[ModLib] SURVEY: DJ Focus or Book Focus?

Lisa Schweitzer lschwei at mac.com
Sun Jun 3 12:48:32 EDT 2007

It took me four months to read War and Peace.   Ditto Middlemarch. You can't do that with a library book.  I've re-read Middlemarch twice, and I plan to do so again someday.  Until then, it's sitting on my shelf and makes me happy every time my eye lands upon it, like a photograph of a happy time.  And it's nekkid! No DJ! (I acquired it in high school, years ago.)

I like having my own reading library for the same reasons why many people own lots of things I don't: a backyard (there are parks in the world); a television set (there are pubs and whatnot if I want to watch a game); a car or a bike (there's public transit); a frisbee, football, or golf clubs (there are recreation centers).  I like to have access to books when I want to for however long I want to.  If I own the book, I can throw it across the room in disgust if I want to (as I did reading the DaVinci Code). And  I still patronize the local university library and the municipal library, because there are many books I can't and do not want to acquire.

For readers, the ML books are a *great* functional design: compact hardcovers you can fit into a purse. You can store a lifetime's worth of great reading in a single, largish  bookcase--all hardcover, all sitting in neat soldierly rows.  I am a reader first and a collector second, so if I find an edition I want and it doesn't have the DJ, that wouldn't stop me from acquiring it.  When I do acquire something with a DJ, I am careful of it and take care of it, but it doesn't drive my decision about whether or not to acquire a book. 

A question for you in return:  why does it matter whether the term "collector" is distinguished by the individual's motive for acquiring: e.g., a personal collection's use value (for readers) versus a collection's financial value versus a collection's aesthetic value vs. whatever?

The Paper Chase

On May 31, 2007, at 11:45 AM, Lawrence, M.O. Buck wrote:

As a collector, the dust jacket (whether we like it or not) is an
essential component. As a reader only, why not just check out a local
library copy?

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