Weekend Reads is a weekly discussion on a variety of topics. At the end of the post, I’ll include what I plan to read on the weekend.
The question/topic for this weekend:
Which do you prefer: new books with pristine covers or tattered, old ones with a questionable scent?
I promised a bookish topic for this weekend so here it is. This topic was inspired by my library’s book sale, the first such sale I’ve ever attended. Since the beginning of summer, I’ve tried to attend this sale but by the time I get out of bed, eat breakfast, and get dressed, the sale is done. It ends about 1pm, which makes no sense to me because who gets up before 11 on weekends?
I loath getting out of bed early on weekends but I made the effort to do so recently so I could attend the sale. I got there 10 minutes before it was done. Woohoo!! Success! I was so focused on finally attending the sale that I didn’t stop to consider the state of the books. In my mind, the books were as pristine as those in the store. They were unsullied by the markings of other readers. No coffee stains, no penciled notes, no highlighted lines. The pages still had a freshly pressed scent about them and would be smooth to my touch. I was deluded.
Though the books at the library sale were in good shape, it was obvious they were used. They had aged, some of them badly. Pages had become discolored and covers were wrinkled. I usually sniff my books while considering whether to buy them (don’t judge me) but when I sniffed these, it was hard to place the scent. They certainly didn’t have that freshly pressed smell. (Though, now that I think about it, I don’t know what a freshly pressed scent is since the books in the bookstore were printed a long time before I got to them.) Some had scribbled notes in the margins and others creaked when I opened them.
I’d made the effort to attend the library sale so I refused to leave without purchasing something. Plus, I should have expected this of the books so I did a quick search through boxes, piles, and racks and walked away with three books that together amounted to $1.50. Success! (Book haul coming soon.)
I’m glad with my purchases, though they are used books. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind reading from used books, I just have a strong preference for new ones because I like being the first person to use the book. Most used books I’ve encountered usually have the previous reader’s thoughts littered throughout the pages. That annoys me. The thoughts get in the way of my reading and the opinions I try to form about the work. So though I don’t mind reading sullied used books, preferably with covers and pages intact, I’m more likely to reach for a new copy and sniff its freshly pressed aroma.
So what’s your preference? Let me know below.
What I’m reading this weekend:
The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey. I’m so glad I picked this book up. It’s perfect reading for October. The prose is highly descriptive so the pace is a bit slow but I love that. I’m so caught up in Yancey’s descriptions that I’m not even scared while reading.