Feb 22, 2008

Meme: Format

Question from Booking Through Thursday:
All other things (like price and storage space) being equal, given a choice in a perfect world, would you rather have paperbacks in your library? Or hardcovers? And why?

Well, if it was perfect, I'd love to have all hardcover books, beautiful leather editions with glossy ink and creamy paper. There's something very aesthetically pleasing about such beautiful books. But that's just a dream so I'm very happy with my mixed-up library of hardbacks and trade paperbacks. The only kind of format I really don't like is mass-market or pocket size paperbacks, because they're smaller and fall apart after I read them several times in a row. Opening the pages wide to read the smaller text easily always ends up cracking the spine, and then the books never recover. Also they look funny among all the taller books, being so short. This has been a bit of a problem with me in swapping books on Book Mooch, because sometimes I receive books that were listed as trade paperbacks and turn out to be pocket-size. Some of them sit on my shelves waiting for the day I find a more desirable copy to replace them, others get cycled right back out into the swap system...


  1. I loved the aesthetics of hardcover books as well, but for me they just aren't practical since I generally can't fit them in my purse to carry along. :) Since I pick a lot of my books up at book fairs, I tend to have a lot of older books that can only stand one more reading. Oh well!

  2. I came to comment on your post (I read everything through Google Reader) and I saw *I* had already commented. And I thought, "Hmm, I don't remember commenting on this, and the comment I made is not what I wanted to say right now...did I even *read* this post before I commented??" And then I realized I'm not the only Trish in our blogging community...

    ANYWAY, I like this answer. I've realized in using Book Mooch that my definition of "Very Good Condition" is not the same as everyone elses. I never thought of just putting it right back out there...I think I'll do that!

  3. Trish (1)- I must be an anomaly because I never carry a purse. Wallet and pockets. So if I've got a book with me it's usually in hand! If I did use purses, I am certain I would favor paperbacks as well.

    Many of my books come secondhand, old and quite worn as well. I snatch 'em up because I don't want to pass up the opportunity, but then keep my eyes open for better copies that will withstand more reading!

    Trish (2)- The downside to just re-swapping a book is well, you have to pay the postage to send it out again. (I usually Mooch books for keepers). I've begun to prefer using Paperback Swap myself; never yet have had a book come that doesn't match its description. They have minimum standards for condition, as well.

  4. I've noticed a lot of hardcover people prefer leather bound. I have to admit that the type of hardcover never has crossed my mind. When it comes right down to it for me, appearance matters so little.

    I am not a big re-reader and so I haven't had quite the same experience you have had with the mass market paperbacks falling apart, but sometimes even for me on first reading impossible not to crack the spine. I know some people are able to pull it off, but I guess I'm just less careful even when I think I'm being just that.

  5. Literary Feline- I just happen to love the smell of leather! I don't know if they hold together better than other kind of hardbound books. Most books I add to my library are ones I know I want to read again, so it's important to me that they hold together!

  6. Anonymous2/22/2008

    I have never owned a leather bound book, but what a treat that would be!

    If I'm reading paperbacks, I prefer the trade size too.

  7. When I mooch a book, and it's not the only one available and I'm not desperate to read it, I always ask to double-check it's the edition I want. And the two times that hasn't worked, well, I'm not above throwing a hissy fit to get my point back. Because that's not an honest mistake...that's just blatent false advertising! lol

    I'm the kind of person who can read a book and have it still look brand new, so I'm pretty picky about book conditions (unless I'm just dying to read it), and I like to collect authors in matching sets, so covers matter too. I'm a little OCD about my library, come to think of it. I've made bookmooch work though!

  8. That's so funny that you've got all these fans named "Trish"!

    I have a fancy leatherbound book. I left it in the States...but not out in the garage with the other books. It's in my mom's house. It's gorgeous, but I'm afraid to touch it, it's so nice...and it was kind of expensive, too!

  9. Ravenous- I actually only own two leatherbound books myself, picked up secondhand, so cheap they're probably fake leather!

    Eva- For a while now I have been asking to double-check an edition matches what I want. But some people don't seem to understand the difference between trade and mass-market (even when I spell it out in inches), and I still get mass-market paperbacks occasionally.

    Bybee- Don't be afraid because it's so expensive! Books are meant to be read, no matter what their appearance and value. (I do feel that way about some people's furniture, though. It looks too nice to sit on and makes me uncomfortable!)


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