Owning Multiple Copies of the Same Book

Do you own multiple copies of the same book? I know logically it doesn’t make sense unless you’re planning to lend copies out, but some of the books out there are just too pretty to worry about logic!

I would love to be able to have collections like some of the people I see on Instagram, but I just don’t have the space for that. Even if I did, that’s not how I personally want to spend my money, so I’ll just stick to appreciating the gorgeous photos they post and envying their collections!

Instead, I’ve limited myself to two books, or rather groups of books, that I allow myself to collect: Harry Potter and Jane Austen’s works. They’re some of my favorite books and I only have so much willpower in the face of so many pretty editions. So far I’m pretty happy with my decision to collect them because I love seeing them on my shelves, but I do have to reign myself in a bit to keep my collection from getting too out of control.

My husband characterizes my collections as a “hoarding tendency” and enjoys expressing concern about the number of copies I have of the same book, but he mostly just does this to annoy me. In fact, I’m pretty proud of myself for not collecting more! I can totally see what an easy rabbit hole it would be to fall down considering the number of gorgeous classics that keep being released and the aggressive marketing of the Harry Potter series.

Before I go much further, I should stress that there’s absolutely no judgment here if your collection is larger than mine and you’re happy with it. I think that’s awesome and would love to see photos!

Collecting Harry Potter was kind of an accident that happened after finding Bookstagram and BookTube. Of course I had a copy of the American hardcover set. They’re not the ones I grew up reading, but those ones were falling apart and I justified the new set as college textbooks since I was technically taking a course about Harry Potter.

Personally, though, I’ve never been the biggest fan of the American hardcovers, so when I saw the gorgeous paperback set with Hogwarts across the spine in a video, I convinced myself that it was acceptable to have both a hardcover set and a paperback set: one for my shelves and one to carry around and read. Except that set showed up and they’re just way to pretty to let them get battered up, and there might have been another pretty set for sale on Book Outlet…

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My husband tried valiantly to talk me out of it, but I was able to get a really good deal on the U.K. paperback box set on Book Outlet. I wanted them just because of how colorful the spines are, but I actually really like the materials they used to make the covers and I think this set has some of my favorite cover illustrations. They’re also almost too pretty to use, but I’ve been reading them for my Harry Potter reread and they’re actually holding up really well.

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Sadly, that is not the extent of my Harry Potter collection. I’m afraid to admit that I’ve succumbed to the lure of the illustrated editions and have all three of the ones currently published sitting on my shelves. I also caved and bought the Hufflepuff paperback of the 20th anniversary editions of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (it was so tempting to get all eight!), and I have a German copy of the first book, Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen, that my host family gifted to me with a really adorable inscription.

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As I mentioned, I also like collecting the different pretty editions of Jane Austen’s books. This is a collection that I directly attribute to Bookstagram—it can be such a dangerous place for my wallet. I would seriously love to collect the full sets of all the different editions, but the logical part of me won’t let me have that many copies of the same books. Plus I don’t have the space or the money for them, so there’s that.

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While Pride and Prejudice is my favorite Jane Austen novel and Sense and Sensibility is a close second, those two don’t always have my favorite covers from the various collections out there. So instead of just collecting those two books, I pick my favorite cover from each collection regardless of which book it is, though I have made sure that I have a pretty edition of each of Austen’s six novels.

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There are a few more pretty editions that I’m thinking of adding to my collection, but I’m pretty happy with where it’s at right now. Yes, it’s totally unnecessary, but I enjoy looking at them on my shelves, and it’s not too out of control just yet. Plus it’s fun to try and track down some of the different editions, though I’ve admitted to myself that I am never going to find a copy of the Boddington edition of Pride and Prejudice at a price I’m willing to pay.

So yeah, I try not to buy repeats of books too often, but I let myself indulge a bit when it comes to Harry Potter and Jane Austen. What about you? Do you collect multiple copies of any books, or are you totally logical when it comes to your book buying and stick to strictly one copy of each book? Let me know in the comments!

20 thoughts on “Owning Multiple Copies of the Same Book

  1. Ha, I’m so guilty of this. (I would be even more guilty if I wasn’t broke!) I have multiple copies of Anne of Green Gables, one of which was my mom’s growing up, and then the others are mine. And there’s this really pretty cover I’ve been seeing that I really want too… 😉

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  2. Harry Potter is my guilty pleasure too! I own a few different HP covers: the original US Paperback, Two editions of a random UK Special edition, Japanese Hardcover of the first book, and the illustrated edition of Sorcerer’s Stone. I really want the hardcover Ravenclaw edition for Christmas. Fingers crossed!

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  4. I love having multiple copies of books, though it’s probably not great for my budget. Actually, I know it’s not great, haha. But HP is so collectible – I’m collecting the castle spine edition, the 20-year hardback edition, and the illustrated editions. I just can’t help it, they’re so special and gorgeous!

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