As we continue to build the library within our home, I'm committed to getting beautiful copies of books we love. I love my kindle, especially for books I'm embarrassed to be seen carrying, but for my bookshelves I want books that make a statement. I want mostly hardcover, and I want a lot of them. Occasionally, that means we wind up with multiple copies of a book... or five. There are also other reasons that we wind up with multiple copies of books. Case in point, The Great Gatsby.
I have a hardcover edition that I picked up after reading the book in high school. I've highlighted sections and made notes in the margins. I'm a nerd, I know. You should probably know that by now too, if we're being honest.
I also have a gorgeous art deco style edition that I love. It's the edition that I used in all of the pictures for the Book of the Month posts. I actually have two of that edition. Why two you might ask? Good question. Here's why:
Cute faces right? Not if you happen to be a dust cover that's been removed from the book for easy reading and left on the coffee table while your mom goes into the kitchen to start dinner. In that particular case, the two of you become hostile wrecking machines shredding and chewing the lovely dust cover to pieces. Mom gets mad.
Once I'd calmed down, I went directly to Amazon to order another copy. So now I have two of them, bringing my total copies of Gatsby to three. The one without the dust cover is going to Half Price Books soon though. So I'll be back to two. Completely reasonable.
Other books we have multiples of:
Alice in Wonderland: I have a beautiful 1946 edition of this book, combined with Through the Looking Glass. Original illustrations throughout, absolutely gorgeous. I also have the version that's part of the Penguin Clothbound Classics series. I'm trying to collect them all, so I couldn't skip this one. Plus, I love the bright pink flamingoes across the cover.
Dracula- One of our copies is a beautiful edition that's part of the Penguin Clothbound Classics series, designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith who also designed the Gatsby edition with the art deco cover. The other belonged to my father in law. Beauty and sentimentality- two of my favorite things about books.
Les Miserables: One of our copies is from 1890, so I'm actually afraid to read it since there's a good chance I'll damage it. Fortunately we have another copy. It's one of the Penguin Clothbound Classics, and it's beautiful. I'm much more likely to read this one. It's a someday read, just because the length is a bit daunting.
A Little Princess- one has illustrations by Tasha Tudor and I can remember the exact day my parents bought it for me: while on vacation in the Wisconsin Dells at Storybook Gardens, which closed in 2011; kinda makes me sad. The other is part of the Puffin Classics series with cover designs by Jessica Hische.
Little Women- Again, I have a beautiful edition of this book that's part of the Penguin Clothbound Classics series. I have a very difficult time only buying a few books from a series. Once I start I tend to be a bit obsessive about it until I have them all. The other version I have is one that my mom gave me when I was younger. It's a treasure, not one I can give up easily, and one I intend to pass down to my daughter (if/when I have one). You've probably also noticed a pattern of books as gifts when I was growing up. My mom was a first grade teacher and while she could always say no to requests for flashy toys, she could never refuse a book. Between that and my innate nerdiness, books were always happening.
Rebecca: Again, I have an antique copy. I did try to read this one and discovered that it's a mis-print. about 50 pages appear twice and 50 pages are missing. This one is from 1938. The other is a paperback version that I picked up since I wanted to be able to read the whole thing. Picture me at Barnes and Noble over my lunch break when I realized I was going to have to stop in the middle of a read. It happens.
The Secret Garden: The story behind this one is almost identical to the story behind the double copies of A Little Princess. I even got my first edition from the same little shop in that park.
Most often when we find that we have two copies of a book, one gets sold or donated. Even with that there are still occasions, like the ones listed above, where we keep each copy.
What about you? Do you have multiple copies of anything?