Stack of books

Why Having Just One Copy of These 5 Books Just Ain’t Enough

I love books. Physical, easily carriable paperbacks, specifically. I typically have at least one in my bag at all times, and the book du-jour is Notes From Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. That’s probably the biggest reason why I have to re-buy so many books, because I’m always carrying something I like, and I so easily hand them off to someone I like that I think will like it too. Oops, oh well.


Here are the five books that I’ve re-bought the most. 


1. Rant: The Oral Biography of Buster Casey by Chuck Palahniuk


Rant by Chuck Palahniuk

Image via Good Reads


For the last couple years, Rant has been my favorite book. It’s equal parts thrilling and creepy and existential and what-the-fuck and I love it. I love it so much I keep giving it to people so that they can read it too, and naturally, it’s a struggle to get it back. I’m on my sixth copy.


2. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift


My 1941 copy of Gulliver's Travels

The title page of my 1941 copy of Gulliver’s Travels. | Image via Hilary Schuhmacher Photography


I currently own three very different copies of Gulliver’s Travels. One, The Essential Writings of Jonathan Swift, from high school. Two, a very heavy and very red hardcover copy of Norton’s The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century leftover from college. Three, a beautifully illustrated copy published in 1941, bought in 1941 by my great-grandfather, given to me on his 101st birthday because he’d “already received a lifetime of presents” and we “didn’t need any more crap to dig through” when he died. I clearly get my morbid sense of humor from him, but I also got his books, so big props to Paw Paw. 


3. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey


One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Image via Paste Magazine


We read One Few Over the Cuckoo’s Nest my senior year of high school, and it’s been almost a decade so honestly, I don’t remember how long it took us to read the book collectively as a class, but I’m going to give myself some wiggle-room and call it a month. An entire month at the very max and yet somehow, I graduated with no more or less than eight copies. I didn’t buy them, just amassed them, but it counts. 


4. The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas


Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas

Image via Good Reads


I saw the 1998 Leonardo DiCaprio movie when I was far too young to see it, but at least it introduced me to Dumas’ The d’Artagnan Romances, so no sweat off my back. Between one water-specific mishap and a handful of lent-to-a-friend-never-to-be-seen-again scenarios, I’m on my fourth copy of the the third part of the third novel in Alexandre Dumas’ classic series chronicling the Three Musketeers. 


5. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas


Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Image via Amazon


Honestly, this is the same situation as The Man in the Iron Mask, except this time with the 2002 film starring Jim Caviezel and Guy Pearce. In the pre-Netflix world, the only way to re-experience the joy I got from the movie, I turned to the book. And read it and read it and read it again. If you include the one I stole from my sister, I’m on my fifth copy of the book. Copy two was left in the Denver airport, copy three was lost on a school trip to DC, and copy four was lent to a boyfriend who conveniently left it out of the box of stuff he returned to me. 


Featured Image Via The Odyssey Online.