What Inspires You to Buy Replacement Classics for Your Library?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka

Today’s lead story looks at Penguin’s new series of “modern classics” that feature cover art drawn by tattoo artists. While beautiful, it makes me wonder how many of you buy multiple copies of classic books — books that you already own, maybe from college, but are replacing with new editions. Maybe your existing library is too worn out, infested with silver fish, or is there some other reason? This is an especially intriguing question in light of the fact that so many classics — not modern classics, but out-of-copyright classics — are available as free public domain e-books.

Publishers like Penguin, with deep backlists, must depend to some extent on avid book buyers buying or repurchasing multiple copies of classics over their lifetime.

Personally, I have been building up a library of classic books in “black spined” Penguin editions, as well as hardcovers when I can get them, with the intention of passing them along to my daughter. That said, the one’s that I primarily buy are limited editions from companies like The Folio Society (which go along with the series of signed Franklin Mint first editions I inherited from my parents).

So, what inspires you to buy redundant classics for your library?

Let us know what you think in the comments.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.