BTT: Format


Once again, I spent a good chunk of my Thursday (especially since I’m locked out of the Thursday Thirteen hub by some DNS problems) pondering today’s 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?

In my library, huh?

Honestly, I don’t care.

No, not true. To put in my library, I want hardbacks. They look good, although the lack of standardized sizing makes them hard to pile books on top of.

Now, to expand on the question and take it beyond its borders, to read, I like trade-sized paperbacks. I just like them. I like the size, I like the way they fit in my hand, I like that they aren’t too heavy like hardbacks can be, I like that they stay open in my lap. I especially like that they aren’t the goofy new mass market size that costs a few bucks more for a few inches taller. Bite the bullet; put them in trade size, people!

And finally… many authors dream of being published in hardback. For them, it’s a prize to be won. But to be honest, I buy very few hardbacks. I don’t like to spend that much money on a new hardback. Not when I can have more books for the same amount. Heck, I went to a book signing about a year ago and spent $50 and came home with … two books. TWO.

Me, I want to be published in Trade Paperback. Given my choice — and let’s face it, unless I self-publish, I won’t have a choice — I’ll pick that size.

But ultimately, what format doesn’t matter. What matters is the experience I have reading it. A great book is a great book and … yeah, I gotta say it. Size doesn’t matter.



  1. Thomma Lyn

    February 21, 2008 10:50 pm

    LOL @ “size doesn’t matter!” Yes, ultimately it’s the story — the words — that count. BR/BR/That said, trade paperback is my favorite kind of paperback, too! 🙂

  2. Ann

    February 21, 2008 11:05 pm

    Oh, I am so with you on lovin’ the trade paperbacks. I bought a new copy of Laurie R. Kings A Monstrous Regiment of Women (they’re redoing the whole Russell/ Holmes series), and the new covers are too cool. I want to be published in trade paperback. 🙂

  3. grace

    February 22, 2008 12:16 am

    I prefer hard covers than paperbacks, most of the time. But like you said, yes, it’s the content that counts!

  4. Lara Angelina

    February 22, 2008 1:15 am

    I do own several hardcovers mostly on the Beatles, that I wouldn’t give up for the world. But it’s like you mentioned — hard covers are more expensive, take up alot of room and dusting them is a pain!! I usually buy paperbacks and end up donating them to the library. I’m not sure what “trade” paperback is tho –? also, I was in TT yesterday, but can’t get in today either!

  5. Ophelia

    February 22, 2008 6:36 am

    I agree that hardcovers can get quite expensive, but I love them too much not to buy them. Luckily, I’m able to get them at a cheaper price by purchasing them when they are on the discount racks, or at a used bookstore (sometimes they still look brand-new), or at a library book sale. If you don’t mind buying and reading a book that was previously owned, then you can get some really good deals this way! 🙂

  6. Lisa

    February 22, 2008 7:13 am

    Trade Paperback wins with me, as you said, easier to read and carry around.

  7. gautami tripathy

    February 22, 2008 9:02 am

    Trade paperbacks are the best options. BR/BR/BTW, the hardcover copy of HP 7 I bought for my nephew has broken apart from the spine. I think my nephew must have tried to turn it over!

  8. Pearl

    February 22, 2008 10:31 am

    Yes, I prefer paperbacks. I definitely would prefer to buy softcover. Maybe if one wants to make books do double-duty as stepstools, hardcover is a good bet but I’m gentle on books.

  9. the teach

    February 22, 2008 11:17 am

    90 % of my library is paperback, Susan. Mainly because I teach literature and I mark up my books with notes etc. I would never mark up a hardcover, hence paperbacks. Thanks for commenting on Steve Jobs and reading! Have a great weekend! 🙂

  10. rebecca

    February 22, 2008 1:04 pm

    personally, i buy more hardcovers than paperbacks because i keep them. books which i know i will not keep after i read them, then i buy in paperback….any size….BR/BR/”size doesn’t matter…” LOL….perfect….

  11. Lauren

    February 22, 2008 4:51 pm

    I like trade paperbacks too!BR/BR/I hate that new size of mass market they’ve come out with.

  12. SlipOfAGirl

    February 22, 2008 6:00 pm

    I prefer hardcovers, just for the durability and the heft of it in my hand.BR/BR/I’m having the same TT problems… Does anyone know what’s up with that?

  13. Bob-kat

    February 22, 2008 6:40 pm

    LOL! If you hadn’t have said it then I would! :)BR/BR/I prefer paperbacks to read too, they’re just easier to handle. Hardbacks do look good though a book has to be special for me to buy it in this format due to cost, like my illustrated versions of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. I guess, I’m the same as you really, I buy books to read so it’s not the cover format, it’s what is in them that counts!BR/BR/Thanks for the supportive comment BTW 🙂 I play Sophie and other ‘quiet’ music to work to and then when I take a break, it’s bring on the rock and the volume goes to 11!

  14. FRIGGA

    February 22, 2008 7:24 pm

    I choose hardback too. You’re right, they do look better and feel better. Well, except if I’m on one of my marathon reading binges – then I prefer to be holding paper back, for the weight difference.BR/BR/Happy Friday!!! 🙂

  15. Winter

    February 22, 2008 9:15 pm

    We have only certain things in hardback… like Harry Potter. I do love the trade pbs though. I don’t mind the regular pbs either. I mean, I got the entire first 5 JR Ward’s in pb, signed, for nothing. HEH. Pressies and contest winnings. Life is gooood.

  16. Susan Helene Gottfried

    February 22, 2008 9:17 pm

    Yeah, rub that in, Winter.BR/BR/And here I thought you were COOL.BR/BR/I’m dying to read JR Ward already. (along with the 400+ books already here)

  17. Haley-O

    February 22, 2008 9:21 pm

    Hee! Size doesn’t matter! Love that! I like paperbacks, myself. And, if you have to move, hardcovers are so darn big and heavy….

  18. lisamm

    February 23, 2008 11:27 am

    Totally agree with you!

  19. Breeni Books

    February 24, 2008 12:16 am

    I sucked and didn’t post a BTT this week. But I prefer hardcovers for my permanent collection like you do.BR/BR/Tagged ya!BR/

  20. No Nonsense Girl

    February 24, 2008 10:43 am

    I’m with you. I hardly buy paperback. I prefer the more affordable ones and like you said, a good book is a good book.BR/BR/HAve a great weekend! 🙂

  21. julia

    February 24, 2008 5:14 pm

    I like regular paperbacks best, because I read mainly while riding the bus, and paperbacks fit best in my purse.

  22. Carmi

    February 24, 2008 6:07 pm

    I’ve always wondered why hard-covered books are such a big deal. Here in the Great White North, the price differential is massive: often something like $35 for a hardcover, and under $10 for a softie.BR/BR/Sorry, but I’m cheap. Soft it is. It is, after all, the words that matter.

  23. spyscribbler

    February 24, 2008 9:13 pm

    I Ihate/I those goofy-sized mass market books. Oh, really, really hate them. I don’t buy them, simply because they don’t fit in my bathroom reading shelf. (I do a whole lot of reading in my bathtub.).BR/BR/I agree trade paperback is a great size. But then, my pocketbook much prefers mass market or bargain books. I’m sorry for that, but what else can you do?


    February 24, 2008 10:10 pm

    I hope that the Thursday Thirteen problems are over soon.

  25. Wylie Kinson

    February 26, 2008 2:55 pm

    I agree – a good book is a good book no matter the size. BR/That said, when I’m picking up a book from the TBR pile, whether or not it fits in my purse is OFTEN a factor…

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