down and buy (the white edition was the hardest – it was a limited edition Halloween release!). The downside of waiting, however, is that it took more effort to find the editions I wanted. It would’ve been a lot easier to collect them as they came out, but the downside of that is the price of a new book. It’s a balancing act, and you should judge it by what you think is the best decision at the time of buying! 

I acknowledge that it’s a lot of copies of the same book, and it’s a bit of a waste: but it brings me joy! The sight of all of them together on my shelf makes me so happy, and I’ll continue to collect them as new editions get released – here’s hoping an anniversary edition comes out next year!

Thank you so much for reading, and happy book collecting!

2 thoughts on “Let’s Talk: Book Collecting

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