Considering I have (and have had) so many books in my place, I’m constantly amazed that I rarely have multiple versions of a book by accident. I don’t carry my virtual bookshelves around me when I go into bookshops, and I rarely buy books online anymore.
I’ve stopped getting the “these ebooks are free” emails as I had too many on my e-reader, and it was there that I seemed to have the biggest problem – I’d choose a book, only to be told I’d picked it up months before. One one hand it was good that I still wanted the book based on the blurb, but bad in that I didn’t remember that already picked it up! It was one of the reasons I unsubscribed from the emails.
I do have multiples of paper books – or have at least brought the same book multiple times – but that’s usually by choice.
Sometimes I’ve lost or given away my then-only copy (e.g. The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber) and enjoyed the book so much I wanted another copy in the house.
Sometimes I already have a copy, but a new edition was out and I wanted it. Jane Eyre was released as a sub-£2.00 edition and that was easier to carry in the handbag without worrying about it being battered. I think it ended up with a crumpled front cover and a coffee mug stain, but I like to think it looked like it was well read.
I remember a few years ago Jane Austen was issued with new bindings. Since one of my favourite books is Pride and Prejudice, which I’m sure I have another copy in the house somewhere, I had to buy it. Then, of course it would have been rude not to pick up the other five books in order to complete the set! They’ve been on the bookshelves, unopened, ever since, but that’s not the point.
Do you own multiple copies of any books? Why? Is it the format? Size? Just because you love it?