It’s funny, I recently bought the two Philip K. Dick volumes (1, 2) of The Library of America, and I ran into exactly the same problem as this writer: “The books are lovely, lovely objects. They are about the nicest books I have. […] What is really hard, though, is to read them. The books are so gorgeous, so marmoreal, that I find them unreadable. Not unreadable in the Pierre Bourdieu/Edward Bulwer-Lytton sense, and not unreadable in theory â€“ I want to read them, I really do. Itâ€™s just that in practice, I donâ€™t. […] What is it about these amazingly gorgeous books that makes one not want to read them?”
I do own the paperbacks of most of the novels covered in the two books. Some of them I have as multiple copies: different editions, all found at second-hand book shops (for a buck or two). After all, if you can get this paperback even though you already own this one who would not buy the second copy? I think I’ll end up reading the paperbacks (of course, I’ll read this copy and not this one).