Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hard on Soft, Soft on Hard


I for one hate hardcovers. Admittedly, they look really nice and all, and the book jackets are adorable, but ick for reading in class - not bendable in the slightest. I like bendy things.

Flexibility.

*winks*

*licks lips*

/perv

And they're more expensive. Especially for foreigners like me who have to pay importing taxes + whatever else bookstore people like to drive prices up for. No Amazon discount here folks - hardcover costs $20 on the cheap end.

So anyhow, I always wondered why a lot of books are published hardcover first. I mean, obviously the ones the publisher is pushing for the season would be hardcover - with marketing behind them. But then there are the hardcovers that get no attention. I get that you make more money from hardcovers but...

And it's especially puzzling for debuts: How can I spend that much money on an author I don't even know?

Which makes me think it's time for some discussion! Thoughts? Preferences? Fetishes? The floor's yours.

17 comments:

YA Book Realm said...

I actually love hard cover books, but only for books that I like and would potentially want to re-read. I hate when the cover of paperbacks get all bended up and the binding creases. But, I like that the paperbacks are lighter and easier to travel with. And your right those hard covers are expenssiiiivee! I can't afford them (even though I don't have to deal with importing taxes)!

Amee said...

I agree, soft covers all the way!

While hardcovers aren't as expensive here from where you live, they are still expensive and not something I'm willing to pay for even with authors I already know and love. Sorry guys!

I'm perfectly fine waiting a year for paperback or waiting half a year for a copy to become available on PaperBackSwap.com. Very few books am I willing to spend the extra cash for a hardcover. I have to be really anticipating the book for that to happen.

I also agree that I would probably try out more new authors if they were in paperback. I get MySpace comments from authors asking me to check out their book only to find it's hardcover. Um, sorry guys but no. If it sounds interesting, I'll wish list it and come back to it later.

My favorite paperbacks are the mass market pocket ones. I love the tiny size!

Lenore said...

This is a tough one, because I have to admit I love the smaller format hardcovers that YA books come in - they are lighter and look great on my shelf. But I try to avoid those mongo adult hardcovers that weigh a ton and cost upwards of $25 (seriously?!)

Diana Dang said...

I never in my life bought a single hardcover book once. (Except with my aunts money at one point) I receive them, yes.

I don't mind them so much but yes, it gets annoying. The good part about is though that it doesn't fray like regular soft covers.

mari said...

I usually wait for paperback. Hardcovers are expensive and I only by them when they are on the discount racks. The only hardcovers I bought full price are my HP books. Which reminds me, I need to replace Books 1 and 2 because the bindings are broken from too many readings. :)

Lisa said...

I adore hard covers. I will relent and buy something in a nice trade paperback, but I flat-out refuse to buy mass market paperbacks. Will. Not. Read.

Part of reading a book is the whole experience for me - settling into a comfy spot with a nice book and a cup of cocoa or whatever. MMPBs on onion-skin paper with spines that bend and crack and look bad and are hard to hold open - yuck. Plus, I prefer the way hardcovers look on my bookshelves, and the fact that they hold up better over time.

I understand that not everyone wants to make the financial investment required, but I would hate to not have the option for myself.

WannabeWriter said...

The only thing hardcovers are good for are built in bookmarks ( the flaps of the jacket, of course ). I'm a soft cover person too, except maybe for leisure books I carry to school with me. My civics book alone could crush and bend and murder a soft cover unfortunate enough to get stuck under it. But soft covers are cheaper, like you said, which means I can buy MORE books rather than one or two. That's why I try waiting for paperback.

Book Chic said...

I mainly prefer paperbacks, which is why I like receiving ARCs, lol. But I do enjoy looking at hardcovers and occasionally getting them, even though they are more bulky and not as easy to hold as paperbacks, and of course are more expensive (the adult hardcovers prolly cost more because adults have jobs and therefore usually more money to spend).

But anyway, I'm fine with either, but I do prefer the flexibility and cheapness of paperback.

Reader Rabbit said...

Paperbacks all the way!
Sadly, I'm impatient and so I usually end up buying hardcovers of books I really want.

Which sucks considering the average price of a hardcover is about 23 bucks here.

(But if i'm lucky and there's a deal online...I could score one for 16)

But I do prefer reading from paperbacks. Paperbacks are my friend.

Hardcovers are annoying.
And expensive =[

Bing Bang Bong said...

We don't have hardcover books sold here. You'd be hardpressed to find them for fiction books (except for HP!), which is a complete 'Thank God!' for me.

Whilst, I do like the fact that the spine of hardcovers don't get ruined as easily, they're far too expensive, so I'm glad we don't even have the option in the first place. I couldn't imagine having to wait a whole year before I bought the book I wanted.

Taren said...

I actually really like hardcovers and have no problem reading them -or accepting them! I'm really anal about my books, so I hate when paperbacks get beat up. Hardcovers are a bit more durable in that area. Generally, I'll take either...there's really no preference.

The Story Siren said...

hmmm... i like em hard, stiff and hard! seriously though, i don't really have a preference. although if i have a series.. i like to stick to one cover type. i'm kinda anal like that.

and i love the smiley btw, the braces are classic.... since that's all i do all day long. putting braces on, i mean.

Cassandra said...

maybe because they look, as you say, "prettier" and people want pretty books? i dunno... when i see a hardcover book it screams "NEW!" and i think hmm, pretty book, new author! yay!
it's all in your head.... *insert creepy noise*

Alea said...

Trade paperbacks are the best. Hardcovers are ok if that's my only option or I just can't wait for something but they are so big and bulking and poke me in the hands. I'll usually check those out from the library but then I still have to read them in hardcover, at least then I can buy the paperbacks. I HATE mass market paperbacks. A lot of people say Hardcovers keep better but I treat my books like they are antiques from a museum so usually they wear just fine! I agree with the Story Siren, like to stick with one book type for series. Right now that means hardcovers of the next Airhead book and Evernight book, I got a little book crazy in the Spring! I really want to get Paper Towns but not when it's Hardcover! Good discussion topic!

I do wonder how books are decided to be published in either hardcover or paperback. That's something I'd love to learn more about.

Book Chic said...

Just to let you know, I nominated you for the I <3 Your Blog award. :) Check my blog for details!

Lenore said...

Lisa and Alea - I am so with you on the hating mass market paperback train. They are just so unappealing. I love the grainy feel of a trade paperback :)

The Compulsive Reader said...

I actually like Hardcovers. I used to hate them, but sicne then I ahve mastered the art of reading one with the dust jacket intact, so it's all good. They last longer and and are more durable. However, they are expensive, and I only ever buy them on Amazon.com though cause I'm a cheap skate. Also, I can't stand waiting a whole year for paperbacks, so I just go ahead and buy it the cheapest, fastest way possible.

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