Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme about (mostly) books and reading.
This week's question is:
All other things being equal – do you prefer used books? Or new books? (The physical specimen, that is, not the title.) Does your preference differentiate between a standard kind of used book, and a pristine, leather-bound copy?
I was going to say that my ideal personal library consists of nothing but new books, but then I realised that if they were to remain that way, I could never read them. The thing is that once a book is read, it is no longer new. Even though I try to be very careful when handling my books, they inevitably end up looking less new after a while.
I buy a lot of used books or get them through BookMooch, BookCrossing or the library, and I think it is a wonderful way of saving money as well as the environment. I am somewhat selective when buying used books though; if it is in really bad condition, like partly illegible or pages are falling out (or if it smells of cigarette smoke – major turn-off for me), I will of course pass. But some general signs of wear and tear don't bother me at all. The only exception is a favourite book; if I know I want to keep it forever, I will buy a new hardcover simply because it will last longer.