Monday, October 18, 2010

Musing Mondays: What format of physical book do you prefer?

 This week’s musing asks…
Do you prefer hardcovers, trade paperbacks (the bigger ones), or mass market paperbacks (the smaller ones)? Why?
I definitely prefer trade paperbacks; lighter and more portable than hardcovers and prettier (generally) than mass markets, they fit in my purse and they look nice on my shelves. When I finally got around to reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I paid the extra few bucks for the good-looking trade even though the mass market was cheaper and sitting right next to it in the store (and took a little ribbing from none other than Margaret Atwood for doing so). And paperbacks are less precious than hardcovers; I can bend back the covers, set my drinks on them and break the spines. Having said that, I do buy hardcovers occasionally (and I don't always use my books as coasters), when I'm really excited to get a particular book or when I want to collect it in a first edition. I am very disappointed, for example, that The Finkler Question was not released in hardcover in the US, because I think a Booker Prize winner deserves a hardcover release. But I got one from England so all is not lost for this inveterate collector!

More Musing Mondays with Miz B at ShouldBeReading.wordpress.com.

16 comments:

Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Trade size softcovers are my preference as well, for the exact reasons you mentioned. For some reason regular old paperbacks are only useful for the beach and on vacations where I leave them behind for someone else when I'm done...LOl

Lisa Hayden Espenschade said...

I love the paper-over-board format that's popular in Russia: the books are lightweight like paperbacks but durable like hardcovers. I like taking notes inside the back cover; that's easier with a hardcover. I'd take a trade paperback over a regular hardcover, though, because large hardcovers are often unwieldy to hold.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I also like trade paperbacks for fiction. The print in regular paperbacks is so small! And the trades are easy enough to carry. For nonfiction, however, I usually like hardback. They tend to have maps to consult or pictures, and it's easier to do and easier to preserve in a nice way with hardback.

Zibilee said...

My favorites are the trade paperbacks as well. There is something cheap looking to me about a mass market paperback, and hardcovers are sometimes unwieldy. Most of my books are trade paperbacks, and I think that the only time I buy a hardcover is for collecting purposes.

Marce said...

I love a hardcover but my favourite is definitely the Kindle now. I do not enjoy tiny books with tiny writing.

Audra said...

I love trade paper backs too, but I also like the style with a flap, but it's still softcover? I especially love a nice softcover with the deckle edging -- that is just the right amount of luxury for me!

Shamefully (?) I've become an e-book convert having 'lugged' a 700 pager on my Reader with no effort!

jewwishes said...

For first edition collecting, the hard cover is my choice, as opposed to the first edition paperback. In paperback format I like trade size for the same reasons you do.

bermudaonion said...

For me, it's a toss up between hardback and trade paperback. I don't like mass market at all and refuse to buy them.

Charley said...

I like paperbacks, too, for the same reasons you mentioned.

Lori Thornton said...

I agree with you. I prefer trade paperbacks for the same reasons that you do.

Erin said...

Another vote for trade paperbacks! I like that they're lighter than hardcovers but look nicer and have easier-to-read text than the mass markets. I've yet to meet a mass market that seems particularly well bound. If I'm going to buy a book, I want it to last, but I don't want my wrists to go numb from holding it up. So...trade paperbacks are perfect!

booksslicedanddiced said...

Hardcovers are too difficult to carry easily and mass markets just aren't fun to read. I prefer trade paperbacks as well.

bibliophile brouhaha said...

Trade paperbacks are my preference in most cases; but if I am delighted with a book and know it's one I will keep and read again and again, I will upgrade to a hardcover - have to build the 'forever in the family' library, you know?

Amy said...

I prefer hardcovers. I just like the feel and size of them. If I buy a book for my collection, it is only in hardcover. My second choice would be a trade paper. I really don't like Mass Markets. They fall apart and are hard to hold.

-Amy
Life by Candlelight

limeduck said...

I find hardcovers too heavy for anything over a couple hundred pages, not just for carrying around and reading on the T but even just for holding in my lap or reading at a desk, especially when you're at the very start or very end. Similar story with smaller paperbacks, so I guess trade paper is a go-to format. For me the attraction of e-readers is not to carry hundreds of books at once, but just to reduce the weight of one big one at a time.

Carolina Gal's Literary Cafe said...

I only get hard covers only if the book is a favorite author and I can't wait for the trade. Trade is usually 6 months later. But, now that I have a e-reader I love the compactivity of it. But there are draw backs that come with this venue. But before the ereader I liked trade backs over anything else. Good question, Marie