I can understand collecting pristine, unused stamps — keeping them safe, away from light, and only looking at them now and then.
And I can understand collecting postcards which have never been sent, never manhandled or crushed or stained in the mail.
I can even understand keeping collectible action figures in their original, unopened packages. (My Jane Austen and Oscar Wilde action figures are still in theirs, though I have very nearly decided to let them free so they can run about the house and nibble on erasers and whatever else unsupervised action figures do…)
But for some reason, I am quite disturbed by the thought of books remaining untouched and unread so that they keep their value.
I’m not certain if there’s a logic behind this feeling of mine, or only my emotional attachment to reading. After all, why not have an unblemished first-edition on the shelf, and read a cheaper, battered copy?
And am I being hypocritical? After all, I have on occasion read a library copy of a book I own, to keep mine in tip-top shape. (Or, as tip-top shape as my books are ever in. I do try, but I’ve moved too many times to keep the dust jackets perfect.)
So…what do you think? Do you approve of can’t-be-read collectible books? Do you ever read cheaper/newer/library copies to keep your treasured books in good shape?
All answers welcome!!!
Cara King, who thinks people should feel free to read a first-edition copy of MY LADY GAMESTER anytime they wish