Books I’ve bought twice

by , under books and reading

For a while now, I’ve been thinking about books I’ve purchased more than once. Some people find a book they love, and buy copies to give to other people. I’ve done that a few times, but that’s not what I’m thinking of here. I’m thinking of books I bought secondhand, read and enjoyed, and then wanted a nicer copy; or books that I bought, read, decided not to keep, and years later decided I was wrong not to have kept; those kinds of things.

I know this isn’t complete, because at one point the list in my head seemed longer than what I’ve got down on paper today. But, between my memory and my LibraryThing catalog, it’s a long enough list to share. The titles link to LT; let me know if you find any that aren’t correct.

Books I’ve bought twice because I wanted a better/nicer copy (but didn’t always get rid of the first copy):
Their Eyes were Watching God — Zora Neale Hurston
The Bell Jar — Sylvia Plath
The Scarlet Letter — Nathaniel Hawthorne
To Kill a Mockingbird — Harper Lee
Middlemarch — George Eliot
The Injured Party — Susan Fromberg Schaeffer
The Golden Rope — Susan Fromberg Schaeffer
The Scapegoat — Daphne du Maurier
Charlotte’s Web — E. B. White
Dubliners — James Joyce (My first copy was adequate, but the other copy was SO NICE and also CHEAP at the library book sale; I just couldn’t pass it up!)

Books I weeded, then decided I needed:
Lonesome Dove — Larry McMurtry
Proofs and Theories — Louise Gluck
The Known World — Edward P. Jones
A Theory of Justice — John Rawls
Nine Months in the Life of an Old Maid — Judith Rossner
Attachments — Judith Rossner
Mainland — Susan Fromberg Schaeffer
(Truthfully, I had to discard a bunch of books after my parents’ basement flooded in the mid-90s, and a couple of titles above might actually fall into THAT category. I wrote out a list as I discarded, and replaced some, but lost the list years ago. One I finally replaced in 2008: The Struggle for Black Equality by Harvard Sitkoff.)

Books I owned in print but first “read” as audiobooks, and loved so much I purchased them on CD, too:
Middlemarch — George Eliot, narrated by Kate Reading (over 30 hours long)
The Book Thief — Markus Zusak, narrated by Allan Corduner
Great Expectations — Charles Dickens, narrated by Frank Muller
(Two more I have in print and WOULD buy on CD as well if I came into money, audiobooks can be so expensive: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, narrated by Sissy Spacek; and Wickett’s Remedy by Myla Goldberg, narrated by the author.)

Books that mean enough to me that I retain two identical copies:
Ariel — Sylvia Plath (and I also have one copy of the “Restored edition: a facsimile of Plath’s manuscript, reinstating her original selection and arrangement“)
The Mothman Prophecies — John Keel
Up a Road Slowly — Irene Hunt

And finally, there must have been a few occasions when I bought a book I’d forgotten I already owned, but I only remember one off the top of my head: Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. But have I read it yet, even once? Nope…not yet!

© All the parts of my life 2008-2015.

  1. trish

    I've never purchased a book twice (on purpose). I'm always having to weed books out because I just don't have enough room! Also, when I read a book, I like THAT BOOK, meaning, I don't want a new book, I want the specific book I read. I don't listen to audiobooks, so that's not a problem, either. 🙂 Don't get me wrong, though; I completely understand this compulsion!


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