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Book-Talk Monday—Multiple Versions of Favorite Books

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Over the weekend, I downloaded the unabridged audiobook of Julie Garwood’s 1991 medieval romance Honor’s Splendour (though why there’s a u in one word and not the other is beyond me!). It’s a book that I own in the original mass-market paperback version (have had it since it was published) and have read many times, though not in the last few years. I listened to it for a little bit on my trip to St. Louis this weekend—but actually found myself preferring either music or quiet for most of the trip, as my mind was working overtime.

So, now I had two versions of this book.

Well, after I got home, I decided I’d like to continue with this story . . . but I’ve gotten so addicted to my Kindle, especially for reading in the bed at night (because of the reading light making the lamp and sitting in a certain position to catch the light from it unnecessary) that I used a little bit of money left over from a gift certificate and downloaded the e-book version of it.

So now I have three versions of this book.

Now . . . let’s talk about a certain recent Young Adult series. I have the physical copies of all seven books—three in hardcover, four in paperback (though I am slowly replacing the paperbacks with hardcovers). I have all seven books on unabridged audio (CD). And as soon as the final movie comes out on DVD in November, I’ll have all of the film adaptations of the books. Once they’re released on e-book, I may (or may not) download those, too. Then I’ll have four versions of each book in that series. And if I could get my hands onto inexpensive (and good quality) copies of the British versions of the books, I might buy those too, upping the versions to five.

When it comes to Jane Austen’s novels, not only do I have different media versions of each of the six novels(books, e-books, audiobooks, movies), with three of the books, I actually own two physical copies of them. You see, as I started reading Jane Austen in the late 1990s, I bought a copy of each book as I got around to reading it. Most of them are the B&N classics version, because they were hardcover and cheap. But then, once I started studying Jane Austen—and knew which of the books were my favorites and the ones I wanted to concentrate my study on—I bought the Norton Critical Edition of Persuasion, Pride & Prejudice, and Sense & Sensibility. And I must say—the essays in the back made up the bulk of my resources for my senior literary criticism thesis (“Wealth and Social Status as a Theme in Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice“).

The one of which I have the most versions is Pride & Prejudice: B&N Movie Tie-In hardcover book, Norton Critical Edition paperback; 1980 BBC miniseries DVDs, 1995 A&E miniseries DVDs, 2005 theatrical film version DVD; e-book (free download); audiobook (on cassette), digital audiobook (downloaded years later from when I could no longer listen to cassette tapes in the car—but I still have the cassettes). That’s eight versions of one story!!!

And even though I’m “off” Austen and all things Regency right now (makes me cringe to hear people talking about it), last Thursday when perusing the bargain shelves at Barnes & Noble, I had to force myself not to pick up the newer B&N Classics versions of the JA books—or the all-in-one volume—because there’s still something in my brain telling me that I need to have more versions of those novels.

Hello. My name is Kaye Dacus, and I have a problem . . .

Do you have any books of which you have multiple versions (book, e-book, audiobook, movie adaptation, etc.) or even multiple copies? Do you have an addiction to a certain book or author or series and you want to buy every different cover/version of it you see?

  1. Audry permalink
    Monday, September 26, 2011 6:25 am

    I have more versions of the Bible than you can shake a stick at – the very first leather bound one I bought myself when I was 16: a KJV-NIV interlinear, a NASB that became my main reading bible about 8-9 years ago, and an ESV that replaced that about 3-4 years ago. That Bible is still the church Bible, mainly because my husband thinks there’s just something wrong with using an iPad in church. My day-to-day reading Bible is now an iPad ESV version though. I also have an NASB audio Bible in the car (can’t remember how many discs, but it’s a lot). Then there are the two KJVs, 4-way interlinear, and NIV my husband brought with him when we got married, and the big padded cover KJV family Bible my mom bought us for Christmas a few years ago. Sometimes I feel like we should donate some of them.

    On the fiction front, which I’m sure is what you really had in mind, I have audiobook and paperback copies of Megan Whalen Turner’s excellent Queen’s Thief series – the audios are so well done that I think they’re better than the books. (The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, The King of Attolia, and A Conspiracy of Kings – if anyone wants to read them, don’t read anything, even the jacket descriptions, about the later books until after you’ve read The Thief) I also plan on buying the whole matchmaker series in paperback when the last one comes out, and I already have digital versions of the first two.

    Finally, I have, on several occasions, borrowed both the hard copy and audio versions of a book from the library at the same time so that I could keep the story going no matter where I was. I remember doing this with The Alienist, by Caleb Carr, and I know I’ve done it with others, but I can’t think of titles at the moment.


  2. Monday, September 26, 2011 7:58 am

    I’m pretty sure the only books I have multiple copies of are A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers, Pride and Prejudice, and Sense and Sensibility…in the first case, 2 paperbacks (1st and later edition), in the last two cases, a couple of paperback editions as well as audiobook versions.


  3. Monday, September 26, 2011 8:00 am

    I have both paperback and Kindle versions of the Anne of Green Gables series. 🙂


  4. Monday, September 26, 2011 10:28 am

    I’m with you on owning mulitple copies of Pride and Prejudice. I have the copy I had to purchase in undergrad for British Lit. This copy has a lot of footnotes and my hand written notes in the margins from class discussion. I have the complete Jane Austen Anthology, all six in one giant book. A pocket size version that is perfect for travel when I don’t have a new book waiting. As for the movie versions I have the most recent and the one with Colin Firth.


  5. Monday, September 26, 2011 10:41 am

    It’s possible I have some Brother Cadfaels on audio and paperback… but generally I don’t have funds to spend on books I already own. Too many others I want to read and can’t afford.


  6. Monday, September 26, 2011 10:43 am

    We have Harry Potter in many, many formats at our house:) Let’s see…hardcovers of all the American editions except for #6, because I was in Ireland when it came out, so that is UK hardcover. We have the movies on DVD, the last three as audio books, and my bilingual husband has all seven books in French paperback. And at a garage sale this weekend, we found #2 and #3 in UK paperback…so we bought them too.

    Oh, and husband also has many of his favorite fantasy novels in English (US) and French editions, purchased during a study abroad in Belgium. In fact, we have a whole self full of these. Glad he can make sense of them!


  7. Misty permalink
    Monday, September 26, 2011 2:58 pm

    I have Anne of Green Gables in hardcover, paperback, audiobook (Focus on the Family radio drama), and on DVD. 🙂 I like Anne of Green Gables a little bit. Also, all Jane Austen in paperback (they were a gift), on my Kindle and several on DVD. Jan Karon’s Mitford series is on my shelf in hardcover as well as a few of them in audiobook version.
    A good audiobook can make a blah roadtrip fly by!


  8. Monday, September 26, 2011 4:05 pm

    I don’t generally buy multiple copies of books unless I just have a sentimental attachment to it, and find it in a “vintage” format. For instance, I have about 3 versions of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “The Long Winter,” and some hardback AND paperback versions of various Grace Livingston Hill books. I’ve never really gotten into audio that much, because it takes longer to get through a book than reading the text! 🙂


    • Monday, September 26, 2011 6:44 pm

      Audios take longer if you listen to them while you’d otherwise be reading, but they’re great for “reading” when you can’t actually read – for example, we often drive to NY (from NC) to visit my in-laws, and we like to drive over night to avoid traffic and so on. Audiobooks are great for keeping me awake while I’m driving in the middle of the night! I also have a job where I sometimes do work that really doesn’t engage the language part of my brain at all, and I can actually listen to audiobooks at work while I draw or do 3D computer modeling. Sometimes I put audiobooks on my ipod to listen to while I clean the house and stuff like that too 😀


  9. Pam K. permalink
    Monday, September 26, 2011 6:19 pm

    I have several different versions (translations) of the Bible. These are helpful for study. I can’t think of any other books that I have multiple copies of, though a few have been made into movies (like Anne of Green Gables) so I have the DVDs. I love to read and have many books, but I just can’t see taking up space on the bookshelves with multiple copies of the same book.
    Sorry, Kaye, but this sounds a wee bit obsessive to me! It does seem harmless, though!


    • Monday, September 26, 2011 9:24 pm

      I don’t know that it’s any more obsessive than someone who collects china plates with cats on them or ceramic dog figurines.


  10. Charmaine Gossett permalink
    Tuesday, September 27, 2011 10:57 am

    So many of you like Anne of Green Gables, I just have to get the book or books from the library. I watched the TV series and loved it.
    All of Jane Austen books. Started with paperbacks, but now I prefer larger print. Still hang on to the paperbacks however. Liked the first TV series, but not the second one. It changed to many scenes that I liked in the book. I’m a book purest. Don’t mess with me, now.
    Have several of D.H. Lawrence books. Some have the same stories. Fascinating.
    I just finished all of A. C. Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes short stories. Not planning to buy any, however, Just read to see what they were.


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