Five justifications for buying two of the same book



I found myself at the bookstore the other day fawning over a copy of Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson. The paperback cover of the novel looked completely different from the hardcover (which feels to me like the latest trend nowadays). It was shiny and silvery from the foil and the title of the novel was bright and bold using vibrant colors. The book reached out to you from its little stack on a shelf of other great reads.

I had bought the book back last year during the Brooklyn Book Festival. The hardcover copy was a golden hue with kids running through a sprinkler depicting summer life on the streets of Brooklyn. It made sense for the novel and it gave the book a sense of “sophistication.”

But I stared at the new cover longingly contemplating whether or not I should buy it on top of the five other novels I already picked out. I didn’t plan on buying it because I already knew I owned a copy of the book at home. Being a person on a budget, I couldn’t justify a purchase like this especially when I knew I had the other book at home waiting on my TBR to be read.

What’s a girl to do? Consider the alternatives. There’s a million reasons why you would want to buy two copies of a novel. Perhaps it’s your first novel and you want to have the ones on the shelf at your local bookstore and not the ones the publisher gives you. But in my general way, I’ve found five really good reasons to justify purchasing two of the same book.

You forgot you bought the book in the first place

Whoops, this happens all the time especially if you’re a reader. You buy a book a million years ago and you’re pretty sure you lent it to that one dude that came over your apartment for a “sleepover” and ends up being a one night stand. You’ll hate that guy forever for taking your book, but you realize you need it again.

You buy and, lo and behold, you didn’t give it to that scumbag creep. Instead, it was buried deep in the back of your bookcase almost trampled to death by the stacks of novels you added to the top of it. So you’ll have two of the same novel, not a big deal.

You’re a diehard fangirl/fanboy and you need multiple copies of the same novel with different covers

I’m talking about those Harry Potter fans. Since this year is the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter, Bloomsbury Publishing released Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in four beautiful collectible editions in all four house colors.


How can you resist buying ALL four of them even though you know you’ve been sorted in Ravenclaw a hundred times when you’re pretty sure you’re a Hufflepuff. I’m pretty sure that being 20th anniversary COLLECTIBLE editions, it would be okay right? RIGHT?!

You thought you bought one book and then Amazon sends you wtf?

I hate this with a thousand suns. You go on amazon or any other book selling venue thinking you’re buying one book, but then they send you another book.


Oh, it’s the same book alright, but this is not what you expected. I wanted to buy the book on the left because of its gorgeous cover and I heard it was freaking amazing, but what I got was the book on the right. WTF!?

Perhaps this is a symptom of online shopping and how you should always buy books in real life, but that means I have to get in my car and drive to the store and put on pants. Why do I have to do that when I can get them online?

As you can see I already went out and bought the new cover, but come on!

When the book publisher decides to make a book in the trilogy not match the other books

Yup, this is another big pet peeve of mine and it happens a lot. A LOT. The first time, I let it slide because I was buying Twilight novels in Paris so that I can read it on the plane ride home. Those novels don’t match, but that’s okay with me. I decided to make that decision and I was desperate to read something on the five-hour flight.

But when you’re not strapped for time and you’re trying to collect the series, you want to make sure that each book looks the same. It’s so they all look lovely next to each other on the shelf.

LOL the joke is on you because sometimes publishers like to make your editions the more expensive ones and you didn’t think the cheaper one would look so bad.

It’s a frustrating life sometimes when you’re a book collector and you want everything to be precise and exact. Form over function, that’s what I always say.

You’ve been lugging around the 800-page hardcover tome of a novel and your hands are tired of holding it up

Image from

I live in New York City and one of the biggest proponents of this city is that you’re basically a pack mule. You carry everything with you and you can never find a bag cute enough to carry around tome. I legit wear a backpack every single day and not a cute one.

Because we carry everything, it’s always nice to not have to add another big thing to that list like, say, a 900-page tome by some famous author who’s books have been a world-reknown series. So I used to buy all my books that were more than 500 pages long on my Kindle. It makes it super easy to carry my books without having to break my back.

However, somewhere at the midpoint of any Kindle-based novel I read, I get this longing for an actual novel for me to hold with paper pages that I can turn and feel the ache of my fingers trying to keep the weight up. Honestly, I’m pretty sure that my hands and fingers are stronger from holding up books on a crowded subway.

So what do I do when I get that longing feeling? I buy the actual book. But I justified this purchase with math:

You see, the average novel on Amazon is about $10 less than the cover cost. Kindle books are only $9.99 for most unless you’re getting one of those bigger blockbuster hits. So, if you buy a book on both the physical format and the ebook format, you’re basically buying one book. All that money would have gone towards the one book anyway.

Or you just tell yourself that this is going to be a good one that you want to keep an actual copy of for your future self to re-read.


I do hope you enjoyed my fun little post about the ways you can justify purchasing the same book twice. Have you ever found yourself in this dilemma? What kinds of justifications have you used?


4 thoughts on “Five justifications for buying two of the same book

  1. Buying a physical copy when I own an ebook… because of Instagram. Also the whole thing with the publisher not matching the series’ covers (so annoying!). And, of course, special editions with pretty covers!


  2. These are good reasons, but you’ve missed our favorite! We have more than once bought a favorite book because we know inevitably there will be someone in the near future we want to have it. We keep it on our shelf for a time, sort of like a book foster parent — just waiting to give it to a caring home.


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