New, nearly new, or not new at all?
I love new books, the feel of the clean pages in my hand, and the knowledge that I have something few hands have yet to touch. Even better when they're hot of the press, newly published, and (maybe) even signed by the author. But realistically, I get few of my books this way.
What's the problem with new then? Well, nothing when you get them free from giveaways, competitions, or for review. But, otherwise, they can be pretty expensive. The result is that most of the books I buy new are from discount stores and have, therefore, been published quite a long time. For me to buy a book from an independent or high street bookshop then it has to be something I consider pretty special.
Like the books I got signed by Kazuo Ishiguro for the cover price, or the books that I sometimes buy for my younger relatives. Then there's those by Ursula Le Guin or Christian Jacq, authors whom I collect but whose books can sometimes be hard to find. Everything else has to wait for a sale, or for me to find it second-hand.
Nearly new- that's a little easier. These seem to fall in front of my feet all the time. There's charity shops, second-hand bookshops and, of course, bookcrossing.
And then, ocassionally, I receive a book that's not new at all. It's a book that might have been thrown out had it not been for a bookcrosser somewhere who decided it should be preserved. But does that mean that this tattered paperback is worth any less than that which I bought new? I wonder!
What does it take for you to buy a book that's truly new?