… I’m a compulsive book buyer. (Hi, Sarah.)
This is something I’ve suspected about myself for a while, mostly because I can’t walk by a bookstore without going inside. Or, if I really do have somewhere to be and don’t have time to go inside, I’ll slow down my pace so I can least linger in its aura.
This week, however, is when the label “addict” first entered my brain. You see, I was walking by the Strand and well, one thing led to another… I ended up finding Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles on their $1 rack and got VERY EXCITED. The cover was pretty awesome looking and it had that “old book” smell. I knew it had to be mine. So I bought it (along with a book that was more than $1…) and brought it home. Only, when I went over to the sci-fi section of my bookshelf, I found, exactly where Bradbury was supposed to go, a copy of that very same book.
The one I already owned also looked pretty beat up, but it had a different cover that wasn’t nearly as fun. Still, I imagine I once found it at a thrift store and had much of the same reaction go through my head. So, now I have two copies of The Martian Chronicles. This is not the first time this has happened to me.
My first accidental duplicate was Coming Up For Air by George Orwell. I bought a new copy at a Barnes and Noble about two years ago because I hadn’t read it yet (at the time), but then when I brought it home I found a small, ripped up, identically titled copy (the cover was literally hanging off of it) that I immediately liked 100 times more than my character-less new copy.
As far as compulsions go, buying books is hardly debilitating. It can get expensive, but that’s my problem, right? I’m not hurting anyone but me. I can quit any time I want. You’re not the boss of me!
Have “accidental duplicates” happened to anyone else? I can’t be the only bibliophile out there who buys so many books that I don’t even know what I have anymore. Please share with me.
We don’t have to go through this alone.