Thursday, April 16, 2009

Getting Your Money's Worth

Today’s slightly random question (and I mean that in a nice way) on Booking Through Thursday was “what would you spend an unexpected windfall on? Say … $50? How about $500?” Now the answer is pretty simple if it was £50 it would be books and if it was £500 it would be more books. If it was £5000 I would turn my spiral staircase and galley into a huge set of book shelves that people could admire as they went up and down, mind you as I currently rent that might actually not be the best idea. If it was millions it would be a spooky slightly decrepit mansion with a huge library. It’s all books with me. I then started thinking about the money that we spend on books. I would estimate that in the last year on both new and charity books I must have spent well over £1000, no question.

How much is the most I have ever spent on one book? If it’s new I won’t pay more than a tenner (which yes I know rules out hardbacks but I am just a bit odd like that) however I have paid over £30 pounds for two old books. One was a rare collection and edition of Arthur Conan Doyle Stories the other was a rare edition of ‘The Glass Blowers’ by Daphne Du Maurier which I simply had to have, it was slightly bizarre that I then bought an even rarer copy of another of her works ‘Kiss Me Again Stranger’ for a mere 50p about three weeks later. I think these purchases have been because I know that these authors right books I love; well they are two of my favourite authors so they are special to me. I certainly wouldn’t pay 135million euro’s for the world’s most expensive book ‘The Task’ as show in its very secure (?!?) case below…

I don’t know who the author Tomas Alexander Hartman is and its only 13 pages long, not exactly the best bet financially of a good read! …Which brings me to getting your moneys worth! I have been known to buy really big books in 3 for 2’s just because then I am getting value for money per page, oh dear. I once made the fatal mistake of buying a ‘classic’ for £9.99 that was only 130 – 140 pages long but was meant to be a masterpiece and hated it, it wasn’t even a hardback and the writing font was large. I was mortified but learnt my lesson. What’s been your biggest book extravagance? What has been the book that didn’t give you your moneys worth at all? I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin review up tomorrow, I completely promise!


-.- said...

I don't buy books unless I'm sure that I'll like them. I do this because once upon a time, I bought a book by a best selling author and completely hated it. I didn't even pay much for it (it was only 25 cents) but the book was so bad that I wish I kept my 25 cents and bought candy with it. :p

~ Popin

jlshall said...

My copy of Kiss Me Again Stranger disappeared a few years back, and I've been looking for a nice replacement ever since. I love that book. The world's most expensive book? Hadn't heard about that one - wonder what makes it so expensive. I'll have to Google Tomas Alexander Hartman.

Unknown said...

The benefit of being a bookselller is that I can now buy any book I like, guilt free, as long as I plan to sell it once I've read it. I think the most I've spent so far has been about £50/£60 for a book to read, but I'd pay more if I wanted to read something.

I haven't been disappointed by any of my big spends. I'm more likely to be annoyed by books I've picked up for free in the library without proper research, and am disappointed at the time I've wasted reading rubbish, rather than any money I might have lost.

Sandy Nawrot said...

I'm going to sound like a cheapie, but I really can't remember spending a shocking amount of money on any book. Generally I buy used or rent from the library. If I buy new, I have a coupon in hand.

Juxtabook said...

Like Jackie as a professional buyer and seller of books, you think a bit differently. Personally the most expensive book I've bought was a signed first edition of a Ted Hughes for my husband's 40th. Can't say how much because it was a pressie. Professionally I have spent more than I usually do on The Indian Tribes of North America 3 Volumes, and on Eighteenth-Century English Labouring-Class Poets, also 3 vols. Both these items were a bit 'different', contain information hard to find elsewhere, and whilst not scarce or rare as such, there were not huge numbers on the market. I sold both quite quickly to enthusiastic new owners. The best bit of selling is when someone just loves their new purchase whether it is 50p or 50 quid.

Dot said...

I would love a decrepit mansion with a huge library! I finished The Parasites by the way and I loved it!

Candy Schultz said...

I always buy books now even if I know I can't get to them for awhile. If not I will forget that I want to read them and sometimes (although not so much anymore) they are really difficult to find later.

Any amount of money I would get would go for books and probably more shelves. I already have a house but there are some walls not yet encumbered by bookshelves.

Kim said...

The most expensive book I own is a 1901 first edition of Rudyard Kipling's "Kim". I didn't buy it, my husband did as a gift for me on my 40th. I was delighted with it because I love this book and the significance of the title wasn't lost on me either. Buying relevant books for people, whilst sometimes a possible gamble, is such a thoughtful thing to do.
Yes, I'd spend a windfall on books!!

claire said...

I'd spend a windfall on books, too, no doubt. Biggest book extravagance: an old set of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, which are not that much expensive but for me it was an extravagance. I don't usually buy new books, too. And am very very cheap so used is the way to go, unless I find new books at bargain price, lol. I rarely splurge on fully priced books.

The books I wish I never bought: Kevin Trudeau's Natural Cures and More Natural Cures. Served me right for believing a tv ad! Lol. But I thought I was going to get priceless advice concerning alternative cures for cancer and such. I never even touched the book after the first chapter and gave them to Goodwill. What a waste.

Blodeuedd said...

I have only paid big bucks for a book I was dying to get as quickly as it came out :)

Savidge Reads said...

Popin - welcome to the blog nice to meet you. I buy quite a lot of book I dont know of or authors I dont know but I tend to do it from charity shops as that way its a cheaper (and good cause) gamble.

J Shall - I havent yet read Kiss Me Again Stranger, I need to from your glowing review. I hope my copy isnt yours?

Jackie & Juxtabook - you both make me green with envy!

Sandy - how do these coupons work?

Dot - as soon as its bought I shall let you and your soon to be husband come and visit! Am off to check your blog shortly have been bit lax at blogging and visiting my fav bloggers!

Candy - very valied point I actually need some new book shelves at the mo.

Kim - what a wonderful book for your husband to buy you thats so lovely!

Claire - That Natural Cures book does indeed sound like a waste of money, I hope it wasnt too expensive.

Blodeuedd - I wish I could be more like that, I am a proper "wait for the paperback" kinda guy for the most part. Shame on me.