I like to collect things.
I’ve always loved collected things, even at a young age. I have collections of all sorts of things – coins, stamps, books, rocks, stationery among other things. While I love to collect things, sometimes I look back and think, “Did I really need that? Did I really need to buy two sets of the same colouring pencils just because one didn’t come with the metallic colours?”
One of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to collecting book series is when the covers don’t match.
Let’s talk about my Hunger Games books.
I have the original UK versions of these book which I bought in 2012 when the movie came out. I bought Hunger Games separately from the rest of the series, when the movie tie-in edition was cheaper than the original covers. And I regret that decision.
Look at that. Like, they look like a series. Now that there are about 30 different new editions of the Hunger Games books, I can’t find the original cover for the first one anywhere.
My Divergent books: when I bought the first two (Allegiant wasn’t out at the time), I had the option of either buying the original (US) Divergent cover which is taller or the pink UK version. I thought that maybe with Insurgent, they might release that in paperback with the US covers in Australia, but no.
So this is currently what my Divergent collection looks like.
What I’m also annoyed about is the fact the UK/Aus publishers decided to come out with ‘adult’ versions which are much classier after I bought these as well, which is why my Four is in the edition that is less classy, so that my series match.
It just doesn’t sit well on my shelf. There are two blue books in my series, so there’s less diversity of colour, in addition to the fact my Divergent is taller than the rest of the books as well.
Speaking of book heights, mismatching heights of books in a series is another pet peeve of mine. Here’s my Mortal Instruments/Infernal Devices collection:
They’re all different sizes! Okay, I have the Codex in hardback because it’s the codex and it has more of the ‘textbook’ feel to it and I don’t mind so much. But.
My Mortal Instruments books (up to CoLS) are the short versions, then my City of Heavenly Fire is a tall paperback (I also own it in hardback). My Clockwork Angel is the short paperback and the rest of the Infernal devices are the tall paperbacks. Bane Chronicles is also the tall paperback.
I personally prefer the taller paperbacks, just because they have a bigger text, so when I started collecting these books (in 2013 around the release of Clockwork Princess), I couldn’t find the tall paperback versions of the older books anywhere. I was lucky to find Clockwork Prince in that edition (for cheap as well), but I actually couldn’t find a tall, paperback version of Clockwork Angel.
I purchased the short versions of all the Mortal Instrument books (because they were the only ones available at the time of purchase. When City of Heavenly Fire came out the following year, I bought it in the tall paperback version because I wanted to read it straight away. It’s times like these that I wish Australia published all books in hardback so they’d all be in the same height.
Additionally, when I purchased the Study series by Maria V. Snyder, this is what happened:
They only had a taller edition of Fire Study! Not only does it not match the rest of the Study series, the rest of my Maria V. Snyder books are the same size so Fire Study sticks out like a sore thumb. On a side note, I have yet to purchase the Glass trilogy, just because I didn’t enjoy them as much, but might get them in the future so I can complete my collection.
While I can still mildly tolerate mismatching covers and heights, I absolutely can’t stand it when both factors are combined.
The first book of the Magisterium was released last year, and me, being a keen Cassandra Clare fan purchased it when it came out. Fast forward a year, and this is what happens:
Not only is it a different size, but it’s also a different f***ing cover. Why? I know they re-released the first book to match the new UK editions, but I’m a student who currently cannot afford to repurchase different books just because they release it in a different cover. Also, I personally prefer the old versions too: I think they represent the books better, and the larger paperback with the larger sized font is also nicer for not increasing my myopia.
Speaking of different sized series, I have restrained myself from purchasing the Snow Like Ashes books by Sara Raasch, just because every time I see them in a store, they’re a different size. I might purchase them in hardcover online, but the thing I’m probably going to do is wait.
It shouldn’t matter what they look like, shouldn’t it? Because it’s the inside and the words that matters, and not the appearance. However, the saying don’t judge a book by its cover is extremely inaccurate in my case. When I’m browsing a bookstore, first impressions of a book (for me at least) are always based on the cover. If I think the spine of a book is cute, I will pull it out and check out the blurb. If a book has a cheesy looking cover, chances are that I won’t pick it up at all. Like the Divergent series – if I hadn’t heard about it from somebody, I probably wouldn’t have picked it up because of the cheesy covers.
I actually could go out and repurchase all these books so that they all match, but there’s one reason why I don’t: I’ve kinda grown attached.
There’s always a story behind why you buy or read a certain book, and you can kind of become attached to that particular copy of a book. I’ve always been quite sentimental, so I don’t think I could ever bear the thought of replacing them. I still own all my picture books I read as a child, like Possum Magic.
I’ve read all these books, in a certain time, in a certain place. These physical editions have been through quite a lot with me, and its for this reason that I haven’t replaced them. For me, there’s something special about my battered copy of Hunger Games that I’ve reread fifty times. There’s a story about the story. There’s something precious in relieving the moments when you experienced the joy or sorrow the characters endured through the same physical edition of a book. So I’ve kept them, ignoring the fact they ruin my shelf aesthetic.
tl;dr Just purchase a series when it is completed. That way, they’ll match.
What are some of your struggles you’ve faced with non-matching series? I’d love to hear your thoughts!