Friday, September 03, 2010

Why do people buy books they never read?

I found three nice books in a thrift store. They cost me a total of three dollars and fifty cents. They are unread. Someone paid a lot of money for these books. Let's call the total forty-five dollars. None of them were ever read. I'll read them. I'm happy to have them. It's the previous owners loss intellectually and financially that they didn't read them.

Here they are:

1. Katherine Kurtz: In the King's Service.
2. Anne Mcaffrey and S. M. Stirling: The City Who Fought.
3. A. B. Paine: Th. Nast: His period and his pictures. A reprint of the 1904 editon done in the 1970's. It's a shame this sat on someone's shelf unread for about twenty-five years. I'll enjoy it.

Oh ... a hint to thrift store book buyers. Those nasty price tags come off with a bit of lighter fluid. It's very volitile so it won't stain the paper.


  1. Those sound like good treasures to find! Hope you enjoy them.

  2. I Loved "The City Who Fought". I think there is a sequel floating around somewhere. Anything those two've written, together or separately, is worth a read... And like you I can't understand why books are bought and remain unread.

  3. The City Who Fought is a follow up to their "The Ship Who Sang."

  4. You got some bargains there!

  5. I think the most common must be litfic bestsellers, that people buy because everyone else is reading them (or claiming to have read them) and then find they don't like at all.
    But those are odd to find unread. I wonder if someone bought them as a gift, and failed to turn their friend on to sf?

  6. I really don't know. It's always a puzzle to me. And some people are very careful with books. I don't especially like paper bound books, but I do own and read them. I can read one and have it look like new when I'm done. I'm careful with my books, and I wonder if that doesn't account for some of this.

    The good side is I end up with nice books I can't afford to buy new in the quantity I can buy from a thrift store. There is a huge difference between thirty dollars and a dollar or two.

  7. As far as I know there are at least five of the 'brain/brawn ships' novels that feature Helva from 'The ship who Sang'. 'The City who Fought was the first novel in which the 'brain' that ran a city/space station was the star of the show, so to speak