First, before you go on. Yes I know there is a ed 5. Keep that out of your mind for a moment.
Second, I am not going to be playing either of these.
All that said... some back story and then the point of this....
I am shifting my gaming towards PDFs and away from hard copy books. Games I am playing or I am specifically going to play or have significant components, are the only ones I am getting in hard copy from this point forward. Everything else is going to be digital in format. This includes me going back and getting PDFs of games that I already have (or had due to unfortunate water accidents).
I read game books because I have been doing that since 1978. I know lots of systems fairly well, but only some in passing. It is always good to refresh your memory. Sometimes you even pick up things are are great and useful in other places. I have my game pdf selection on a flash drive I carry with me (and yes.. it is backed up in two other places not geographically linked.) So.. on the train, on a break at work, or what ever, I will pull out my phone or my tablet and read a game. Yes, I can read a game straight through. Yes, I am one of those weirdos that studies games. Yes, none of this should be a surprise... so lets move on.
So, I don't play D&D. I don't think that is going to surprise anyone who knows me. Never acquired a taste for it, even back in the day when it was nearly the only game in town (Thank you Empire of the Petal Throne, Traveller, Runequest, Barsoom, Top Secret, Boot Hill, TFT, Bushido,and others). I have the core books for aD&D. I have bits and piece of 2nd Ed (I had all the core, but I lent them to someone who would use them back then... never got them back). My white box was trashed sometime before 82. Still, it is good to keep up.
I have recently acquired a fairly complete set of Edition 3.5 PDFs and Edition 4 PDFs of the core pieces. I will eventually get around to reading through both. But, I know me. I am going to burn out on D&D after reading one edition's worth. So one for now, one for sometime in a year or two.
Which one do you think I should read and why?