Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Match Made ... On My Bookshelf

I own hundreds of books, and quite a few of them belong to series. Traditionally I haven't cared much what edition the different series books are or whether the covers match; I was just happy to have the books. But lately I have realised the aesthetic value of matching covers (even though some of them disappear in the back row of double-stacked shelves) and so I try to get the same edition of books I know I want to keep. Sometimes this is easy; sometimes it can be very frustating. Let me give you some examples.

Example number 1: I wish these covers matched

This is my Dirk Pitt shelf. I know, it is a mess. I fell in love with the enigmatic hero invented by Clive Cussler back in 2002, and I now have all books in the series but the latest (yay!). The thing is, when I first started buying the books I had not started caring about matching covers. By the time I realised I did care, I had too many to buy new matching editions. I decided the inside was more important than the outside, so I continued buying whatever editions I could get my hands on. If you look closely, you will notice that some of them are even in Norwegian (I regret that now, but that is for another post). And yes, that is a wombat. His name is Fatso.

Example number 2: What went wrong??

By pure luck (different sources, back when I did not care so much etc.) I already had the matching UK Bloomsbury paperback editions of the first six Harry Potter books, so naturally I wanted HP7 to match. I found the Bloomsbury edition online and ordered it. It had the same cover art as my other copies, so I figured it had to be the right one. It was, except for one little detail: It was much smaller than the other books. *headdesk* Now they look like this on my shelf, and it annoys me no end.

Example number 3: This required some work, but I'm happy

I bought the movie cover version of Inkheart by Cornelia Funke because it was the cheapest edition in the store. I loved the book, but I didn't have room in my backpack to take it home with me (I was in Australia at the time), so I gave it away before I left. But I wanted to read the rest of the trilogy, so I went to Amazon and found that the cheapest edition of Inkspell was the special Gift Edition (go figure). Unfortunately I didn't order the same edition of the other two books at the same time, and when I went back to do so, they were gone. I spent a long time looking for this particular edition, and after a while I stumbled across Inkdeath in a Norwegian online store and ordered it on the spot. Inkheart, on the other hand, was nowhere to be found, and I was getting desperate. Finally I found a copy through AbeBooks, and I ended up buying it for double its regular price. I have never paid that much or worked that hard to find a particular book, but they do look pretty on my shelf, so I think it was worth it in the end.

I have learnt my lesson and from now on I will consider covers as much as price when I buy new books.

What are you like when it comes to covers? Match, no match, don't care? Do you have any other cover issues?


Ladybug said...

I agree that it is nice with matching covers but so far I haven't given it much thought. I usally swap away the books after I've read them :)

lisa :) said...

I used to care more about matching covers but now I only bother for a few series. For most of what I read I just go with whatever is the best deal. There was a Jim Butcher series that I had most of the books in paperback but when I went to buy the next one in the store, the paperback was almost twice the price of the clearance version of the hardcover so at that point matching covers wasn't as important to me as a bargain.

TwoBibliomaniacs said...

Impressive Cussler collection! Also, I love the editions of the Inkheart trilogy you have! Matching is very important to me, however budgetary constraints often prevent me from going too crazy. Nice topic.

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