I recently bought my brother in law a copy of the soft cover Infected thinking that, like you, my nice first edition hardbound Infected would get ruined. Trouble is the softcover is a first edition also and I didn’t want to give it away!
I gave it up in the end thinking that it’d be best to spread the infection than a couple of words printed in the inside cover.
My daughter, who I am extreamly proud of, has really had her nose to the grind stone the last couple of years working full time and earning her Masters. She finished her MS in December and commented that one of the things she was really looking forward to was reading for pleasure. I handed her Infected. Now she is hooked and has her eyes on my copy of Contagious. After seeing what she did to the cover of my Infected (which I now must replace), I think it best I buy her her own copy.