Do you own multiple copies of any books? Which ones? Why?
I have several and for a variety of reasons. In alphabetical order, they include:
Ball Four — Jim Bouton’s diary-style look inside major league baseball was one of my favorite sports books in my teens, as evidenced by how beat up my papereback copy is. So, when I saw a hardbound 20th anniversary edition in a half-price book store, I had to have it.
A Canticle for Leibowitz — I still have my years old copy of this Hugo Award-winning postapocalyptic novel but when Eos reissued it a year or so ago, one of its reps was kind enough to send me a copy.
How to Talk Dirty and Influence People — I have long been a big fan of Lenny Bruce and my paper copy of his autobiography is virtually in tatters. When I saw an edition as one of the books I could get for re-enlisting with a particular book club I’d quit a few years before, I figured it didn’t hurt to have a copy that wouldn’t fall apart when I picked it up.
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse — I bought this book when it was first released in 1983, before I started law school later that year. Little did I know that after my graduation from law school I would work on the team representing Peter Mathiessen and Viking Press when former Gov. Bill Janklow sued them for libel. At the conclusion of the litigation, one of the other attorneys involved gave me a virtually pristine first edition of the book.
The Last Days of Hitler — I picked up a paperback edition of this sometime around high school or college. It turned out my parents had a first edition hardback that is now part of my collection.
The Sparrow — I love this book so much that when I came across a first edition hardback in the local used book store I figured it couldn’t hurt to have two first editions.
The Wanderer — Although I already had a copy of this Hugo-winning novel, I couldn’t resist it when I came across an what I believe to be the first paperback edition in very good condition in a second hand store. It now sits in protective material next to the copy I already had.
I am influenced by every second of my waking hour.
Lenny Bruce, How to Talk Dirty and Influence People