Is it a little bit over the top to have five copies of The Amber Spyglass in the house? I’m just asking.

Son appears to own three copies. One first edition hardback. One paperback, to read. And then the nice white woodcut one. Daughter has another paperback, and I own another ‘woodcutter’ copy.

I know I complain about lack of shelf-space now and then. Could this be one reason? Some things can be pruned. Not sure Philip Pullman falls into that category.

Sat down for a rest in Son’s room (why does he even have a room, when he doesn’t live here?) the other day, which is when I discovered the glut of Amber books. My eyes then travelled over the shelves and found quite a number of Eoin Colfer books, as well. Understandable, as we love him. But there were several instances of duplicate hardbacks of the same Artemis book. I thought about getting up from the chair and investigating, but didn’t. Must make the most if this sitting down business. I’m sure there is a reason for it. The Colfers, I mean.

Now, Harry Potter is what more (normal) people have bought several copies of. Strangely enough we only seem to have two lots. Plus the audio. Obviously.

Daughter keeps buying Doctor Who books. But she’s very good at keeping track of what’s what. When I go to her Who shelf my eyes can’t cope with all the almost identical book spines, and my head spins. (Because I have to lean backwards a little.) But thanks to that raffle win in the summer she did turn out to have a couple of doubles, even one where both the copies were signed.

The number one Meg Rosoff fan has quite a few  of her books. But never more than proof, hardback, paperback and Swedish translation of any one title. They stand next to the Potter lad.

Other multiple books are accidents. I’m fairly sure they are. Otherwise we’d be mad. Or forgetful. I did find a good Christmas present for the Resident IT Consultant for this year. I knew for a fact (unusual, these days) that we hadn’t read this particular book. Only, when I got home, I discovered I had sort of already got it last year, waiting for the right moment. But at least we haven’t read it!

What exactly counts as excessive?


8 responses to “Multiples

  1. I’ve become a ruthless pruner. Any book I don’t love gets a free ride to the local charity shop. Of course, once there, I replace them all with new. Sorry, used. Bought a copy of the Mountain Rescue Guide handbook yesterday.


  2. Not books but DVDs… I have the full Lord of the Rings movie trilogy both in the cinematic versions and the Extended Editions, but I gather that’s fairly normal. And I also have the first one on VHS for some reason.

    But I think if you’re going to have multiple versions of any book, The Amber Spyglass is a good choice. Besides the reading pleasure, when the floods come you can use them as sandbags. Or they can be hurled at intruders.

  3. Meg, you are not to go falling off any mountains. And I sent about ten bags of books to Oxfam only last week. But that was off-floor books, not off-shelf books, unfortunately.
    Nick, why will I have intruders in a flood? What will they want?

  4. We have three copies of all the Diana Wynne Jones books – my original small puffin ones, my eldest son’s copies (because he was hard on books and I didn’t want mine to have orange juice on them or have to be reclaimed from the cat basket) and my youngest son’s copies because eldest son wouldn’t share, in case he felt an urge to re-read. Unfortunately this has become a habit, so now I have to buy three copies whenever a new one comes out – and then post one to eldest at university.

  5. Excessive? Owning several copies of a book *I* don´t like. So simple is that.

  6. Dorte, which book??
    Jerusha, you are mad. Or rich. Get the eldest to buy his own now. Or hope there are no more books…
    I think I have blogged about the Resident IT Consultant ‘ruining’ books in the bath. Do I need to buy ‘bath books’ too?

  7. Doesn´t matter. Any book I don´t like.

  8. I’m not sure it’s possible to have excessive books.

    Where I have duplicates it is mostly a ‘good’ copy and a ‘reading’ copy.

    I don’t think I’ve as many as 5 of anything – do variants count? Because I’ve 4 of ‘neverwhere’ (original, authours preferred text, graphic novel & DVD)

    I do have bath/travel/lending copies of some favorites.

    I’ve *had* about 5 copies of Good Omens, but consecutively, not concurrently.

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