In the end I think it comes down to how you want this money to last. I think the computer is the obvious selection for the next 12-18 months. It is on the cutting edge of technology and would likely help with work/website concerns. However, five years from now that computer will be selling for $250 at the used computer store, replaced by better, fancier, and more impressive machines. The Virginia Editions will never be replaced and will likely avoid any depreciation. For as long as you own those books their “value” will probably remain the same to you (fiscally and emotionally), if not increase. Also, it will get tougher and tougher to find those books, in complete series, in excellent condition – whereas you can always get a fancy new computer. If it was me (lit nerd that I am) I’d go with the books.