All readers have a fantasy of building a mini-library; a room dedicated to books or something of that sort. At least that has been the case for me ever since I can remember. In fact, none of the books I read till middle school were borrowed — I bought them all and made quite a big collection for myself. Somewhere down the line I realized that I would never re-read most of these books (Enid Blyton, abridged classics, etc.) again. My preferences had changed. I ended up giving everything away to younger cousins.
Fortunately, I still enjoy the books that I liked in highschool and I can reasonably assume that I won’t dislike them in the future. But with adulthood comes a different set of problems. Firstly, I don’t read as much as I used to. My current reading routine goes like this: I read 20-30 books in a span of 4-5 months (mostly during summer holidays) and then I quit reading for the rest of the year. I should read more, I guess.
Secondly, I don’t have a permanent residence. It is impossible to store books at the hostel and it is cruel to ask my parents to carry along all my novels every time they move (which is quite often).
Thirdly, I’m a nitpicker. The cover art and typography are as important to me as the content itself. If I wanted just the content, I’d stick to my kindle. I actually prefer the kindle editions over poorly designed paperbacks. For example, consider the following two editions:
The first one costs Rs. 750 and I won’t ever go for the second one. Would I buy a thin paperback at such a high price? Probably. I’d wait for the book-fair though.
Stamps on a nice cover pisses me off too. Also price, discount and advertisement stickers which are pasted on the book. Also covers made from movie posters. Aaargh!
The problem of nitpicking might seem trivial to those who don’t experience it, but it is not, considering that I buy hard copies for their aesthetics and for the sake of collection.
Nowadays I rarely buy books that I haven’t read before. This ensures that I don’t end up owning novels that I don’t like, thus lowering the quantity of books that I have to store, while also saving money for those occasional expensive editions.