Is a book just its "contents" to you? Or are the aesthetics of a book also a factor?
When you buy a book to read, do you buy it simply for the contents and then give it away or sell it…or do you often buy a book also for its aesthetic pleasure?
Example…you want to read a copy of David Copperfield. Do you just go and get a copy at the library/bookstore or do you try to find a really used old Penguin copy and/or an older copy that might have an embossed art nouveau cover? Or do you just not care about the look/feel of a book and Kindle it or Nook it?
Do you buy books merely to read their contents and it doesn’t matter what they look like on the outside? Or does the actual touch and look of the book have an impact on your reading pleasure?
I often find myself scouring bookshops for old interesting copies of books that I know I could find easily as a mass market pulp on Amazon…simply because I want the feel of a worn book and/or because I like the look of the older copy. I will even (usually) pay more for it if it is a book that I know I will want to perhaps keep. If it’s just a reference book, no, I wouldn’t do that…but for something special, yes, I will buy a nicer copy.
I find that holding and touching a worn paperback book adds to my reading experience as does holding an old and beautifully bound copy. If you were to put a brand new copy of Gone With The Wind on a table and a copy that was worn and tattered and ask me to pick one to keep…I would choose the latter. I like old books that someone enjoyed before me. (Crazy? Well, probably.)
How do you feel about the aesthetics of a book? Does it matter to you? Do you just buy a copy to simply read it or does the look and feel of a book come into play for you?