How Many Copies Do You Own?



Time for some shelf awareness. It’s a problem all readers come across at least once, either accidentally or on purpose. We’ve owned more than one copy of the same book. While there are many different ways to find yourself owning more than one copy of the same book, I find most cases fall into one of the following three categories:



  1. I accidentally bought the same book

With books being reissued for every anniversary, recovered for movies versions, and the usual hardback paperback conversion, it is easy enough to get swept up in excitement and forget you own a certain book. Plus, if you have an ever growing “books I will read” section of your bookshelf a book could be bought and forgot, until you buy it again.



  1. Someone bought me a book I own

Readers talk about books they want all the time, sometimes incessantly. So it’s no surprise if a book you bought on the day it was released become the gift everyone chooses to get you for the next closest anniversary, birthday, or just thinking of you day. Sometimes the how many copies you own game turns into the how many copies was I gifted game. What a great problem to have.



  1. Cover snobs

You found a series late into the run and managed to buy all the copies in paperback, but the new book is out. You can’t wait so you buy it in hardback, but it doesn’t look right next to all the paperback covers. So you buy it in paperback when it comes out. It might not make any sense, but some readers just need their series to match and if you have to buy the same book again so be it.


To all the readers out there, let me know how many copies of the same book you owned at one time. My personal record is three copies of The Road by Cormac McCarthy.



  1. When my husband and I moved in together we went through all the books we both owned and decided which to give away. We also have some expensive books that I don’t want to risk reading so if I want to read that story I have to borrow it from the library or buy a cheap copy. Don’t think I’ve ever accidentally bought a book I already have – obviously means I don’t own enough books!


  2. I own several copies of Pride and Prejudice…on purpose. I just love the different editions. They are beautiful to look at and I have a little bit of a problem with saying no to myself. I currently own four different copies, not including the Annotated edition and the one included in my very large illustrated Jane Austen book that includes all her novels.

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