So today I wanted to talk a bit about special editions for this weeks FLYTIP open topic. Now I know that special editions are all the rage now. There’s special covers, embossing, author signatures, and everything else. It’s a huge business and it’s all designed to get people to buy more and more. To the point where people are collecting the same book in many editions.
I feel a little conflicted about this. I am all for supporting my faves. My die hard loves. And so if that means you want it in every color of the rainbow, YOU DESERVE IT. Don’t let other people stop your dreams. But for those books where you’re on the edge, that’s where I am. There are a lot of books that I LOVE, but not necessarily my top book of all time. And for those books, I don’t know what to do. The special editions are gorgeous. That’s their whole job right? So they appeal to the inner bookworm. They appeal to the creative side of you that wants to feature them in a million pictures.
(As a whole, I even try not to buy every book I love. I buy the ones that speak to me in a way that I need, but the ones I just love, I don’t need to have every single book. So I try to keep buying the ones I want to re-read. Many I’ll love, but not need to re-read).
But back to special editions. I think it’s all a matter of perspective. I don’t own a ‘special’ anything. I just came back to the states where I could even buy them. Before there really weren’t German or European special editions. So that’s another factor – access. People cannot afford or even have access to US or UK special editions. That makes it really hard as a book lover and very expensive for shipping.
Additionally, there’s a ton of hype surrounding it. Now with social media, we can know about each special edition and see it. And that naturally creates a lot of envy. I don’t have problems with envy. Well, of course I do, but I mean, if you are envious or jealous – that’s a natural emotion to have. We all get jealous.
But there’s real disadvantages to international readers for these special editions. And in that way, it makes it feel a little unfair and also just a money making decision. I get it that people, and the book industry need money to make the world go round. And to keep publishing our little gems.
But I think, more than ever, I’ve tried to be more and more conscious of my privilege living in the US. Having been in the EU, which isn’t even that far away from the scope of the industry, I know more about the challenges.
But what about you. What are your thoughts on special editions? Love ’em? Hate ’em?
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